High-speed long-distance trains

By Fiona Flores Watson


AVE - High Speed Train Routes
AVE - High Speed Train Routes



Time: 5hr 40 mins
Frequency: two trains daily
 Stops: Antequera, Puente Genil, Cordoba, Zaragoza, Tarragona.


After leaving Barcelona, the train stays in Catalonia, following the Costa Dorada as far as its first stop, the ancient city of Tarragona. It then heads inland to Aragon, where it stops at Zaragoza, passing through the community of Madrid, followed by the plains of Castilla la Mancha and the Montes de Toledo, stopping at Ciudad Real.

Look out for the castles of Guadalerzas, just after Los Yerbenes (between Toledo and Ciudad Real), and Herrera, between Ciudad Real and Puertollano, the next stop, which is situated in an isolated industrial landscape. This new AVE line then crosses into Andalucia and the Sierra Morena, near the village of Villanueva de Cordoba, passing through various mountain tunnels. On this section of the journey, the AVE slows down considerably, to 200km/h (normally 280km/h), to negotiate the right bends. Next, the train heads south to Cordoba, crossing the mighty Guadalquivir river.

After stopping in Cordoba, you climb up to Puente Genil, the next station, and cross the river Genil. Then you continue south through the Sierra de los Caballos to Antequera.This is a new station out of town and little-used. Some have said this station is a white elephant, but when the Seville – Granada AVE route is finished Antequera Station will be an interchange located not far from Bobadilla station, the important hub on the old lines (Crewe junction of Andalucia). You pass the lakes of El Chorro, but not as spectacularly close as the old railway line. Now crossing the motorway near Campanillas, a village or more correctly a Malaga district between Cartama and Malaga, it is a short, slow, smooth ride into the Malaga Maria Zambrano terminal.

All this section of new AVE line can be clearly seen from the window on the left side of an aeroplane approaching Malaga Airport from the north.. It looks like a new scar on the arid landscape.