PRIVATE high-speed train operator Iryo, the first low-cost “AVE” to run routes between Malaga and Madrid has announced its start date.

The inaugural journey between Spain’s capital and the Costa del Sol will take place next March 31, 2023, with tickets for this and subsequent journeys already on sale.

For the inauguration day, March 31, there are two choices of times: trains will leave Malaga at 11.30 am and 8.45pm and will leave Madrid at 7.55am and 2.55pm.

Both cities are already connected by Renfe, but the Iryo tickets are cheaper and is the first time the state-owned railway company has competition from a private operator on the Madrid-Malaga route.

Iryo will start operating the route with two daily departures in each direction, which will be priced from €34.28.

It is expected that in the future the daily frequencies will increase to five routes in both directions, with the aim of attracting 8 million passengers by 2025.

The estimated train journey time between Puerta de Atocha station (Madrid) and the Malaga-Maria Zambrano station is two hours and 35 minutes and each train will be able to carry 460 passengers.

The company Ilsa will be behind the operation of the new service which will see stops at Antequera and Cordoba.

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