The original AVE trains of Spain operate on the Madrid-Cordova-Seville route, covering the distance from Madrid to Seville in just 2h30. The service has reached such a reliable level that the operators guarantee arrival within 5 minutes of the advertised time or your money back!
In 2003 the first phase of a new AVE track from Madrid to the French border was completed linking Madrid to Zaragoza via high-speed trains. The speeds on this line were improved over the next 3 years to reach 250km or 155 miles per hour.
In December 2006 the AVE network was extended to also cover the full Madrid to Tarragona stretch, a line that was improved further in the following months such that by May 2007 speeds of up to 300km or 186 miles per hour were being achieved. Tarragona has since then been just 2 hours 38 minutes (down from over 4 hours previously) from Madrid and 30 minutes from Lleida.
Services on board AVE trains include a functional family area together with games for children. Wheelchair facilities are also provided with help on hand where necessary and audio equipment is fitted as standard at most seats. First class has the added luxury of video facilities so that travel can be undertaken whilst watching your favorite movie.
Through its excellent customer service, punctuality and easy to understand fares, the AVE network has undoubtedly fulfilled the aim of boosting Spain’s standing in the world of tourism and business.