High speed train between Madrid and Barcelona

First high speed AVE trains between Madrid and Barcelona arrive on time

The inauguration of the high speed AVE rail link between Madrid and Barcelona took place with complete success today. Furthermore the first train from Barcelona to Madrid arrived in the Spanish capital 3 minutes ahead of schedule.

Trains on the high speed rail link travel at an average of 250 kilometres per hour and sometimes reach speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour which means that the journey takes less than 3 hours. The first train from Madrid to Barcelona took just 2 hours 38 minutes.

There are 17 trains between the cities daily which run from 6.00 am to 9 pm. The rail link also looks like a commercial success. Approximately 13,000 tickets were sold on 14th February, the first day tickets were made available to the public, and since then over 70,000 tickets have been sold, 48% of them via Renfe’s web page. Prices range between 163.50 euros to 40.80 euros depending on availability.

The president of Renfe said that it hoped that the new rail link would be the number one rival to air travel between Barcelona and Madrid.

The long awaited opening of this new high speed rail link comes 12 years after work first began on the line. Along the way there has been chaos on local train lines due cancellations caused by problems with excavation work not to mention numerous delays.

Related: Rail travel in Spain # Guide to Madrid # Guide to Barcelona