RENFE has announced it’s jazzy new train “AVLO,” -a low-cost yet high-speed train-will commence operations on the busy Barcelona-Madrid HS line as of April 6 2020.
Tickets will go on sale in January.
The first Avlo-branded trainset was unveiled by Minister of Public Works José Luis Ábalos and RENFE President Isaías Táboas at the Villaseca de la Sagra depot on December 11
— Renfe (@Renfe) December 11, 2019
Ábalos said in a statement that: “Avlo aims to make high speed rail more inclusive, competitive and sustainable, with services being for everyone and ‘no longer a product focused on business trips, but open to families, young people and other groups that used it very occasionally.”
The launch of Avlo forms part of RENFE’s strategic response to the liberalisation of the domestic passenger market under the EU’s Fourth Railway Package. This has seen paths for the launch of competing services awarded to a local subsidiary of France’s SNCF and the ILSA joint venture of Air Nostrum and Italy’s Trenitalia.
RENFE said the cheaper and easy-to-use Avlo service was designed to attract customers such as families, groups and young people who currently travel by road.
The services will be operated using Talgo Class 112 trainsets which are being modified at workshops in Madrid, La Sagra, Málaga and Valladolid. These trainsets will have 438 seats, 20 per cent more than the current configuration. As the network expands, Series 106 trainsets offering 581 seats would also be used.
However, Renfe will face further competition from June 2020 when Italy’s Trenitalia has been granted approval to compete within Spain.
It is unclear what sort of product Trenitalia will be offering. It might be low-cost or it might be conventional as can be seen in the UK with Avanti on the West Coast Mainline (WCML).
Renfe unveils the price of the ticket for the new ‘low cost’ AVE between Madrid and Barcelona.
The tickets are expected to cost between 10 to 60 euros.
The fares will meet the demand of each moment with the intention that the trains are always to full capacity, meaning that there will be continual promotions and discounts sometimes in the range of 90 per cent.
Children under 14 will always travel for five euros. The main sales points will be the web and the mobile application, but tickets can also be purchased by telephone and at the ticket office.
However, until the middle of 2021 it will be impossible for Avlo, Renfe’s low cost AVE, to reach Andalusia.
The key is in demand. Renfe’s objective is to make this new and revolutionary service sustainable. And for it to be sustainable, it needs trains to always be full. For this reason, the company has opted to launch the service in the most demanded train link, the one between Madrid and Barcelona. It will then expand to other routes during 2020-21, including a Madrid-Andalusia service with stops at Seville, Malaga and Granada.
The jazzy model with it’s striking purple carriages, silver running along the top and bright orange doors, was originally presented in October as previously reported by Euro Weekly News. A service that Renfe launch with the hope it will be inclusive, competitive and sustainable.