Madrid Cercanias - Regional trains
The Madrid Cercanias
is a network of regional / short distance trains
that criss / cross the
community of Madrid, and in some cases enter into neighbouring provinces.
The service is defined by high frequency trains that connect outlying towns and villages allowing commuters to work in the city on a daily basis. For the visitor to Madrid these trains provide an economical means by which to move about the region and to popular tourist sites such as
and Alcala de Henares.
Cercanias trains in Madrid operate to a set network and offer various interchanges with the
Spanish national train network.
All services are operated and managed by the Spanish national train operator Renfe and it is important to note that
tickets cannot be booked in advance.
Times and prices
Madrid Cercanias operates between 0500 and 0100 with exact first and last train times depending on the individual station. The precise timetablen can be found on the Renfe website (see link at end of page). As a primarily commuter orientated service it follows that the Cercanias timetable sees a greater frequency of service during Monday to Friday and yet more services during rush hours on these days.
Using a "zone system" Cercanias tickets are incrementally more expensive the more zones you cross. A return ticket in the same day is on average 40% cheaper
than two single tickets. If however you are travelling out and back on different days there is no alternative than to purchase two single tickets, even if the complete trip is within 24 hours as tickets are only valid for the "date of issue".
In the vast majority of stations in Madrids regional train network tickets are sold through automatic machines with the modern versions also having an English language option.
For older ticket machines you will need to purchase either "Billete Sencillo", single, or "Ida y Vuelta" for a return. Prices are economical starting at just over 2€ for the