María Zambrano station in Malaga. / SUR

Renfe increases number of AVE high-speed trains between Madrid and Malaga

The train operator's new timetable aims to cope with the increase in demand at weekends and late in the day


After months of public criticism due to the chronic shortage of seats on AVE trains linking Malaga and Madrid, and with the competition from private operators about to start providing services on this line, Renfe has finally decided to increase its services.

It will do so from 23 January 2023, when the train operator has announced that there will be one more train on weekdays in each direction.

The increased service will see a last weekday departure from Madrid at 8.30pm, and from Malaga at 8pm. Until now, these trains only ran on Fridays and Sundays.

In addition, the number of services at weekends will be increased. On Fridays, there will be 25 departures, compared to the current 22. The last train from the Spanish capital will depart at 9.30pm. And on Sundays the last train from the Costa del Sol will depart at 9.18pm.

Tickets for the high-speed service are available for sale until 31 December next year (i.e. for twelve months) at, on the Renfe app, by calling 912 320 320, at ticket offices and self-service machines at stations and in travel agencies. Cheaper prices are available on some advance purchases.

Iryo, the first private high-speed competitor on this line, has announced that it will start operating between Malaga and Madrid from 31 March. From María Zambrano there will be two services every day: 11.30am and 8.45pm, with a journey time of two hours and 39 minutes. In the opposite direction, from Atocha, departures will be at 7.55am and 2.55pm.