Information published on 18 March 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 390.

Spain: Madrid-Barcelona AVE high speed train carries 33 million passengers in first six years of operations

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During its six years in business, Renfe’s AVE high speed rail network service along the Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona corridor has transported a total of 33.355 million passengers. Almost 20 million passengers have used the service linking Catalonia to Madrid. The AVE high speed service has registered a 98% punctuality rate.

Between February 2013 and February 2014, 5.990 million passengers used the AVE service along this corridor – an increase of 18.9% compared to the previous year. The service connecting Madrid and Barcelona saw an 18% increase in passenger use this same year, with a total of 3.184 million passengers, making it the most frequently used service. During this period, 106,596 AVE trains were operated with an average occupancy rate of 78.8%. With regard to sales channels, 41.9% of revenue last year was made through agencies, followed by 41.8% via the website www.renfe.com and 12.1% through the various points of sale within railway stations.

The high speed train line connecting Madrid and Barcelona was inaugurated in late February 2008 with 17 trains daily in each direction and a travel time of two hours 38 minutes. Progressively, the number of trains has expanded to 28 daily connections thanks to the popularity of the product. The journey is currently made in two hours 30 minutes.

Quality of service

The travel profile of customers on the service connecting Madrid to Barcelona is a person between 35 – 60 years of age (61.1%), who travels for business (65.3%) or for leisure and/or family (29.5%), and makes around 21 journeys per year. 47.5% of customers travel by train at least once a month.

Finally, the overall service scores 8.23 points on a scale of 0 to 10, and eight out of 10 customers recommend using the AVE service on this corridor. Punctuality and speed feature among the top criteria for customers.

(Source: Renfe)