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New Low-Cost High-speed train company in Spain

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
RENFEs monopoly on train travels in Spain is over, and in march the French national train company is starting low-cost high speed train train travels. First from Madrid - Barcelona, then more routes later. Tickets start at €9,-/trip.

More here:


Happy planning!
Ivar
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
RENFEs monopoly on train travels in Spain is over, and in march the French national train company is starting low-cost high speed train train travels. Fist from Madrid - Barcelona, then more routes later. Tickets start at €9,-/trip.

More here:


Happy planning!
Ivar

WOW... Thank you for this post! Says it will take 2.5 hours between Barcelona and Madrid. So far the fastest train I have seen on Renfe on this route has been about 3hrs.
For those who are not familiar with Ouigo check out


If you use Ouigo note they have other baggage limitations...at least in France.
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I used Ouigo several years ago...Paris to Hendaye. Here's what I remember:

Reservation was in a Ouigo-only car in a regular TGV train.
Low priced, but high cancellation penalties.
It was administered completely online.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I'm thinking of the business/economics side of this, and I'm a bit shocked, actually. Ouigo is a part of the (nationally subsidized) French railways? If they run the most heavily used (ie, most profitable) Spanish rails segment, seems to me they are really hurting the Spanish national rail system. Not every route is equally profitable, and large systems use the cash-generating segments to cover the costs on less-profitable (or unprofitable but still deemed necessary by government agencies) routes.
I know that, as an American, I'm less well-versed on European business issues, but we might call this "poaching". It would appear to endanger the economic health of the national Spanish rail system.
Someone please educate me on the aspects I'm missing or have misunderstood. TIA
 
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ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I'm thinking of the business/economics side of this, and I'm a bit shocked, actually. Ouigo is a part of the (nationally subsidized) French railways? If they run the most heavily used (ie, most profitable) Spanish rails segment, seems to me they are really hurting the Spanish national rail system. Not every route is equally profitable, and large systems use the cash-generating segments to cover the costs on less-profitable (or unprofitable but still deemed necessary by government agencies) routes.
I know that, as an American, I'm less well-versed on European business issues, but we might call this "poaching". It would appear to endanger the economic health of the national Spanish rail system.
Someone please educate me on the aspects I'm missing or have misunderstood. TIA
I am no expert on this, but I think the plan is that RENFE is also going to offer routes in other countries... they just open things up, so these publicly owned companies can compete all over the EU. They still need to have some sort of profitability since no state is willing to spend public Spanish money in other countries if there is no return. But as I say, I am no expert on this..
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
I am wondering if this service is to replace the Avlo train service? Avlo was set to be the low-cost high speed network, a branch of RENFE, here in Spain. They were scheduled to commence service just after Covid arrived and I've not heard anything about it since. It would appear that Ouigo will replace this proposed service as the travel corridor/routes are the same. Not really sure what happened there.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I am wondering if this service is to replace the Avlo train service? Avlo was set to be the low-cost high speed network, a branch of RENFE, here in Spain. They were scheduled to commence service just after Covid arrived and I've not heard anything about it since. It would appear that Ouigo will replace this proposed service as the travel corridor/routes are the same. Not really sure what happened there.
I had forgotten about that.. no, that is RENFEs low cost version of the same service...


They were supposed to start now, but got delayed due to COVID.
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
I had forgotten about that.. no, that is RENFEs low cost version of the same service...


They were supposed to start now, but got delayed due to COVID.
The link you have provided does not allow one to purchase tickets for the Avlo trains. I am getting the feeling that this has been replaced by the French Ouigo service.
 
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2021
RENFEs monopoly on train travels in Spain is over, and in march the French national train company is starting low-cost high speed train train travels. First from Madrid - Barcelona, then more routes later. Tickets start at €9,-/trip.

More here:


Happy planning!
Ivar
So far they will only open Paris Barcelona!!
How I miss the Puerta del Sol of my youth from Paris Austerlitz to Madrid Chamartin with a halt in Bordeaux!!
 

catheriam

Wayward
Past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Since 2002 and four Camino's, my RENFE experiences have been terrific. Trains are always on time, my mochilla always safely stowed. Several life-changing conversations and companionships developed en route to Pamplona.. Surprisingly undreadful (i.e. BritRail) bathrooms, comfortable enough seats and Banderas-clone barmen sliding over the counter to me that life-saving white china cup of cafe solo. One note in which -- well, it's Spain. En route Santiago-Madrid, the overhead cinema monitor played three back to back Hollywood "gangster" films, dubbed into Spinish. Still only days from my first Camino's birdsong, meseta glory, boot-crunch, pilgrim laughter, insight-dwelling of the Camino, this was a shock. Had to roll with it; no iPhone, no headset. My Camino had just taken on another layer.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Be very careful with any online train services. In 2018, when an injury requiring hospital services delayed my departure from Paris to Bayonne, I lost out. My ticket could not be used on the next train or refunded. The cost was 150% more than my online ticket.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Be very careful with any online train services. In 2018, when an injury requiring hospital services delayed my departure from Paris to Bayonne, I lost out. My ticket could not be used on the next train or refunded. The cost was 150% more than my online ticket.
When you purchase your ticket it will tell you if it is refundable or can be used on another journey, and there will be options to purchase more expensive tickets with those options.
If you have travel insurance this is something that would be covered.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
When you purchase your ticket it will tell you if it is refundable or can be used on another journey, and there will be options to purchase more expensive tickets with those options.
If you have travel insurance this is something that would be covered.

Sorry about your injury, Michelle.... i know your circumstances were unusual.

As Trecile has rightly pointed out really inexpensive tickets out of cities in Europe such as Paris, can be purchased up to 3 momth in advance, If you can purchase them when they first go on sale you can get really cheap tickets. Those are almost never refundable. That is the chance we take-when we buy a cheap train ticket as well as a budget ticket on many airlines. Not refundable.

Usually, when I arrive I allow an extra hour or two plus the estimated transfer time. However, at high volume times, I have booked a cheap second ticket for an additional train leaving an hour or two after that.
In other words sometimes I buy two tickets knowing, I will not use one of them. I am hoping to make the earlier train, but if I am not able to-then I have the insurance ticket for about 20-25 euros. But more importantly, I do not have stress that I will miss my connection.
If the connections are awkward, I book a hotel after a long flight, knowing that I do not intend to walk the next day, anyway, and then get my train the next morning. One can get a good nights sleep in Paris as well as SJPdP.
 
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Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
The trouble with RENFE's AVE high speed trains (indeed all long distance trains in Spain) is that they have no provision for carrying cycles. Ouigo are no better, indeed in France they charge extra for any but the smallest piece of hand luggage and do not carry bikes. They are like the cheap airlines, cheap prices for heavily travelled routes but with low levels of customer service and no flexibility if you need to change a ticket. Moreover they squeeze you in with three-abreast seating, Middle seat for three hours anyone?

Opening up the rail market to competition and breaking the monopoly stranglehold of state owned train companies is an EU policy. By offering the cheap AVLO service, I think RENFE were trying to forestall the arrival of Ouigo, making it uneconomic for the French to enter the market. This does not seem to have worked.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
2022 Piemont or Arles or Primitivo
I had forgotten about that.. no, that is RENFEs low cost version of the same service...


They were supposed to start now, but got delayed due to COVID.
My favourite train site is :


Wonderful granular info.
 

FirstImpact

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2009
Be very careful with any online train services. In 2018, when an injury requiring hospital services delayed my departure from Paris to Bayonne, I lost out. My ticket could not be used on the next train or refunded. The cost was 150% more than my online ticket.
Omg, how's it possible?
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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FirstImpact

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2009
Good to know. Thanks. What about german trains? I used to book tickets online through db fahrplan app, and I found it really convenient. Also, they always refund the money if you cancel your trip, regardless of the tickets' price. I always check their website ahead of time to see what trains are available for my destination. I've traveled by train hundreds of times in Germany over the previous 15 years, and I can only recall one that was more than 40 minutes late. I'm not saying that every train has arrived on schedule, but the majority of the time, the delay has been insignificant.
 
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