Spain’s new high-speed trains launch next year – and tickets are on sale for €1

The Ouigo network will link Madrid and Barcelona, with regular seats costing ‘half current prices’

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
UK Editor
Ouigo train
Photograph: ClS /

So most of us haven’t actually been able to stray very far these past six months. But we’ve all had a lot of time to at least think about the way we travel – and with airlines and passengers alike finally coming to terms with the harm flying is causing the planet, we’d wager your international trips are going to look a lot greener in the years to come.

Trains and other sustainable forms of transport, it seems, are very much back in. Earlier this summer, in fact, an official report proposed a series of ultra-rapid rail routes that would be a lot more eco-friendly than flying and help tourism recover across Europe, including one line that could take you from Paris to Berlin in just four hours. A new, super-cheap train linking Budapest, Vienna and Prague launched earlier this month, aiming to lure environmentally-conscious city-breakers.

Now Spain is getting in on the post-lockdown rail revolution too. From March next year, French high-speed train operator Ouigo is to start running services between Madrid and Barcelona, with stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona along the way.

To celebrate, it is selling 10,000 seats for any trips on this route for just €1 from 6pm Spanish time (5pm BST, 12pm EDT, 2am AEST) tonight. The tickets will be available through the firm’s website.

Ouigo, which is part of French national rail firm SNCF, said full ticket prices for the double-decker trains would be around half what they are now (a train from Barcelona to Madrid currently costs between €45 and €110, depending on the time of day).

The company eventually hopes to expand its high-speed Spanish network to destinations including Valencia, Alicante, Córdoba, Seville and Málaga. So if Ouigo really does live up to that price promise, a multi-stop train trip across a vast swath of Spain will suddenly become very affordable indeed. Buen viaje!

More brilliant plans:

‘Zero-emission’ hydrogen planes could soon be a reality
Europe is getting a teamLab art space, and it’s going to be mindblowing
A massive Game of Thrones studio tour is opening in Northern Ireland

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