RENFE president, Mr Raül Blanco, has announced that the Spanish national operator has completed the administrative procedures required to establish its new French subsidiary in the city of Lyon.

This will enable Renfe to begin selling tickets and undertake other commercial activities “imminently,” and according to the operator marks a decisive step for its plans to enter the French passenger market over the long term as part of its strategy to grow business outside Spain.

The new subsidiary is located next to Part-Dieu station in central Lyon and Renfe is now formally registered in France as a business that provides national and international passenger rail services, as well as tourist services including the provision or sale of package tours and other products.

It will also be able to provide other services or undertake other activities connected with rail transport.

Renfe says that its most immediate priority will be to launch new high-speed services from Barcelona to Lyon and from Madrid to Marseille, serving other cities in France including Narbonne, Montpellier, Nîmes, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.

Ticket sales for these new services will start within the next few days, according to Renfe.

The Spanish national operator also intends to expand its high-speed operations to the busiest and most potentially lucrative corridors in France, aiming to position itself as “an operator of reference for the French travelling public.”