Texas Central, developers of the high-speed railroad, named international railway company, Renfe, as the train’s operating partner on Wednesday.
The official Texas Central announcement states the move adds "another top-class industry leader to a project that will revolutionize Texas travel."
Renfe runs 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track. The company is integral to the transport system in Spain, its home base, handling more than 487 million passengers and 19.6 million tons of freight moved in 2017.
"Selection of its operating partner marks another major step forward for the Houston-to-North Texas high-speed railroad, a project attracting interest from global powerhouse providers to bring a new industry to the United States that offers a choice beyond traffic-clogged roads and the hassles of airline travel," the Texas Central release adds.
Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar stated, “After an intense review of the world’s best railroad operators, we were proud to select Renfe as the operator for the Texas Central Railroad. Renfe has established a reputation for excellence in railroad operation in Spain and across the world, and we welcome them aboard.
Renfe, in partnership with Adif, which manages Spanish railway infrastructure, was chosen after a highly-competitive review of global railroad operating companies.
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, preparing the railroad for passenger service. The operator will run the trains; maintain system components, such as the engines, signals and other equipment; oversee ticketing, passenger loyalty programs and other services.
"Today's announcement is extraordinary news for Texans and for the Spanish railway industry,” said Isaías Táboas, president of Renfe. “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. Both Renfe Operadora and Adif have accumulated years and miles of high-speed railway development with professional teams, extensive experience and specialized knowledge. We are committed to the success of Texas Central in improving the mobility of Texans and others in the U.S.”
The announcement comes about one week after Texas Central said it had engaged the multinational firm Salini Impregilo – operating in the U.S. market with The Lane Construction Corporation – to lead the civil construction consortium that will build the passenger line. It will be responsible for all work up to the top of the rail, including viaducts, embankments and drainage, according to a previous Texas Central announcement.
Spain´s first high-speed line between Madrid and Seville was dedicated in 1986 and Renfe’s first high-speed service connected the cities in 1992. More than 360 million passengers have since then used that fast, secure, comfortable and sustainable mode of transportation.
Its second high-speed line, from Madrid to Barcelona, was completed in 2007. More than 85 million passengers have used the line in its first decade. Renfe also operates high-speed service from Barcelona to Paris, Lyon and Toulouse in France. Among other major international projects, Renfe operates the recently opened high-speed train between Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia.
"This is another in the growing list of world-class firms not just recognizing America's first true high-speed train project but also wanting to be involved as central players in a great story, making it happen. This is a vote of confidence in one of our most iconic infrastructure projects,” said Norman Anderson, chairman and CEO of CG/LA, a Washington-based strategic group that focuses on infrastructure investment.