Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi Rail Italy, Siemens and Talgo have now been invited to tender by Renfe for an initial batch of 15 standard-gauge sets, which will be maintained by the manufacturer for 30 years.

The 320km/h multi-system (25kV 50 Hz ac/1.5kV dc/3kV dc) trains will be equipped with ETCS as well as the Spanish Asfa Digital train protection system and each set will seat more than 400 passengers. To enable operation in France 10 of the trains will be equipped with TVM 430.

After awarding the first block of the framework contract to a single bidder, Renfe could exercise an option for a second batch of 15 more sets, in three consecutive orders.

The total estimated value of the contract ranges from €1.1bn for 15 sets and 30 years' maintenance to €2.6bn for 30 trains and 40 years' maintenance.

Renfe intends to award the contract in May or June, with deliveries due to start in 2018.