SPAIN: National operator RENFE has invited expressions of interest in a contract to supply up to 30 high speed trainsets, setting a budget of €2⋅64bn including maintenance over 40 years. It is hoped to award the contract before June 2016, enabling the new fleet to enter service ‘as soon as possible’ or by 2019 at the latest.

RENFE intends to order an initial tranche of 15 trainsets within a budget of €1⋅4bn, with up to 15 more to be acquired in batches of five within four years of contract award, enabling the high speed fleet to grow in line with operational requirements and passenger demand. Each trainset must have a minimum of 400 seats, as well as a bar-buffet car and facilities for serving at-seat meals.

Maximum speed will be above 320 km/h, with the trains able to take traction current at 25 kV AC, 3 kV DC and 1⋅5 kV DC. They will be equipped with ETCS and the digital version of the national ASFA train protection system, with the first 10 units able to operate on the SNCF network. RENFE says that bids for the 15 additional trainsets which offered gauge-changing capability to operate on 1 668 mm as well as 1 435 mm would be assessed ‘favourably’.

Additional weighting would also be given to bids that created jobs in Spain during manufacture, either directly or via subcontractors. Within its first whole-life rolling stock maintenance contract, running for 30 years with a 10-year extension option, RENFE is reserving 30% of total work for its own train maintenance business. This is expected to generate 1∙2 million h of work on ‘second-tier’ maintenance and major component repair.