Founded in 1942, Talgo is making its own Interrail through Europe, encouraged by the continent’s rediscovery of rail as an environmental alternative and also by future high-speed programs in some key countries. With a historic order in Germany recently signed, the company controlled by the Trilantic fund and still owned by the Oriol family, has the high self-esteem to aspire to new opportunities in one of the most competitive regions in the world.
The European Commission estimates that investments of 300 billion euros will be necessary in railways by 2030, with special attention to freight corridors and the infrastructure deficit of recent years. The Ferrmed business association, which advocates a north-south European freight corridor, estimates that road traffic accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and that trains consume almost eight times less energy than trucks. .
The environmental argument weighs heavily in Europe, and hence the new railway projects. Where there are tracks there are trains, and Talgo is part of the solution. According to the company’s latest calculations, its current potential business opportunities amount to 6.4 billion euros between high-speed trains, passenger cars and trailers. Of the entire amount, 4.3 billion correspond to Europe, the epicenter of the new railway battle. That is where it must be measured against groups of the stature of Alstom, Stadler or the Spanish CAF.
Listed on the stock market since 2015, Talgo has accumulated strong growth since October, with increases of almost 60% since September. It is valued at almost 500 million euros and is one of the best-performing listed companies on the Spanish stock market, thanks to revenue and an order book that is taking off strongly. Since late last year, rumors have persisted about the possible partial sale of Trilantic’s stake.
The order book reaches a record of 4.4 billion as the EU looks back to the train
This year has been the year of great takeoff in Germany, the country from which the company, according to sources from Talgo itself, will gain ground in other markets in the region. Its train manufacturing and delivery business in Poland, Austria and Denmark is doing well.
In the middle of the year, the group reached a record order book of 4.4 billion euros and its forecast is to expand the historical maximum after adding another 1.8 billion euros this year. The latest contracts in Europe are what will catalyze manufacturing activity in the coming years.
“Talgo has a unique positioning in the long-distance segments to address new growth opportunities,” is the company’s message to defend the potential of its new train models, the first in the world to exceed 300 kilometers per hour, and among which is the Avril, which will begin to be delivered to Renfe shortly.
Poland, Denmark, Austria or Spain itself are some of the markets where it seeks opportunities
The new orientation also includes, since the beginning of the year, a change in the leadership. A manager with extensive experience, Gonzalo Urquijo, with experience running businesses such as Arcelor or Abengoa, replaced José María Oriol at the head of the company. Oriol had been at the helm of the group for 18 years.
Of the latest contracts, the most relevant is the one signed in May with Deutsche Bahn. It is the largest order in the history of Talgo, consisting of 56 trains for 1.4 billion euros, with which the German operator aims to undertake an ambitious renewal of its fleet.
“It will allow us to consolidate a national reference in the most dynamic and demanding long-distance railway market in all of Europe,” said the president of the company, Carlos Palacio Oriol, in evaluating this achievement. The new trains, from the Talgo 230 platform, will run on long-distance routes in Germany under the ICE L commercial brand.
The German contract follows a previous order in 2019 for 23 units and comes after another important contract in Denmark. They will guarantee the work for two or three years and will also contribute to 69% of the portfolio being directed towards maintenance services.
The company is also closely observing the opening to competition of new high-speed corridors in Spain.