From Madrid to Lisbon in 3 hours with the new AVE

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AVE

One of the biggest complaints from travellers between Madrid and Portugal is the long travel time. A train journey between the two capitals currently takes more than 9 hours and requires two changes. The good news is that the AVE connection between Madrid and Lisbon has a new official date.

The planned new high-speed line will significantly reduce travel time and the authorities in both countries plan to have it running in 2034.

Environmentally friendly and fast

The new route will run via Extremadura. Not only does it shorten travel time, such a train route also reduces pollution and improves energy efficiency. The fact that it will take a relatively long time before the fast train can start running is because a new bridge must first be built over the Tagus River. Nevertheless, the first improvements will be noticeable in three years’ time, in 2027. Then the travel time will be reduced to 6 hours.

Improvements in Portugal

In addition to the connection between Madrid and Lisbon, there are also plans to better connect other Portuguese cities. For example, work is being done on a connection between Porto and Vigo that will take only 50 minutes, Porto and Lisbon in 1 hour and 15 minutes and Lisbon and Elvas in one hour.

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Initial situation

The work is expected to last 9 years and is currently still in the planning phase. So far, 150 kilometres of line have already been installed between Plasencia, Cáceres and Badajoz. The aim is to reduce the travel time from the current 9 hours by two transfers through a combination of conventional and high-speed lines.

Success of Renfe’s free subscriptions

Furthermore, the Spanish rail company Renfe recently announced the figures for the use of free season tickets. In the first four months of this year, a total of 2.76 million free season tickets were issued for the short-distance trains of Cercanías and Rodalies and the medium-distance trains. Of the total subscriptions used, more than 1.71 million were for Cercanías and Rodalies, and more than 843,790 for Media Distancia. Travellers can still obtain these free subscriptions for use until August 31, 2024.

AVE Madrid-Gijón in 3.5 hours

Renfe has also announced that the new AVE S106 trains will soon enter commercial service. From Tuesday 21 May, the AVE will serve the Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor to Gijón in Asturias route. The trip starts at 6.58 am and the arrival in Gijón is scheduled for 10.34 am.

Also read: By night train from Amsterdam to Barcelona

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