TRANSPORT

Spain’s AVE high-speed train breaks ticket records over May 1 weekend

Service transported 125,467 passengers in one day at start of last week’s holiday

An AVE train crosses the Candi bridge in Tarragona.
An AVE train crosses the Candi bridge in Tarragona.Josep Lluis Sellart

Spanish rail operator Renfe’s AVE high-speed and long-distance trains broke records on Thursday of last week by transporting 125,467 passengers in a single day, Europa Press reported.

Renfe also had to meet demand for an additional 86,000 tickets

Quoting industry sources, the news service said 8,302 more people used the Spanish rail system ahead of the extended May 1 Worker’s Day weekend than they did on the previous record day, March 27 of this year, the Friday before Easter week.

Around 860,000 tickets were up for sale between Thursday and Sunday – 11 percent more than over a regular weekend period.

The rail company also had to meet demand for an additional 86,000 tickets, mainly on trains linking Madrid and the Costa del Sol, those traveling along the Mediterranean corridor, and those connecting Catalonia and Andalusia.

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In March, a study presented by the Foundation for the Studies of Applied Economics (Fedea) concluded that current demand for train services in Spain was not enough to recover the investments made by past and current governments.

But as it approaches a general election later this year, the Popular Party (PP) administration in January announced  a €3.5 billion expansion of high-speed rail routes. Of that amount, €285 million will be funded by the European Union.