October 28, 2020

The unfinished Basque AVE already awakens the interest of the operators



Several companies have been interested in exploiting it when it is finished. The PSOE has agreed to give priority in exchange for PNV support to Sánchez

Although competition in the high speed rail (AVE) It will initially open in only three corridors starting next December 14, Madrid-Barcelona-French Border, Madrid-Levante (Valencia / Alicante) and Madrid-Sur (Seville / Malaga); The rest of the network will also be available to Renfe as of that date. And some of these brokers have already attracted the interest of the competing companies of the public operator. One in special: the connection with the Basque Country. The one known as «Y vasca», which will link Vitoria with Bilbao and San Sebastián and will continue until the French border, is not yet finished. It is planned that do not enter service until 2024. But, as Adif sources say, several operators have been interested in this corridor to exploit it under the same conditions under which Renfe, Ilsa (Air Nortrum and Trenintalia) and Railsfera (SNCF) will serve the three corridors that are liberalized in December: through ten-year framework agreements. The AVE project in the Basque Country will gain new momentum as it is part of the investiture agreement signed by the PNV and the PSOE to take Pedro Sánchez to the Presidency of the Government.

The “Basque Y” is attractive to AVE operators for joining two poles of important economic activity such as Madrid and the Basque Country. The regional Executive who presides over the peneuvista Íñigo Urkullu, who aspires to manage the internal routes of the route, calculates that only these trips could start with a traffic of 3.9 million passengers. The Government of the PNV considers that the current train service that connects the three Basque capitals is not competitive. His intention would be to replace it with another Intercitiy type with 21 services when the AVE is already operational with prices between 8 and 12 euros per ticket to make it attractive to a passenger market that now travels by car.

Mediterranean corridor

Next to the Basque axis, the Mediterranean corridor It is another of those that have aroused interest among railway operators for the future. As in the case of the «Basque Y», this double railway platform of international width destined to cross the Mediterranean coast from Algeciras to the French border, is unfinished. Although the Quiero Corredor movement, promoted by the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs (AVE), aspires that the journey be completed in 2025, the reality is that many of its sections are still in different stages of execution. The corridor is very attractive to railway companies to the extent that it is another area that concentrates much of the national economic activity. In the communities through which it lives, more than 50% of the Spanish population lives, 45% of GDP is concentrated, 47% of the productive fabric, 46% of employment, 51% of exports of goods and 63% of port freight traffic.

Other brokers, such as Galician, have also been the subject of consultation with Adif. In any case, it has been preliminary consultations. The administrator is now focused on the liberalization procedures of the Levantine, southern and northeastern corridors. Adif now negotiates with Renfe, Ilsa and Railsfera, Adif the framework agreements for the exploitation of already liberalized lines. The procedure must end before March 15. Until then, nothing will move.

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