Renfe's Strategic Plan aims for 10% of the company's revenue to come from international markets by 2028. To this end, in addition to high-speed projects, the company is studying public service obligation projects in other markets, both in Europe and further afield.

Renfe is a world leader in High Speed and we believe that the company should harness this position to boost its internationalisation. So far, we have participated in two macro projects for operating Alta Velocidad (high-speed) trains abroad: one in Saudi Arabia and the other in Texas. In addition, we have formed a subsidiary called Renfe of America to seek new business in the United States and we have obtained the PQQ Passport, the United Kingdom Department of Transportation document that allows us to participate in tenders for railway franchises in the country.

We are in the process of exporting our other success story: urban mobility. The quality and efficiency of our Cercanías (Commuter) services are among the best in the area, and with the entry into force of the Single European Area, we will tender to provide these services in other countries in the European Union.


We are working on the creation of a branch in France to successfully implement Renfe Viajeros in our neighbour's market and continue expanding High Speed activity in high-population corridors that are of economic interest for the company, as well as tendering for the provision of public services.
This new structure reflects Renfe's long-term commitment to the French market, which forms a core part of its Strategic Plan for international expansion to become a leading operator through the provision of quality, safe and efficient services.

Since SNCF, France's national railway operator, unilaterally decided not to renew the agreement with Renfe to provide its high-speed services jointly between Spain and France, we have worked to launch our AVE (high-speed) service alone in our neighbouring country this summer. Since the start of the year, we have been performing the necessary tests for our trains to cover the Barcelona-Lyon and Madrid-Marseille routes.

For Renfe, France remains the natural market for expanding our AVE (high-speed) services into Europe and also for participating in tenders to operate regional and/or metropolitan services in that country.


Rail Baltica

The consortium, consisting of Renfe, Spanish engineering firm Ineco and German firm DB Engineering & Consulting, has been awarded the contract to provide services as the "shadow operator" of the high-speed project known as Rail Baltica, in Latvia and Estonia.

Rail Baltica is one of the biggest high-speed infrastructure projects under development in Europe and the largest in the Baltics, co-funded by the European Union.

The line, which will link the main cities in the three countries by means of a high-speed train, with a view to launching operations in 2027, will be 870 kilometres long and will offer mixed transport services (passengers and freight).

As the "shadow operator", the consortium in which Renfe holds a stake will support Rail Baltica during the construction phase and will be responsible for defining the operation and maintenance requirements.


Leo Express

Renfe has completed the acquisition of 50% of Leo Express following the increase in the share capital of the Czech company, with Manel Villalante, General Manager of Development and Strategy at Renfe, Sonia Araujo, General Manager at Renfe Viajeros, and Teresa Torres, General Manager of Economics and Finance at Renfe, have joined its Board of Directors.

The acquisition of a 50% holding in Leo Express represents a strategic business opportunity for Renfe, as it will mean having a presence in three more European countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland) and having the resources and licences to access the German market.

Furthermore, it entitles company to compete in PSO tenders in Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, with local implementation capacity, experience, equipment or references in these countries, which is often essential in order to compete.

In addition, Renfe's launch in Central and Eastern Europe could have a knock-on effect, facilitating the international growth of other Spanish companies, especially those involved in the railway industry.

Leo Express is a private company that began operating in 2012 in the Czech Republic, and since then, has been developing its business through the extension of its services in countries including Slovakia and Poland, as well as the award of PSO tenders in the Czech Republic itself, which is one of the areas where it is seeking grow. Since 2017, it has been operating a long-distance Open Access service for FlixTrain in Germany, between Berlin and Stuttgart.

Maya Train

In consortium with Ineco and DB Engineering & Consulting, Renfe will participate for three years in the Maya Train project in Mexico. Renfe will be the "shadow operator" of the procuring entity (the National Tourism Development Fund) in the implementation of the project, providing support during its construction and defining the operations and maintenance requirements. It will also monitor the manufacture, delivery and commissioning of rolling stock and all systems until the testing period for the commercial service.


Other international projects

  • Quito Metro: Renfe is tendering to continue managing the Quito Metro for a period of five years. The company's rivals in this tender are the German Deutsche Bahn, the French RATP and Transdev or the Catalan TMB (which manages Barcelona Metro)
    . Quito Metro, on which construction began in 2013, has 15 stations, a route spanning 22.6 kilometres and its trains are Basque, with CAF having built 18 trains consisting of 6 carriages each for the sum of 183 million dollars.


Other Projects

Participation in some of the most important international railway associations.
Renfe is a key member of the most important international rail organisations, including the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the Latin American Railway Association (ALAF) and EUROFIMA.
In some cases this involves participating in its management bodies, for example in the European region of the IUC or CER, or by chairing high-level groups in some of its areas.

International cooperation agreements
Agreements for the sale of rolling stock with countries such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Japan, India, Russia and Paraguay.
Memorandums of understanding for the exchange of experience and knowledge have also been signed in more than 20 countries, including Germany, Brazil, China, South Korea, Israel and Japan.

Railway training
Renfe runs various international railway training courses in different areas of the sector (machinists, on-board services, instructors, engineers, managers, security, commercial, maintenance, information systems etc.) in countries as diverse as Turkey, Uzbekistan, Russia and Israel.