Introducing Avlo: Spain’s new low-cost high-speed (bright purple) rail service

Europe

Spain’s new low-cost high speed trains are called Avlo. Photo: Renfe

Spanish national rail service Renfe has unveiled the name of its new low-cost, high-speed trains between Madrid and Barcelona.

The new bright purple trains have been given the name Avlo – presumably to reflect that they are a low cost version of the more upmarket Ave trains.

The trains will be easily noticeable as the streak across the countryside between Spain’s two biggest cities as they have been painted in Renfe’s signature purple colour. They also have a silver strip running along the top and are adorned with turquoise and orange decorative stripes.

The doors being given a bright, Easyjet-style orange finish.

Renfe announced back in February 2018 that it was planning to launch this low-cost alternative to its fleet as a means of getting more Spaniards off the roads and onto the train tracks.

The initial route of the trains will be from Madrid to Barcelona, with five trains going in each direction every day.

Spain’s public rail provider hopes to kick-start the new services during next year’s Semana Santa (Easter) holidays and has announced a provisional launch of April 6 for the first route Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona.

Each train has a 20 percent more capacity than current AVE trains because they have taken out the Preferente carriage and the dining car.

Authorities are aiming to transport over a million passengers in the first year, Spain’s former minister of Publics Works Íñigo de la Serna announced back in 2018. 

Ticket prices will be at least 25 percent cheaper than the current service between Madrid and Barcelona and would operate not from Barcelona-Sants station in the centre of the Catalan capital but from a new hub in El Prat de Llobregat, a satellite town near the airport.

The current AVE service hurtles the 621km (386 miles) between Madrid and Barcelona in under three hours reaching a speed above 310 km/h.

The route was inaugurated in 2008 and competes with flights between the two cities  but tickets cost an average of €98 each way, althougher cheaper deals are available to savvy travellers who book in advance.

The new budget service is designed to attract a younger generation who generally make the journey by coach, explained the minister.

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