Renfe renew its fleet with EIB loans

Renfe rolling stockThe European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved two loans totalling EUR 225 million for Renfe rolling stock renewal worth EUR 472 million. For the high-speed fleet, the bank will provide EUR 125 million while EUR 100 million is delivered for freight train upgrade programme.

The first of the new operations includes the purchase of 26 power heads and the transformation of 156 coaches into 13 high-speed variable gauge series 107 trains. The total estimated cost of the project is EUR 260 million, of which EUR 125 million will be financed by the EIB.

The second loan of EUR 100 million will go to projects run by the Renfe freight subsidiary. It will be used to purchase 24 electric locomotives and wagons for intermodal services, and to install the ERTMS on some existing locomotives and to implement noise reduction measures for 2 900 wagons. The total estimated cost of the project is EUR 212 million.

The financing agreement, which was signed at the end of 2023, has now been endorsed in Madrid at a meeting between Renfe President Raúl Blanco and EIB Operations Director for Spain and Portugal Gilles Badot. For many years, the EIB has been financing a large portion of Renfe rolling stock purchases under its Sustainable Cities and Regions public policy goal.

The two entities work closely together on projects that promote long-term investments in sustainable transport and a modal shift towards rail transport, and that have benefits for the environment, helping to reduce road traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Renfe is renewing its rolling stock by purchasing 406 commuter and medium-distance trains and modernising its high-speed train fleet with the gradual introduction of 43 high-speed trains of series 106 and 107.

Some of Renfe’s most significant EIB financed investments include the purchase of high-speed trains from Talgo and Siemens of series 103, 112, 106 and 130, and commuter and medium-distance trains from CAF and Alstom, among others.

In July 2023, Renfe and CAF signed a contract for the purchase of 29 four-car electric multiple units totalling EUR 193 million, with an option for up to nine additional trains for the Cercanías networks. These new trains, adapted to travellers with reduced mobility, have a capacity of 500 passengers. The acquisition of these new trains complements the purchase of 28 medium-distance battery-electric trains manufactured by CAF under a contract signed in October 2022 which also includes options for 42 additional vehicles. Under the framework agreement, Renfe exercised an option to procure 32 EMUs, of which 24 three-car trains and 8 four-car trains, at a value of EUR 190 million.

In 2021, Renfe signed with Alstom and Stadler two contracts worth EUR 2.44 billion for the delivery of 211 high-capacity trains. Alstom will supply the Spanish operator 152 high-capacity trains for Cercanías including the supply of spare parts, maintenance services and equipment for 15 years. This contract has a value of EUR 1.44 billion. The 100 metre-long trains have 900 seats with a 20% increased capacity compared to the current Civia train fleet. In June 2023, Alstom has unveiled the design of the Coradia Stream train at its site in Catalonia.

A EUR 998 million contract was signed with Stadler for the supply of 59 high-capacity commuter trains. The Iberian-gauge vehicles will be able to run at a maximum speed of 140 km/h providing transport services in the largest Spanish cities.

In August 2021, Renfe Mercancías awarded Stadler Valencia a contract for the supply of 12 Euro 6000 electric locomotives, the first four vehicles being unveiled in October 2022.

On 3 February 2024, Renfe announced it will invest EUR 2.15 million to replace the braking system for 278 wagons. This project to install whisper breaks is the first phase of the programme to significantly reduce the noise of 2,906 wagons over the next three years. Renfe Mercancías will install LL composite brake blocks to convert older freight wagons into quiet freight wagons. EUR 712,160 are provided through the Spain’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the European Union-nextGenerationEU. In 2023, the rail operator has installed the type LL brake blocks in 278 wagons  that allow the reduction of the noise produced by trains when braking.



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