First two Spanish Iryo train services will launch in November
The first two Iryo train services will start in November on the lines Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona and Madrid-Valencia, ILSA president Carlos Bertomeu told Spanish news agency EFE on Tuesday. The trains will compete with both Spanish operator Renfe and Ouigo trains, owned by the French SNCF.
After launching the first two train services, ILSA, the company behind the Iryo brand, expects to extend the Madrid-Valencia connection to Alicante, the ILSA president said. Later on, a train service on the line Madrid-Seville-Málaga-Córdoba will be launched. Launching trains on this railway line to the south of the country faces some delays relating to signalling that is incompatible with current standards.
ILSA is owned by the shareholders of Italian state railways Trenitalia, Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum and since more recently infrastructure investment group Globalvia. During his participation in the forum “Wake Up Spain”, organised by the digital newspaper El Español, Bertomeu stressed that the company wants to see “many red trains” on the tracks, referring to the colour of the Iryo trains.
New interoperable fleet
Brand new high-speed trains of the type ETR 1000 of Hitachi-Bombardier (now Alstom) will run on the Spanish tracks. 20 trains will be operated by ILSA under a lease from Trenitalia. The trains are known as the Frecciarossa 1000, or ‘Red Arrow’ in Italy. They will run on the above mentioned lines under a 10-year framework agreement following the recent liberalisation of the market.
According to the ILSA president, these trains have two essential characteristics: a high speed and a low noise factor. Moreover, they are said to be the most interoperable train in the world. Bertomeu also said that his main goal is to reach a market share of 30 per cent of the Spanish network, and that he is “frankly happy” to be an actor in the Spanish railway liberalisation.