Renfe branches out to South-America
Spanish operator Renfe has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chilean State Railway Company (EFE) to explore future areas of cooperation. The move marks the next step Renfe’s efforts in lending expertise abroad.
Renfe calls Chile “a country of interest”, and is looking to help with preparing studies and feasibility plans for new routes. The operator can also assist in the rental and sale of rolling stock, as well as share insights into the planning and operation of passenger and freight services. Finally, Renfe is keen on assisting in the training of personnel. The first area of cooperation will likely be in EFE’s efforts to rent diesel rolling stock for passenger services.
Renfe has taken various steps in recent years in becoming visible outside of Spain. In Saudi Arabia the company co-operates the 450-kilometre Haramain high-speed line. It is also involved in the training of staff in the kingdom, including Saudi Arabia’s first female train drivers.
In 2022, Renfe announced an MoU with the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Rail, which wants to expand its knowledge and expertise in the field of high-speed railways, as well as keep abreast of best practices in the field.
That same year, Renfe was also party to a a services deal with Rail Baltica, the umbrella company responsible for the construction of a new high-speed line linking Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the EU via Poland. As services provider, the consortium will act as a so-called shadow operator of Rail Baltica. It will offer support during the construction phase and will work to establish the operation and maintenance requirements for the projects.
Finally, Renfe is eying a formal presence in France. Through a new branch, Renfe Viajeros would like to explore new business opportunities such as the development of new high-speed transport services between Spain and France.