Le Train obtained its railway company license on December 24, 2022, and is currently progressing with all the requirements to start commercial operations.
Following the call for tenders issued in early 2022 to major French and European manufacturers and after several months of negotiations, Le Train and Talgo have aligned for the development of a new fleet of very high-speed trains.
The two companies have signed an agreement covering the potential future acquisition of a fleet of up to 10 very high-speed trains, including possible extensions and the possibility to maintain the equipment in France.
The agreement also includes the creation of a joint research and development unit in New Aquitaine to further advance the efficiency and sustainability of trains.
Construction of the first ten trains is expected to begin in the first half of 2023 at Talgo’s plant in Rivabellosa, Spain. The first trains would leave the workshops in early 2025.
“With this major agreement, we confirm our ambition to offer daily high-speed journeys to the millions of inhabitants of the regions of New Aquitaine, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val-de-Loire,” said Alain Getraud, CEO of Le Train. “We have chosen Talgo, one of Europe's leading manufacturers, with cutting-edge industrial technology and the industrial strength to guarantee the excellence of the equipment produced.
“The tailor-made design proposed by Talgo will enable us to develop a unique passenger experience, particularly for the on-board transport of leisure and sports equipment such as bicycles and surfboards. Finally, our two companies share a common ambition: to work in a sustainable way for low-carbon mobility,” he added.
Carlos Palacio Oriol, chairman of Talgo, said, “Talgo has signed a large-scale, long-term partnership with Le Train. This is a great opportunity for our company to deploy its expertise and innovations north of the Pyrenees. We are honored that Le Train has entrusted Talgo with the development of its first fleet of new high-speed trains. We are convinced of the relevance of the Le Train model to make rail transport a real lever of ecological transition.”
Founded in 2020, Le Train is the first French private rail operator to offer a high-speed service, dedicated to regional and inter-regional travel. Operating five high-speed lines in the French Great West, Le Train will serve 11 destinations to connect the cities of Bordeaux, Rennes, Nantes and Tours, the major cities of Poitiers, Angoulême and Angers, and the coastal cities of La Rochelle and Arcachon. Its 50 daily trains will welcome more than three million passengers a year, offering a new standard of comfort and customer experience.
Committed to offering sustainable, low-carbon mobility solutions in the heart of the regions, Le Train plans to hire 150 employees when it begins commercial operations (drivers, flight staff, etc.).