MTR teams up with operator of Europe’s largest high speed rail network for West Coast Partnership bid

20 December 2018


MTR teams up with operator of Europe’s largest high speed rail network for West Coast Partnership bid


MTR has announced Renfe as a partner in its West Coast Partnership (WCP) bid, in a key-subcontractor role.

Renfe operates Spain’s high speed network, the largest in Europe, and is also a partner in the development of a new high speed line in Texas.

Renfe will add its specific expertise of bringing new high speed lines into operation to the partnership.

The successful WCP bidder will be required to work as ‘shadow operator’ as the new HS2 line is brought into service.

MTR, which is shadow operator for the Elizabeth Line as well as operating TfL Rail, and South Western Railways in a joint venture, leads the partnership. MTR also recently opened and operates Hong Kong’s first high speed line.

The partnership also includes GSRC, which operates high speed rail lines in China.

Jeremy Long, CEO - MTR, European Business, said:


“We have sought to bring the best and most up-to-date high speed expertise into our bid - we believe Renfe has that.

“With Europe’s largest high speed network and significant expansion plans, Renfe has unrivalled knowledge of how to bring new high speed lines into service in Europe.”


Manel Villalante, Strategy General Manager of Renfe, said:


“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bid to bring our high speed knowledge to the UK to help deliver HS2.

“With our expanding network in Spain and partnerships elsewhere in the world including Texas, this shows Renfe’s ambitions to remain a leader in high speed rail.”





Notes to Editors

About MTR


  • In the UK, MTR Crossrail is the operator of the Crossrail concession (which will be renamed the Elizabeth line when fully open), and is currently running TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield and Heathrow and Paddington.  MTR will begin running services between Paddington and Abbey Wood, Paddington and Shenfield, and full through services including to Reading in 2019.


  • MTR has operated South Western Railway, one of the largest UK franchises, as a joint venture with First Group since August 2017. As part of this, First MTR South Western Trains Limited will deliver new trains, redeveloped stations, and a range of other enhancements which will improve both rail services and customer experience.


  • MTR was a joint venture partner in London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL), which held the concession from November 2007 until November 2016, acting as shadow operator in advance of new services being introduced on the East and South London Lines.


  • Elsewhere in Europe, MTR runs the Stockholm Metro, the Stockholm Pendeltåg commuter railway and provides open access MTR Express services between Stockholm and Gothenburg.


  • Around the world, MTR: runs metro, commuter rail, light rail and infrastructure, develops and manages significant rail-related property and is delivering new rail lines and major upgrade projects in Hong Kong; operates lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in Mainland China; is lead shareholder in a joint venture operating the Melbourne train system and leads a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) consortium which will deliver and operate the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia.


  • MTR operates the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail (HSR) link, which connects Hong Kong with mainland China.  MTR, which led the development of the Hong Kong section of the line, developed the new Hong Kong terminus at West Kowloon and acted as shadow operator, will run 114 daily pairs of high speed services during peak times.


  • Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, MTR has a market capitalisation of approximately £27 billion, and is included on the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. It won over 50 awards in 2017 for quality, customer service and sustainability.

About Renfe

  • Renfe, a spanish state-own company (Ministry of Transport and Infraestructure), is one of the most significant railway operators in the world because of its experience in high speed and commuter services. Renfe runs more than 5,000 trains daily and it is a central actor in the transportation system of Spain, with almost 488 million passenger moved in 2017.


  • Renfe has more than 25 years of expertise in managing High Speed services in Spain. It has served more than 360 million passengers in High Speed trains since 1992 with high standards of quality and an wide integration of different technologies, both of rolling stock and signalling. Rail is the main mode of collective transport chosen in Spain for long-distances peninsular journeys.


  • More than 36 million passengers used the High Speed services of Renfe in 2017. The average commercial speed of the services by the Spanish high-speed network is 222km/h, higher than that registered in pioneer countries such as Japan or France. Renfe runs the Madrid-Barcelona High Speed services (AVE) , whose average commercial speed in a non-stop journey is currently 248 km/h. More than 85 million passenger used all Renfe services using the infraestructure in the first decade (2008-2018).


  • Renfe is the operator partner for new High Speed projects going on in the United States (Texas Central) and Saudi Arabia (Haramain HS).


  • Renfe operates Commuter services in 12 cities of Spain. In Madrid (Cercanias) and Barcelona (Rodalies) it gave service to more than 354 million passengers in 2017.


  • The company registered a revenue of more than 3.5 billion euros and a profit of 70 million euros in 2017 after an increase of passengers and freight on board.