SPANISH operator Renfe’s new low-cost, high-speed Avlo service began operating between Madrid and Barcelona on June 23.
Services had been due to start on April 6 2020, but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first train left Figueres-Vilafant station at 05:35 bound for Madrid Puerta de Atocha. The inaugural train from the Spanish capital to Barcelona-Sants left at 06:20.
Four return services are operating between the two cities, with tickets starting at €7 each way. The number of trains operating could be increased depending on demand. Currently they stop in all the cities in the Northeast Corridor: Madrid, Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida, Tarragona, Barcelona, Girona and Figueres.
There are 438 seats per train, 20% more than the current class 112 trains, with maximum speeds of 330km/h. They are marketed only as economy class, and the ticket includes free luggage - a cabin suitcase plus handbag or backpack. There is also Wi-Fi and vending machines for catering.
Tickets are managed through a dynamic system, which always offers the best price available for the requested fare. Each passenger can add additional services to their trip, including seat selection, changes or cancellations of tickets, and additional luggage.
Including both Ave and Avlo, Renfe now operates 20 trains daily in each direction (40 in total) between Barcelona and Madrid, offering a total of 16,000 seats.
French National Railways (SNCF) launched its low-cost Ouigo service in Spain on May 10.