Europa Press, citing sources in the sector, reports that Renfe is working on opening an office in the US to pursue opportunities to enter the passenger train market. The initiative is part of the public operator´s internationalisation strategy, aimed at securing new sources of income in case of possible losses in the Spanish market when passenegr traffic is opened to competition in 2020.
As Renfe opens its office in the US it already has a portfolio of projects being studied in this market, including one where it is negotiating its particpation. This is the Texas high speed train, a private sector initiative being driven by an investment fund, which will link Houston and Dallas.
The rail company has already contacted the promoters of the project to analyse the prospects for working with them or joining the project with the ultimate aim of running the future train.
Nevertheless, Renfe´s interest is not limited to high speed routes, given that its is also analysing metropolitan and inter-city routes in the US. It is also interested in the proposed high speed route in Ontario (Canada),
Renfe already competed last year for a first contract in the US, related to the future operation of the first high speed route in the country linking Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The operator believes that competing for this contract, in which it came second to the German Deutsche Bahn, gained it experience, relationships and contacts. These could be useful in analysing future possible projects in its new office, whose creation has already been approved (given that it receoved the green light in one of the last cabinet meeting before the change of government).
The US figures as one of the important strategic countries in Renfe´s internationalisation strategy, together with the UK, where it has just receive its operator´s licence, and Latin America.
The operator thus maintains the momentum to position itself in this market, just as it is preparing what will be its first international business, operating the high speed toute from Mecca to Medina, which opens next September.