A PRICE war began on Wednesday between the Spanish train operator AVLO and the French Ouigo rail service for business along one of Europe’s busiest commuter corridors.
Both rail companies went head to head as they launched the competing high-speed services on the same day.
AVLO, an offshoot of the state-run Renfe, is offering one-way tickets between Madrid and Barcelona for a journey of over 600km for as little as €7.
Children under 14 can travel for €5 if they travel with an adult and large families with three children or more can get discounts of 20%.
AVLO, which is operated by state rail operator Renfe, is the cheaper cousin of the high-speed network called AVE – which is Spanish for bird.
The trains, which travel at 330 km per hour, mean that travellers can leave Madrid and arrive in Barcelona three hours later. The fastest trains take two and a half hours.
The AVLO service, which will operate four return journeys per day from June 23, marked the 80th anniversary of Spanish state operator Renfe.
Meanwhile, Ouigo, the cut price service by French rail operators SNCF, was offering one-way tickets from €9 and children under 13 only pay €5, with discounts for families with more than two children.
Ouigo claims it will not “be like Ryanair”, meaning its trains will be spacious, each one will include cafes and have large seats.