National Express targets Spanish high-speed rail

National Express subsidiary Alsa has been granted a license by the Spanish government to operate trains on the country’s high-speed rail network.

The license, which was awarded by the Ministry of Public Works, gives Alsa the opportunity to target long-distance, commuter and high-speed rail service contracts once the market has been fully opened to private enterprises.

Under a plan to liberalise the Spanish rail market, state-owned operator Renfe is being split into four different organisations spanning the current passenger and freight operations.

Private operators are expected to be allowed to bid for a selection of long-distance and high-speed services for the first time later this year.