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Trains in Spain


Does anyone think I'll have a problem arriving by train in Madrid Chamartin at 7:45 in time for an 11:35 flight? Are the trains usually delayed in Spain or are they pretty reliable?

BTW thanks for listening and responding to my frequent posts everyone...I've only a few weeks to plan since this was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing.

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that might be a tight connection, but you should be able to get to the airport before 9:35 (two hours before departure)

Are you trying to get to the Continental flight to Newark? The longest part of that is the line to check in. Security wasn't a problem.



Nope, I'm going to JFK. But the thing is, I suspect I might be all right because I'm not checking baggage. It's just me and my carry-on. However, if the train is delayed (as often the case in the U.S., arguably) it might be tight. But it's crucial to make this flight because if I take the earlier train it actually gets into Madrid the night before.

But I liked the way you put it, Kelly, and am just realizing how late the train would actually have to be for it to be a problem -- almost two hours. Add in fifteen minutes to grab a cab to the airport and I'm golden.

Or am I mistaken?


Nunca se camina solo
I've always found the train services in Spain to be very reliable and I regularly travel by Metro to and from the centre of Madrid to the Airport - the journey can be worked out in advance and is very easy. I would say that unless something goes unusually wrong you should be fine.

One word of caution is that Madrid Airport is now huge and depending on what terminal you are leaving from an internal train journey may be required from check in to departure. I'd check the timing of that too.

Buen viaje.
If you're flying Continental, then you probably want to take the taxi. It's a long walk from the Metro stop to the terminal that Continental flies from. Still doable, though.

Why not spend the night in Madrid (unless you get in too late)? I stayed at the Hotel Ateneo near Sol & Gran Via for 85 Euro (which included breakfast; some rates don't include it). I left the hotel at 8 a.m., made it to the airport via Metro (2 Euro) by 9 & was checked in & through security before 10.

On edit: while security conscious, the Spaniards aren't idiotic about it, unlike TSA which believes the water in a toddler's sippy cup to extremely dangerous. You won't even have take off your shoes.

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I agree that Spanish trains are usually on time, but I think there is one big exception -- the Trenhotel. Last year I took the overnight Trenhotel from Burgos to Paris with the plan to walk over to the Gare de Lyon and catch the airport bus to CDG. On the train, several of the women sharing my compartment told me that they were frequent riders on this train and that it was not unfrequently several hours late. Fortunately, we arrived within 45 minutes of scheduled time and I was able to make it to the airport by bus. You didn't say if you are on the trenhotel, but if you are, I would do some more investigation about on-time arrivals. I remember being told that for some reason the trenhotel has a lower priority and is frequently moved over to the side tracks to let other trains pass.

And about getting to the Madrid airport. If you are flying Iberia or a partner airline (American is the only one I'm sure about), you will check in and depart from the new T4. If you are flying any other airline, it's at the old airport terminals. Make sure you know which terminal you use, because they are far apart (in fact, there's a metro stop for Barajas the town in between the T1-2 stop and the T4 stop). Just last week, I went from Puerta del Sol to T4 in about 35 minutes (I believe the new metro stop opened the last week in May and it is very convenient, just an escalator down from T4 to the entrance). The metro ticket requires a 1E supplement.

Hope you have a great Camino!


I'll be departing from T-1. Kelly -- I'd love to stay in Madrid...only problem is I'm not 100% sure I'll have enough money left once my camino is over!

From what I'm hearing I should have enough time...unless the cab driver hears my horrible accent and does circles around Madrid figuring I won't notice. And I wouldn't, either.

Thanks everyone.

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