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Travel On Train AVE (102/112) (Spain)
An AVE (102) train has arrived in Malaga

AVE (102/112) (Spain)

These are the most common type of AVE trains and they are found on the routes between Madrid and Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia.

Welcome to the guide to taking AVE (102/112) train services within Spain, which will tell you the key things worth knowing so that you enjoy a stress-free journey.


At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees

Time of Day


Food services available

Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

High Speed (total journey)
Has a Conductor

Which country these trains operate in.

Travel Passes

On Board

Confort / Comfort

At Seat Catering

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.

A Preferente Class seating saloon on an AVE (102) train A Preferente Class seating saloon on an AVE (102) train

If you will be travelling in Preferente (1st class) on Mondays-Fridays and on some departures on Sundays, you will be served an at seat hot meal - similar to that which is served in airlines.
Note that this facility is not available on Saturdays, so on Saturdays the Preferente ticket prices should be cheaper than on the other days of the week.
On Saturdays a catering trolley is taken through the Prefente class coaches/cars.


Trolley Service:

A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.

A front end view of these 'Pato' trains, hence the duck-beak nickname A front end view of these 'Pato' trains, hence the duck-beak nickname
Boarding an AVE (112) train in Valencia Boarding an AVE (112) train in Valencia

These AVE (102/112) trains are nick-named 'Pato trains' because the aero-dynamic ends of the trains are said to look like duck beaks.

Other AVE services are operated by 100 or 103 trains.


The main routes that these trains are used on are:

(1) Madrid-Atocha - Malaga (nearly all departures)
(2) Madrid-Atocha - Sevilla (some departures)
(3) Madrid-Atocha - Huesca
(4) Madrid-Atocha - Valencia (nearly all departures)
(5) Madrid Atocha - Barcelona (a few of the slower services that call at the stations between Madrid and Barcelona)
(6) Madrid Chamartin - Leon (the departures which don't travel on beyond Leon)
(7) Barcelona - Seville
(8) Barcelona - Malaga
(9) Valencia - Seville/Malaga


Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by AVE (102/112 ) 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.


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.
Though the coaches on these trains are comparatively small, so finding seats etc is comparatively straightforward.
Note the short dimensions of the coaches on an AVE (102) train
Note the short dimensions of the coaches on an AVE (102) 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 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.

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. but if you have paid to use the seat selection service or booked Prémium tickets you can ask the conductor if you can move seats.

Though most of the seats on the train will have been rotated so that they face forwards prior to boarding.


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.

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.
On Saturdays a catering trolley is taken through the Prefente class coaches/cars.

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 Turista Class (second class) on these trains.

On board:

An unusual feature of these trains is that nearly all of the seats in the coaches./cars will face the same direction - the only exception being a few the seats at tables.
The seats can be turned, though not by passengers, so in theory nearly all of the seats will be facing forward.

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.


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.