Ouigo’s Madrid-Murcia launch

A New Era in High-Speed Rail Image: Shutterstock/ ClS

OUIGO, the French high-speed train operator, will begin ticket sales for its Murcia to Madrid route on May 22. However, the line is not open yet due to ongoing construction at Madrid’s Chamartín station by Adif, disrupting Ouigo’s initial plans.

Construction Delays Impact Ouigo’s Plans

Initially slated for a June launch, commencement may be delayed due to the unexpected construction, authorised by Adif. Nevertheless, Ouigo aims to start services this summer with two double-decker trains per direction, offering a weekly capacity of 14,000 seats.

Ticket Pricing and Amenities

Ticket prices, ranging from €9 to €25 based on amenities, will maintain Ouigo’s low-fare policy, with children aged 4-13 priced at a fixed €7, and free for those below 4. Operations will begin from Murcia, bypassing Alicante, shortening travel time to Madrid to 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Ouigo’s Commitment to Market Growth

Ouigo’s Director General, Hélène Valenzuela, affirmed their commitment, emphasising a €100 million investment and negotiations with Adif for a three-year agreement. Valenzuela aims to encourage market growth with competitive pricing.

Market Response and Traveler Satisfaction

The arrival of Ouigo has been eagerly anticipated by many, especially given the somewhat disappointing experience with Renfe’s high-speed trains, which often pass through Alicante. Additionally, initial hopes for competitive ticket prices have not entirely materialised, leaving some travelers less satisfied.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!