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Low cost high speed trains

2020 Camino Guides

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Pretty much any train in Spain is high speed, low cost compared to the UK offering. Also quiet, civilised, well staffed and clean. I assume they either run at a loss or get significant state support?
 

Dsavid Keyte

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de San Salavador (2015)
Camino de la Costa (2016)
Camino Lebaniego 2017
We use the AVE from León to Madrid,occasionally, amazing service and if more than 15 minutes late, money refunded, by car at least 5 hours, Ave just over 2 hours and the Alvia , another HST, 2.5 hours, with our gold card 70 Euros return, with local trains around Madrid included
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
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Renfre Train I took from Madrid to Oviedo - 220 km per hour. Always on time. Looks so futuristic!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Pretty much any train in Spain is high speed, low cost compared to the UK offering. Also quiet, civilised, well staffed and clean. I assume they either run at a loss or get significant state support?
Or they are just doing a good job in what they are supposed to do ;-)
BC SY
 

Dsavid Keyte

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de San Salavador (2015)
Camino de la Costa (2016)
Camino Lebaniego 2017
View attachment 67839
Renfre Train I took from Madrid to Oviedo - 220 km per hour. Always on time. Looks so futuristic!
That would be the Alvia another HST, the AVE does not reach Asturias yet, due to problems with the 23 Km tunnel through the Picos, soon completed hopefully
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Or they are just doing a good job in what they are supposed to do ;-)
BC SY
Don’t want to de-rail (ha!) this thread, but just to point out that no public transportation system exists without significant public subsidy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_subsidies

Keep in mind that only about half of the cost of highways in the US is paid by users in the form of gas taxes, licensing fees, and tolls. The rest is paid by federal subsidies, i.e., the taxpayers. I once heard an interesting talk about transportation spending in the US, but the only thing I remember was the observation that we use the term “federal spending” to describe money that goes to highways, but It’s always a “federal subsidy” to describe spending on public transportation.
 
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Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
Note from the mod: Slapping myself on the wrist for having put in a comment that could be construed as political. So I have removed it, as well as the reaction I provoked with my inappropriate comment. So, Marc, my apologies. .

I do not see the relevance of pointing out that no public transport system exitsts without public subsidy - but maybe this is because I am from a country where public subsidy is not considered as a bad thing. Anyway, improving railway infrastructure is probably an environmental necessity due to the ecological damage done by using airplanes. Hopefully railway infrastructure within Europe will improve much more in the future, so (together with an increased tax on kerosene) people will less feel the need to use airplanes on relatively short distances. A public subsidy well spent I guess.:)
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I do not see the relevance of pointing out that no public transport system exitsts without public subsidy - but maybe this is because I am from a country where public subsidy is not considered as a bad thing. Anyway, improving railway infrastructure is probably an environmental necessity due to the ecological damage done by using airplanes. Hopefully railway infrastructure within Europe will improve much more in the future, so (together with an increased tax on kerosene) people will less feel the need to use airplanes on relatively short distances. A public subsidy well spent I guess.:)
I should not have put in the political reference, and will remove it. Sorry I should know better. I just wanted to make the point that it comes as no surprise to anyone that the government spends a lot of money on roads, but when the issue is whether the government should spend a lot of money on trains, the conversation changes, at least where I come from. Anyway, the point of Ivar's post was to alert us to ever-improving transportation options in Spain, and for that all pilgrims can be thankful!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Great info....Thank you
 

ginniek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances 2017
In August I took the AVE from Zaragoza to Madrid in an hour. As well as fast it was smooooth (especially compared to the TGV in France). Since I'm both a transportation planner and a train fan this made my Camino even better!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Any information on how to take a bike on theses?
Assuming that these low cost lines have the same policies as the other trains, here is the info as published by RENFE. Since the policy seems to apply to all trains, even cercanías and Feve, I would assume it will extend to these new lines.
Buen camino, Laurie

 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
After damaging my leg in May, 2018, I took an overnight Tren-Hotel from Logrono to SdC. It was 65 euro but provided reclining individual seats with no one on either side of you. I was so tired, when the train came into SdC, I was the only person left on the train and no one woke me up.
 

martyndeh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2013, 2014 Camino portugese 2015,2016
Camino fisterra 2017
One thing the elder walker must remember when travelling on a train,' Esta disquenta' a discount for the over 60.s. All you have to do is show your passport
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One thing the elder walker must remember when travelling on a train,' Esta disquenta' a discount for the over 60.s. All you have to do is show your passport
The Tarjeta Dorada is a great deal for people over 60. It costs 6 euros a year and provides discounts from 25-50% on all RENFE, FEVE, and Cercanías. I don’t know if you can buy it online or in other locations, but I have always bought mine at the train station. Information in English is provided in the link below.
 

Don Camillo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
The Spanish routes I have travelled on (Madrid-Valencia, Seville-Malaga, Alicante-Valencia) all had one thing in common. The absolute quality of the service. The trains were super clean. The ticketing gives you a numbered seat. The ride on purpose built high speed tracks was super smooth - the trains just glide up to their (fast) cruising speed. Plus I could set my watch to the second to the departure time. Local services ie Tarragona to Barcelona are , perhaps, more rough and ready but are heavily used. The cost is very reasonable as well.
Landing back in UK and catching a train back to the West Country brought on the post Camino pains almost immediately. Cramped, very expensive, crowded and filthy. The contrast with Spanish Railways could not have been more effectively highlighted.
Getting old is not something I would crow about but that over 60's 25% discount on the Spanish system becomes more attractive by the day if not the year.
Don
 

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