Renfe: Train Information, Schedules and Tickets

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Renfe Trains

Renfe is Spain's national train provider and a popular way to travel around the country. With GoEuro, travelers can find train route information and buy Renfe train tickets. GoEuro's search allows you to select between high-speed AVE trains and cheaper Regional Express trains. Renfe trains also travel from Spain into France in cooperation with France's national train company, SNCF. Book the cheapest Spanish train tickets with GoEuro today.

History of Renfe

The Spanish state railway company, Renfe, was created in 1941 to run the nation's rail network when it was nationalized. Renfe operates a wide variety of services ranging from regional rural lines and commuter links to the modern, high-speed AVE intercity trains. Renfe train routes cover around 15,000 kilometers of Spain.

Renfe Stations and Destinations

Renfe has major hubs in Madrid and Barcelona, rail services to all the regions of Spain and international routes to France and Portugal. Spain has invested substantially in developing its high-speed AVE services. These lines now connect Madrid with Barcelona, Malaga, Seville, Alicante, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Santiago De Compostela, La Coruna and points in-between, significantly reducing the times of long-distance train journeys across much of Spain.

Renfe Services

Some of Renfe's intercity services feature a cafe offering hot meals. AVE trains provide an in-seat meal service or a snack trolley. Many train stations on the AVE network include club lounges for holders of first-class tickets. The company's Atendo service provides trained personnel to assist disabled passengers and ease access to trains and station facilities. Onboard luggage on Renfe trains is restricted to 3 items per passenger. The Renfe network includes several long-distance sleeper routes with a variety of berths and cabins available for reservation.

Renfe Ticket Types

Renfe's ticket system offers first and standard class seats and includes a wide variety of discounts. Buying promo or promo+ tickets in advance online can earn a discount of up to 70% of the regular price, but these tickets have limited flexibility. Return tickets usually offer a discount of 20% on the full fare. Groups can book a table for four with a saving of 60% on the normal price. Children's tickets offer a 40% reduction, with children under 4 traveling for free.

Renfe Train Types

Renfe operates different types of trains depending on the route. Renfe offers: Suburban trains, which usually operate within a single province; Middle-Distance trains, which travel within an autonomous region and adjacent communities; and Long-Distance trains, which travel from one end of Spain to the other. Long-Distance Renfe trains feature numerous services including meals, refreshments, newspapers and movies.

Renfe's fleet of trains include:

  • AVE: These are Renfe's high-speed trains, most commonly used for long-distance routes. The AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona is the most popular high-speed train route in Spain. AVE trains offer a variety of services, including a "silent car" for those wishing to rest for the duration of their journey.

  • Alvia: Alvia trains operate on AVE tracks at lower speeds. Alvia trains are also used to reach destinations in Spain which are not located on AVE routes.

  • Euromed: Euromed trains connect cities along Spain's Mediterranean coast. The train from Barcelona to Valencia is the most popular Euromed Renfe route.

  • Altaria: The main Altaria train routes are trains from Madrid to Murcia, Madrid to Granada, and Granada to Algeciras.

  • Trenhotel: Renfe's night train service, Trenhotel's most popular routes is the train from Madrid to Lisbon.

High-Speed Trains in Spain

Renfe Train Tickets and Discounts

The price of Renfe train tickets vary depending on both the route and type of train. However, it is possible to get discounts:

  • for children
  • for large families
  • for people over 65 years old
  • for round trip train journeys
  • for occasional promotions

Renfe ticket types include: one-way, round-trip, group and subscription. Each ticket type has specific terms and conditions which should be read before purchasing.

Renfe offers several discount cards and loyalty programs including:

  • Renfe Youth Card + 50: Travelers under 26 years old can get a 50% discount on some types of train tickets.
  • Renfe Gold Card: Available for travelers over 60 years old, this card offers discounts between 25-40% on certain train trips.