Canada chooses Renfe to divert the line between Toronto and Quebec

The High Frequency Rail (HFR) Project, Canada’s infrastructure project aimed at modernizing the country’s rail network, yesterday announced the selection of pre-qualified candidates to proceed with a process that began in November last year. Renfe, with a group of eight participants, is one of the selected companies and should move its offerings in the coming months.

Although the public company initially laid out the foundations for the project along with the FCC, Renfe eventually joined a consortium made up of domestic and foreign groups under the name Intercity Rail Developers. They include Intercity Development Partners, Ellisdon Capital, Kilmer Transport, First Rail Holdings, Jacobs, Hatch, CIMA+, First Group and RATP Dev Canada.

Renfe and its partners will compete with two other pre-qualified consortia: Cadence, which includes CDPQ Infra, SNC-Lavalin, Systra and Keolis (70% owned by French SNCF); and QConnexiON Rail Partners, with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn as operator, and Fengate, John Laing, Bechtel and WSP Canada.

The selection of the finalists shows that none of the Spanish construction groups have presented themselves or been selected as finalists. This is the case with ACS or Cintra (Ferrovial), which expressed interest at the start of the project.

Timetable for the project

The next steps are to issue an RFP in September, When participants are asked to submit their technical and commercial proposalsIn addition to a business plan and management plan for the joint development, construction and operation phases of the project.

The HFR project aims to connect four of the most populous cities in the country, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, and effect an unprecedented transformation. The package of measures envisages increasing train frequenciesIt will electrify the network and increase the average speed in certain sections.

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Reducing times between flights (to join Toronto with Montreal in four hours and ten minutes or with Ottawa in two hours and 55 minutes) is a priority, As well as increasing the total number of passengersuntil it reached 17 million in 2059, compared to 4.8 in 2019.

Another priority of this plan Promote reconciliation with indigenous peoples in CanadaTherefore, pre-qualified groups must demonstrate their ability to work with the country’s government to “create mutually beneficial social and economic development opportunities” for this group, as explained yesterday by the Canadian executive.

The country’s Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra explained in this regard, “I am delighted that the high-frequency railway, the largest infrastructure project, is moving into the next stage of the contracting process. This exciting initiative will require a strong partnership between Transport Canadaand VIA HFR and the selected private development partner to create a sustainable foundation for the design and development of the project. I look forward to the next phase of this project.”

Promotion of internationalization

The public company learned of Transport Canada’s decision only two days after it was given The starting signal for its subsidiary, Renfe Proyectos InternacionalesAnd in which it intends to combine all its business outside the Spanish geography and which will grow to represent 10% of its global turnover in 2028 (about 500 million euros).

The company already has a presence in Europe, with operations starting in France and its Czech subsidiary Leo Express, and in the US, where it wants to connect Dallas and Houston. The map to be expanded also includes Portugal (Vigo Porto), Central Europe (Baltic Train Project), United Kingdom (Grand Union Trains) or Mexico (Maya Train). The Al-Haramain project is the most that drives him to travel abroadin KSA.

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Apart from passenger transportation, the roadmap Renfe passes to internationalize its activity through cooperation services with other countriestechnical assistance, strategic consulting (for the operation, management, technology or design of workshops) for railway training, rolling stock sales and cargo transportation.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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