The arrival of the cheap train is delayed in Andalusia

In April, the AVLO will work between Madrid and Barcelona but Renfe does not have a date for Andalusia, where Adif is now replacing the security and signaling of the line with works that can last two years

Andalusia was the first community to have a high-speed train in Spain in 1992 thanks to the line between Madrid and Seville on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition held that year. Since then, 80 million users have used this service, while the AVE network has been spreading throughout Spain to other capitals.

A new milestone will take place on December 14, as a European directive will come into force that forces the liberalization of rail passenger transport throughout the European Union. That means that other companies, and not only Renfe, will be able to compete with their trains on the roads of Adif, the public company that manages the infrastructure, and that will do a job similar to that of AENA, the manager of the airports in which they compete various airlines.

Rielsfera – a subsidiary of the French public company SNCF – and Ilsa – the association of Air Nostrum with the Italian Treintalia – are the two operators that will compete with Renfe as they are awarded the contest that Adif has made for the three riders where it will begin liberalization: Madrid-Barcelona, ​​Madrid-Levante and Madrid-Sevilla-Málaga.

However, the runner to Andalusia will not have ERMTS signaling ready when it opens to competition. This line, the oldest in the country, will still take about three years to have the security and signaling system used by the rest of the AVE corridors in the country.

This means that if Renfe competitors want to start their services before that date in Andalusia, they must install compatible signaling equipment on board their trains.

The Council of Ministers must still approve that Adif will tender the ERTMS implementation project in the AVE to Seville for an estimated amount of between 100 and 150 million euros. The project to replace the LZB system with which this line works contemplates an execution period of about two and a half years from the moment its award and contracting is formalized, a process that in turn takes about four or five months, according to reports to Europa Press. Thus, it will take at least three years to replace this signaling system, a job that also entails the added difficulty of undertaking it while the line is in service.

For the moment, Renfe wants to get ahead of the competition and will launch this cheap April or Low Cost AVE (AVLO) next April in the Madrid-Barcelona line, where there will be other operators in a few months. However, the public company does not yet have a date to put this service into operation in Andalusia.

The new train will be priced between 10 and 60 euros, much lower than the current one and, of course, less services, including the withdrawal of the commitment of punctuality, cafeteria, wifi, etc. In addition, it will charge for complementary services such as choice of seat and extra bag, among others.