SPAIN: National operator RENFE has unveiled the Avlo branding for its future low-cost high speed train service.
Avlo is to be launched on the Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona corridor on April 6 2020, with tickets to go on sale in January. It would then be expanded to other routes during 2020-21.
The first Avlo-branded trainset was unveiled by Minister of Public Works José Luis Ábalos and RENFE President Isaías Táboas at the Villaseca de la Sagra depot on December 11.
Inclusive, competitive and sustainable
Ábalos said Avlo aims to make high speed rail more inclusive, competitive and sustainable, with services being for everyone and ‘no longer a product focused on business trips, but open to families, young people and other groups that used it very occasionally.’
The launch of Avlo forms part of RENFE’s strategic response to the liberalisation of the domestic passenger market under the EU’s Fourth Railway Package. This has seen paths for the launch of competing services awarded to a local subsidiary of France’s SNCF and the ILSA joint venture of Air Nostrum and Italy’s Trenitalia.
RENFE said the cheaper and easy-to-use Avlo service was designed to attract customers such as families, groups and young people who currently travel by road.
The services will be operated using Talgo Class 112 trainsets which are being modified at workshops in Madrid, La Sagra, Málaga and Valladolid. These trainsets will have 438 seats, 20% more than the current configuration. As the network expands, Series 106 trainsets offering 581 seats would also be used.