THE arrival of the Euroduplex trains OUIGO, a subsidiary of the French railway operator SNCF, in the high-speed line between Malaga, Sevilla and Cordoba has been delayed for the fourth time.

The high-speed, low-cost OUIGO trains, which promise to connect the Spanish capital with Sevilla, Malaga and Cordoba has been delayed once again, this time until the end of next year, 2024, due to technical issues with the current traffic management system found in Andalucia, LZB,

The LZB signalling and speed control system is an old system which has been in service for almost 30 years, on what was the first AVE line in Spain in 1992.

This old system is only compatible with trains equipped to operate with both the most modern (ERTMS) and the oldest (LZB), such as Renfe’ AVEs and AVLO trains as well as Spain’s first private high-speed rail operator IRYO.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for OUIGO.

“The adaptation of the trains has required a very significant investment”, an OUIGO spokesperson said, indicating however, that the company continues to be interested in operating in Andalucia, considering it “a very interesting market in terms of demand”.

“We have asked ADIF for flexibility and we calculate that we will arrive in Andalucia in the second half of 2024. Everything is being done to arrive as soon as possible.” the spokesperson confirmed.

OUIGO is currently the only missing high-speed operator in the southern corridor, with IRYO offering service since last March and AVLO since June 1.

OUIGO’s arrival on the scene is highly anticipated, and not only because it will mean that a significant rail corridor will be created between the Spanish capital and the capital Costa del Sol, but also because the extra competition should substantially lowered the average price of tickets for the other three competitors: AVE and AVLO, from Renfe; and IRYO.

Once in operation, OUIGO is expected that there will be two daily return services between Atocha in Madrid and Maria Zambrano in Malaga city.


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