The Minister council today will give the green light to the Contract Program 2028-2027 of the State with Renfe that will ensure the financing of the subsidized public services of suburban and regional for the next ten years thanks to a compensation of 9,693 million euros for the entire period, at a rate of almost 1,000 million a year, reported to El País from sources of the Administration .
In addition, the document will allow Renfe to address the tender of the macrocontract of trains for the renovation of the Cercanías, Media Distancia (Regional) and narrow gauge trains (FEVE) park for a value of more than 3,000 million euros, with the aim of renewing and expanding the rolling stock of the railway company to serve the growing demand, and to the emergencies of nuclei such as Madrid and Barcelona. It is the largest train contract in the history of the public passenger transport company.
The Ministry of Development unlocks the main public contract pending that had been paralyzed with the change of Government. In fact, the Contract Program had to be signed last May but suffered a delay and, subsequently, it was paralyzed again after the change of managers by the motion of censure that brought power to the Executive of Pedro Sánchez. Last August his next authorization was announced, but the administrative procedures and the negotiation of the general budgets of the State (PGE) delayed their effective signing again.
The socialist government has finally decided to de-link the signing of the Renfe program contract from the negotiation of the PGE given the urgency of the needs covered by it, and which has led to the need to reach provisional agreements to finance lines considered of public service.
And it is that the signing of this document allows Renfe to start up the new public railway services for commuter and regional services, such as the Madrid-Cuenca AVE for the case of the so-called recurrent travelers, who carry out ten times the same journey in fifteen days , which may have a multi-flight voucher at a lower price, the same as the Madrid-Salamanca conventional connection. In addition, other links will increase the number of frequencies, such as the Castellón-Vinarós, the Alicante-Villena, the Vigo-Tuy relationship and the so-called metro-train of Córdoba.
Super Train Contract
The document will also be a relief for the train manufacturers (Alstom, CAF, Siemens, Tango and Bombardier) that were waiting for the tender of the super contract announced by the previous PP Executive and that should have been tendered almost a year ago. The design of the contract with the previous managers was of 439 units until 2027, with an investment of 3,130 million, and another 119 optional trains for 1,230 million more.
The tender will be divided into several phases depending on the nature of the rolling stock, but the whole of the macroplan is expected to be tendered in the first quarter of 2019. In January, metric-width trains will be tendered for the lines of Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia and Murcia and some others (Cercedilla-Cotos). The bulk of the contest will arrive in February with the purchase of high capacity trains Cercanías for Madrid and Barcelona fundamentally. The problem in these nuclei is that they are saturated in line frequencies, so a type of wagon is searched for that with greater passenger capacity for the same length. In March, the rest of the Cercanías and Media Distancia trains will be tendered, thus completing the calendar, according to the same sources.
The need to sign the Contract-Program to be able to take out these competitions is that the document acts as an endorsement for Renfe to request funding from organizations such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and serves as a guarantee to the manufacturers that are successful bidders.
The Contract-Program assures Renfe that it will operate on a monopoly basis the Cercanías and Media Distancia (regional) trains, which are the ones with the highest number of travelers, for another ten years, although liberalization may open AVE lines to private competitors by 2020.
The contract foresees another five optional years and includes the economic effect of investments in new trains to be made by the company. At the mid-point of this period, for the summer of 2023, it is expected that a report will be presented that assesses the efficiency in the management of the service, on which it will ultimately depend if the contract is extended for another five years. Punctuality, quality, reliability, comfort, cleanliness and safety are among the "minimum" objectives to be met.