Decade of speed: 10 Years of transforming travel from Madrid to Alicante

Decade of speed: 10 Years of transforming travel from Madrid to Alicante.

Decade of speed: 10 Years of transforming travel from Madrid to Alicante. Image: Renfe AVE / Facebook.

The high-speed train, known as the AVE, that links Madrid and Alicante is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

It’s been a decade since it first started running, cutting down the travel time between Madrid and Alicante to just 2 hours and 20 minutes.

This saved travellers 50 minutes compared to before.

Completed Connection

The AVE’s arrival in Alicante completed a railway connection that had already begun with cities like Cuenca, Albacete, and Villena.

When the high-speed service launched in June 2013, it quickly became popular.

In its first year alone, the number of people travelling between Madrid and Alicante increased by 52 per cent.

Initially, there were 18 daily services, nine in each direction, and some days saw over 7,000 travellers.

Now, after ten years, there are 30 daily services, including 21 AVE trains, four Alvia trains, and four Avlo trains.

Avlo Arrival

In March 2023, Renfe introduced Avlo trains, which are affordable high-speed trains.

These trains run between Madrid and Alicante with 2 trains in each direction every day, offering a total of 1,436 seats per day.

This not only increased the number of high-speed options but also made tickets more affordable, starting at just €7 each way.

New Routes

With the opening of a tunnel in 2022 connecting Madrid’s Chamartín and Atocha stations, new direct routes have been established.

Now, AVE trains directly connect Alicante with Castilla y León and Ourense.

There’s also the Alvia service, which connects Alicante with Castilla y León, Cantabria, and Asturias. Since last year, there’s even a direct AVE service to the capital of Murcia.

Over the years, more than 15.2 million passengers have travelled on the AVE, Avlo, and Alvia trains to and from Alicante.

The route between Madrid and Alicante remains the most popular, accounting for 75 per cent of all travellers.

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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.