An Ouigo train and a Renfe train at Zaragoza station. EFE
Number of high-speed train passengers in Spain jumps by 35% in April with 2024 on track to beat all-time record

Number of high-speed train passengers in Spain jumps by 35% in April with 2024 on track to beat all-time record

The Spanish network has carried almost almost 35 million passengers in the first four months of the year, with the Madrid-Andalucía corridor experiencing the greatest growth

Edurne Martínez


Tuesday, 28 May 2024


Demand for train travel is growing in Spain with an increase of almost 17% more trains on high-speed lines in April compared to the same month in 2023 carrying some 35% more passengers.

The data was revealed in rail infrastructure operator Adif's bulletin published this Tuesday (28 May), which showed rail traffic reached 69.4 million trains/km between January and April, 6.5% more than a year ago at a general level and 13.6% more on high-speed lines.

In 2023, rail traffic in Spain reached an all-time high, but data suggests this record will be surpassed in 2024.

Madrid-Andalucía high-speed corridor

The high-speed corridor that has experienced the highest growth is Madrid-Andalucía, which has shot up 30% compared to a year ago to 7.7 million trains/km after the arrival of the Italian operator Iryo to this corridor. It is already very close to the figures of the Madrid-Barcelona route, the leader in high-speed train travel, which has grown by 8% again in one year and accumulates 8.5 million train-kilometres. This measure of train-kilometres is the unit used by Adif referring to the use of the line by a train along a kilometre.

This large increase makes sense as Iryo entered this route a year ago. Specifically, on 31 March 2023 it opened this route with trains from Madrid to Cordoba, Seville and Malaga, generating a generalised price drop on these routes due to competition with Renfe's AVE, which until then had a monopoly on this line.

It is followed by the Madrid-Levante route, which grew by 21% from January to April, and Madrid-Barcelona, by 8%. In addition, the Madrid-Valladolid-León-Zamora-Galicia section grew by 7.5%, despite the fact that the first competitor to the AVE entered this route at the end of April, with the arrival of the French company Ouigo on the Madrid-Valladolid route.

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