Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 12:26
An eagle-eyed photographer has captured one of the first high-speed Ouigo trains operating on the tracks of Malaga ahead of the private high-speed train operator’s launch on the line. It is not the first time that it has been seen in the province of Malaga, but it is the first time it has been snapped in broad daylight.
Young Malaga photographer, José Manuel Guerrero (@jmphotosss on Instagram) captured an image of the train while it stationary at Antequera-Santa Ana station last weekend. He also snapped it while it was in action.
SUR can reveal the train, carrying the colours and branding of the low-cost operator that is a subsidiary of French public company SNCF, was carrying out track tests on the stretch of railway between Malaga and Córdoba. The operator was also testing its communication and safety systems, according to technical sources.
The testing phase is expected to last about 10 weeks, a period which will involve checking the trains’ compatibility with the signalling of the oldest high-speed rail line in Spain - between Malaga, Cordoba, Seville and Madrid.
Ouigo trains are expected to start operating in the third quarter of 2024, with the possibility of that deadline being brought forward.
Ouigo is the third operator to enter into competition with Renfe. It comes after 1 June marked the start of the Avlo trains between Madrid and Malaga. Renfe's low-cost subsidiary does not result in more daily frequencies, but has significantly reduced fares.
Iryo, with its striking Frecciarrosa (red arrow) 1000 trains, debuted in March, as the first private operator to offer train tickets to travel between Malaga and Madrid.
Ouigo, is the latest long-awaited rail launch and is known as a 'low cost' operator, offering ticket prices from only nine euros and the largest capacity trains in the Spanish market: Alstom's Euroduplex, with 509 seats.
Therefore, it is expected that its entry into the market will result in a sharp drop in fares for travelling between Malaga and Madrid, as has happened where the trains already operate in Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia and Alicante.
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