Trip to Spain - January 2023

General Notes

Ten days in Spain, planned around the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour from Madrid to Almería, Málaga, Algeciras and Cadíz. I flew to Alicante/Alacant to cover required track in that area, and also stayed on for two days to cover some required track north of Madrid. One night in Segovia allowed viewing of the splendid Roman aqueduct there. Each day has its own album page, with an extra album for the Segovia Aqueduct.

Operating Company Abbreviations

  • RENFE - Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (principal train operator in Spain)

Track gauge

Unless otherwise stated, RENFE trains of types AVE and Avant are standard (1435 mm) gauge, others are Iberian (1668 mm) gauge. Gauge-changing trains are listed individually.

Place Arrive Depart Train Traction details & notes

Friday 20th January 2023

Timperley   04:02   taxi
Manchester Airport T3 (MAN) 04:16 06:30 FR 9073 Ryanair EI-ENM B737-8AS; gate 44) push-back at 06:36, take-off 06:48 from runway 23L
Alicante Airport (ALC) 10:10     landed 09:58 on runway 28, on stand 10:04
Alacant Aeropuerto   10:40 'C-6' bus
Alacant Estación de Autobuses 10:58      
Alacant Terminal   12:50 Avant 33125 RENFE EMU 104020 via Monforte del Cid east-south curve, standard gauge route: left track - east to south single curve - cross to right track - Elche AV north side loop - Callosa de Segura-Cox AV north side loop - then cross to left track, right not yet in use - Orihuela MH left track - Beniel left track
Murcia del Carmen 13:43 15:00 Avant 33157 RENFE EMU 104020 via Monforte del Cid south-east curve, standard gauge route: via Beniel right track - Orihuela AV right track – Callosa and Elche right (south) side loops - delayed before triangle - right hand track
Alacant Terminal 15:52 17:00 MD 18083 RENFE EMU 449012 via broad gauge route, direct Caudete – La Encina
Albacete Los Llanos 18:36     arr 22 late
New passenger track today: standard gauge Alacant Terminal - Monforte del Cid east-south curve - Murcia del Carmen; Iberian gauge Caudete – La Encina.
Overnight: Hotel Castilla, Paseo de la Cuba 3, 02001 Albacete (200 m from station; 1 night). Today's photos.
Notes:
Flight from Manchester to Alicante (Alacant), in position to cover the new high speed Avant services between Alacant and Murcia. Then from Alacant to Albacete: the west curve at La Encina only has two trains each way per day.

Saturday 21st January 2023

Albacete Los Llanos   09:18 RegExp 18018 RENFE DMU 599050 via left track from Moixent - right track after Xàtiva - slow running, sleeper and rail replacement
València Nord 11:23     arr 27 late
València Nord   12:19 Reg 14415 RENFE EMU 447306/?/305 slow running - Xàtiva, overlap with Alcoi branch
Xàtiva 13:17 13:50 Reg 14415 RENFE DMU 592235/?/?
Alcoi 15:04 15:18 Reg 14416 RENFE DMU 592235/?/?
Xàtiva 16:35 17:06 MD 18523 RENFE DMU 599055 cross to left track at La Font de la Figuera
Alacant Terminal 18:30     arr 12 late
Alacant Terminal   17:50 IC 463 RENFE DL 334014+8C+334020 dep 81 late
via Sant Gabriel (rev 18:48/18:49)
Murcia del Carmen 19:20     arr 63 late
New passenger track today: Xàtiva - Alcoi.
Overnight: Hotel Pacoche Murcia, Cartagena 30, 30002 Murcia (700 m from station) (1 night). Today's photos.
Notes:
The primary aim for today was to cover the branch line from Xàtiva to Alcoi, west of València, which only has 3 or 4 trains per day each way; then ending the day in Murcia to be in position for the next day's travels. The València to Alcoi train is advertised as a through service but was an EMU to the junction station at Xàtiva for a DMU forward. I could have stayed on train MD18523 all the way from Xàtiva to Murcia, but I found out that the InterCity service between Barcelona and Murcia, which is top-n-tailed between Alacant and Murcia by two Class 334 diesel locomotives, was running very late and behind the MD instead of in front of it; so I transferred to it at Alcant Terminal.

Sunday 22nd January 2023

Plaza Circular   09:58   Murcia tram 161
Estadio Nuevo Condomina 10:16 10:20   Murcia tram 163  via University loop
Los Rectores-Terra Natura 11:03 11:06   Murcia tram 159 via UCAM
Los Jerónimos 11:14 11:16   Murcia tram 159
Los Rectores-Terra Natura 11:23 11:26   Murcia tram 161
Plaza Circular 11:39     then view former Murcia-Zaraiche station building
Murcia del Carmen   13:55 AVE 5843 RENFE EMU 112 set 08
called at Orihuela, Elche AV - via Monforte del Cid west curve, long curve on to Alicante line 14:33 - Motilla del Palancar long curve under Valencia HSL 15:22 - new HSL from Torrejon de Velasco - Madrid Puerte de Atocha Estación Pasante Bypass - left track, cross before Charmartín
Madrid-Chamartín 16:40 17:07 'C-4A' RENFE EMU 465042 via diveunder - west side of Fuencarral
Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes 17:24 17:32 'C-4A' RENFE EMU 465042 via diveunder into Madrid-Charmartín
Madrid-Charmartín 17:48 18:00 'C-7' RENFE DD EMU 450009 etc via Recoletos - Atocha Cercanías [3] 18:16
Alcala [bay 4] 19:02 19:11 'C-2' RENFE DD EMU 450009 etc via Atocha Cercanías [2] 19:58 - Recoletos 
Madrid-Charmartín 20:06     arr 11 late
New passenger track today: standard gauge Monforte del Cid west curve - Motilla del Palancar Jn; new HSL from Torrejon de Velasco - Madrid Puerte de Atocha Estación Pasante Bypass - Charmartín. Madrid  suburban: Cantoblanco Universidad - Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes; Atocha Cercanías - El Pozo; Vicálvaro - San Fernando.
Overnight: Hotel Madrid Chamartín The One (above Charmartín station) (1 night). Today's photos.
Notes:
The primary aim for today was the route from Murcia to Madrid, much of which was "new track" for me, but especially the temporary route under Madrid Puerte de Atocha. Time beforehand to do the two-route Murcia tram system, and in the evening a couple of the Madrid suburban routes I need.

Monday 23rd January 2023

Madrid Chamartín [9B]   07:56 39030/1 ALSA DL 2148 + 2150 + 1603 in various combinations
via Hortaleza - Vicálvaro-Mercancías - Villaverde Bajo - Aranjuez 09.06 (28 late) - Alcázar de San Juan 10.22 (26 late) - Manzanares
Linares Baeza 12:46 13:16 37360  
via Moreda 15.16 - Guadix 15.40/15.44
Almería 17:21 18:28 37363/2 dep 16 late
via Guadix 20.28/20.48 (19 late) - Moreda (curve) 21.15 (15 late)
Granada 22:23     arr 10 late
New passenger track today: Manzanares - Moreda - Almería; Moreda - Granada.
Overnight: Hotel Tent Granada (300 m from station, 1 night). Today's photos.
Notes:
First day of the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour. Today would be "new track" for me from Manzanares to Almería and back to Granada, including two sides of the triangle south of Moreda (the difficult side, with no service at all, would be done tomorrow). The route from Almería towards Moreda climbs over 3700 feet in about 50 miles, that's an average gradient of about 1 in 70, but with long stretches at 1 in 40. Some tour participants headed back from Almería to Granada on a service train, but I opted to wait for the railtour; some time at Almería was well spent getting beers from a supermarket then pizzas from Domino's.

Tuesday 24th January 2023

Granada    09:45 37365 ALSA DL 2148 + 2150 + 1603 in various combinations
via Iznalloz 10.14/10.26 - Moreda 10.54/11.06 - Larva 12.00/12.07 (13 late)
Linares Baeza 13:03 15:47 39366 dep 58 late
via Córdoba 17.51 (84 late) - Fuente de Piedra - goods line - Bobadilla 19.40 (89 late) - El Chorro-Caminito Del Rey 19.56 (106 late)
Aljaima  20:31 00:47   arr 114 late; terminated due to fatality on train in front - ALSA coach
Hotel Eurostars Málaga 01:15     booked arrival 21:07
New passenger track today: Linares-Baeza - Córdoba.
New non-passenger track today: west curve at Moreda; Córdoba - Fuente de Piedra - goods line bypassing Antequera Sanata Ana.
Overnight: Hotel Eurostars Málaga (300 m from station). Today's photos.
Notes:
Second day of the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour: Granada - Moreda - Linares-Baeza - Córdoba - Bobadilla - Málaga.

Wednesday 25th January 2023

Málaga    07:29 37369 ALSA DL 2148 + 2150 + 1603 in various combinations dep 14 late - via Cartama 07:43 (arr 22/dep 31 late)
Bobadilla 08:37 09:07 37268 arr 26/dep 33 late
via Arriate 10:22/10:34 (36 late/32 late) - Jimera de Libar 10:55 (38 late/65 late) - Gaucin 11:14:11:26 (54 late)
Algeciras 12:20 13:16   arr 55/dep 81 late
via Beneojan-Montej (15:54/16:05) - La Indiana 14:42 (arr 77/dep 89 late) - Ronda goods loop 15:01/15:03 (arr 104/dep 111 ;ate) - Setenil 15:18/15:25 (dep 105 late)
Bobadilla 16:06 16:26 99371 arr 114/dep 105 late
via goods line to Fuente de Piedra - Puente Genil 16:57 (117 late)
Córdoba 17:52     arr 150 late
New passenger track today: none.
Overnight: AC Hotel by Marriott Córdoba (100 m from station, 2 nights). Today's photos.
Notes:
Third day of the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour: Málaga - Bobadilla - Algeciras - Bobadilla - Córdoba.

Thursday 26th January 2023

Córdoba   09:15 37372 ALSA DL 2150
via  Villarrubia 09:29 (dep 8 late) - Posadas 09:41 (dep 17 late) - Lora del Rio 10:12 (dep 20 late) - Bif Los Naranjos - Bif Tamarguillo - Palacio Congreso - La Salud 11:06 (dep 32 late)
El Puerto de Santa Maria 12:40 13:55 'C-1A' arr 21 late - RENFE EMU 464 223
Universidad 14:06 14:15 'C-1A' RENFE EMU 464 223
Las Aletos 14:18 14:21 'C-1' RENFE EMU 464 227
Cadíz  14:51 15:08 37375 ALSA DL 2150
via Jerez de la Frontera 15:46/16:01 - Palacio Congreso - Brenes 18:05/18:07 - Posadas 19:14/19:26 (dep 19 early)
Córdoba 19:55     arr 18 early
New passenger track today: Bif Tamarguillo - Bif La Negrilla; La Salud-Aguja km 10.2 - La Salud; Bif Utrera - Las Aletos - Cadíz; Las Aletos - Universidad.
Overnight: AC Hotel by Marriott Córdoba (2nd night). Today's photos.
Notes:
Fourth day of the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour: Córdoba - Sevilla bypass - El Puerto de Santa Maria - service train to Universidad and on to Cadíz - back on the railtour - Sevilla bypass - Córdoba. The Los Aletos - Universidad Cadíz Cercanías branch only has a few trains per day in term-time only.

Friday 27th January 2023

Córdoba   09:11 37379/8 ALSA DL 2150
via Espeluy 10:38/10:53
Jaén (*) 11:24 15:10 37181/0 ALSA DL 2150
Espeluy 15:47 16:34 37181 ALSA EL 269413 + DL1603 dead + DL 2148 dead, DL 2150 on rear
via Linares-Baeza 16:54 (dep 58 late) - Manzanares 18:20/18:31 (dep 69 late) - Alcazar de San Juan 19:03 (arr 77/dep 79 late) - Aranjuez 20:11/20:16 (dep 75 late) - Ciempozuelos 20:28 (arr 80/dep 87 late) - Madrid Atocha Cercanías 21:05/21:11 (arr 89/dep 84 late)
Madrid Chamartín 21:25     arr 89 late
New passenger track today: Espeluy - Jaén
Overnight: Hotel Madrid Chamartín The One (above station, 1 night) Today's photos.
Notes:
Fifth day of the PTG "Costa del Alco" 5-day railtour: Córdoba - Espeluy - Jaén - Espeluy - Manzanares - Aranjuez - Madrid Atocha Cercanías - Madrid Chamartín (we were supposed to cover the east curve avoiding Espuluy but this was removed, apparently for operational reasons).
(*) At Jaén a friend and I walked up to and along part of the disused railway line from Jaén towards Puente Genil.

Saturday 28th January 2023

Madrid Chamartin   07:32 '10' Madrid metro
Madrid Principe Pio 07:46 08:28 MD 18921 RENFE DMU 599 005 via Ávila, Crespos, Salamanca (11:25, dep 17 late)
Salamanca-La Alamedilla 11:27     walk back to Salamanca main station
Salamanca   14:00 MD 18306 RENFE DMU 594013 via Cantalapiedra station
Medina del Campo 15:03     walk across town
Medina del Campo AV   16:47 Alvia 4969 RENFE EMU 121019 on standard gauge
via Medina del Campo gauge changer - Cantalapiedra bypass line
Salamanca 17:31 18:20 Alvia 4988 RENFE EMU 121019 on broad gauge
via via Cantalapiedra bypass line - Medina del Campo gauge changer - Medina del Campo AV
Segovia Guiomar 19:31 19:55 '11' bus
Acueducto 20:05      
New passenger track today: Ávila - Salamanca - Salamanca-La Alamedilla; Salamanca - Cantalapiedra station - Medina del Campo; Medina del Campo AV - gauge changer - Salamanca line; Cantalapiedra station bypass line.
Overnight: Hotel ELE Acueducto, Segovia. Today's photos.
Notes:
Back to doing "my own thing". Aims for today were to cover the two routes to Salamanca and the various connections onto the Salamanca line at Medina del Campo. All of today would be "new track" for me except the route out of Madrid as far as Ávila, and part of the high speed line to Segovia. Segovia has a superb, completely intact, Roman Aqueduct, which I made sure I had time to look over (photos here), and also is the end of a broad gauge Madrid outer suburban line with a poor service (which I would cover next day).

Sunday 29th January 2023

Segovia   10:42 Reg 17122 RENFE EMU 446 023
Cercedilla  11:31 11:34 'C-8' RENFE EMU 446 012+446 038
via Pitis – Chamartín [6] - Nuevos Ministerios [2] - Recoletos [2]
Madrid Atocha Cercanías 12:48     walk down to the southern end of the Madrid Puerte de Atocha Estación Pasante Bypass
Madrid Puerte de Atocha   13:45 Avant 8132 RENFE EMU 114 set 10 via short curve at La Sagra
Toledo 14:18 15:25 Avant 8153 RENFE EMU 114 set 10 via long curve at La Sagra
Madrid Puerte de Atocha 15:58      
Madrid Atocha Cercanías   16:08 'C-4' RENFE EMU 465 018
Parla 16:36 16:56 'C-4' RENFE EMU 465 058
Madrid Atocha Cercanías 17:26 17:32 'C-5' RENFE EMU 446 419+093
Zarzaquemada 17:50 18:03 'C-5' RENFE EMU 446 238+330
Madrid Atocha Cercanías 18:20 18:24 'C-4' RENFE DD EMU 450 014 via Recoletos
Nuevos Ministerios 18:31 18:38 '8' Madrid metro
Aeropuerto T123 18:53      
Madrid T1 (MAD)   21:20 RK 6914 Ryanair G-RUKD; gate A4: push-back at 21:16, take-off 21:33 from runway 36L
Manchester Airport (MAN) 22:55 22:59   landed 22:40 on runway 23R, on stand 22:46 - taxi
Timperley  23:15     Today's photos.
New passenger track today: Segovia - Cercedilla - Villalba; Bif La Sagra - Toledo; Villaverde Alto - Parla.
Notes:
After more exploration of the aqueduct (photos here) I checked out out of the hotel and walked across town to the broad gauge station, which only has a sparse service. Continuing into Madrid I covered the short high speed line branch to Toledo, south of Madrid, then some more of the Madrid area suburban routes; before finally heading to Madrid airport for my flight home..