Iryo becomes Spain’s third high-speed train operator with this week’s launch

Iryo becomes Spain's third high-speed train operator with this week's launch

Image of an Iryo high-speed train. Credit: Twitter@iryo_eu

Spain’s third high-speed train operator hits the market later this week when Iryo begins running between Madrid and Barcelona.

The red-coloured Iryo passenger trains belonging to Spain’s third high-speed train network company will begin their commercial operation this Friday, November 25. Prior to that, today, Monday 21, an Iryo train will make an inaugural trip between Madrid and Valencia.

Iryo is owned by Air Nostrum, Globalvia, and Trenitalia, and will operate a fleet of twenty totally new ETR 1000 trains. These are the well-known Italian Frecciarossa ‘red arrow’ trains, jointly manufactured between Italy and Spain by Hitachi Rail in collaboration with Bombardier Transportation (now the group Alstom).

An investment of €800 million has been made in this new enterprise. They join Renfe’s AVE and Ouigo convoys, along with the low-cost brand operator AVLO, in offering competitive rail travel to passengers in Spain, according to

On December 14, 2020, the railway sector in Spain was officially opened up to all companies. The onset of the pandemic though delayed the launch of Ouigo (SNCF) for a few months.

Although Iryo will travel this Monday between Madrid and Valencia, this will not be the route on which its commercial premiere is launched on Friday 25. That will take place on the Madrid to Barcelona line.

Unlike AVLO and Ouigo, which took eight and seventeen months, respectively, to reach their second destination of Valencia, Iryo will do so almost immediately on December 16. They then plan to continue inaugurating more connections throughout the country in 2023.

Iryo plans to arrive in the Andalucian cities of Sevilla, Malaga, Antequera, and Cordoba, on March 31. Alicante is scheduled for June 2, 2023. The dates on which AVLO and Ouigo will do so have not yet been specified. 

Spain’s newest train operator stressed that it comes with a proposal that is complementary to the current one: “of high quality, with competitive prices, and with a sufficient number of frequencies, to try to be one of the favourite companies for both leisure and business travellers”.


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Written by

Chris King

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. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at