The procurement will be separated into two independent blocks. The first contract could be awarded as soon as May 2016 and will include the supply of 15 new high-speed standard-gauge trains to complement its existing standard-gauge fleet of 129 sets. The first units should be delivered starting in 2018.

The contract includes an option for a second block of 15 additional sets which could be equipped with dual-gauge bogies to extend services beyond the limits of the standard-gauge high-speed network. The framework contract will also include the maintenance of the trains during 30 years, with an optional extension of 10 more years.

Depending on the final options exercised by Renfe, the total value of the contract could range from €1.1bn for 15 trains and 30 years of maintenance to €2.6bn for 30 trains and 40 years, with a €1.4bn pricetag for 15 sets and four decades of maintenance.

The framework contract will be awarded to a single bidder and will now be progressively developed under the new administration following the December general election. According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, €155m has been already allocated for this purpose as part of the 2016 general budget.

In a separate procurement process Renfe will contract the refurbishment of 10 sets of Talgo coaches - likely to be those previously used for Trenhotel overnight services, which entered service in 2008 - and the manufacture of new power cars, repeating the formula previously used to create the Renfe class 130 and 730 trains.