How to travel on the Spanish trains which are specifically branded as 'MD' services.
Accessing the train
Attributes of the train
The Spanish national rail operator, Renfe, classifies multiple train services as Media-Distancia, partially because at major stations, the passenger facilities for travellers taking larga-distancia (long-distance) trains can be in a separate part of a station.
However, only SOME trains that travel medium distances are specifically branded as MD 'Media Distancia' = these trains
They tend to be the faster regional trains that don't use the high speed lines.
Rail pass users in particular should take note, as despite not being express trains, reservations are still compulsory on these specific MD Media-Distancia trains - EXCEPT for the MD trains on the Barcelona - Girona - Figueres - Port Bou route.
If you buy a ticket, your seat(s) will be assigned and the reservation will be included in the ticket price (except for that Barcelona Port Bou route).
The latest trains used for MD services have power sockets and vending machines which sell drinks and snacks.
Preferente (First Class) seats are available on most of these trains.
Main routes taken by trains that are classified as MD 'Media Distancia':
(1) Seville - Ronda - Antequera - Granada - Almeira
(2) Ronda - Malaga
(3) Valencia - Zaragoza
(4) Madrid - Linares - Jaen
(5) Madrid - Avila - Medina del Campo - Vallodolid - Leon
Faster high speed services are available for journeys between Madrid and both Vallodolid and Leon
(6) Madrid - Avila - Salmanca
(7) Madrid - Carceres - Badajoz
(8i) A Coruna - Santiago de Compostela - Vigo
(9) Cadiz - Jerez - Sevilla - Cordoba - Jaen
The trains on this route don't use the high speed line between Sevilla and Cordoba
(10) Madrid - Girona - Figueres - Port Bou
(Reservations aren't compulsory on this route)
Different trains are used for these MD Media-Distancia branded services across Spain, but usually there is only one door on each side of the coach/car.
The coach (coche) numbers are usually in an electronic panel on the doors, so match this number to the coche number on your ticket and enter the train by this door.
On most of these trains the doors will be in the middle of the coach, so you will have to turn to the left OR right - so note your plaza (seat number) before boarding - and the look for the signs telling you in which direction to head.
The seat numbers will usually be on the side of the coaches between the windows and the luggage racks.
As all seats have to be reserved prior to boarding there is no other seating info inside the trains.
Non-folding bikes (along with folding bikes) can be taken on most MD Media-Distancia train services.
They must be stored in the designated space, so spaces are inevitably limited.
If you will be travelling more than 100km you have to purchase one of these spaces prior to boarding and the cost is €3.
So if you will be travelling less than 100km and want to be sure of a bike space on the train, you can also pay this €3 fee.
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.