Spain launches new ‘low-cost’ high speed train between Madrid and Barcelona

The joys of speeding across Spain’s vast countryside in a bullet train will soon become a more affordable pleasure with the announcement that RENFE are developing a low-cost alternative.

Spain launches new ‘low-cost’ high speed train between Madrid and Barcelona
Photo: Ministerio de Fomento

Íñigo de la Serna, Spain’s minister of Publics Works unveiled plans to launch a new service in 2018, that will initially run between Madrid and Barcelona.

The route, which will be called the EVA, would begin with five trains in each direction each day and aim to transport over a million passengers in the first year, the minister said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The ticket price will be at least 25 percent cheaper than the current service between Madrid and Barcelona and would operate not from Barcelona-Sants station in the centre of the Catalan capital but a new hub in El Prat de Llobregat, a satellite town near the airport.

The current AVE service hurtles the 621km (386 miles) between Madrid and Barcelona in under three hours reaching a speed above 310 km/h.

The route was inaugurated in 2008 and competes with flights between the two cities  but tickets cost an average of €98 each way, althougher cheaper deals are available to savvy travellers who book in advance.

The new budget service is designed to attract a younger generation who generally make the journey by coach, explained the minister.