SPANISH new entrant Ilsa has awarded Hitachi Rail Spain a €737m, 30-year maintenance contract for its 20 new ETR 1000 trains which are due to enter service in the second half of 2022.

The €800m train fleet is being manufactured by Hitachi and Alstom (formerly Bombardier) in Pistoia, Italy, and will be maintained in Madrid by a new team of more than 75 staff. One new train has already arrived in Spain and is undergoing certification tests while the second and third units are due to be delivered to Madrid before the end of 2021. The fleet is being fitted with more spacious seats, 5G Wi-Fi and a bar area.

The 200m-long, 360km/h trains have seating capacity for 460 passengers and will operate on three high-speed corridors: Madrid - Barcelona - French border, Madrid - Valencia/Alicante, and Madrid - Seville/Málaga. Ilsa aims to initially carry 8 million passengers per year between the Spanish cities.

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