Ilsa will invest 1 billion euros and create 2,600 jobs on entering the rail sector

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The company hopes that the fees will be lower to be able to achieve 50 million passengers on the entire rail network.

One of the two operators that will compete with Renfe in the liberalisation process is Ilsa, which is already preparing to do so with an investment of 1 billion euros to purchase trains, material and technology to boost the railway industry in Spain. 

So said Fabrizio Favara, Ilsa’s CEO, during his intervention at the fourth day of the 1st Symposium of the Mobility Observatory organised by EL ESPAÑOL and Invertia, to discuss the process of railway liberalisation that will start in Spain in 2021. 

“The aim is to boost the use of the railways because it is the most sustainable method of transport for a more resilient future”, said the CEO. How are they planning to do it? With an investment volume of 1 billion euros for the “purchase of new trains, talent, technology (as a digital native company) and with a focus on safety”. This investment and start-up – scheduled for January 2022 – will generate 2,600 direct and indirect jobs.

It should be remembered that Ilsa (owned by Trenitalia and Air Nostrum’s partners) will serve the five high-speed routes for which it has been authorised using 23 units of Hitachi-Bombardier’s Frecciarossa 1000 train, the fastest and most modern in Europe.

Ilsa, which belongs to the owners of Air Nostrum, will offer 32 daily services on the Madrid-Barcelona route (16 each way), 8 on the Madrid-Valencia route, 7 between Madrid, Malaga and Seville, and 3 to 4 daily frequencies on the Madrid-Alicante link, which will be increased during peak summer weeks.

On the other hand, Ilsa’s goal will be to focus on the user and their experience with a new standard of service based on customisation, digitalisation and sustainability. 

Furthermore, Favara believes that a higher frequency in Spain provides the opportunity to boost the sector of railway operators (Ilsa, Oigo and Renfe) and the train maintenance sector, since it estimates that 50 million passengers will be transported with the opening-up of the railway sector. It will assist Spain’s economic recovery and GDP. 


As for the fees, Ilsa believes these should be lower with the liberalisation and has recalled that in Italy, when liberalisation took place, the “fees went down substantially”. “The boost to the railways can gain 50 million passengers and it can be done with lower fees”, he stated.

It is worth remembering that at the beginning of November, the Railway Infrastructure Administrators Adif and Adif Alta Velocidad presented railway companies with the proposed railway fees to be applied in 2021.

The proposal includes a 23% reduction in the unit amount of the minimum access charge for long-distance passenger trains on high-speed lines, in view of the need to boost traffic and the liberalisation process, taking into account the effects of Covid-19.

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