Ouigo , the Spanish low-cost subsidiary of SNCF , prepares its landing on the road that connects Madrid with Levante . The French company will increase its workforce to reach destinations such as Valencia , included in the framework agreements signed with Adif more than a year ago, before the end of this year.
Specifically, the company will sign 12 drivers , for whom the selection process has already begun. Once they have the list of chosen, they will begin a training period to develop the daily work with the two-story Alstom Euroduplexes with which they will cover the journey between Madrid and the city of Turia.
On the other hand, in the coming weeks the selection process of the crew members who will be part of the company will begin . In this case it will be 30 people who will develop, among other activities, the sale in the train cafeteria.
These new workers will join the 135 that the company currently has in our country directly and the more than 1,300 between direct and indirect.
Start operating this year
Ouigo’s objective is to start operating the connection between Madrid and Valencia this year, although the branch that will reach Alicante will have to wait a few more months.
Specifically, the French company has already completed the safety tests on this route and is only at the expense of receiving the final approval to set a specific date to start operating, an authorization that, presumably, will arrive after summer.
The case of the line that will reach Alicante is more complex and will delay the entry of the competition. The security system used to connect this area is not the same as that of the rest of the national roads -except for the one that connects the capital with Seville , which uses LZB- and requires a longer and more expensive homologation for operators who want to compete with Renfe.
Beyond the connections with Levante, Ouigo’s next step will be to reach Andalusia through the connections with Seville and Malaga .
Challenge: 30,000 daily passengers
Once the approvals and the safety permits are obtained, Ouigo will presumably be the first rival company of Renfe to reach the Andalusian roads, despite the fact that there are still several months ahead to achieve that milestone. The company’s goal is to transport up to 30,000 passengers per day on all corridors.