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Posted by
24651 posts

same tight rules as the French equiv.? Check in 30 ahead, no luggage, board the exact car and sit in the exact seat? On old TGV stock?

Posted by
6520 posts

Travelers that choose to take Ouigo don't all think the rules are tight compared to the more expensive option that they maybe can't afford (it is faster than the bus and has more toliets). You can bring luggage also, you just pay extra for what you need and bring your own food.

Posted by
1996 posts

That will certainly give the new high-speed AVLO service (which starts at €10) by RENFE a run for their money! They are set to start operation on the same Madrid-Barcelona line. More competition is always better for consumers.

Posted by
375 posts

The description (Spanish) does seem very similar, if not identical, to the French product -- same size luggage restrictions, requested check in 30 min prior, an offer to sell up to "Ouigo Plus" for seat selection. I'm not sure about the rolling stock, however.

Posted by
1586 posts

The Man in Seat 61 mentioned that it might not be as bad as Ouigo France since SNCF is not competing with themselves. But it is a low cost alternative after all so don't expect any luxury.

Posted by
85 posts

Sounds like another SNCF-led attempt to cut personnel in stations and on-board, and reduce the availability of a quieter, less crowded and more comfortable first class option (for travelers who want it and are willing to pay for it).

On the other hand, if it attracts some people back to the train, and if first class remains available on some sort of parallel itinerary, Ouigo-style service can't be entirely bad.

Posted by
6520 posts

Sounds like another SNCF-led attempt to cut personnel... reduce the availability of a quieter, less crowded and more comfortable first class option...

That does not make sense; why would a business eliminate that service? Is it because first class option does not sell?

Posted by
1586 posts

On the other hand, if it attracts some people back to the train, and
if first class remains available on some sort of parallel itinerary,
Ouigo-style service can't be entirely bad.

There are probably those that just want a cheap trip, and for those it is great that Ouigo exist. But I'm not that fond of the idea of running separate low cost trains, I would have preferred if they just had introduced it as "3rd class" and have a few cheap coaches in each train while still offering 2nd and 1st class for those who don't want to be at the station 30 minutes before departure.

Posted by
602 posts

SNCF owned low cost high speed operator Ouigo España have now started selling tickets for their first route, Madrid-Barcelona. They will start running trains in May and the cost for a single ticket starts at €9.

Some competition from RENFE:

Spanish state operator Renfe's low-cost service Avlo will whisk passengers the 500 kilometers (300 miles) between Madrid and Barcelona in just two and half hours, with prices starting at €5 (about US$6). The Avlo service, which travels at speeds of up to 330 kilometers an hour and has 438 seats, will begin operating four daily return journeys between the two Spanish cities from June 23.

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/spain-budget-bullet-train-avlo/index.html?utm_term=image&utm_source=twCNN&utm_content=2021-01-28T15%3A07%3A03&utm_medium=social

Posted by
2530 posts

Don't get your hopes too high... the internal demand far exceeds the offer that both companies are currently able to provide at those prices -and that'll be so for the foreseeable future. Locals are very fond of these type of opportunities and demand is very high when they happen. Whenever RENFE has put a heavily reduced sale in the past tickets have gone in minutes or hours. This is not to say you can't catch one, but note that these are announced weeks in advance, not months. This is certainly inconvenient for those that need to plan way in advance like most of you.
Just sayin'.

Posted by
2530 posts

Ah yes, for those that haven't travelled in these sort of trains (AVE from RENFE): there are practically no "major" differences between 1st and 2nd class. While seats are indeed larger and more comfy in 1st -hence fewer people per carriage- 2nd class carriages are extremely comfortable too (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu5r_hGJDoo) and, despite carrying more people, they're very quiet.

FURTHERMORE, there are special carriages in many AVE lines called "MUTE carriages" which you can choose when booking. They cost the same than the other carriages but those travelling in these agree to follow certain rules: phones must be muted and silence is the norm (no conversations), if you want to listen to music it must be done on a low volume and, obviously, with headphones. These are great if you intend to work on route.

PS on a side note, the nomenclature we use here is rather far less discriminatory: we call them "clase Preferente" and "clase Turista" instead. https://www.renfe.com/es/es/viajar/el-viaje/a-bordo/clases