One of the new Iryo trains that will start to run from the end of March. / JOSE MANUEL GUERRERO

High-speed trains from Malaga to Madrid to increase to 18 a day as ticket prices fall

The increase in frequency brought in this week by Renfe and the arrival of private competitor Iryo in March are pushing prices down

IGNACIO LILLO

Travel between Malaga and Madrid will be come easier from now on as the frequency of high-speed trains between the two cities will increase significantly as the year goes on.

Travellers will find the previous ten departures from Malaga a day, on a service hit last year by cuts and seat shortages, increase to reach 18 in the summer.

This is due to a combination of more trains every day being laid on by Renfe, currently the only operator of an AVE high-speed service between the two cities, and the arrival of the first private operator, Iryo, which will start to offer an alternative to passengers at the end of March.

From this week, Renfe, has increased the number of trains covering the service to 13 a day, which is more or less back to the frequency on offer before the Covid pandemic.

The next change will be when the private operator Iryo starts running a new service with its "red arrow" (Frecciarossa) trains travelling between Malaga's María Zambrano station and Madrid Atocha. Initially, in April, there will be two extra trains each way.

Timetables show that the Iryo service will increase to three trains a day each way in May, four in June and five in July.

This will take the total number of trains leaving Malaga for Madrid and vice versa, combining Renfe and Iryo, to 18 in the summer.

This increase is already having an affect on prices, which are falling generally. For the first weekend in February there are AVE tickets on sale at 59 euros each way (far from the 200 euros that prices have reached in the past).

For April, with the private competition up and running, Renfe is sellng tickets at 20 euros on its web.

Iryo tickets for the same month are selling tickets starting at just over 22 euros.