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French high-speed trains converted to run in Spain

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French national carrier SNCF is moving into the Spanish market, starting with using four of its Avelia Euroduplex trains for services on the Madrid-Barcelona route from Monday 10 May 2021.

The trains, which will be operated by OUIGO España, a local subsidiary of SNCF, have been converted by Alstom and SNCF to run on the Spanish high-speed rail network.

Following on from these first four trains, 10 others are currently being converted by Alstom to serve several high-speed routes in Spain: initially, the Madrid-Valencia and Madrid-Alicante routes and subsequently, Andalusia (Madrid-Seville and Madrid-Malaga). OUIGO España will thus have a fleet of 14 trains for five destinations departing from Madrid: Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Seville, and Malaga.

To allow the trains to run in Spain, Alstom had to convert them to operate under ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) signalling, based on the company’s Atlas solution.

Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, Alstom.

Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud, president of Alstom France, commented: “This entry into commercial service marks another historic step for Alstom, which is committed to working alongside our customer SNCF.

“The implementation of this project is further proof of the confidence international operators have in Alstom main line signalling system in Europe, while indicating our ability to guide these operators towards the success of their expansion plans in European rail markets that are open to competition.”

Conversion of the French trains to Spanish standards has been a team effort between Alstom and SNCF. The project was completed in a record time of 17 months.

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