Texas HSR selects Renfe of Spain as strategic partner

Written by David Burroughs, News & Features Writer, International Railway Journal
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Texas Central selected state-owned Renfe of Spain as strategic partner for operation and maintenance of the Dallas–Houston high-speed line.

Texas Central says the Spanish national operator and infrastructure manager partner, Adif, will collaborate with the recently-announced design-build consortium, led by Salini Impregilio, and the technology partners to ensure a holistic, efficient approach for the line.

Renfe and Adif will assist in the further development of Texas Central’s operation and maintenance plans to prepare the line for passenger service. Renfe will also operate and maintain system components such as the trains, signals and other equipment, and will oversee development of ticketing platforms and procedures, passenger loyalty programs and other customer-facing services.

Service on the 200 mph, 242-mile line will link Dallas with Houston in around 90 minutes, with trains serving a single intermediate station in the Brazos valley. Private investors will finance the entire project and no federal or state support will be sought for construction, operation or maintenance.

The Texas trains will be based on the latest generation of Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed system. Texas Central is currently refining and updating construction planning and sequencing, guided by the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) recently-released draft environmental impact statement. The FRA now is working on a final environmental review that will help determine the project’s timeline and final route.

Renfe daily operates 5,000 high speed, commuter, light rail and other logistics services in Spain.

“Renfe has established a reputation for excellence in railroad operation in Spain and across the world, and we welcome them aboard,” says Texas Central Chief Executive Carlos Aguilar. “With their decades of expertise, they were a natural fit to join our other partners. 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.”

“Today’s announcement is extraordinary news for Texans and for the Spanish railway industry,” says Renfe President Isaías Táboas. “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.”


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