Within the framework of its internationalization strategy


Renfe has been one of the finalists to opt for the development and operation of the first high-speed line to be built in Canada, which will connect Toronto and Quebec starting in 2030, as reported by the Canadian Government.

The public rail operator is part of one of the only three consortiums designated by the Canadian Administration to compete in a public tender and develop this infrastructure in which Renfe already has experience, as Spain is one of the world benchmarks in high speed.

The Spanish operator has partnered with several Canadian companies, including the railway Intercity Development Partners, the multinational construction company EllisDon, the infrastructure firm Jacobs, the Hatch consultancy or CIMA engineering.

In addition to the Canadian companies, it has also allied with the American Kilmer Transportation, the French urban transport operator RATP or the British transport giant First Group, with the aim of winning the bid.

This consortium, which is the one that brings together the most companies, will have to face another made up of CDPQ Infra, SNC Lavalin, Systra and Keolis and a last one owned by the German operator Deutsche Bahn, as well as by Fengate, John Laing, Bechtel and WSP.

The three alliances will now have to present a first proposal and the Canadian government will begin to study in September those that go to the last phase, whose final verdict will be known in the summer of 2024.

The original initiative did not propose a high-speed model, but High Frequency, which is what the project is called, along the 800 kilometers that run between Toronto and Quebec, updating the existing line and expanding its capacity.

The initial cost amounted to about 9,000 million Canadian dollars (6,180 million euros), but if high speed is included, which is what the Government is now aiming for, the bill could skyrocket.

For example, in Spain, a 120-kilometre stretch of high-speed rail to Galicia (Pedralba de la PraderĂ­a in Zamora to Ourense) cost 3,000 million euros, which extrapolated to 800 kilometers would be 20,000 million euros, plus the purchase of trains, the cost of traction power or operating expenses.

To start the process, the Canadian government has already contributed 400 million dollars between 2022 and 2023. In addition, its objective is to include the indigenous population in the entire process as part of its “reconciliation” strategy.

Renfe sources consulted by Europa Press have defended that this operation “is part of its international expansion strategy”, this being one of the three growth levers of the company, together with “focus on the client” and “efficiency and safety”.

As part of this strategy, Renfe has just inaugurated its operations in France, with a route already available between Barcelona and Lyon, with several stops in French territory, and this week it will also inaugurate the link between Madrid and Marseille.

Likewise, it is already present in the Haramain project, which links the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia; in Central Texas, for the development of the first high-speed train in the United States, which will link the cities of Dallas and Houston; on Rail Baltica, which will link Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania via high-speed train from 2027; or on the Mayan Train in Mexico.