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Travel On Train Alvia (103/703) (Spain)
An Alvia 103 train has arrived in Seville on a Madrid - Cadiz service

Alvia (103/703) (Spain)

Welcome to our guide to taking these specific types of Alvia train used on long-distance journeys in Spain.

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Compulsory
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

High Speed (partial)
Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Spain
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail

On Board

Preferente

Perks
Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

Trolley Service:

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

Turista

Perks
Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

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:

Alvia trains are designed to travel along Spanish high speed lines, but they can then also continue their journeys on conventional tracks in order to reach more distant destinations.

Routes taken by this type of Alvia train:

  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Leon - Oviedo - Gijon (some departures)
  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Santander (some departures)
  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Leon - La Coruna - Ferrol
  • Madrid Chamartin - Zamora - Ourense - Vigo
  • Madrid Chamartin - Zamora - Ourense - Santiago de Compostela - La Coruna
  • Madrid Atocha - Seville - Cadiz
  • Barcelona - Burgos - Leon - Gijon/A Coruna
  • Gijon - Leon - (Madrid) - Valencia - Castello
  • Gijon/Santander - Leon - (Madrid) - Alicante

Note that this is the dominant type of train used on routes between Madrid and cities in northern and north-west Spain.
As they're used on the Madrid <> Cadiz route, these Alvia trains are used on some departures between Madrid and Seville.
This type of Alvia train is also used on the direct services between northern Spain and cities on the Mediterranean Coast including Alicante, Barcelona and Valencia.

Reservations:

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.

Boarding:

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.

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.

Catering:

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.

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.

Bicycles:

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.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 150 train 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.