The first low-cost high-speed train service began operating on the route between Madrid and Barcelona, departing from Madrid’s Atocha train station on Monday.
Footage shows passengers waiting to board the train that left for Barcelona after the inauguration of the service.
“We want our trains to be the Spaniard’s favourites to travel, picking up the greenest option possible, the train,” said Helene Valenzuela, president of Ouigo.
At the first stage, Ouigo will offer ten daily journeys (five outbound and five return) between Madrid and Barcelona with stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona. The basic ticket will cost nine euros (11 US dollars).
“I think it’s going to be excellent because at this moment all of us are going through a crisis so if there’s something cheaper we can use to travel, everyone’s going to use it and it’s going to help tourism in Barcelona and everywhere, if all the tickets cost this price, it’s wonderful, anyone can travel, I think it’s very good,” said Andrea, a passenger.
The low-cost service is operated by the Ouigo network, a subsidiary of the French state-owned train company SNCF. The launch of the operation means the end of the monopoly of Spain’s public transport companies on state-owned railways.