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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Texas Central picks Spanish firm Renfe as bullet train operator

A rendering of Texas Central's proposed bullet train, which will operate between Dallas and Houston.
Photo – Texas Central


Texas Central, developers of the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train, has selected international railway company Renfe as the railroad's operating partner.

Based in Spain, Renfe has more than 25 years of experience operating high-speed trains in Europe and other countries, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

The company runs 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track. In Spain alone, Renfe handled more than 487 million passengers and 19.6 million tons of freight in 2017.

"Renfe has established a reputation for excellence in railroad operation in Spain and across the world, and we welcome them aboard," said Texas Central Chief Executive Officer Carlos Aguilar.

The selection of Renfe marks another milestone in the Texas Central Railroad's plan to bring a 200 mph train that will connect the state's largest population and economic regions in 90 minutes.

"Having the operator, the design build and technology teams all on board and able to collaborate will ensure all aspects of the railroad are integrated and efficient," said Aguilar. "The combination of these best-in-class global experts sets the foundation for the new jobs-creating industry we are bringing to Texas."

Renfe — in partnership with Adif, which manages Spain's railway infrastructure — was chosen after a " highly competitive review" of global railroad operators. The company will provide technical advice on the design and construction of the Texas train and assist in the further development of Texas Central's operation and maintenance plans, Texas Central officials said.

The operator will run the trains; maintain system components, such as the engines, signals and other equipment; and oversee ticketing, passenger loyalty programs and other services.

"Texas Central represents a large high-speed train project in a country with high-growth potential, for which the Spanish experience will be of great help," said Renfe President Isaias Taboas.

Last week, Texas Central announced it chose global construction and engineering firm Salini Impregilo — operating in the U.S. market with The Lane Construction Corp. — to lead the civil construction consortium that will build the company's proposed bullet train service.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/11/2018