Every few days, Spain seems to be blessed with a new low-cost, high-speed train route. The latest is one of the most significant yet, running between Madrid and the southern city of Seville for just under €10 each way. It joins similarly priced, super-speedy new routes between Madrid and Barcelona, which opened in 2021, and between Madrid, Valencia and Alicante, which are set to open later this year.
A lot of these new lines are the result of competition between Avlo, a service run by Spanish national train operator Renfe, and Ouigo, which is run by French provider SNCF. The latter opened a high-speed, €9 (£7.50, $10.20) route between Madrid and Barcelona in 2021, which prompted Avlo to do the same, but charge only €7. Cheeky stuff, eh?
So when Ouigo recently announced that it intended to open a new high-speed, low-budget line between Madrid and Seville sometime in 2023, Avlo, obviously, was prompted to do the same. And later this year the competition could get even spicier. A third competitor, ILSA, is entering the market with its Iryo trains, which are set to run swish new services between Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Málaga, Córdoba, Valencia, Alicante and Zaragoza.
Spanish train gossip has never been so juicy. Both Avlo and Ouigo’s new routes are expected to take just over two and a half hours, with similar policies on baggage (limited to just hand luggage) and upgrade options. They’re set to come into service by the end of 2023.