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Incredible ‘new’ £8.1bn trainline linking two of Europe’s most beautiful cities

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This incredible high speed rail connects two of Europe’s most popular and beautiful cities in just two and a half hours. 

The 385.9-mile line carried 4.4 million passengers in 2019, which was inaugurated in February 2008. Beginning in Barcelona-Sants, the train stops in just Zaragoza-Delicias before arriving at Madrid-Puerta de Atocha. 

The line is also connected with the Perpignan-Barcelona rail line leading into France, connecting it to the wider European high speed network

Trains are operated by the national railway, Renfe, under the AVE and Avlo brands, as well as by private competitors, Ouigo Espana and Iryo.

Iyro – the brand of Intermodalidad de Levante S.A. (ILSA) – also offers services from Madrid to Valencia, Alicante, Malaga and Seville.

Iyro offers four different classes on its trains. Inical and Singular, the second class carriages, the latter of which is designated to business travel, Singular Only You, which does not have a meal included and Infinita, which does offer a meal.

A one-way Infinita seat can be bought for just £33.60. This ticket includes a full onboard meal service, a small personal rubbish bin, tray table and footrest, an adjustable armrest and seat and a window shade.

It also has free high-speed wifi and a limited selection of films to pass the time. The onboard meal can be preselected online. Cold toilets are handed out on departure, according to Traveling Adventures With Dan on Youtube. 

Barcelona’s unique archiecture is a must-see. This includes, of course, the Sagrada Família, but also Park Güell and Casa Batlló. The city’s Gothic Quarter, including the Cathedral of Barcelona must be explored. 

The train’s only other stop is Zaragoza-Delicias, in Aragon. The autonomous community’s terrain ranges from permanent glaciers, to orchands and lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spain’s largest river in volume, which runs through the entire region. This pit stop is needed if you wish to experience more rural spain. 

Finally, a walking tour of Madrid, with its cathedral, royal palace and old town is a must. One can also experience winery experience and tasting sessions, or partake in a cooking class. You could even take a hot air balloon ride! 

Onboard the train can also be found a restaurant and bar for those not offered the meal or in need of more and there are a couple of toilets in every car. 

On top of being fast, the trains depart incredibly regularly, with an average of 34 trains per day, with tickets costing as little as £6.28. 

The trains have been praised by the likes of reservation service Rail Ninja who said the “trains pride themselves on exemplary punctuality, boast a broad timetable”.

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