PRIVATE operators will be allowed to bid for licenses to operate long-distance and high-speed lines in Spain next year.

Privately-owned train operators will be able to take over the running of some long-distance and high-speed AVE services from state-owned operator Renfe from the start of 2014 the government has announced.

Minister of Public Works, Ana Pastor made the announcement on December 3, saying that opening up the Spanish market to the private sector would “provide a wider range of services, competitive prices” and increase the number of people using public transport in the country.

The process of liberalisation began earlier this year when the Spanish government announced that it was to allow private operators to bid for tourist rail services including Transcantábrico, Al Andalus Express and La Robla.


  1. I LOVE this official statement by Ana Pastor – just like what has happened to the UK rail/transport system. Once privatized, what does the Spanish government DO when services and prices are NOT meeting user expectations? Some may not learn from History, but we could at least read the current newspapers!