Íñigo de la Serna, Spain’s minister of Publics Works unveiled plans to launch a new service in 2018, that will initially run between Madrid and Barcelona.
Le hemos dado la vuelta a la alta velocidad con un nuevo concepto de #tren centrado en la intermodalidad, la digitalización, la sostenibilidad y la innovación, con un servicio personalizado y adaptado a las nuevas necesidades de los usuarios @Renfe #ConectadosalFuturo pic.twitter.com/wzYHkZF1Gv
— Iñigo de la Serna (@idlserna) February 6, 2018
The route, which will be called the EVA, would begin with five trains in each direction each day and aim to transport over a million passengers in the first year, the minister said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The ticket price 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 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.