After 20 years and an investment of approximately €4 billion, Spain is finally getting a new high-speed train. The much-anticipated service will run between the Spanish capital Madrid and Asturias, a gorgeous region on the north-western coast, and should shorten travel time by more than one hour.
Raquel Sánchez, the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, announced the route will be inaugurated on November 29, and the first service will depart on November 30.
This will be the first time that the service has stretched all the way to Asturias – and it’s all been made possible by the opening of the Pajares Bypass. With much of the route made up of tunnels, the construction process for the new service has been complex. But now Asturias, a region home to mountains, beaches and maritime history, will be significantly more accessible from the rest of Spain.
The new line is estimated to reduce journey time between Asturias and Madrid by one hour and 15 minutes, meaning it will take around three and a half hours from the end of November.
The plan is to maintain the same number of services that currently run, but the Avril trains that will operate on the route from early 2024 have more seats, so the service’s capacity will also be increased.
We’re still awaiting announcements about ticket releases and prices, so watch this space for more info.
The revival of rail travel in Europe
Time Out has extensively covered Europe’s train travel renaissance, from the brand-new sleeper trains that have launched this year to new high-speed services. And it’s not just about convenience: many European countries are implementing measures to make train travel more affordable, with countries such as Germany, Portugal and France launching budget-friendly monthly transport passes.
Did you see that these are the best budget-friendly European cities to visit this winter?
Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.