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Travel On Train Alvia (120) (Spain)
An Alvia (102) train has arrived in Bilbao

Alvia (120) (Spain)

Welcome to our guide to taking these specific Alvia train services within Spain, which to tell you the key things worth knowing for 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 (partial journey)
Has a Conductor

Which country these trains operate in.

Travel Passes
An Alvia (102) train has arrived in Bilbao An Alvia (102) train has arrived in Bilbao

Note that different trains operate other Alvia services:


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

Routes taken by these Alvia (120) trains:

  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Burgos - Vittoria - Bilbao*
  • Madrid Chamartin - Zamora - Ourense - Vittoria - San Sebastian - Irun - Hendaye*
  • Madrid Chamartin - Salamanca
  • Madrid Atocha - Pamplona
  • Barcelona - Zaragoza - Bilbao*
  • Barcelona - Zaragoza - Pamplona - San Sebastian - Irun*
  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Leon - Oviedo - Gijon (some departures**)
  • Madrid Chamartin - Valladolid - Santander (some departures**)

*= On these routes two Alvia trains are normally joined together for most of the journey, but the trains are then separated so that one part of the train travels on to Bilbao, while the other travels to Irun and Hendaye.
**= The other type of Alvia train are also used on these routes.


Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by Alvia train.
When separate parts of the train will be serving different destinations you will have the peace of mind of being automatically assigned seats in the correct part of the 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 interior of a Preferente class coach on an Alvia (102) train The interior of a Preferente class coach on an Alvia (102) train

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.

An unusual features of these trains are that the doors are in the middle of the coaches, so when you step on to the trains you will be turning to the left or right.
So pay attention to the signs by the doors which will tell you which seat numbers are to the left or to the right.

The luggage racks are by the entrance to 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.

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, 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


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 key difference between travelling on an Alvia services, compared with travelling on an AVE service, is that an at seat catering service of a hot meal is not available is not available in Comfort Class; the equivalent of first class.

Though 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 Board:

These trains are not equipped with Wi-fi or power sockets,
Though they do 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.


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.


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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.