In a meeting with the press organised in Madrid by the French Railways (SNCF), the person responsible for the operator’s high speed business, Rachel Picard, has confirmed her interest in operating in Spain once the high speed sector is liberalized in December 2020.
SNCF is considering the possibility of joining together with Spanish companies in order to develop the business, an option the French operator prefers to arriving alone. SNCF sees many business possibilities in Spain with the development of a low-cost model similar to the one it has successfully developed in France with its OuiGo brand, which has managed to reach 17 million passengers a year since its launch in April 2013 without reducing the activity of conventional high speed.
Picard highlighted the extension and characteristics of the Spanish high speed network, which suggest that it will be possible to reach higher levels of use than the current one once the network is open to competition. As far as rolling stock is concerned, Picard discussed the option of equipping some of their high-speed trains with signalling systems that would allow their operation on the Spanish network, or even the acquisition of a specific fleet suitable for it.