23 Sep, 2020 @ 18:30
1 min read

Leading train operator RENFE faces stiff new competition as French rival enters Spain

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SPAIN’S number one train operator Renfe is to face fresh competition as a French company has announced its intentions to enter the market in 2021. 

French railway operator SNCF, under the brand name Ouigo, announced its plans to begin journeys on Spain’s high speed lines from March 15, 2021. 

Ouigo will make its first outing on the Madrid to Barcelona line, with stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona, using the double decker Alstom Euroduplex high speed train.

The service will offer 509 seats with waiting staff and a bar service. 

By 2022, the plan will be to expand to Andalucian cities such as Malaga, Sevilla, Alicante, Cordoba and Valencia. 

General Director of the company, Helene Valenzuela announced the plans during a press conference held yesterday.

“We plan to run five outbound and five inbound journeys per day before expanding the network to a total of 30 services per day and a total of 30,000 seats,” said Valenzuela. 

Known for their budget price tags, Ouigo will enter the market with a greatly reduced ticket price compared to their Spanish rivals. 

To celebrate their arrival into Spain, Ouigo will also offer €1 tickets on their website for the first 10,000 customers to purchase a fare.

The offer begins at 6 pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 24) on the company’s website.

Valenzuela hopes that their arrival into Spain will give the eco-friendly rail network a boost and hopefully increase the number of train passengers twofold by 2030.

James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at newsdesk@theolivepress.es with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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