Information published on 22 October 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Spain: Renfe launches new services and cuts travel time between Madrid and Galicia with entry into service of the high-speed section between Zamora and Pedralba

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On Tuesday 27 October, Renfe will launch a new service between Pontevedra, Vilagarcía de Arousa, Santiago and Madrid and will improve travel times on Alvia Galicia-Madrid trains thanks to the commissioning of the high-speed section between Zamora and Pedralba. Services between Galicia, Zamora and Madrid are being increased from three to four in each direction. Tickets for these services are now on sale on the Renfe website.

Commissioning of the new 110-kilometre section of high-speed line reduces travel time between Madrid and each of the Galician capitals, representing a milestone in rail transport between the two communities. The trip from Madrid and Pontevedra is being shortened by one hour and 26 minutes, and the trip to Lugo will be one hour and two minutes shorter. Journey times to Santiago de Compostela, Ourense, Vigo and A Coruña are shortened by 41 minutes, 39 minutes, 31 minutes and 24 minutes, respectively. Prices will be increased by an average of five per cent in line with the new infrastructure conditions, although Renfe will continue to offer promotional seats with discounts ranging from 30 to 70 per cent.

It is the first time that travel times have been shorted on this route since 2016, when travel on the Olmedo-Zamora section was reduced by 25-30 minutes.

Additional services
In addition to reduced travel times, services are also being increased to a total of eight - four in each direction - with the creation of a new connection between Madrid-Santiago-Pontevedra and vice versa, so that Vilagarcía de Arousa will now have a direct Alvia train originating or arriving in Madrid.
Renfe plans to continue increasing frequency until pre-covid supply is recovered as demand increases.

New links
Taking advantage of the synergies of travel times and direct services, links are also being created to the various origins and destinations through Media Distancia or Avant trains linking with Alvia trains in Ourense and Santiago de Compostela and guaranteeing service provision.

Galician cities will thus increase their connections with Madrid, since the new links are being added to direct routes:

  • Madrid-Ourense: eight services/day (direct)
  • Madrid-Santiago: eight services/day (four direct and four with a connection in Ourense)
  • Madrid-A Coruña: eight services/day (two direct and six with a connection in Santiago)
  • Madrid-Lugo: five services/day (two direct and three with connection in Ourense)
  • Madrid-Vigo: four services/day (two direct and two with connection in Santiago)
  • Madrid-Pontevedra: six services/day (four direct and two with connection in Santiago)

Public service management in Galicia will increase its services in order to meet needs. The offer will be expanded with six new services on the following routes: Santiago-A Coruña (one per direction), Santiago-Vigo (one per direction), Ourense-Lugo (one per direction). In addition, the Vigo-A Coruña service, which has run from Monday to Friday up to now, is being extended to become a daily service.

Alternative road plan
Due to works on the new Sanabria AV station, which will replace the current Puebla de Sanabria station, Renfe is implementing an alternative road plan to and from A Gudiña station for travellers in Puebla de Sanabria. The plan will remain in place until completion of the works.

Travel safely on board
Renfe has obtained AENOR certification against Covid-19 for passenger transport following an evaluation of the protocols implemented by the operator on its commercial services, which affect the Ave, Alvia, Euromed and Intercity trains, as well as Avant trains as of this month. Renfe is working to ensure that certification is extended to the entire train fleet, including Cercanías and Media Distancia services. The objective of this initiative is to offer travellers maximum confidence when travelling, encouraging them to resume mobility via rail transport.

The Renfe protocols certified by AENOR take account of all aspects of the traveller’s interaction with the company’s services before, during and after the end of their trip. These include processes such as check-in and access to trains, distribution of passengers, cleaning and disinfection of the train interior, as well as protection measures for travellers and employees.

The use of masks is mandatory for all travellers throughout train journeys.

(Source: Renfe)