Spain’s geography is quite unique in Europe: Madrid, its centrally-located capital city, stands surrounded by a host of regional capitals spread along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, including Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbo. And that’s probably why planes would easily have replaced trains if not for two major rail rejuvenation projects in the Eighties: the AVE, super-fast trains that run up to 220mph while linking major cities with Madrid, and hotel-trains, Spain’s “hotels on wheels” that serve routes with lesser traffic. Both are highly convenient, offer a superior experience, and boast one of the best on-board (fresh) food service in Europe.
Renfe is the modern, extensive and efficient railway system that makes train travel in Spain delightful. Renfe Operadora (RENFE) is Spain’s state-owned major railway operator; they offer every level of rail service, from local destinations to high-speed InterCity links
The Spanish State railways are under development with major transformations and modernisation in process on their 15,000 km of railway. The AVE, the Spanish High Speed rail line, has made long distances shrink over the years. The high-speed (300km/h) rail line for Spain’s AVE service between Madrid and Seville became fully operational in 1991. The second high-speed rail line that Renfe operates from Madrid to Barcelona was completed in 2007. With the AVE and Renfe, you can easily visit the major cities such as Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Barcelona and the latest destination, Valencia which is just 1 hour and 38 minutes from Madrid.
Renfe is also constantly updating the Media Distancia network and travelling times between major cities are being reduced all the time.
RENFE also operate the moderate-speed Alaris line between Madrid and Valencia. The Media Distancia network is also constantly being updated and travelling times between major cities are coming down all the time.
Moreover, RENFE operate commuter trains known as Cercanias in eleven metropolitan areas, including Madrid and Barcelona.