New low-cost high-speed trains in Spain with capacity for 580 passengers

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low-cost high-speed train

After long delays from the manufacturer, a new train is finally being added to the daily low-cost high-speed train service between Barcelona and Madrid. It has a capacity of 581 passengers.

The trains can reach a speed of 300 kilometres per hour. They will connect Catalonia’s Figueres-Vilafant northern train station with the Spanish capital. People can get on and off in Girona, Barcelona, Camp de Tarragona and Lleida.

Modern and competitive trains

These are the “most modern” trains that will allow Renfe “to be more competitive and transport more people to more destinations,” said Renfe’s Ricard Rivera. Avlo, which stands for ‘Alta Velocidad Low Cost’ (low-cost high-speed), was Renfe’s response to the liberalisation of the high-speed train market in Spain and the arrival of other operators such as France’s Ouigo and Italy’s Iryo.

Until December, Avlo has already sold more than 121,000 tickets for travel with its latest addition, the S106 model. This model will replace the former 112 series. In total, Avlo will increase its weekly capacity from 24,000 seats to 28,000.

Increased capacity and comfort

“It is an honour to offer this new model,” Rivera said a few minutes before arriving at Camp de Tarragona station, 30 minutes from Barcelona. Compared to the previous model, the S106 has a capacity of 581 people. That´s 144 more passengers than its predecessor with 438 seats. One of the most important features of the seating arrangement is that it has a three-two configuration, similar to that in an airplane.

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Passenger reactions

Another important feature of the new models is the comfort of the train, many passengers told the Spanish media present at the arrival. “The new seating arrangement does not restrict space compared to the two-row seat. It feels like we are travelling in an airplane, which many of us are already used to,” said one of the passengers. Another passenger also emphasised that the train feels spacious.

New routes

Renfe has received 10 of the 30 units of the S106 train. These are produced by the Spanish company Talgo. Four of the trains are already in use on the Barcelona-Madrid low-cost train line, while another is pending. The other trains will provide high-speed routes between Madrid and the Asturias region of northern Spain and new destinations in the northwestern region of Galicia.

In Catalonia, Lleida-Pirineus station and Camp de Tarragona station in particular will “benefit enormously” from the new additions, Rivera said. He also predicts a positive effect on many other stations such as Girona and Zaragoza. Talgo was expected to deliver the Avril or S106 trains as early as 2021, but some adjustments pushed the delivery date to July 2022. However, the first units only started running on Spanish rails in May 2024. Due to these delays, Renfe has announced that they will file complaints against Talgo.

Also read: Madrid-Murcia from 7 euros with ‘low cost’ high-speed train

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