ILSA awards maintenance contract for its new ETR 1000s to Hitachi Rail

Posted: 21 October 2021 | | No comments yet

The maintenance of trains for Spain’s leading private high-speed rail operator, ILSA, will include predictive and corrective activities to ensure the highest levels of reliability, safety and comfort for passengers.

ILSA awards Hitachi Rail a EUR 737 million contract for the maintenance of its new train fleet

ILSA's ETR 1000 trains that will maintained by Hitachi Rail in Madrid. Credit: Hitachi Rail

ILSA – Spain’s leading private high-speed rail operator – has awarded Hitachi Rail España with the maintenance of its fleet, comprising 20 new ETR 1000 trains, through a €737 million contract that will cover a 30-year period, until 2052.

The maintenance contract guarantees ILSA’s alliance with Hitachi Rail globally, and gives continuity to the agreement for the construction of its trains, dating back to August 2020, and to Hitachi’s presence in Spain.

ILSA’s new fleet is the fastest, most sustainable and quietest in Europe, and will be fully serviced in Madrid by a new team of over 75 employees. The maintenance of the trains will include predictive and corrective activities to ensure the highest levels of reliability, safety and comfort for passengers.

ILSA will begin its operations in the second half of 2022, and will connect Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Seville, Malaga and Cordoba with a fleet whose operating efficiency is unmatched thanks to its state-of-the-art aerodynamics, its use of energy-saving technologies and its high performance. It is also made up of 85 per cent recyclable materials and 95 per cent renewable materials. These eco-design principles contribute to ILSA’s commitment to have the most sustainable fleet, and to Hitachi Rail’s decarbonisation strategy to reduce its carbon emissions for customers.

Carlos Bertomeu, President of ILSA, said: “The agreement is a new step forward in the development of the first private high-speed operator in Spain, and proves the company’s commitment with the highest standards both in terms of operations and passenger comfort. This contract further proves ILSA’s commitment to connectivity, industrial development and job creation in Spain.”

ILSA is the first Spanish private high-speed rail operator by number of frequencies and fleet volume. It is owned by Trenitalia and the partners of Air Nostrum. 

The first train of ILSA’s fleet is already in Spain conducting homologation tests while the second and third units are on their way to Madrid and scheduled to arrive before the end of 2021, is being manufactured by Hitachi Rail and Alstom Group (formerly Bombardier Transportation) in Hitachi Rail’s factory in Pistoia (Italy). Each train is 200m-long, has a capacity for 460 passengers and is capable of reaching commercial speeds of up to 360km/h. They also have a high level of on-board comfort, with more spacious seats, 5G Wi-Fi and a bar area. The ETR 1000s have been operating in Italy since 2015, and have set a new standard for performance, operational efficiency and passenger comfort.

Simone Gorini, CEO of ILSA, said: “This maintenance agreement with Hitachi Rail is a vivid example of the long-lasting and valuable relationships that we want to establish with all our stakeholders to create wealth in Spain. The respect for the environment and the principles of sustainability are shared values between both companies and, without a doubt, have been a decisive factor in becoming strategic partners both for the manufacture and the maintenance of our fleet, with which the Spanish high-speed rail network will take a step forward in terms of innovation, sustainability and multimodality from the second half of 2022 onwards, once we start our operations. It is an honour for me, as ILSA’s new CEO, to take over the excellent relationship with Hitachi Rail initiated by my predecessor, Fabrizio Favara.”

Edoardo La Ficara, Executive Officer, Operation Service & Maintenance Division at Hitachi Rail, said: “We are proud to deliver to the Spanish market not only the vehicles for the new high-speed lines, but also our maintenance services. This allows us to contribute alongside our customers to the development of mobility in the countries in which we operate – both by contributing to the growth of high-speed rail travelling and by making journeys more environmentally friendly. This contract is a significant milestone for Hitachi Rail’s Operation Service & Maintenance division, which boasts extensive experience in full service activities in Italy, ranging from high-speed to regional trains.”

Roberto Vitali, CEO of Hitachi Rail España, said: “This contract confirms the presence and the commitment of Hitachi Rail in the Spanish railway market. Spain is an important country for our Operation Service & Maintenance business: in addition to this Full Service contract for the ETR 1000 fleet, we have the contract for the maintenance of 53 metros in service on the Madrid metro network and for the maintenance of the high-speed line infrastructure from Madrid to Lerida.”

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