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Travel On Train avlo (Spain)

avlo (Spain)

On many of the high-speed routes between Madrid and cities in eastern and southern Spain, the Spanish national rail operator, Renfe, offers these trains as a more basic, but typically cheaper alternative to its AVE services.

Image by Pablo H. Plaza and downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.

These alvo trains offer a typically cheaper alternative to AVE trains when travelling in either direction between Madrid and Albacete, Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Murcia, Seville, Valencia and Zaragoza - and when travelling between Barcelona and Zaragoza.
The alvo trains are much less frequent than the AVE services - at most they depart early morning, around the middle of the day and late evening.
Therefore on most of the routes on which they operate, they tend to provide the first and/or final departures of the day.


At a Glance


Food services available

No Catering

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Travel Comforts

Air Conditioned
Power Socket

Time of Day


Which country these trains operate in.

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Travel Passes

Inspired by the success of the low-cost, but more basic Ouigo services on the French high speed lines, and to compete against the introduction of [Ouigo services](/travel-on/train/ouigo-spain/ on the high speed routes between Madrid and cities on the Mediterranean coast, the Spanish national rail operator Renfe has introduced these avlo services - hence the info on the Renfe website.

Similarly to how SNCF in France converted some of the regular TGV trains to create the Ouigo services, Renfe is using the same trains it deploys on many of the AVE services for these avlo services.
Though the interiors are completely different, but as summarized below, these are not the only differences with the AVE services.

Differences to travel by AVE services

Difference with AVE trains:

  • First Class / Comfort Class: Avlo = no; AVE = yes
  • Bistro/Bar: Avlo = no; AVE = yes; the Avlo services have vending machines for drinks and snacks
  • Wifi: Avlo = yes; AVE = yes
  • Quiet coach available: Avlo = no; AVE = yes
  • Power sockets: avlo = yes; AVE = yes
  • Ticket includes travel to/from the station by local trains: Avlo = no; AVE = yes
  • Ticket incudes seat reservation: avlo = yes; AVE = yes
  • Option to pay extra to choose specific seat: avlo = yes; AVE = yes
  • Be at the station: avlo = request to be there 30mins prior to boarding; AVE = up to the traveller, but SMTJ recommends being there at least 10 mins ahead.

Luggage Allowance

The other key difference with travelling by the AVE services is the luggage allowances; because the avlo trains have less luggage storage than the AVE trains.

AVE trains = Up to 3 pieces of hand luggage onto the train, provided that the sum of the three does not exceed 25 kg or 290 cm.
The maximum dimensions allowed are 85x55x35 cm

avlo trains = 1 piece of hand luggage (bag, rucksack, etc.) subject to the following size limitations: 36x27x25 cm + 1 suitcase, subject to the following size limitations: 55x35x25 cm.

There is an option to pay to upgrade the ticket if you need to take more luggage with you on avlo train.
If you need to add 1 piece of additional, larger-sized luggage, measuring a maximum of 85x60x35 cm (or not more than 180 cm in total), you can do so when purchasing of your ticket for €10.
Or after purchasing your ticket and up to 30 minutes before the train departs using any of our sales channels for €15.
Or In the final 30 minutes before your train departs, you can add extra luggage at the station's boarding control for €30.


Because of the options to pay for additional luggage, if you will be taking an avlo train you will be requested to be at the station a minimum of 30 mins prior to departure - when taking an AVE train you don't absolutely need to be at the station until a few minutes before the train will be leaving.

When taking an avlo train the idea is that you join a pre-boarding queue regardless of whether you do or don't have luggage with you.
Prospective passengers are then called forward in turn and those will luggage will have it weighed and measured.

When boarding without luggage at a station where the avlo train will be commencing its journey, it's best not to think, 'well I won't have bags to be screened, so I can arrive later'.
You could then find yourself at the back of a lengthy pre=boarding queue, waiting for those ahead of you to have their luggage checked.

If the luggage is line with the ticket you have paid for, you will be waived through, but if it exceeds the limits set out by the ticket and is within the absolute limit which can be taken by each passenger, you will be asked to pay a surcharge of €30.
However, if it exceeds the maximum limit =

  • 1 piece of hand luggage (bag, rucksack, etc.) subject to the following size limitations: 36x27x25 cm +
  • 1 suitcase, subject to the following size limitations: 55x35x25 cm +
  • 1 piece of additional, larger-sized luggage, measuring a maximum of 85x60x35 cm (or not more than 180 cm in total)
    you will be prevented from boarding.

Travelling with children

avlo = children aged 13 and under travel for a flat rate of €5 - maximum of 2 children per fare paying Adult.

AVE = children aged 5 -13 and under are entitled to a 40% discount.


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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.