Ouigo España

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Ouigo España
Legal statusSociedad Anónima Unipersonal
HeadquartersCalle Alfonso XII, 62, Madrid
Websitehttps://www.ouigo.com/es/

Ouigo España[1] is an open-access operator of high-speed railway services in Spain. It is a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs, the French national railway company, and uses its trademark Ouigo.

Ouigo España was set up in 13 December 2018 and was highly structured around SNCF's existing Ouigo domestic services in France. It competes with several other high speed operators in the Spanish market, such as the Spanish state-owned railway company Renfe's Avlo service and the open-access operator Iryo. Ouigo España had planned to launch services in December 2020, however, this was delayed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During May 2021, the initial service between Barcelona with Madrid was launched; within six months, one million passengers had reportedly travelled onboard its trains.

On 7 October 2022, Ouigo España inaugurated its second high-speed service between Madrid and Valencia, while services between Madrid and Alacante commenced during April 2023. The company has ambitions to launch additional routes, such as to Malaga and Seville, at some future date. Its rolling stock comprises TGV Euroduplex, which have been converted to be compatible with Spanish infrastructure.

History[edit]

The company was founded on 13 December 2018, under the name of Rielsfera S.A.; on 28 September 2020, the firm changed its name to Ouigo España S.A.,[2] in line with the Ouigo brand that had been previously introduced by SNCF for its low-cost services in France. Prior to adopting the Ouigo brand, Rielsfera considered using the Falbalá brand.[3] Beyond the naming scheme, Ouigo España will be heavily modelled on that of the existing Ouigo operation.[4]

During the 2010s and 2020s, the Spanish state-owned railway infrastructure manager Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF) has been conceptualising and implementing various reforms towards the liberalization of passenger rail transport.[5][6] Towards this end, in November 2020, ADIF signed a framework agreement that granted it capacity in the main high-speed corridors.[7] Ouigo España is not the only open-access operator active in the Spanish market; in addition to competing the Spanish state-owned railway company Renfe's budget high speed Avlo service, which began service in June 2021, it also faces Iryo (owned by Air Nostrum and Trenitalia), which commenced operations in late 2022.[8][9]

At one point, Ouigo España had intended to inaugurate its first service during December 2020, however, it was decided to postpone the commencement of services into the first half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10][11] Instead, in May 2021, the initial service was launched using five pairs of purpose-converted TGV train sets to connect Barcelona with Madrid.[12][13][14] Even prior to the launch of operations, the company had openly spoken on its plans for additional services from Madrid to Valencia, Alicante, Malaga, and Seville to be enacted at an undetermined future date. By December 2020, 14 TGV Duplex sets had been delivered to Ouigo España.[15][16][17]

In December 2021, it was announced that one million passengers had travelled onboard services provided by Ouigo España.[18] During August 2022, it was reported that the operator had carried roughly two million passengers in its first twelve months of operations and that SNCF's management was encouraged by these results.[19] In October 2023, SNCF announced that in excess of five million passengers had travelled on Ouigo España's trains during the operation's first two years.[20]

Ouigo España expanded the scope of its operations on multiple occasions; on 7 October 2022, it launched operations on the Madrid - Valencia route, its second high-speed service.[21][22] During April 2023, Ouigo España's new service between Madrid and Alacante commenced using two pairs of daily trains.[23][24]

Services[edit]

Routes[edit]

As of April 2024, Ouigo España operates on the following routes:

Rolling stock[edit]

9 TGV Euroduplex trainsets are used for the service. Unlike those used by Ouigo in France, these trainsets still have the conventional SNCF TGV inOui interior.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Romero, Víctor (22 September 2020). "La mujer que conduce el 'AVE francés' en España: "Nuestra entrada beneficia a Renfe"". El Confidencial.
  2. ^ "Rielsfera SA Cambio de denominación social" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Registro Mercantil (in Spanish) (193): 35988. 5 October 2020. ISSN 0214-9958.
  3. ^ "La SNCF competirá con Renfe con el servicio Ouigo España" (in Spanish). trenvista.net. 22 September 2020.
  4. ^ Briginshaw, David (23 September 2020). "SNCF will launch Spanish HS operation as Ouigo". International Railway Journal.
  5. ^ "Deloitte to develop Spanish track access charging regime". Railway Gazette International. 19 July 2023.
  6. ^ "Adif starts second phase of liberalisation". railwaypro.com. 8 August 2023.
  7. ^ "La presidenta de Adif AV firma los Acuerdos Marco con las empresas ferroviarias" (in Spanish). Adif AV. 11 May 2020.
  8. ^ Clinnick, Richard (23 June 2021). "Renfe launches low-cost Madrid - Barcelona high-speed service". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  9. ^ Giuricin, Andrea (28 February 2022). "The impact of open access competition on high-speed rail in Europe". globalrailwayreview.com.
  10. ^ "Ouigo España sets date to launch Falbalá". Railway Gazette International. 23 September 2020.
  11. ^ Haydock, David (10 December 2020). "Ouigo Spain delays start date". railjournal.com.
  12. ^ Nefzger, Emil (15 February 2021). "Preiskampf auf der Schiene, Billigzug statt Billigflieger". Der Spiegel (in German).
  13. ^ "SNCF's low-cost high-speed OUIGO service launched in Spain". globalrailwayreview.com. 14 May 2021.
  14. ^ McWhirter, Alex (7 May 2021). "SNCF launches Ouigo Spain". businesstraveller.com.
  15. ^ "La SNCF lance la bataille des TGV low cost en Espagne" (in French). Les Echos. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  16. ^ Magariño, Javier Fernández (22 September 2020). "SNCF estrenará la alta velocidad Ouigo en España el 15 de marzo con 10.000 billetes a 1 euro" (in Spanish).
  17. ^ "Spanien: SNCF OUIGO startet ihren ersten Hochgeschwindigkeitsverkehr in Spanien". LOK Report (in German). Lokomotive Fachbuchhandlung GmbH. 10 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Ouigo España reaches 1 million passengers". International Railway Journal. 8 December 2021.
  19. ^ Artymiuk, Simon (1 August 2022). "SNCF hails encouraging results for first half of 2022". International Railway Journal.
  20. ^ "Ouigo España: Over 5 Million Passengers in just 2 Years". sncf.com. 4 October 2023.
  21. ^ Briginshaw, David (14 October 2022). "Ouigo launches Madrid - Valencia high-speed service". International Railway Journal.
  22. ^ "New low-cost train in Spain: Alicante-Madrid service to be launched in autumn 2022" (in Spanish). thelocal.es. 16 February 2022.
  23. ^ "Ouigo España launches Madrid – Alacant service". Railway Gazette International. 11 May 2023.
  24. ^ King, Chris (30 May 2023). "Ouigo announces plans to expand its high-speed train services to more destinations in Spain". euroweeklynews.com.

External links[edit]