By Chris King • 18 November 2021 • 21:29
New high-speed train company in Spain.
In a high-profile presentation at Madrid’s Atocha station yesterday, Wednesday, November 17, Spain’s new high-speed rail service was launched. Made up of a consortium formed by Ilsa, a subsidiary of the Valencian airline Air Nostrum, and Trenitalia, it will operate under the commercial brand name of ‘iryo’. It is scheduled to come into service in the second semester of 2022.
The new operator will compete with Renfe (which manages the AVE and its recent low-cost version Avlo), and Ouigo (owned by the French public railway company, SNCF), and will be powerful competition. According to the company headquartered in the Valencian Community, it will manage 30 per cent of the Spanish high-speed timetables, and will connect Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Seville, Malaga, Cordoba, and Zaragoza in the first phase.
Sources of ‘iryo’ pointed out they will operate, “the only fleet of totally new trains on the market”. They will be the only trains in the world to have the Environmental Product Declaration (EDP), and are the “most sustainable, fastest and quietest in Europe, made with 95 per cent recyclable materials, and saving 80 per cent of carbon dioxide per person and journey”.
An initial investment of €1,000 million in this fleet means the company will generate around 2,600 jobs. They expect to attract 50 million passengers in 10 years, “setting a new standard of what travelling at high speed in Spain means, and making a firm commitment to multimodality”, added a company spokesperson.
Carlos Bertomeu, president of Ilsa, in his speech at the launch ceremony, pointed out the complexity of the air and rail sectors, “Everything complex has to be worked on for many years, perhaps that is why the company has become accustomed to being background brokers”.
“Our formula is based on several pillars: very high operational quality, scrupulous compliance with current regulations, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and a differential service culture, in which we have invested a lot of time and money. This set of attributes will be Ilsa’s main competitive advantage”, explained Bertomeu.
“Spain is a country at the world forefront in our reference sector, with one of the largest and most modern railway infrastructure networks, a forerunner in innovation, electrification and rolling stock”, added Simone Gorini, CEO of Ilsa.
Concluding, “After 30 years of high-speed in Spain, we are going to achieve a new standard for the new consumer of the 21st century, in terms of personalization, digitisation, and sustainability. We want to transform the experience of traveling by train, positioning the railway as transport for a more sustainable future, and positioning ourselves at the centre of a multimodal concept of mobility”, as reported by levante-emv.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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