Texas Central selects Renfe as operating partner

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Texas Central has announced that international railway company Renfe will serve as the train’s operating partner.

Earlier this week, Texas Central announced the selection of engineering firm Salini Impregilo to lead the civil construction consortium that will build the Texas passenger line.

Texas Central notes Renfe’s experience, stating that the company operates 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track.

“The company is integral to the transport system in Spain, its home base, handling more than 487 million passengers and 19.6 million tons of freight moved in 2017,” Texas Central said.

The selection of Texas Central’s operating partner indicates another milestone for the upcoming high-speed railroad, officials said.

“After an intense review of the world’s best railroad operators, we were proud to select Renfe as the operator for the Texas Central Railroad. Renfe has established a reputation for excellence in railroad operation in Spain and across the world, and we welcome them aboard,” said Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar. “With their decades of expertise, they were a natural fit to join our other partners. Having the operator, the design build and technology teams all on board and able to collaborate will ensure all aspects of the railroad are integrated and efficient. The combination of these best-in-class global experts sets the foundation for the new jobs-creating industry we are bringing to Texas.”

Renfe, in partnership with Adif, the company that manages Spanish railway infrastructure, was chosen following a competitive review of global railroad operating companies.

The company is set to provide technical advice regarding the design and construction of the Texas train and will assist in the development of Texas Central’s operation and maintenance plans to help prepare the railroad for passenger service.

Renfe will run the trains, maintain system components, such as the engines, signals and other equipment and manage ticketing, passenger loyalty programs and additional services, Texas Central said.

“Today’s announcement is extraordinary news for Texans and for the Spanish railway industry,” said Isaías Táboas, president of Renfe. “Texas Central represents a large high-speed train project in a country with high-growth potential, for which the Spanish experience will be of great help. Both Renfe Operadora and Adif have accumulated years and miles of high-speed railway development with professional teams, extensive experience and specialized knowledge. We are committed to the success of Texas Central in improving the mobility of Texans and others in the U.S.”

Texas Central notes Renfe is one of the largest companies operating in Spain, employing nearly 14,000 people and bringing in revenues of 3.6 billion euros (US$4.16 billion) in 2017. Renfe’s high-speed systems were used by more than 36 million passengers in 2017, officials said.

The planned 200 mph train is intended to provide a safe, reliable and productive travel option linking the nation’s fourth and fifth largest economic regions in 90 minutes, with a midway stop to be located in the Brazos Valley.

The investor-led Texas project will be constructed and operated without taxpayer-funded state or federal grants and will generate an estimated $36 billion in economic benefits throughout the state during the next two and a half decades, Texas Central said.

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