MADRID – As of this week, a new AVE train route is operational between Madrid and the region of Galicia. 20 years of work preceded this and no fewer than 6 different ministers and 4 prime ministers were involved. The first commercial ride will take place on Tuesday.
The route will be officially inaugurated on Monday and the train will travel with the Spanish King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Sánchez, Minister Díaz of Employment and Minister Sánchez of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to Galicia. The AVE makes a stop in Zamora and regional presidents Alberto Núñez Feijóo of Galicia and Alfonso Fernández Mañueco of Castile and León also join the group. In A Gudiña a ceremony takes place in the afternoon.
Delay of Avril trains
The route from Madrid to A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra, and Vigo, which will be operational from Tuesday, will now take 20 minutes longer than originally planned. The 20-minute time gain will only be achieved in the second phase, when the so-called Avril train (series 106 of the Spanish Talgo train) becomes available, which reaches a speed of 330 kilometers per hour. According to the Ministry of Transport, these trains will be deployed in the summer of 2022.
North-west of Spain more accessible
Minister Sánchez called the new AVE route a “Galician train revolution that will expand rail services in an unprecedented way”. With a new link between Pedralba de la Pradería and Ourense, the Ourense-Madrid section now takes 2 hours and 15 minutes; Vigo-Madrid 4 hours 16 minutes; Pontevedra-Madrid 4 hours; Santiago-Madrid 3 hours 20 minutes and A Coruña-Madrid 3 hours 51 minutes. This reduces the travel time of a ride with the AVE from Madrid to Ourense by just under 1.5 hours, to Vigo and Pontevedra by 54 minutes, to Santiago by an hour, and to A Coruña by more than an hour. As of December 21, more trains will also be used daily on the route between Madrid and Galicia.
Avlo to Galicia too
Renfe director Isaías Táboas recently announced the low-cost Avlo train will also be used on the new route. Currently, this train runs between Madrid and Barcelona for a starting price of €7. According to Táboas, in the region of Galicia, around 6 million inhabitants now travel by public transport. However, only 10% of them use the train. Therefore, Táboas wants to see this percentage rise to a possible 50%. Consequently, to promote the new route, Renfe has made 250,000 AVE tickets available at a discounted price of €15. This is regardless of the departure and arrival stations.