THE part privatisation of the AVE high speed train service from Alicante to Madrid will take longer than anticipated.
The Ministry of Public Works had expected independent operators to be sharing the track with state-owned Renfe by early 2015 but it will now not happen until next autumn at the earliest, due to the “complex technical process,” the ministry said.
High fees charged by track operator Adif to use the AVE infrastructure is also hindering negotiations. Independent operators, who will have to rent trains from Renfe and provide their own trained staff, want to negotiate a lower amount but reports say Adif is not prepared to give way on this point since public money is involved.
Three known contenders for the seven-year contract are leading coach and bus company Alsa, the publishing group Planet and construction company Acciona. The Alicante services and transport group Vectalia could also be in the running.