The date has been set for the first private high-speed train service to start between Madrid and Malaga and there are just five months to wait: Iryo’s Frecciarossa 1000 trains will offer the route from 31 March 2023 and tickets are already on sale for the inaugural and subsequent journeys.
The Ilsa company will be operating the new service and each train will be able to carry 460 passengers. There will be two a day in each direction but the plan is to increase this to five a day in the future.
This is the first time Renfe has had competition from a private operator on the Madrid-Malaga route, and the Iryo tickets are cheaper. For example, if booking well in advance passengers can do the journey with Renfe for 59.35 euros one-way, while it would cost between 34.28 and 43.75 euros with Iryo. Nevertheless, at the moment there is the option of a basic fare on the new trains for 26 euros on 31 March, while Renfe is also offering a 25.45 euro ticket on its normal AVE service for the same date.
The Iryo trains will stop at Antequera and Cordoba. For the inauguration day, 31 March, there are two choices of times: the trains will leave Malaga at 11.30 am and 8.45pm and will leave Madrid at 7.55am and 2.55pm. The journey time is two hours and 39 minutes.