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Ultimate Guides to Spain Railways
Like the rail network in most parts of Europe, traveling by train in Spain is simple, economical and efficient.
You should understand that Spain’s transportation infrastructure is generally quite mature, but did you know that Spain ranks behind China and has the second most high-speed rail in the world? Japan has the title of fastest high-speed rail, but Spain's high-speed rail ranks fifth.
Spain is a relatively small country, which means you can easily, cheaply and quickly see more of Spain. All train travel in Spain goes through Renfe-Spain’s nationalized railway network (Red Nacional de F'errocarriles Espafioles), which operates regular city-to-city, inner-city regional train services, and high-speed AVE trains (Alta Velocidad Española, meaning “Spain High Speed”). '), reaching a speed of 350 kilometers per hour!
The Spanish Railways (Renfe) has more than 2,000 stations and 2,270 kilometers of railway. Train travel means you can choose from a variety of options to integrate the countryside with the city and the coastline. In terms of AVE high-speed options, there is a lot of information to help you start planning your route.
Madrid and Barcelona are connected by a short two-and-a-half hour journey, and these two cities form the main hub using AVE Spain as a starting or ending point.
Traveling to Spain by train is now easier than ever-whether from England, France or elsewhere in Western and Central Europe. The new high-speed TGV service from Paris to Barcelona started in 2013, and Barcelona now has direct day trains from more than a dozen cities in France, including Lyon, Toulouse and Carcassonne. The capital, Madrid, also has direct trains from Marseille, Avignon and Montpellier.
On the Atlantic coast, the modern TGV Atlantique train runs daily from Paris to Irun, revolutionizing travel between the French capital and the Basque region. The train departs from Irun through Spain and goes straight to Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Burgos, Zaragoza and many other cities. The Madrid to Lisbon night train also provides Trenhotel service.
With such a good service, it is easy to plan same-day connections from London to Barcelona or London to Irún and other areas. You can book train travel to and from Spain through G2Rail, as well as tickets for Renfe all over the country and local services. You will find that the promotional fare of the second class (Turista Class) is very worthwhile, and the first class (Preferente) is very worth upgrading.
Sala Club VIP Lounge
As long as you hold a Preferente ticket for the first-class car, you can enter the VIP room within 2 hours before the train departure. The interiors of the Sala Club in different stations are similar, which is convenient for people on business trips, but not every station has a VIP lounge.
All passenger trains are operated by Renfe, whose acronym stands for Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. Spain has a railway network of nearly 16,000 kilometers (about 10,000 miles). In other words, the network covers almost all villages in the country.
Train travel in Spain is very simple, comfortable and safe. Renfe offers 3 types of trains to travel in Spain.
High-speed long-distance train
If you have long-distance travel, Renfe's Larga Distancia series of high-speed trains have several options.
Super High Speed Train-AVE High Speed Rail
The highest grade is the super high-speed train AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), which travels at a speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). It will take you to your final destination in less than half of the driving time.
Renfe Ave high-speed rail map
Second Class Turista
First Class Preferente
Preferente first-class carriages provide impromptu dining and bar services, just like airplanes. But be warned: no food/bar service on Saturdays.
Alvia High Speed Rail
Alvia is a second-class long-distance high-speed rail operated by Renfe, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Trains can use Iberian gauge and standard European tracks, which allows them to travel on recently constructed high-speed lines. Alvia has many routes mainly from Madrid and Barcelona.
Euromed High Speed Rail
Similarly, the Euromed high-speed train connects Barcelona with Alicante, stopping at Tarragona, Castellón and Valencia. It is actually an Alvia train with a different name.
Altaria High Speed Rail
The third option is the Altaria train. It runs on two main routes: Madrid-Algeciras and Madrid-Cartagena (Cartagena), stop in Murcia (Murcia).
This is a small articulated train towed by a separate locomotive, which can travel up to 200 km/h (125 mph) on the high-speed AVE line. All Altaria trains have a coffee bar.
The trains running on the Talgo railway system are fast and have air conditioning systems. The running route covers most of Spain, and its stops are mainly in large cities. Among them, Talgo200 is a high-speed train that only runs from Madrid to Malaga and Cadiz.
Intercity Intercity Train
Intercity trains run between 160 and 250 km/h and can reach almost every corner of Spain. You can choose second class (Turista) or first class (Preferente). The comfort of the carriage is close to that of the high-speed AVE train. All trains are air-conditioned.
Media Distancia Regional Train
They are called Media Distancia (Regional Train) and Avant trains. The Media Distancia train covers the whole country. These trains are also very modern and very punctual, but they are not as fast as long-distance trains.
Avant Medium Speed Train
Avant trains are high-speed trains designed for short-distance travel.
Trenhotel is a long-distance, high-quality overnight regional train service using Talgo tilt train technology and sleeper trains developed by the Spanish rail network operator Renfe. It is operated by Renfe while operating in Spain and its subsidiary Elipsos is operated in France, Switzerland and Italy.
A typical Trenhotel train has several different classes:
Asientos Turistas: similar to first-class (aircraft-style) seats on ordinary trains. On the VII series and international carriages, they can be tilted until they are completely horizontal.
Tourist Cabins: These cabins have laundry facilities and four beds. They can be sold as a family unit (the cabin is kept as a whole) or sold separately so that male and female passengers who may be strangers do not mix together
Preferred cabins (Preferred Cabins): equipped with sink and flush toilet closet, these closets have two beds, a single unit sold to one or two people.
High-class cabins, equipped with shower, toilet and two beds, can also be sold as a unit to one or two people.
Cafeteria service units usually have seats and often have limited cabin services.
The dining car provides different types of full European meals according to the time of day, as well as some limited services outside of normal working hours.
Trenhotel domestic routes
Galicia ruta La Coruña, Barcelona (Barcelona Sants station) head north to A Coruña, passing Zaragoza and León
Galicia ruta Vigo, from Barcelona (Sants) north to Vigo, via Zaragoza and Leon
Rías Gallegas ruta Vigo, Madrid head northwest to Vigo via Ávila and Zamora
Atlántico, Madrid (Chamartin Station, Madrid Chamartin) head northwest to Ferrol, passing A Coruña, Valdolid and Lugo
Barcelona to Gijon
Trenhotel International Route
Surexpreso o Surex, from Hendaye, France to Lisbon, Portugal
Lusitania, Madrid (Chamartin Station, Madrid Chamartin) to Lisbon, Portugal (Oriente Station, Lisboa Oriente), via Salamanca
Irun, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal (Oriente Station, Lisboa Oriente)
Cercanías, Commuter Rail Service Commuter train
The commuter rail service or suburban train in Spain is called Cercanías. These are suburban trains that cover large cities (including Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Seville and Valencia) or small administrative areas (Asturias) ), Murcia (Murcia)). Areas that provide commuter trains include:
There are more than one train station in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. To go to different destinations, you need to depart from a specific station; sometimes even the same destination, high-speed trains and ordinary trains have different departure stations, so buy tickets Be sure to confirm it first.
Whether you need to buy tickets on the spot, enter the train station, the timetable is the main goal you are looking for. There is an electronic timetable in the lobby of each train station, which shows the train schedules that are about to enter and depart. It will show the type of train, departure time and destination, and most importantly, you can see the incoming trains Platform number.
Find the platform and confirm the train and car
Each platform is also equipped with electronic billboards, which display the train number, departure time and destination of the upcoming train. You may wish to check again after entering the platform. All information is correct, just wait for the train to enter the station.
Taking a train in Spain often faces a difficulty: the platform does not indicate which car number will probably stay on the platform. Even the car number markings on the body of some trains are not very clear, so even if you remember Know your car number, and often can't find a suitable car without feeling a little flustered. It is recommended that you take the train to the platform earlier and wait. If you have any problems, consult the station staff nearby. It is less likely to accidentally miss the bus.
Check the ticket and luggage
When taking Avant, AVE grade high-speed trains and long-distance express night trains in Spain, not only tickets and passports will be checked, but luggage must also pass X-ray inspection. The rigorous process is second only to flying, so please allow more time for trains. So as not to be too rushed to cause missed shifts.
AVE boarding procedure
Passports and tickets are checked before boarding the AVE train. You can print the PDF ticket we sent you before going to the station, and use the printer to print the ticket (main station) with the PNR code (6-digit hexadecimal code), but in most cases, you can do it in your phone Display the QR code and the ticket inspection staff will verify the ticket before you enter the train. You can get on the train and wait. The ticket inspector asks for a spot check on the train, and then you can show the ticket and passport to the ticket inspector. The checkpoint will be closed 2 minutes before the train starts.
We recommend that you arrive at the train station about 20 minutes before the train departs in order to find your platform. On high-speed trains, you need to go through security, but it should only add an extra few minutes to your journey.
Trenhotel boarding procedure
Before boarding the train, there is a special cordon area. You must pass the security check before the train leaves before you can board the train.
There will be a ticket and passport check 30 minutes before the Spanish night train opens, and the checkpoint will be closed 2 minutes before the train opens.
The doors of Spanish trains do not open automatically. If the door is closed, remember to press the button to open the door.
Find a seat
The seat number in the carriage is quite clearly marked, and you can find it by following the row number and number.
Check the ticket on the car
The ticket checking of Spanish trains is very strict. If you are buying a train pass, you must remember to fill in the date of use before getting on the train, otherwise you may be fined; you must also show the reservation and premium if you take the train that requires reservation or make up the difference Tickets, otherwise you will be fined.
Get off at the station
Basically, Spanish trains are very punctual, and you can judge when to get off according to the time marked on the timetable. In addition, with the exception of a few trains, the front of most train cars will have a screen showing the name and time of the upcoming station, or broadcast it in Spanish and English, and you will not have taken the station if you pay attention.