Metro Madrid Spain
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Travel By Train For Free In Spain For The Remainder of 2022 — But…

...not all forms of travel by train will be free.

A discount of 100 percent will be in effect as of Thursday, September 1, 2022 for the remainder of the year for commuter trips and medium distance trips that are operated by Renfe, which is the railroad network that is owned by the government of Spain.

Travel By Train For Free In Spain For The Remainder of 2022 — But…

The passes — which are valid for travel between Thursday, September 1, 2022 and Saturday, December 31, 2022 — may be purchased either through the Renfe Cercanías mobile software application program or at the ticket offices and self-sales machines of the train stations at any time through the end of the year…

…but the official message from Renfe is the recommendation to acquire the free Cercanías passes and Media Distancia passes before Monday, September 5, 2022 — which is the first Monday after the holidays — due to the significant increase in travelers which is expected that day in the Cercanías network and Media Distancia network throughout Spain.

Greater than 400,000 users have already registered to purchase passes in advance in order to speed up the process of purchasing the passes.

Travelers who have not yet registered for the aforementioned passes can purchase the title at the sales offices or self-sales machines of train stations in the Renfe network, presenting their tax identification number, foreign identity number, or passport, since the subscriptions are personal and cannot be transferred.

Although the subscriptions are free, a deposit of

  • Ten euros is required for each suburban service or Rodalies nucleus service
  • 20 euros for each Conventional Medium Distance service

Payment by credit card will allow the refund of the deposit to occur automatically after the end of the validity period — complying with the conditions of the subscription that at least 16 trips were taken during the last four months of 2022.

Trips that are longer than 300 kilometers or approximately 186 miles will still cost money — but those services may be obtained at a discount as well. Avant services will offer a discount of 50 percent for recurring users, which applies to all Avant multi-trip tickets — Plus Card Pass, Plus Card 10 or Plus 10-45 Card — which are sold between Thursday, September 1, 2022 and Saturday, December 31, 2022, with specific conditions of use adapted to the established bonus period.

Additionally, new commercial passes have been created with conditions that are similar to the Avant for high-speed routes where no Public Service Obligations or Framework Agreements exist and the travel time is fewer than 100 minutes. These bonuses will be 50 percent during their period of validity.

In anticipation of the increase in demand for the purchase of passes and tickets for rail service in Spain, Renfe has strengthened its customer service personnel with the hiring of 851 new workers, who will help solve issues that may arise for travelers both at the stations and through the specific hotline of 91 919 15 67.

More details and information pertaining to the free subscriptions is available at the official Internet web site of Renfe, where the procedure to obtain this new multi-trip ticket — as well as its conditions of use — is explained step by step.

Final Boarding Call

The measure was described as a way to ease the burden of inflation for residents of Spain — but the rail journeys will be free for tourists as well, which may mean stitching together a series of shorter trips to create a trip of a longer distance.

If you are able to take advantage of this offer, hopefully you will be able to avoid any impediments to your travels which may be caused by the current industrial action among workers of Iberia Express.

While this is a nice measure to implement for both residents and tourists, it does not beat the free transportation that is offered indefinitely in Luxembourg, which became effective as of Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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