The Invitation to Tender (ITT) was published in March for the WCP, which will encompass both Inter-City West Coast (ICWC) services from London Euston to the West Midlands, North Wales, northwest England and Scotland via the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and shadow operations on the southern section of HS2 from London to Birmingham.

Renfe, which is owned by the Spanish state and operates services on the Spanish high-speed network, was selected by Texas Central in October as a strategic partner for the operation of the 390km, 320km/h Dallas - Houston high-speed line. Renfe is also a member of the Al Shoula consortium, which operates Saudi Arabia’s Haramain high-speed line.

MTR, which is shadow operator for the Elizabeth Line, operates Transport for London (TfL) Rail and South Western Railways in a joint venture. The company is also active in the long-distance sector in Sweden through its MTR Express operation.

“We have sought to bring the best and most up-to-date high speed expertise into our bid - we believe Renfe has that,” says MTR CEO, European Business, Mr Jeremy Long. “With Europe’s largest high speed network and significant expansion plans, Renfe has unrivalled knowledge of how to bring new high speed lines into service in Europe.”