The liberalisation of Spain’s rail service continues, less than a year since the first train not operated by state rail provider Renfe came into operation.
This time it’s Ouigo, a subsidiary of France’s SNCF, which has announced a new low-cost route between the Spanish capital of Madrid and the Valencian city of Alicante.
The service, which will begin this autumn without a confirmed start date yet, will offer two daily services in each direction, including a stop in the Castilla-La Mancha city of Albacete.
One-way ticket prices will start at €9 and the duration of the journey will be approximately two hours and a half.
Ouigo trains have two floors and seat for 509 passengers.
Ouigo began operating in Spain in 2021 with another two-and-a-half hour service between Madrid and Barcelona that also stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona.
The French rail company also plans to launch a Madrid-Valencia route this spring, with several daily services in each direction. By 2023, there are hopes that there will be new Ouigo routes connecting the Spanish capital with the southern Andalusia region.
Avlo, the new low-cost subsidiary of Spain’s public rail provider Renfe and a direct competitor of Ouigo, will launch a new high-speed train route between Madrid and Valencia even sooner on February 21st 2022, with tickets going for as little as €7.
Ouigo has so far sold one-way tickets for €9 at the lowest. Children under the age of 14 enjoy a flat fee of €5, as long as an adult ticket is also purchased (maximum of two discount child tickets per adult).
Most tickets on both Avlo and Ouigo are not available for the minimum price, and yet are still considerably cheaper than tickets for high-speed services on sale on the – until recently – only official rail company in Spain: Renfe.
Ouigo has had a successful start since it’s first train left the station in May 2021, with 1.4 million passengers so far.