Alvia (103/703) (Spain)

Welcome to our guide to taking AlviaE (103/703) train services within Spain.

Either click the links below to jump straight to the info you need to know, or spend a couple of minutes learning more about to have a stress-free journey.



These Alvia train services share the Spanish high speed lines with AVE trains, but then branch off, or continue beyond the end of the high speed lines in order to reach their final destinations.

The on-board experience is similar regardless of whether you will be travelling on a 103 or 703 train - hence we've combined both of them. on this guide
Different trains operate other Alvia services:

Routes taken by THESE Alvia trains: 

(i) Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Leon - Oviedo - Gijon (some departures)
(ii) Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Santander  (some departures)
(iii) Madrid Chamartin  - Valladolid - Leon - La Coruna - Ferrol
(iv) Madrid Chamartin - Zamora - Ourense - Vigo
(v) Madrid Chamartin  - Zamora - Ourense - Santiago de Compostela - La Coruna
(vi) Madrid Atocha - Seville - Cadiz
(vii) Barcelona - Burgos - Leon - Gijon/A Coruna
(viii) Gijon - Leon - (Madrid) - Valencia - Castello
(ix)  Gijon/Santander - Leon - (Madrid) - Alicante


Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by Alvia trains.

Rail pass users will need to have made reservations prior to boarding.
Info on how to book these rail pass reservations is available HERE on our Spanish train tickets and passes guide.

Back to the menu.


A key difference between travelling on an Alvia services, compared with travelling on an AVE service, is that there is now NO at seat catering service in Preferente (1st) class on these Alvia train services

A bar car is available to all passengers where drinks, snacks, sandwiches and hot food etc can be purchased, you can consume these at the tables in the bar car or take them back to your seat.

A relatively new feature is that ON SOME DEPARTURES ONLY  a catering trolley will now be taken through both Preferente and Turista class on these trains.

Back to the menu.

On Board:

At-seat power sockets are fitted to most of these trains, they'll soon all have them.
However, these trains are not equipped with Wi-fi.

These trains also have an entertainment system, films are shown on screens fitted to the roofs of the coaches.
You don't get to choose the film you will see and all of the films will of course be in Spanish.
Service information announcements will be made in Spanish and English.

Back to the menu.


The Coche (coach/carriage) and Plaza (seat numbers) will be on your ticket -  so check the plaza number before you step on to the train.

Each coach/carriage only has one door on each side on each side of the train.
The coach/carriage numbers will be on an electronic info panel beside the door.
The doors have a larger letter 'P' on then if the coach houses 'Preferente' class and a 'T' for Turista class.

The luggage racks are between the doors and the seating saloons, the only other luggage storage space is above the seats.
However, if you have a large or heavy bag you should make use of the racks by the doors - and accept that you probably won't be able to see your bag(s) from your seat.

If you see space on the racks, our advice is to stow your bags on it and then find your seat.
If you subsequently decide to move your bags by the seat, you'll be able to do that, but things can be more awkward if you head to your seat first - and then decide you want to use the rack after all.

The seat numbers are on a strip above the windows.
As all seats reserved there is nothing else to indicate which seats you should occupy, be guided by the plaza number on your ticket.

Back to the menu.


Only folded bicycles can be taken on board Alvia trains as hand luggage, but they must be placed in a travel case, or bag which can have a maximum height/width of 180cm.

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

Back to the menu.

Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Double Deck
High Speed
First Class
Second Class

Rail passes and reservations

Close this info panel  

Other features

Close this info panel  


Close this info panel