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Train Reservations in March

frannie z

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: 2022,2023
I may be confused - as usual. Did I read somewhere that Spainards can ride trains for free? Do you think for March 19th. I'll need to book my train from Madrid to Leon ahead of time.... or will I be safe to wait until day of -- go to train station and do it then. Same question for train from Santiago to Madrid for March 28th? Please/Thank you.
 
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If you check schedules, something soon versus those on your departure dates, I think that you’ll find better prices buying them in advance. Sometimes, there is a significant price difference. With the special available to Spaniards, I would expect trains to be busier. When possible, I always buy in advance. If you definitely want to travel on those dates, I’d purchase them in advance.
 
There are a lot of caveats to the “free travel”. It’s been discussed elsewhere if you do a search on this forum. In short, it’s geared towards commuters on short to mid-range trips and only free after you complete 16 trips to get your deposit back.
 
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Price can also depend upon your age.
If you are over 60, you can purchase a tarjeta dorada for some really good discounts.
Also, regarding purchasing train tickets, I always just get them in Spain and find the prices quite a bit less than purchasing online. Here is a link about the tarjeta dorada:
 
I may be confused - as usual. Did I read somewhere that Spainards can ride trains for free? Do you think for March 19th. I'll need to book my train from Madrid to Leon ahead of time.... or will I be safe to wait until day of -- go to train station and do it then. Same question for train from Santiago to Madrid for March 28th? Please/Thank you.
Advance purchase tickets are cheaper than walk-ups. Many trains (other than local commuter trains) often sell-out. Given the quality of the infrastructure on Spanish railways it’s surprising how few trains they actually run.
 
I may be confused - as usual. Did I read somewhere that Spainards can ride trains for free? Do you think for March 19th. I'll need to book my train from Madrid to Leon ahead of time.... or will I be safe to wait until day of -- go to train station and do it then. Same question for train from Santiago to Madrid for March 28th? Please/Thank you.
I don't think so, unless maybe they have some concessions for the disabled or something. If you are sure of the date, I would book in advance, since I think the fast trains are all based on allocated seats. You can book on the Renfe site and there is an English option I think. If you want to allow some flexibility, I think you may be able to pay a bit more for a ticket that allows you to make changes.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I may be confused - as usual. Did I read somewhere that Spainards can ride trains for free? Do you think for March 19th. I'll need to book my train from Madrid to Leon ahead of time.... or will I be safe to wait until day of -- go to train station and do it then. Same question for train from Santiago to Madrid for March 28th? Please/Thank you.
So here's my 2 euros worth on the train subject. I am planning my March Camino Portuguese walk and plan to take a train from Lisboa to Porto my nights stay in Lisboa is near the train station, so I plan to buy my ticket on line or at the staton night before I leave for Porto. I am a senior but to get the discount you must buy a Tajeta Dorado which identifies you. it has various prices depending on length , but inexpensive. The catch is does that apply to extranjeros? Some countries only give such discounts to their nationals. As for free that applies to local routes and again maybe only nationals
Plan to do the same for my return from Santiago to Madrid
PS the Dorado card can be bought at train stations if you are allowed the discount
 
If you check schedules, something soon versus those on your departure dates, I think that you’ll find better prices buying them in advance. Sometimes, there is a significant price difference. With the special available to Spaniards, I would expect trains to be busier. When possible, I always buy in advance. If you definitely want to travel on those dates, I’d purchase them in advance.
I too like to buy in advance but sometimes it seems difficult if you need to change the travel times e.g. plane late.
Also AVE, Intercity trains etc can be booked well in advance but seems the local leg for an MD train only becomes available a short time before departure. For example I can't book a MD train from Granada to Almeria yet for 1 April.
Mick
 

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