Low-cost train service Iryo reaches more than 10 million passengers

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low-cost trains

Since its launch in November 2022, the Italian low-cost railway company Iryo has transported more than 10 million passengers. This number marks an important milestone for the company, which is successfully competing with other players in the Spanish high-speed market such as Ouigo and Renfe.

This year, Iryo expects to transport more than eight million travellers. Iryo is co-owned by Trenitalia (45%), Air Nostrum (31%) and Globalvia (24%) and currently offers 65-66 daily connections. The busiest route is the connection between Madrid and Barcelona with 32 frequencies per day. Other major routes include connections to Andalucia (Seville, Málaga and Córdoba) with 24 daily journeys and the Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia route with 16 daily journeys.

Since June 2023, Iryo also has connections to Alicante, with stops in Albacete, and additional frequencies have been added during the summer months. In December 2023, Iryo introduced a new transverse route between Barcelona and Seville, which is the first direct connection between these two cities without transfer. This is offered four times a day.

Influence of liberalisation policies

The liberalisation of the Spanish railway market started in 2021 with the arrival of Ouigo. This has led to a significant drop in rates and an increase in the number of services offered. According to a study by the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), prices on the Madrid-Barcelona line have fallen by 65% ​​since liberalisation. Tickets here are sometimes available from €7.

Cogesa Expats

However, this competition on the Spanish railways has also led to more disruptions and a deterioration in punctuality. A recent report from the CNMC shows that the number of incidents on the railways has increased. This affects the reliability of the services.

Iryo’s plans for the future

Iryo has big plans for the future, with an expected 15% growth in passenger numbers by 2024. The company is exploring further expansion opportunities. It is exploring new lines in Galicia and along the Mediterranean coast. The liberalisation of the rail sector has so far provided travellers with more options and better fares.

Also read: Madrid and Lisbon to be connected by rail link

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