Alta Velocidad Española (AVE)
Madrid Atocha Train Station, Madrid, Spain
Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) Madrid Reviews
High-Speed trains in Spain Oct 22, 2013
During my visit in Spain I had to take the high-speed train from Madrid to Zaragoza and back. The service is named Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) and operated by Renfe Operadora, which is the Spanish national railway company. The trains travels at speeds of up to 310 km/h, even though the highest speed I saw on my trips was 301 km/h. Alta Velocidad Española translates to "Spanish High Speed", but the initials are also a play on the word ave, meaning "bird". As of June 2013, the Spanish AVE system is the longest HSR network in Europe with 3,100 km and the second in the world, after China.
I found the service very precise and easy to use and less expensive than I had expected. The tickets can be bought on the Internet, by an app or in the ticket office. The high-speed trains are almost all on time, as less than 0,16 percent of the trains are delayed more than 5 minutes. If your train is delayed more than 5 min you get a full refund on the ticket. I took a ticket in what they call the tourist class and the ticket cost 43 euro each way, which I found fair for a trip that takes you 350 km in less than 1,5 hrs. The seats were nice and the trip was very smooth.
Part of the Quick trips to wonderful Spain travel blog
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