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Getting There By Rail

Spain - Getting There By Rail


As Spain is located on the continental mainland of Europe its accessibility by train is easy. It is also possible thanks to the channel tunnel to reach Spain via the UK. Getting to Spain using the channel tunnel means making a connection in Paris, France. It is possible to get direct rail journeys from France into Barcelona and Madrid. It is also possible to connect to both of these cities by rail from Portugal. The cities of Zurich and Milan also have rail connections to Barcelona. Spanish Rail runs Motorail services between Paris and Madrid frequently.

You can buy InterRail passes can offer both first and second class unlimited travel to 30 countries for all European citizens. There are two different passes available, The Global Pass which allows travel for either 22 days or for one month, or for 5 days out of 10 or for 10 days in 22 days. The One Country Pass offers travel of three days, four days, six days or eight days in one month in any of the countries with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Another restriction is that travellers cannot use the pass in their country of residence. The InterRail pass may also give the traveller discounts on certain ferry journeys and on Eurostar travel subject to conditions.

The Eurailpass is only for non-European residents. The Eurailpass Global Pass offers almost unlimited travel within 18 different countries, or there is also the option of more limited travel with either the single country National Pass, the Select Pass or the Regional Pass.

The main rail operator in Spain is RENFE (Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles). It is easy to book tickets with them through their online system at www.refe.com while in Spain. If trying to book tickets from outside Spain then www.spanish-rail.co.uk is RENFE’s agent within the UK.

Taking a train from the UK to Spain is quicker than most people might think. The Eurostar into Paris only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. From Paris is it possible to get an overnight train into Madrid or Barcelona which means you are arriving refreshed at your destination the very next morning. From Madrid or Barcelona it is possible to get a connecting train onwards to various other Spanish destinations and average time of travel is just a few hours. The Elipsos Train hotel for the overnight journey has bedrooms for a comfy night’s sleep and restaurants and cafes for refreshments. Some of the bedrooms have en-suite toilet and shower facilities. The fares are very reasonable and often include dinner and breakfast.

The Elipsos train hotel usually runs daily although during the winter months the schedule can change and it may only make the journey a few times a week. There is often a replacement train operating when the Elipsos is not and facilities may vary.

For those who prefer to travel during the day then there are several double decker trains that run from Paris to Barcelona. The TGV Duplex leaves Paris in the afternoons which allow plenty of time for the crossing from the UK.


Useful Resources

Eurostar
www.eurostar.com
Tel: 0870 160 6600 (from the UK)

Rail Europe
www.raileurope.co.uk
Tel: 0844 848 4064 (from the UK)

RENFE Spanish Rail Service
www.spanish-rail.co.uk
www.renfe.es
Tel: 0207 725 7063 (from the UK)

The Eurail Group
www.eurail.com


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