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Train from Santiago to Madrid

Pilgrim Farmer John

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Le Puy to Finnesterre, 2013
When booking tickets, which train station in Madrid has best connections to the airport? Tickets purchased on line have a specific departure time. Are these times final? Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?
 
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irishrock

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
I took the train from Santiago to Madrid in 2017...and it was brutal. It was quite long with a stop in Leon. If I had to do it over again, I'd try to book a flight. If that wouldn't be feasible, I'd look into taking the train to Leon, stopping there and enjoying the city, and then taking the train the next day to Madrid. It was a long train ride, fwiw.

The trains in Spain require a reservation so I'm not confident that switching will be easy or even allowed...sorry for no answer there.
 

jcat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
I've taken the train from Santiago to Madrid (Chamartin Station) on three occasions and I have done the flight to Barajas once.
I find the 3.5 to 4 hour train ride to be nice and relaxing. I much prefer the train over the flight, but I've never had to continue onto the Airport. A search shows a lot of daily trains from Chamartin Station to T4 at the airport. Overall I do prefer train travel inside of Spain over flying.
 
F

Former member 91017

Guest
There is now a high speed train. I have my ticket for May booked leaving Santiago at 5 to 5pm and arriving in Madrid around 8:30 IIRC. That will take me to Madrid Chamartin station and I will be staying overnight until I get my flight at 7am the day after.
High speed schedules are available on RENFE.ES — I did have to use PayPal to purchase my ticket; my VISA simply would not process through the RENFE site.
 

Pilgrim Farmer John

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Le Puy to Finnesterre, 2013
Very reassuring! Thanks, Faye Walker! I was hoping that scenario would be possible, and will attempt to do the same procedure for our departure on 14 July, with our flight to Chicago scheduled for 15 July. Many thanks!
 
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Pilgrim Farmer John

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Le Puy to Finnesterre, 2013
I've taken the train from Santiago to Madrid (Chamartin Station) on three occasions and I have done the flight to Barajas once.
I find the 3.5 to 4 hour train ride to be nice and relaxing. I much prefer the train over the flight, but I've never had to continue onto the Airport. A search shows a lot of daily trains from Chamartin Station to T4 at the airport. Overall I do prefer train travel inside of Spain over flying.
Thanks for your input! Building confidence into our plan :)
 

Excursionista

happiest when walking
Time of past OR future Camino
De VdBierzo (2004)
Pamplona-Sahagún (2021)
I think the trains from Santiago pretty much all go to Chamartín anyway, but I always search for Renfe trips using the "Madrid (todas)" option just in case. It's easy enough to get around Madrid that I want to see all my schedule options regardless of station.

Also, I believe you can use your Santiago-Madrid ticket to get a free ticket to the airport on the cercanías train. I always have morning flights and spend the night before in Madrid so haven't tried this myself, but others on the forum have mentioned doing this.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Here are some details on the “Combinado Cercanías.” That is the name RENFE uses to refer to the fact that you can get a free ride on Cercanías when you have a ticket on the AVE or on Long Distance routes. Offer is not good for the Avio.

You can use the Cercanías free ticket at any time within the four hours before departure of your train and the four hours after your arrival at destination if that city has a Cercanías line.

Your train ticket will show a 5 digit code on the top. Enter that in the self-service ticket machine (tapping on “Combinado Cercanías) or get a human to help you at the ticket booth if there is one.

Cercanías tickets are not that expensive, but the extra effort to get the free ticket will save you a couple of euros.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Tickets purchased on line have a specific departure time. Are these times final? Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?
It depends on the type of ticket you purchase. The cheapest tickets will be non-refundable and non-changeable.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?

Renfe fares were restructured about a year or so ago. There are now three types of tickets. If you search for a train trip on Renfe’s web site, you will see three different prices for most trains. I’ve copied this from the Man in Seat 61 website, which is a great website for questions about train travel in Europe.

Básico, Elige & Premium fares...

  • Básico (Basic)... The cheapest fare, only for travel in standard (2nd) class. Básico tickets are non-refundable & non-changeable unless you pay a hefty extra fee to make them so.
  • Elige (Choice)... A semi-flexible fare. If you select this you get a choice of Elige to get a Standard (2nd) class seat or Elige Confort at a higher price to get a Comfort (1st) class seat. Elige & Elige Confort tickets are refundable & changeable for a fee.
  • Premium... The most flexible fare, you get a Comfort (1st) class seat and (on Renfe's AVE or EuroMed trains) at-seat food & wine included. Access to Sala Club lounges at major stations. Changeable without fee, refundable for a minimal fee.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
When booking tickets, which train station in Madrid has best connections to the airport? Tickets purchased on line have a specific departure time. Are these times final? Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?
I have taken the train and have flown. On the train most of the seats face each other and being 6'2'" (1.89) I found the train uncomfortable. I have found the prices of my flights from Santiago to Madrid to be about the same as the train. In once it was far cheaper to fly. If you are leaving the same day from Madrid you are already at the airport and have no need to worry. You get the added treat of walking from a domestic flight to an international flight (If you are flying internationally that is). That walk is a camino in itself!
 

wynrich

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 13, CF 14, CP 16, VF 17, CN 18, CN+RC 19, CF 22
There is now a high speed train. I have my ticket for May booked leaving Santiago at 5 to 5pm and arriving in Madrid around 8:30 IIRC. That will take me to Madrid Chamartin station and I will be staying overnight until I get my flight at 7am the day after.
High speed schedules are available on RENFE.ES — I did have to use PayPal to purchase my ticket; my VISA simply would not process through the RENFE site.
Faye and others, we are planning to take the train from Santiago to Madrid on April 5 to catch a flight on April 6. Do you know if it is important to reserve tickets in advance and if so, how far in advance? Thanks!
 
F

Former member 91017

Guest
Faye and others, we are planning to take the train from Santiago to Madrid on April 5 to catch a flight on April 6. Do you know if it is important to reserve tickets in advance and if so, how far in advance? Thanks!
I don't know for sure.
I've booked trains "day of" and I've booked trains weeks out.
Last time I went I booked on the morning of my departure for SdC to Porto, transferred there and continued south to Nazaré.
Things are different now so I'm hedging bets and booked *way out* -- small price to pay if I lose my trip and cannot go, great assurance that I have a seat to get me back to Madrid to fly home.
I think this falls under "how much indecision can you manage at this point, and what kind of cost can you absorb to have certainty?"
 
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Excursionista

happiest when walking
Time of past OR future Camino
De VdBierzo (2004)
Pamplona-Sahagún (2021)
I'm not sure whether Renfe prices go back down closer to departure if there are unsold seats, but I just checked the current price of my Santiago-Madrid ticket for April 1 and it's now 63€. I paid 38€ less than a month ago. There are still lower cost tickets available at other times, so I'm guessing it's based on demand rather than days til departure.
 

Barney12

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF from Leon to SdC May 2022
When booking tickets, which train station in Madrid has best connections to the airport? Tickets purchased on line have a specific departure time. Are these times final? Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?
Not sure if youre keen on flying but I managed to book a flight from Santiago to Madrid with Ryanair which ended up cheaper than the train. Good luck!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
When booking tickets, which train station in Madrid has best connections to the airport? Tickets purchased on line have a specific departure time. Are these times final? Can you use ticket for a later departure if you are delayed en route?
Specifically, No… You can’t use your ticket for other departures! If you have a ticket that can be exchanged or refunded some have time limits ( perhaps 24hr prior to departure) on refunds…so see specifics regarding your ticket.
 

Pilgrim Farmer John

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Le Puy to Finnesterre, 2013
I have taken the train and have flown. On the train most of the seats face each other and being 6'2'" (1.89) I found the train uncomfortable. I have found the prices of my flights from Santiago to Madrid to be about the same as the train. In once it was far cheaper to fly. If you are leaving the same day from Madrid you are already at the airport and have no need to worry. You get the added treat of walking from a domestic flight to an international flight (If you are flying internationally that is). That walk is a camino in itself!

Specifically, No… You can’t use your ticket for other departures! If you have a ticket that can be exchanged or refunded some have time limits ( perhaps 24hr prior to departure) on refunds…so see specifics regarding your ticket.
Thank you for definitive answer.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
On the train most of the seats face each other
Are you sure about that? My memory is that each car only had two sets of those “facing each other” seats, with a small table in the middle. The rest were rows of two all facing in the same direction. At least that’s my memory, based on two rides within the past year. But I can’t vouch for my memory these days!
 
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jcat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
Are you sure about that? My memory is that each car only had two sets of those “facing each other” seats, with a small table in the middle. The rest were rows of two all facing in the same direction. At least that’s my memory, based on two rides within the past year. But I can’t vouch for my memory these days!
I agree, only the ones with the table face each other. I think it's one table row per train. Renfe also has an option to pre-select your seat.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Are you sure about that? My memory is that each car only had two sets of those “facing each other” seats, with a small table in the middle. The rest were rows of two all facing in the same direction. At least that’s my memory, based on two rides within the past year. But I can’t vouch for my memory these days!
agree, only the ones with the table face each other. I think it's one table row per train. Renfe also has an option to pre-select your seat.
What you both say may possibly be true. But the first time I took the train I reserved my seat when they still had a travel agent in the Pilgrim office. She bought my ticket and she said she did not have the ability to pick a seat for me. I believe that was in 2015. In 2017 I bought my ticket at the station and didn't even think about asking (dumb me) about seating. But both times only a few seats in the car I was in did not face the other passengers. Either way I would still much rather fly.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
My latest Renfe experience (2019) was buying a ticket a day ahead for a Pamplona to Barcelona trip. Most, if not all, the car's seats were facing forward. I wanted to see as much as I could of the mountains I saw walking from Barcelona that I took a rear seat on the "port" side of the car. When the conductor came by he indicated that I was not in my assigned seat but shrugged it off. No one came for the seat or the one next to me. I hadn't noticed that the ticket had a seat assignment.
 

MarianG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese (2019)
I recently purchased a RENFE ticket from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid. There was no problem buying it, but when I printed it out it showed that I have two "trayectos." Trayecto 1 is Santiago Compos 14.00, with Destino Ourense 14.38 (AVANT). Trayecto 2 is Ourense 14.50, with Destino Madrid-Chamart 17.36 (ALVIA). Does anyone know about the Ourense train station? Will I actually be able to get from what looks like one train to another in just 12 minutes? Any advice is appreciated.
 

Tincatinker

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I recently purchased a RENFE ticket from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid. There was no problem buying it, but when I printed it out it showed that I have two "trayectos." Trayecto 1 is Santiago Compos 14.00, with Destino Ourense 14.38 (AVANT). Trayecto 2 is Ourense 14.50, with Destino Madrid-Chamart 17.36 (ALVIA). Does anyone know about the Ourense train station? Will I actually be able to get from what looks like one train to another in just 12 minutes? Any advice is appreciated.
Que? You are making a train connection in the same railway station. If you are concerned as to a change of platform at Ourense 12 minutes is plenty of time. My recollection is that both trains are served by the same platform but you will have to sprint if you want a coffee 'cos the buffet is on the opposite side.

Edit: I'm impressed that you managed to secure a "through" ticket. Which provider did you use?
 
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MarianG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese (2019)
Que? You are making a train connection in the same railway station. If you are concerned as to a change of platform at Ourense 12 minutes is plenty of time. My recollection is that both trains are served by the same platform but you will have to sprint if you want a coffee 'cos the buffet is on the opposite side.

Edit: I'm impressed that you managed to secure a "through" ticket. Which provider did you use?
Thanks for your reply! I am not a fast walker, and even trains in the same station can be challenging for me. This was so confusing to me, but it seems it will work out in the end. I sent an email to the Tourism Office in Ourense, and they said, "Yes, do not worry, the train station is small, and 10 minutes is enough to change the train, even if there is at the furthest platform. I am afraid we don't have a map of the train station. But, do not worry, you will not have to hurry to change the train. Bytheway, sometimes it is the same train."

I made my reservations through RENFE.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Just follow the crowd, as essentially you get off one train go to another platform and board the next without leaving the boarding area. You can ask the conductor what platform you will arrive at and which one the train to Madrid departs from when you get on the train in Santiago. He or she will come around and check your tickets and there are likely to be other pilgrims/travelers on the train with you that are seeking the same information. It isn't a big station as the tourism office said.
 

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