The railway material manufacturer Talgo has today signed an agreement with Le Train, the first private high-speed operator in France, to develop and supply a fleet of 10 Avril model trains. Both companies have signed an agreement today in Bordeaux to adapt the Spanish changes to the French market.
Le Train became the first private high-speed operator in France on December 24, after obtaining its corresponding railway company license. After the tender called at the beginning of last year and several months of negotiation, Talgo has been chosen to export its fleet of very high-speed trains based on the Avril platform to the neighboring country.
The agreement signed between both companies covers the potential acquisition of a fleet of up to ten very high-speed trains, including order extensions and maintenance of the units in France. The construction of these ten units would begin in the first half of 2023, and would take place at the plant that Talgo owns in Rivabellosa (Álava), once the signing of the contracts is completed. It also includes the creation of a joint railway research and development unit in the New Aquitaine region in the south of the country.
The first trains would leave the workshop bound for French tracks at the beginning of 2025. Its president, Carlos Palacio Oriol, considers that with this agreement “Talgo has signed a large-scale and long-term partnership” by deploying its technology beyond the Pyrenees.
Le Train’s aspirations include offering trips through the regions of New Aquitaine, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Center-Valle de Loire, serving cities such as Bordeaux, Rennes, Nantes, Angers or La Rochelle. “We have chosen Talgo, one of the main European manufacturers, which has state-of-the-art industrial technology and the industrial solidity necessary to guarantee the excellence of the equipment produced”, has assured the general director of Le Train, Alain Getraud.
The French operator has achieved the milestone of becoming the first private company in the country in two years, which will compete directly with SNCF and its low-cost brand Ouigo, which already operates in Spain. Founded in 2020, it aspires to offer 50 trains a day, hire 150 employees and accommodate 3 million passengers a year.