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Old April 5th, 2012, 07:22 PM   #1341
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Goya station:

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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:39 PM   #1342
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There is another Goya Station in Madrid's Metro

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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #1343
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Wouldn't it be cheaper to install ETCS L2 in the first place?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #1344
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the two levels are compatible and share facilities
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #1345
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the two levels are compatible and share facilities
I am aware of that fact, but L2 wouldn't need extra signals.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #1346
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In every railway running ETCS in Spain the Level 1 was introduced before the Level 2. I don't know the reasons but anyway in the case of that railway, signals already exist.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 04:05 PM   #1347
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20 years of high speed in Spain


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Old April 23rd, 2012, 04:52 PM   #1348
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Hello, I am planning vacations in Spain and I was wondering if anyone here has tips for getting discounts. Searching for the tickets I see that there are the web and Estrela discounts, but when actually going to buy a ticket I see that those discounts appear to be actually quite rate, despite the fact that I am buying 1 month in advance, and there are more discounts for the business class then for the Tourist class. Also for chaper medium distance trains like MD I couldn't see any discounts. I see that a good discount is available for the "Mesa" ticket for 4 persons, but unfortunately we will be mostly travelling in 2 or max 3 persons.

So summing up, anyone has tips or experience how to get cheaper tickets in Spain? =)
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:07 PM   #1349
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In Spain, like in Italy, the majority of discount tickets are gone well before 1 month on peak season. The best window will be probably 90-60 days before departure, if nothing seriously changed on Renfe's yield management system which, I must say, is one of the most sophisticated together with the one of Trenitalia.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #1350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
Hello, I am planning vacations in Spain and I was wondering if anyone here has tips for getting discounts. Searching for the tickets I see that there are the web and Estrela discounts, but when actually going to buy a ticket I see that those discounts appear to be actually quite rate, despite the fact that I am buying 1 month in advance, and there are more discounts for the business class then for the Tourist class. Also for chaper medium distance trains like MD I couldn't see any discounts. I see that a good discount is available for the "Mesa" ticket for 4 persons, but unfortunately we will be mostly travelling in 2 or max 3 persons.

So summing up, anyone has tips or experience how to get cheaper tickets in Spain? =)

Normally tickets are available only two months in advance. They have started to sell tickets four months in advance Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona but for other trains, two months only.

They have different discounts but mainly Web fare = 60% discount and "Estrella fare" = 40% discount. At any time, 25% discount if you have an international boarding pass for a plane and you make a return trip, or 20% for a return ticket at any case.

They put a certain number of tickets for those discounts. It is possible that for a train, all cheapest tickets are gone but there are still discounts in high classes, so maybe a better discount in first class can be have a similar price than a tourist general fare or similar.

In Spanish trains, at bussiness and First class you have the meal included in the ticket as well as other facilities in most of trains.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #1351
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Take the coach. Seriously, it normally is more economic and on a lot of connections (well, Madrid-Barcelona isn't one of those, obviously) faster, too.
The price system of RENFE doesn't follow any rules at all, quite often fares seem to be chosen randomly to the customer. Taking the coach you're usually better off, although it makes sense to book in advantage during peak season and on popular routes, too.
For longer distances, no-frills airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling) could make sense, too
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #1352
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Quote:
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Take the coach. Seriously, it normally is more economic and on a lot of connections (well, Madrid-Barcelona isn't one of those, obviously) faster, too.
The price system of RENFE doesn't follow any rules at all, quite often fares seem to be chosen randomly to the customer. Taking the coach you're usually better off, although it makes sense to book in advantage during peak season and on popular routes, too.
For longer distances, no-frills airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling) could make sense, too
Yes, I am planing with a lot of care so I know that in most of my trips in Spain taking a bus will be a better solution, but that's the part that sucks. I would prefer traveling by rail but I find the regional rail in Spain chaotic enough that I just can't!

All over Europe I don't remember ever having so much trouble using rail for my trips. Even in my trip to Hungary/Romania I had no trouble at all doing 100% of the trip, from Poland to Lake Balaton, to Budapest, to Alba Julia in Romenia and other places in Romania and back. All had decent train connections many times a day which had nice connections with each other. And it was quite cheap.

In Germany similarly it is excellent to use the rail services. DBahn has a very regular discounts system so I already have a CityNightLine cheap ticket to make Basel->Dresden sleeping as part of my way back to Poland. Also there are very nice discount "Landeskarte" tickets for using regional rail in Germany, BahnKard, etc, etc.

In Portugal too, except for some recently closed lines in the north which I would like to use and for Fatima, everything could be done by rail with many options per day on the routes and fair prices.

But in Spain I am shocked to see that the regional rail lines are either stupidly planned or just plainly a robbery of so expensive. My trips will be like this:

Malaga->Granada
Granada->Cordoba
Cordoba->Sevilla
Sevilla->Lagos (south of Portugal)

Malaga->Granada and Granada->Cordoba share the same problem of horrible conections. Consider these maps:





The brown line from Granada to Sevilla does not stop in "Fuente de Piedra" despite the map indicating so. So it cannot be used at all to go from Granada to Cordoba! Similarly the line Malaga-Sevilla only stops in Pedrera after Bobadilla. So you have to make a large negative trip to reach Granada, like this: Malaga->Pedrera->Granada which wastes time and increases costs.

Granada->Cordoba at least has 2 times a day a direct train, but it costs 35 euros, a huge amount for mere 180km! The bus costs 13 euros. In Poland a train trip of 180km does not cost more then 9 euros. And I want to go in the afternoon, but their promotional ticket is available only in the morning in this route o.O For going with cheaper trains there is completely no way at all. The only possible way is Granada->Bobadilla->Cordoba, but it has 5 minutes between changing trains, so if my first train is 5 minutes late and I miss the second one I will be in a tiny town with no way to get to my destination...

Cordoba->Sevilla is very fast and for a fair price so no complains here. This part I can do by rail at least.

Sevilla->south of Portugal. Well, this is doesn't even exist! I hope that they will some day finish up this gap because it is really annoying that there is no rail connection between Huelva and "Vila Real de Santo Antonio" in Portugal =(
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:33 PM   #1353
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Malaga-Granada can be done with a change of train at Bobadilla. There it arrive five directions of normal trains (not high speed ones, which have a different station).

As an example, you can leave Malaga in the morning (9:42) or evening (18:30) and waiting no more than one hour at Bobadilla to continue through Granada.

But what it is really is that "transversal" relations in Spain are not good... and they assure only "point to point" connections.

From any corner of Andalucia will be easier to go to Madrid than to other corner of Andalucia.

Andalucia-Murcia has the railway close since the 80s

Andalucia-Extremadura has only one train per day

Andalucia-Madrid has one train per hour Sevilla-Madrid, similar with Malaga-Madrid and some Granada-Madrid, Algeciras-Madrid, Cadiz-Madrid and Huelva-Madrid, as well as two daily Malaga-Barcelona and Sevilla-Barcelona entirely by the high speed rail with non-stop at Madrid.

So it is easier to go to Madrid from those cities than between them.
Additional, they operate an "Avant" train Malaga-Cordoba-Sevilla that runs 250 in the high speed line but with regional fares (more expensive than regional ones but cheaper than high speed).

Lines Madrid-Cordoba-Sevilla and Cordoba-Malaga are entirely high speed (different gauge). To go with those trains (Alvia) to Algeciras, Malaga, Huelva, Cadiz, Granada... they have to change gauge at Bobadilla, Sevilla, etc... and continuing by the normal rail.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 05:44 PM   #1354
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Bobadilla is one of the must-sees of Andalusia. Indeed, the regional services in that part of Andalusia are horrible (I had to wait there for 2 hours or so. All the station has to offer is a soft drink vending machine).

Take the bus from Málaga to Granada to Cordoba! It's not worth the pain to take the train there, believe me. Even if you have to wait "only" one hour in Bobadilla, the trains are painfully slow, too. It doesn't pay off for the better comfort the train has to offer in comparision to the coach.
Cordoba-Sevilla isn't that much of a problem by train (even the medium distance trains (which take about two hours if I remember correctly) are worth to be considered, not only AVE). I don't know about Sevilla-Lagos, but apparently the coach is teh preferred option there, too.

Regarding Portugal: The main corridor (Lisbon-Porto) indeed is well served, it doesn't take longer than by coach. However, lots of coaches travel via Fatima (which I wouln't recommend visiting after having seen it myself. It's rather dull and very weird (I'm Catholic myself, by the way). I'd rather go to Tomar, Batalha or Alcobaca as these places are worth being visited from a historical and artistic point of view. Fatima is a dull 50ies historicism church.
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Last edited by thun; April 25th, 2012 at 05:49 PM.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #1355
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As an example, you can leave Malaga in the morning (9:42) or evening (18:30) and waiting no more than one hour at Bobadilla to continue through Granada.
On hour is to long a wait. I returned from Paris to Bern last night, and my transfer in Basel was 3 minutes. That's the kind of coordination Swiss people are used too.

Quote:
Andalucia-Madrid has one train per hour Sevilla-Madrid, similar with Malaga-Madrid and some Granada-Madrid, Algeciras-Madrid, Cadiz-Madrid and Huelva-Madrid, as well as two daily Malaga-Barcelona and Sevilla-Barcelona entirely by the high speed rail with non-stop at Madrid.
And this is where RENFE fails... They run very nice trains, but they don't run a railway network.

They run a train every hour from Sevilla to Madrid, and frequent trains from Cadiz to Sevilla, but this does not yield many useful connections as the timetables are not coordinated. They make up for that by offering a few direct trains Cadiz - Madrid that are hardly faster than the fastest possible connection involving a change in Sevilla. However, there are also two Cadiz - Sevilla trains that arrive in Sevilla three minutes after the AVE to Madrid has left...
If they coordinated the times of the Cadiz - Sevilla trains better with the Sevilla - Madrid trains they could offer 4:20 trip times on Cadiz - Madrid almost every hour.

By coordinating the services on the different lines the value of you service increases dramatically, without the railway incurring that much in extra costs. That is something even SNCF now understands. When will RENFE?
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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #1356
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By coordinating the services on the different lines the value of you service increases dramatically, without the railway incurring that much in extra costs. That is something even SNCF now understands. When will RENFE?


It can be the thread most written in the Spanish forum... so as you can think, no forumers have answer to that but too many questions and proposals.

In my city, at least, they have coordinated two different services. There is a little commuter train that shuttles six stations. And there are several regional trains, between 3 to 6 per line. Those trains stops in several stations within the city.

Since this month they allow to take those trains with a commuter ticket. That means that, with the same number of trains they give more frequencies for commuter service. So it is easier to take it (sometimes one train per hour, some times every 15 minutes) and people is starting to take it.

More services to passengers, more passengers on trains.


At least it is a change...
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Old April 26th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #1357
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These are the old lines
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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #1358
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BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Feve, the state-owned railway company that runs the biggest metric-gauge railway network in Europe, that is, in Northern Spain (the Atlantic coast), plus a small commuter line in Cartagena, becomes a part of Renfe.

Feve becomes a part of Renfe.

Keep an eye on that, you trainspotters, something could happen.
Just in case, I recommend any of you to get to travel to these lines, especially the marvellous Bilbao to Leon via Cistierna route, and the Atlantic coastal line from Bilbao to Ferrol.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:46 PM   #1359
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That shouldn't be allowed. It creates a monopoly in the area.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #1360
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There is a monopoly at all. This is, a trip A to B can be run only on a line and it doesn't matter the name of the company.

The only difference is that there were difference rails and journeys, not anything else.

In the surroundings of Bilbao, San Sebastian, Valencia, Alicante, Oviedo and Barcelona there are lines of other companies rather than RENFE and there are no concurrence. If you want to go A to X, you may take RENFE and no other option. If you want to go A to Y, the other company, and RENFE serves nothing there.


At Spain there is a little concurrence in freight (it is free concurrence but few services of other companies different than Renfe). We will have to wait for concurrence on passengers.
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