Spain is set to become the world leader in railway transport in 2010 with its current AVE high speed lines and those which are still due for completion. In fact it is estimated that by 2020 90% of people living on mainland Spain will be within 50km of their nearest station.
The southern corridor is due to extend from Malaga to Granada and Badajoz in the south west, towards Cataluña in the north east reaching the French border; and towards the Basque country in the north linking with a line to Galicia, Leon and Asturias; and south east to Valencia passing through Cuenca linking to Albacete, Alicante and Murcia.
1,060 km of high speed line have already been laid and this will reach 1,621km by the end of this year.
A new AVE high speed train will greatly benefit the Costa del Sol with travel time from Madrid reduced by over an hour to 2 hours 30 minutes
The various fares are as follows:
|Single Fare||€76.10 peak times (hora llana)€68.52 other times (hora valle)|
|Return Fare||€121.70 peak times - €110.00 other times|
|Internet price||€30.40 single if purchased at least 15 days beforehand|
|Shuttle service(Tarifa Puente)||Last minute walk on service ideal for business travellers as no need to make reservation|
|Star Price(Tarifa Estrella)||Discounts of up to 40% if ticket is purchased 7 days beforehand (estimated fare €45.00 single)|
To make an online booking go to the Renfe website www.renfe.es and click on the "Compra de Billetes" . When you have selected your station or origin, destination and travel dates click on "iniciar la busque-de la plazas" (ticket search).
An AVE line linking Almodovar del Rio in Cordoba with the Madrid-Seville line and Antequera is already open. This currently cuts the Madrid-Malaga journey by 40 minutes and Granada by one hour 30 minutes. There is still 50km of line to be finished and three new stations have been built: the Antequera Santa Ana, Puente Genil Herrera and Maria Zambrano in Malaga.
The Antequera station will be the principal junction for Andalucia with two lines being widened allowing connections between Madrid with Malaga and Granada and Algeciras to be faster than ever. The single fare from Malaga to Antequera is €10 if purchased on the internet and the journey time is 20 minutes.
The Puente Genil-Herrera station services a large region including Lucena, Herrera, Estepa, Osuna and Pedrera, with the most important being the Maria Zambrano Railway Station in Malaga City.
This is five times larger than the old station and houses the new Vialia Shopping Mall and leisure centre which is open 7 days a week throughout the year with more than 100 outlets, a cinema and a new four star hotel with 222 rooms.
The original 5 railway lines have been increased to 8 and there are regular bus services (lines 10, 151 and 12), trains and taxi links as well as parking for 1,550 cars.