RENFE, the state-owned railway company in Spain, has included the Madrid-Malaga AVE trains in a pilot test that will allow canines of up to 40 kilos to travel on a selection of these trains that run between the Costa del Sol and the Capital.

According to a press release from the operator, from now until next May, customers will be able to purchase a ticket for their pets on AVE trains departing from Madrid at 8:25am and 6:30pm and from Malaga at 6:28am and 4:58 pm.

This pilot project which began on AVE trains on the Madrid-Barcelona line last September to ascertain if allowing medium and large dogs on board its trains is a viable option, is now being extended to include four AVE trains on the Madrid-Malaga connection.

Up to now, Renfe only permitted passengers to travel with small dogs under 10 kilos in weight, kept at all times inside a carrier, with the exception of guide or assistance dogs.

Each pooch travels with its own ticket, at a price of €35, and only two large dogs will be allowed on each train during the trial period, with a maximum of one canine per passenger.

Dog owners will also have to follow a set of rules and recommendations, including the following:

  • Carry a dog blanket with them.
  • Take toys that don’t make noise or squeak.
  • Avoid feeding their dogs during the three hours prior to the trip to prevent the animals from doing their business or getting dizzy on the train.
  • Take the dog for a long walk before the journey.
  • Dogs that aren’t kept inside a pet carrier will have to wear a muzzle and be kept on a non-extendable leash (3 metres long max) at all times.

Dog owners will also have to fill in a civil responsibility form at the train station’s service centre 40 minutes before travel.

These travel conditions do not apply to assistance dogs or pets weighing less than ten kilograms on board, which will continue to be subject to the usual commercial regulations, which can be consulted on the renfe.com website.

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