Iryo branded ILSA ETR1000 high speed train (Photo: Iryo)

SPAIN: Intermodalidad de Levante, the high speed joint venture between Trenitalia and Air Nostrum, is poised to agree a deal with Globalvia under which it would become the third partner in the business.

Globalvia, a motorway and urban transport infrastructure concessionaire owned by three investment funds, is reported to have agreed to acquire 25% of ILSA in a deal that values the operator at around €200m.

If the acquisition goes ahead, Trenitalia’s holding will remain at 45%, with Air Nostrum’s stake falling from 55% to 30%; Globalvia would take the remaining 25%. The deal would need to be approved by ADIF and the Ministry of Transport.

On February 11 ILSA CEO Simone Gorini gave details during a presentation of an ETR1000 Frecciarossa trainset at Sevilla Santa Justa station of the company’s plan to launch Madrid – Sevilla services in 2023. This would be ILSA’s second route after the planned launch later this year of Madrid – Barcelona services using the Iryo brand. There would initially be nine Iryo trains a day each way on the Sevilla route, with traffic forecast at around 2∙5 million trips in 2025.

ILSA Director General Victor Bañares told the Transport Committee of the Congress of Deputies on February 14 that the company plans to launch high speed services to Galicia in northwest Spain from 2026. Although the final section of the 1 435 mm gauge high speed line from Madrid to Ourense was opened by King Felipe VI on December 20 last year, beyond Ourense services would have to use ADIF’s 1 668 mm gauge alignment. ILSA would therefore need a fleet of gauge-convertible trainsets ― local reports suggest that around 10 units would be needed at a cost of up to €240m.