Welcome to our guide to taking AVE (100) train services within and to/from Spain, which will explain the key worth knowing to have a stress-free journey.
Food services available
Attributes of the train
Which country these trains operate in.
According to the time of day of travel, passengers will be able to choose from a menu of catering options, which will then be served at their seats.
If you will be travelling in Comfort Clss (1st class) on Mondays-Fridays and on some departures on Sundays and have booked a Premiere ticket, you will be served an at seat hot meal; similar to that which is served on airlines in Club Class
Note that this facility is not available on Saturdays, so on Saturdays the Premiere tickets will not be available.
A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.
Welcome to the guide to taking AVE (100) train services within and to/from Spain.
These AVE (100) trains are the original high speed trains paced into service by RENFE, Spain's national rail operator - other AVE services are operated by 102 or 103 trains.
So these AVE (100) trains have been in service a while, but the interior of the trains was refreshed a few years ago and in our opinion the seats are exceptionally comfortable.
These trains still provide virtually all of the AVE services on Spain's first high speed line between Madrid and Seville and on most AVE services between Madrid and Alicante.
They're also used on the RENFE-SNCF international services on these routes:
Barcelona - Lyon
Barcelona - Toulouse
Madrid - Marseille
(hence the images of these trains that SMTJ captured in France).
Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by AVE (100) train.
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.
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 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 the sides of the seats facing the aisle and on the strip between the windows and the luggage storage areas.
As all seats reserved there is nothing else to indicate which seats you should occupy, so be guided by the 'plaza' number on your ticket.
You must travel in the seats you have been assigned.
This is because of the specific terms and conditions of booking tickets to travel by the larga-distancia train services.
When booking Basico or Elige tickets there will be an option to pay an additional charge in order to choose specific seats from a seating plan, while a benefit of booking Prémium tickets is the lack of a charge of using this seating plan.
So if you haven't taken advantage of the seat selection service when booking, you can't then choose to sit in an alternative seat when boarding.
If you opted to choose a seat, the logic is that you will therefore be satisfied with that seat, so won't be able to seat in an alternative.
Though if you have paid to use the seat selection service or booked Prémium tickets you can ask the conductor if you can move seats
At-seat power sockets aren't fitted to these trains.
They also don't have conventional on train Wi-Fi access.
Instead RENFE offers its AVE passengers access to the internet via its 'PlayRENFE' app - note that it's not free to access if you're not a member of a RENFE Loyalty Program.
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.
If you have booked a Premiere ticket, which are only available on Mondays-Fridays and on some departures on Sundays, you will be served an at seat hot meal, similar to that which is served on airlines in Club Class.
Premiere tickets on the international trains in either direction between Spain and France do not include the catering service, but they are the only tickets on this route which are seated in Comfort Class. the equivalent of first class.
If you book an Elige ticket to travel in either Comfort or Estander class, you can choose to add an at-seat food and drink service when booking, you can choose from a menu of snack and light meal options and add them as a 'Extra' on the booking confirmation booking screen.
Elige tickets are not available on journeys in either direction between Spain and France
A bar car is also available to all passengers where drinks, snacks, sandwiches 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 a catering trolley will now be pushed through Estander Class (Second Class) on these trains.
Only folded bicycles can be taken on board AVE trains as hand luggage, but they must be placed in a travel case, or bag which can have a maximum height/width of 180cm.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.