Over the months our reports will have made readers aware of high-speed (HS) rail developments within Spain.

National operators are allowed to compete with Spanish incumbent Renfe.

These HS operators market their trains in a similar fashion to low-cost airlines with keen pricing.

Rail regulator Adif has produced a video (in English) describing the competitive situation now existing in Spain.

First came SNCF with Ouigo last May, followed by incumbent Renfe just over a week ago.

Now Trenitalia’s ILSA (a joint venture with Air Nostrum) is preparing its Frecciarossa 1000s for the Spanish market.

Photographs have appeared in Italy’s ferrovie.info, showing the trains being prepared at Hitachi’s Pistoia plant.

ILSA wants to deploy 23 trains at a cost of €800 million. Testing will start in the coming months, and no date has been set for service entry.

ILSA’s eventually wants to operate routes including Madrid-Barcelona, Madrid-Valenacia, Madrid-Alicante and Madrid-Malaga.

Spain has acknowledged 2021 as the European Year or Rail. It wants more travellers to take to the tracks.

By granting SNCF access to Spain it thought France would reciprocate and allow Renfe to operate (within France). However France’s rail regulator Arafer has yet to decide.

Spain’s Renfe expects reciprocal rights to compete with SNCF within France

trenitalia.com, ouigo.com, renfe.com, adif.es