Renfe’s low-cost branch Avlo is set to launch a new service connecting Madrid and the southeastern region of Murcia, starting December 10th, 2023. This initiative marks a significant expansion in Spain’s rail network, offering an affordable and efficient travel option for residents and tourists alike.
The new Madrid-Murcia Avlo train represents the fifth rail link between the two regions, following the inauguration of the first high-speed AVE connection in 2022—a long-awaited development after a twenty-year gap. This new service solidifies the connection between the capital and one of Spain’s distant regions, bringing them closer than ever.
Journey Time, Daily Services, and Stops
The journey on the Avlo train will take approximately three and a half hours, a competitive travel time for those looking to traverse the Spanish landscape. The train departs from Madrid’s Chamartín station and includes stops at six key locations: Cuenca, Albacete, Villena, Alicante, Elche, and Orihuela, before reaching its final destination in Murcia.
Travelers will have the convenience of one Avlo train in each direction daily, with departures scheduled for early morning from both Madrid and Murcia. This complements the four existing daily AVE trains on the same route, offering more choices to commuters and tourists.
Prices and Discounts
A standout feature of the Avlo service is its affordability. Ticket prices start as low as €7 one way, making it a budget-friendly option compared to the pricier AVE trains. Children under 14 enjoy even lower fares, starting from €5, with discounts available for large families ranging from 20 to 50 percent. However, it’s important to note that these are dynamic prices, subject to change based on travel periods.
Expansion and Competitors
Avlo’s expansion to include Murcia builds on its successful Madrid-Alicante service launched in March 2023. The December launch effectively extends this line to Elche, Orihuela, and Murcia, taking just an hour from Alicante to Murcia.
This expansion coincides with Volotea’s new low-cost flight between Madrid and Murcia, set to begin on December 1st. Moreover, Ouigo, another private rail operator, has received approval to start a Madrid-Murcia low-cost service in 2024, promising even shorter travel times and competitive pricing.
Impact on Regional Connectivity
Murcia, along with Extremadura, has been known for its limited railway systems. Spain, boasting one of the most extensive rail infrastructures in the world, sees this expansion as a crucial step in enhancing regional connectivity. The increase in train options from Murcia to Madrid is a positive development, making train travel throughout Spain more accessible and affordable for everyone.
In conclusion, the introduction of the new Avlo service not only offers a cost-effective travel alternative but also represents a significant stride in improving Spain’s rail network, particularly benefiting historically underserved regions like Murcia.