The new Smart Train service will be branded Eva and aims to broaden the appeal of rail travel to groups more likely to travel long distances by air or road by offering a door-to-door service integrated with other modes.
Fares will be 20-25% lower than on standard AVE high-speed services. Only electronic tickets will be sold and these will include all connecting services selected by the passenger such as metro or commuter rail connections, taxis or car rental.
Trains will feature 3+3 seating in standard class as well as spaces for small groups of up to six people. On-board Wi-Fi will be provided to enable passengers to make the best use of the Eva App, which will keep passengers informed about their journey, and places of interest en route and at their destination.
Renfe will operate five services a day between Madrid Atocha and the new El Prat de Llobregat intermodal hub near Barcelona Airport, with one intermediate stop at Camp de Tarragona.
Three Talgo S102 high-speed trains will be dedicated to Eva services, which are due to be launched in the first quarter of 2019.
Renfe recorded a 4.7% increase in traffic on the Madrid - Barcelona AVE route with more than 4.1 passenger journeys, representing a 65% market share with air. Renfe aims to achieve ridership of around 1 million passengers per year on the launch Eva route.