If all Spanish Public transport services are world class then Madrid trains can be considered the jewel in the crown! From the luxury and opulence of travelling preferente between Paris and Madrid to taking a short trip on the high velocity Ave to the nearby tourist city of Toledo you´ll be suprised at how quick and easy Madrids rail system is to use!
Rail travel in Spain and Madrid can be broadly broken down into three classes:
- & Regional
International Madrid Trains
Direct services run from Madrid to France - Paris and Portugal - Oporto Lisbon. These are operated by the national train companies of both countries in a co operative effort. Travelling in luxury whilst seeing the sights of rural Spain can´t be a bad way to go!
Additional International train services run from Barcelona and as getting from Madrid to Barcelona is simply a 2hr 45min ride away, this is a very viable option. Trains from Barcelona go to Switzerland, Italy and Southern France.
National Madrid Trains
There are two types of National train services Ave and National.
The Ave is a high performance train running on dedicated tracks and at over 200kmph. This network is constantly growing and it already covers the length of Spain between Barcelona, Huesca, Zaragoza and Lerida in the North and Pyrennes to Sevilla, malaga and Cordoba in the Andalucian south of the country. The tourist centers of Valencia on the mediteranean and the hiostoric capital of Valladolid are all conected.
Whilst you pay a premium for using these train it can make a great difference to travel times. For example; Madrid to Zaragoza is 3 hours in a car or 40 minutes flying but is only 75 minutes via Ave, downtown to downtown! Alot quicker when you think of the time you would have to spend in the respective airports!
National trains run accross the existing network and conect every Spanish city in comfort. The only difference to the Ave product is the train speed... You will also notice a difference in your wallet!!
Regional Madrid Trains
More commonly know as Cercanias these are high frequency trains that connect Madrid to its outlying suburbs and closest cities. Very cheap and efficient they cost little more than the
and have the advantage of beeing able to see out of!!! Should you wish to visit the mountains surrounding Madrid or sample village life this is the way to do it cheaply!
Madrid train stations
Whats the use in getting to Madrid only to discover the arrival station is not the one you thought it was? These guides to Madrids principal train stations will set you right:
If Madrid by train doesn´t suit why not check out other options for getting to Madrid?....>