September 29, 2023
Iryo: Spain’s new high-speed trains make it Europe’s rail capital
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(CNN) — What might be higher than one wide-ranging high-speed rail community? Three or 4 competing ones, which look set to not solely enhance vacationers’ choices but additionally (hopefully) drive costs down.

Friday noticed the launch of iryo — the newest firm to enter Spain’s quick prepare market, which is already fairly crowded. State provider Renfe was joined by French-owned upstart Ouigo in 2021, and promptly launched its personal low-cost arm, Avlo, in response.

With iryo’s arrival, that makes three official opponents, however 4 competing manufacturers — making Spain the primary nation in Europe to have so many high-speed choices.

Iryo is owned by some main gamers: Italian state railway operator Trenitalia, Spanish infrastructure firm Globalvia and Air Nostrum, a Spanish airline.

Trenitalia has introduced the trains to Spain: no fewer than 20 Frecciarossa or “purple arrow” trains — the flagship prepare in Italy, which might run at speeds of as much as 223 miles per hour. Italy’s high-speed rail challenge is so successful that it performed a component in killing off the nationwide airline. So be careful Iberia.

Iryo launched Friday with operations between Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza, and can proceed on December 16 with Madrid, Cuenca and Valencia. Extra routes are ready in 2023: connections to Seville, Malaga, Cordoba and Antequera on March 31, and Alicante and Albacete on June 2.

The corporate has signed agreements to supply mixed tickets and journey experiences with Cercanías (regional metro space commuter rail methods) and Air Europa. It should function 30% of Spain’s high-speed companies, and goals to hold eight million passengers a yr.

Billing itself as being centered round “customization and suppleness,” the trains have 4 lessons of journey — the intriguingly named Inicial, Singular, Singular Solely You and Infinita. Three of them are tailor-made in direction of enterprise vacationers, mentioned the corporate in an announcement, however all seats onboard may have USB and normal energy sockets, particular person armrests and free 5G Wi-Fi.

The seats in the Singular Only You class.

The seats within the Singular Solely You class.


The onboard menu, Haezea (which suggests “wind” within the Basque language), can be filled with seasonal components and “wholesome choices,” ready on the spot, the corporate says.

A maiden voyage on Monday was attended by Spanish politicians. It was hailed as a “decisive step within the advance in direction of new mobility in Spain” by Ximo Puig, president of the Generalitat Valenciana.

The Frecciarossa trains will have four classes.

The Frecciarossa trains may have 4 lessons.

Rober Solsona/Europa Press/Getty Photographs

Trenitalia’s Luigi Corradi referred to as the launch a response to the “environmental and social sustainability objectives set by the European Union to enhance journey in each nation.”

Whereas Nick Brooks, secretary basic of ALLRAIL (the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe, which represents impartial passenger rail firms), mentioned forward of the launch: “It’s nice to see how commercially pushed Open Entry companies – comparable to iryo — are making long-distance rail extra engaging and profitable vacationers away from much less sustainable transport modes, specifically airways and vehicles.”

The buffet promises to be a top draw.

The buffet guarantees to be a high draw.


The group referred to as for “competitors between totally different operators on all high-speed rail routes in Europe” in an announcement, calling firms like iryo “the way forward for passenger rail.”

As for costs, December availability, tickets for the 382 mile, 2hr 45 minute journey from Barcelona to Madrid begin at simply €18 ($19), although most journeys are round €50. To drive between the 2 cities would take over six hours.

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