A bit like buses, you wait ages, then two come along together, the announcement that Renfe is now selling tickets for their low-cost Alicante to Madrid high-speed train service has immediately been followed by another operator taking on the route and putting their tickets on sale.
Ouija, the Spanish subsidiary of the French company SNCF Voyageurs, will open ticket sales on March 28 with the expectation that operations can start during the first fortnight of May, on a date yet to be determined. In fact, that specific day will be revealed on the same day, March 28, in an act with which Ouigo plans to kick off the start of the connection between the two capitals.
The company has already anticipated that the tickets will go on sale starting at a price of 9 euro, with the forecast that the average amount can range between 19 and 25 euro. Children under 3 years of age who occupy the same seat as their parents will travel free while those up to 13 years of age will pay a flat rate of 5 euro.
Ouigo will offer four daily circulations between Alicante and Madrid (two in each direction) at times yet to be specified, although it has already been confirmed that there will be one departure in the morning and another in the afternoon, on the line maintained by both Renfe, through its Avlo brand, as by Iryo. Similarly, the main station in Madrid will be Chamartín, at least until the expansion and modernisation works of the Atocha station are completed and the possibility of establishing a double stop can be enabled, depending on the distribution of the traffic that ends up agreeing with the entity Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (Adif).
Ouigo will offer more than 28,000 weekly seats as it has double-height trains with a capacity for 509 passengers, which means putting more than 2,000 tickets on the market per day.
The announcement of the opening of the sale of Ouigo tickets came one day after Renfe confirmed the commissioning of Avlo, its own high-speed service at a reduced price, for next March 27. The sale of its tickets will start at 7 euro, so cheaper than Ouigo. Like Ouigo and Iryo, Avlo will also offer four daily trips (two in each direction), in addition to the usual AVE trains, which will continue to operate.