Rail Travel in Spain

Rail Travel to and in Spain

Spain has an extensive rail travel system with a wide range of High Speed, Long Distance, Regional, and Commuter trains. The national network is known as RENFE. For information and reservation on any RENFE service visit www.renfe.es

Al Andalus

Al Andalus

In Spain however there are a number of more outstanding rail travel products. Here the art of travelling in style has not been lost. The following are a few of its more outstanding rail products:

AVE.

High speed AVE lines cover the following routes to the south of Spain: · AVE Madrid-Sevilla, going through Ciudad Real, Puertollano and Córdoba (2 hours and 15 minutes).

· TALGO 200 Málaga, from Madrid, going as far as Torremolinos and Fuengirola (4 hours and 35 minutes).

· TALGO 200 Cádiz-Huelva, from Madrid to Cádiz going through Jerez de la Frontera (4 hours and 50 minutes), and from Madrid to Huelva (4 hours and 25 minutes).

· TALGO 200 Algeciras, from Madrid, going through Ronda (5 hours and 50 minutes).

· ALARIS. A train that covers the Madrid-Valencia route in 3 hours and 30 minutes, going through Albacete and Xátiva; some departures go as far as Gandía and Castellón.

· ALTARIA. A train that covers the Madrid-Alicante route in 3 hours and 30 minutes, going through Aranjuez and Albacete.

· ARCO. A train that covers the Barcelona-Valencia route stopping in the major cities along the Mediterranean coast. Some departures go as far as Portbou and Murcia.

· EUROMED. A train that covers the Barcelona-Alicante route in 4 hours and 35 minutes, going through Tarragona, Castellón and Valencia.

· CATALAN TALGO. A a day train that covers the Barcelona-Montpellier route.

· MARE NOSTRUM. A a day train that covers the Cartagena-Barcelona-Montpellier route.· International TrainHotels, such as Lusitania (Madrid-Lisbon), Francisco de Goya (Madrid-Paris), Joan Miró (Barcelona-Paris), Salvador Dalí (Barcelona-Milan), and Pau Casals (Barcelona-Zurich) provide comfortable and stylish night travel.

Rail passes, such as SPAIN FLEXIPASS, IBERIC RAILPASS, EURAIL PASS, and EUROPASS are available to European and non-European residents. Tickets for some of the above mentioned trains, rail passes, and a wide range of RENFE train products can be purchased in the U.S. through Rail Europe Group They have been selling European rail travel products for over 60 years so they really know their stuff !

How about about rail travel with the Andalus Expreso ?

Now if you are in for something really special, and I mean really, really special, style Orient Express, but with the extraordinary scenery of Spain’s most breathtaking landscape as a bonus you absolutely must try the Al Andalus Express.

AL ANDALUS EXPRESO is one of Europe’s most luxurious sightseeing trains which runs through Andalucia with classic cars restored and refurbished in modern “grand luxe” style.

There are five sleeping cars with grand-deluxe bedroom/salon accommodations:

· MEDINA AZAHARA Model WR-3562. Was built in Naval yards in Bilbao in 1930 as a dining car and was used as such for many years coupled to the most distinguished trains of Europe. In 1985 it was rebuilt and restored with the finest materials in order to commence its new life as the games and lounge car on the AL ANDALUS EXPRESS. In 1988 new bogies and suspension were added – GC Grand Comfort.

· ALHAMBRA Model WR-3579. Built as a restaurant car in 1929 in Charantaises, France, and arriving for the first time in Spain in 1941. The car was rebuilt in 1985 for the AL ANDALUS EXPRESS, later undergoing an interior refit in 1988, at which time new bogies were fitted with new Pennsylvania type suspension, GC Grand Comfort.

· GIBRALFARO Model WR-3395. Built in Great Britain by Metropolitan in 1929 and transferred to Spain immediately afterwards. As a result, the car has been some 60 years in service in Spain. In 1985 and 1988 the car underwent the same modifications as the Alhambra.

· GIRALDA Model WR-3582. This was originally a restaurant car for Wagons Lits, built in France in 1929 for the service on luxury trains. The car arrived in Spain in 1941 and was rebuilt in 1985 for its service with the AL ANDALUS EXPRESS.

Its external coachwork and its internal décor has been restored incorporating at the same time a new configuration of its internal space. In 1988 new bogies were fitted with Pennsylvania type suspension, GC Grand Comfort.

You don’t have to be an amateur of rail travel to enjoy this trip, the ambiance, the service, food and wine ( and sherry of course ) are all of unsurpassed quality.

The Al Andalus Express brings back the great days of railway travelling in style from an era before World War II.

Although it is not cheap (around 3000$/ person for a 7 day trip), it is always hard to get a ticket for the trips so better plan ahead !

There are two trips possible starting from Madrid with the AVE to Sevilla where you board the Andalus Expreso or starting directly in Sevilla with the Andalus Expreso.

The route is as follows : Madrid – Sevilla – Cordoba –(Baeza – Ubeda) – Granada – Bobadilla – (Ronda) – Jerez de la Frontera – Sevilla – Madrid. Places in italic are excursions visited by luxury coach.

For a good choice of hotels with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Spain for more information.