THE Spanish cabinet has given its approval for national operator Renfe to set up Renfe International Projects, a new company that will bring together its activities outside Spain.

Approval is now required by the board of Renfe’s passenger operating business, Renfe Operadora, which will also determine the organisational structure of the new company and its composition.

Renfe says that the creation of its international subsidiary meets one of the objectives of its 2019-28 Strategic Plan to transform the company, organised around three key themes including the pursuit of opportunities outside Spain.

These include high-speed, open-access operations and PSO contracts in Europe and elsewhere.

In Europe, Renfe is the majority shareholder in Leo Express of the Czech Republic. Renfe has also been appointed as shadow operator for the Rail Baltica project connecting Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in joint venture with DB Engineering & Consulting and Spanish state-owned engineering consultancy Ineco.

In France, Renfe is working to establish a subsidiary that will operate high-speed services to Lyon and Marseille, while seeking authorisation to operate throughout the country.

Last year the Spanish national operator announced that it was considering a proposal to join British open-access operator Grand Union as a strategic partner. Grand Union is planning to launch services between London and Carmarthen in South Wales in December 2024.

Outside Europe, Renfe is a member of the Haramain Highspeed Railway consortium that has built and operates the Mecca - Medina high-speed line in Saudi Arabia.

It is a strategic partner in the Texas Central high-speed project in the United States and shadow operator for the Mayan Train project in Mexico, again working in joint venture with DB Engineering & Consulting and Ineco.

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