Regional Express (Spain)

A train from Barcelona has arrived in La Tour De Carol A train from Barcelona has arrived in La Tour De Carol

A train from Barcelona has arrived in La Tour De Carol

The Regional Express services are the exception to many of the 'rules' when travelling by train in Spain.

What particularly sets them apart is that seat reservations are not available, so they sit outside the list of the many names of the services which Spanish national rail operator, Renfe, uses for its services which do require reservations.

Also in cities and other urban areas, the local/commuter train sevices are known as Cercanias or Rodalies services - but these trains also don't fall into those categories

These Regional Express services tend to be either:

(1) longer distance stopping trains to/from the big cities - commuter trains on routes which extend beyond the urban area - particularly around Barcelona.

(2) The slower trains and local trains in rural areas - particularly in north-west Spain.

On routes they share with MD  trains they call at more stations, so are slower, but when they share a route with a Rodalies or Cercanias train, they're faster.

Because seats can't be reserved on these trains tickets for journeys by them aren't USUALLY sold online by Renfe 

Also these trains are 2nd class 'Turista' class only.

But it's worth still looking up the departure times on Renfe before you head to the station to buy a ticket and hop on board - these trains don't operate frequently.

A negative of the fact that seats can't be reserved is that these trains can become crowded, particularly on the routes around Barcelona.

Also a wide variety of trains are used for these Regional Express trains - they can be some of the oldest trains still used in Spain, so can lack moderm conveniences such as power-sockets.

Wheelchair spaces also aren't available on the older trains.

But if you're in luck, you may be on a comparatively new train.

Rail Pass users:

A tick in the box for rail pass users is that these are the only long(ish) distance Spanish train services, which don't require reservations.

However, don't plan to travel around Spain by these trains, they're not that common and many areas don't operate them.

Though they do operate on two routes to/from Barcelona, which enable the comparatively expensive reservation fees on the high speed trains between Spain and France to be avoided

(i) Barcelona - Girona - Figueres - Port Bou - Cerbere (connect in Cerbere for Perpignan, Narbonne, Beziers, Montpellier, Nimes and Avignon)

(ii) Barcelona - La Tour De Carol (connect in La Tour De Carol for Toulouse).

An intro to train travel in Spain

How to buy tickets for Spanish train journeys

International train routes to/from France

Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains
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