Railways and trains in Spain

Railway network covers most regions of the country, and also connects Spain with Portugal and France. The largest operator is the Renfe State Company, other companies serve, as a rule, small regional networks. The most significant of them Euskotren acting in the Basque Country. In addition to continental Spain, two railway lines are on Mallorca Island.

Spain’s railways are unique in terms of presence of two parallel existing systems – traditional local widespread (it is wider even Russian) and standard European. The latter is used almost only for high-speed trains. In addition, the production of Talgo compositions have been established in Spain, capable of moving with a wide range of standard and on the contrary – at a slow movement changes the distance between the wagon wheels.

Types of trains in Spain

And as if there were few difficulties with a rut, Renfe has created an extremely confused system of trains, pursuing them into many different brands, often completely the same type. At the same time, the tickets for one type of train, as a rule, do not act on all other. In addition, on all distant and high-speed trains, reservation of a particular place. Buy a ticket is already on the train, with rare exceptions, it is impossible. The consequence of the queues in the cash register.

At the intracity and suburban areas, electric trains are operating, which are called Chercanías (in Catalonia – Rodalies). Urban transport tickets may operate inside the cities. On regional lines, in addition to Chercanías / Rodalies, trains also walk Regional, Regional Exprés and Media Distancia (other options are possible).

Long routes serve trains InterCity, Diurno, as well as high-speed Talgo, Arco, Alaris, Altaria. In addition, a powerful network of high-speed trains, following with a maximum speed of 220-320 km / h. Main Brand – AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), other – Alvia, Avant and Euromed.

Trains Ave and Avant Use exclusively high-speed highways, but the first following long-distance directions, and the second are intended for short – the maximum length of the route is approximately 200 kilometers. At the same time, Avant trains have no division into classes and additional services and, as a rule, below prices, more stops on the way and below the average speed. In some cases, AVE and AVANT brands are used for the same flight, but the first is for long-distance passengers, and the second – for the regional trains dedicated for this. Universal trains Alvia Transfer in the path with a high-speed line to the usual (and at the same time with a standard European gauge to wide Spanish). High-speed trains Euromed Used only on a wider range – on the line connecting Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Alicante.

Trains in distant directions offer two main levels of service: Grade 1 (Preferente) and Grade 2 (Turista). There are also Turista Plus options – a little more expensive 2 class with more comfortable chairs and Club – Superior 1 class, offered only on AVE trains. First class more expensive second on average one and a half times. At the same time, if we compare preliminary discount tickets, then the proportions can be different, and in some cases a higher class may even be cheaper.

Night trains are called Estrella or Trenhotel. However, their number is constantly reduced due to the rapid development of budget airlines and high-speed trains. Many routes, including France, Switzerland and Italy, were liquidated in 2012-2013. Only dual Madrid / Irun – Lisbon, internal represented by Estrella Madrid – Barcelona, ​​Madrid – Madrid and Bilbao – Malaga, and Trenhotel from Madrid and Barcelona to La Corun and Vigo. Due to the low demand for them, cheap tickets are often available, including in the lying wagons (Cama or Litera). In grade 2, this is a four-bed coupe, in the first grade – one- or double coupe, with breakfast. The price of a sedentary night ticket from Madrid to Barcelona, ​​when pre-purchase, begins from 13 euros, lying – from 27 euros.

Prices in Spanish trains

In general, railway transport in Spain is more expensive than bus, although there are exceptions. Train tickets are available in railway ticket office and on WWW.Renfe.COM, pre-sales open up to 180 days before the day of the trip, depending on the route. The fare in suburban and regional trains is usually fixed, but in long-haired high-speed and high-speed varies very much and depends on the average speed, day of the week, the time of departure and demand for flight.

The Flexible standard tariff is usually quite expensive (for example, on the Madrid line – Barcelona, ​​it is 106 euros for trains going 3 hours, and 126 euros for trains with time on the way 2.5 hours). However, when buying in advance at the ProMo rate, you can find the price of 32 euros (38 for the fastest flights), but such a ticket can not be passed at all and it is not possible to choose places. With a ticket Promo Plus, you can choose a place in the car and return or change a ticket with a fine of 20-30%, and the price on the same route starts from 37 euros (44 for fighter flights). It is comparable to the cost of bus tickets (from 32 euros) with incomparably less time in the way.

Railways and trains in Spain

You can also meet Ultima Hora tariffs ("last hour") – Tickets at a discount short time before departure, DUO is a discount ticket for two without the possibility of returning only in international destinations in advance. There is a return with a big fine Tariff Tuada Ida Y Vuelta, sometimes also helps save – it is cheaper than the standard price by 20%. For mini groups, often the cheapest tariff – Mesa ("table") in which you can buy four places around one table at once, while the price is specified for one place on the site. Children from 4 to 12 years old have a discount of 40%, children under 4 years old.

Barcelona – Seville ticket (5.5 hours) costs from 117 euros at a complete rate on the train Ave, but when choosing a slow Talgo (11.5 hours), the cost will be 63 euros in the second grade and 82 – in the first thing, which is still cheaper and Faster bus. On the Madrid line – Toledo runs 17 trains a day, travel time is 33 minutes, the cost of 13 euros, there is no preliminary discount. Barcelona crossing – Valencia (3.5 hours) in Talgo, Alvia or Euromed trains – 40-45 euros, but on a pre-sale – from 13 euros, and on the train Intercity you can leave for 10 euros. The standard ticket from Madrid to Malaga (2.5 hours) costs 80 euros, but you can buy in advance and twice as cheaper.

Tickets are usually available on the day of the trip (the exception can be peak flights). However, promotional tariffs with the approach to the date of trips are gradually growing in price and eventually disappear.

In a number of cities, the availability of a ticket for the train Ave can be used by the free passage on the suburban train station to the departure station and from Arrival Station. At the same time you need to print a special free ticket.

In Spain, there is a European ticket to Interrail, but at all distant directions it is required to book a place with a surcharge, which is usually about 10 euros for high-speed trains. More convenient for SPAIN PASS, available only for foreigners. It includes a fixed number of trips (from 4 to 12) within a month in any directions; Each transplant is considered to be a new trip. Price – from 162 to 550 euros depending on the number of travel and class of the car. No surcharges required, but you need to reserve a place for each flight. With intensive trips to a separate region, it makes sense to learn about the availability of local travel.

Baggage procurement

Luggage restrictions in Spain no. It should be remembered that the tracking of tickets is preceded by landing at the station (and in high-speed trains – also security monitoring), which often arises heavy queues. Therefore, the landing should come in advance.

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