Fast track frustration: Ouigo’s Elche-Madrid train launch delayed

Fast track frustration: Ouigo's Elche-Madrid train launch delayed.

Fast track frustration: Ouigo's Elche-Madrid train launch delayed. Image: OUIGO España / Facebook

The launch of the first private high-speed train service linking Elche with Madrid, operated by the French company Ouigo, has been postponed until September 5.

Initially planned for the first half of 2024 to coincide with the peak tourist season, the delay comes after earlier assurances made in January during the Tourism Fair, Fitur, where the general director of Ouigo, Hélène Valenzuela, signed a collaboration agreement with Elche mayor Pablo Ruz, promising operation “before the summer.”

In March, due to ongoing works on the Atocha tunnel connecting with Chamartín, Ouigo announced limited service, with only one train in each direction from Friday to Sunday, increasing to two trains per day starting in July.

However, these plans have been shelved.

Project Unveiled

The project and ticket sales launch, featuring two daily round-trip frequencies, were unveiled in Murcia, the terminus station.

However, it was revealed that the Miguel Hernández station in Orihuela, also on the Murcia-Madrid line, will not have a stop, leaving passengers from the Vega Baja region to choose between the El Carmen station in Murcia or the Matola stop in Elche.

The two trains will depart from Madrid at 8:15.AM and 4:15.PM, and from Elche at 1:02.PM and 9:02.PM, with an estimated travel time of two hours and 20 minutes.

The only planned stop will be in Albacete, estimated to last only two minutes.

Ticket prices, which went on sale recently starting at €9, are subject to increase as seats are limited.

Children aged 4 to 14 will be charged a flat rate of €7, while children under 4 can travel for free if seated with an adult.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.