Sunday, July 14, 2019

Castelló, Campo de Criptana

Since my first Interrail day starting in Roskilde, I've been using each day as I have purchased a continuous 22 days pass (it turned out that the price was almost same as for 15 days flexible pass). So, today I'm travelling in Spain from Barcelona to Madrid, visiting windmills of Criptana on my way.
 Starting in Catalonia region, still fighting for its independence

 I've purchased all my seat reservations in advance through Interrail reservation service, as it is the only option to do that in advance. It is also possible to buy the reservation at the ticket counter, but I would not recommend that as many trains in Spain can be fully booked. Seat reservations through Interrail reservation service are sent by email as pdf files. It is not possible to choose a specific seat, otherwise everything worked quite well.
 First I'm taking a Media Distancia train to Barcelona from a nearby town where I was staying.
 Renfe Class 449
 Media Distancia train between Girona and Barcelona do not require a seat reservation.

 At Barcelona Sants I'm taking Euromed train to Castello.
 Renfe Class 130 as Euromed train
 Preferente class

 In Preferente, a breakfast is included in the morning train
On Renfe website it is possible to view services for each train and class

 The breakfast that is served includes a hot dish

 Near Sitges the railway is located near a walking path

 Euromed train with destination Valencia

 A modern station in Castello replaced an older one in 2000.

 The old station house from 1864 is located with a walking distance from the new one

 Parc Ribalta

 A hybrid bus/trolleybus in Castello

 I have only 40 minutes between my previous and next trains, so I'm returning to the station
 Flixbus in Castello

 My next train is a Talgo service with Class 252 locomotive

 As Talgo train do not have Preferente class, I've got a reservation in Turista plus coach


 Changing gauge facility in Albacete

 I was supposed to change trains at Alcazar de San Juan having almost 15 minutes to do that. I must say that during this trip not a single train arrived on time, and this train was no exception. The conductor assured me that I would make it...
 By the time Talgo train arrived to Alcazar de San Juan, I could see my next train leaving the station

 I went outside the station and could spot a taxi station. The trip between Alcazar de San Juan took about 10 minutes, and costed me 13 EUR.

 As a bonus, the taxi driver took me all the way to the top of the windmills area
 The view of the windmills is incredible

 Most people arrive here by car

 Some of the windmills are converted to museum

 Don Quixote

 The way from windmills to the station
 The station is located along the Iberian gauge railway Madrid-Alicante

 682,5m above sea level

 Altaria train from Cartagena to Madrid

 Renfe Class 334 is a Vossloh Euro 3000 diesel locomotive

 I have two options to get to Madrid from Criptana, the first is by using the Iberian gauge railway going back to Alcazar de San Juan or to go through Albacete and take a high speed train. So I'm taking the 2nd option.
 First I'm taking Media Distancia train to Albacete. This MD train requires seat reservation.

 The new station in Albacete opened in 2010 and it is a combined high speed and conventional train station.
 I'm taking AVE train to Madrid
 AVE 5183 from Alicante to Madrid with only one stop here in Albacete
 Renfe Class 100 is the first high speed train type in Spain
 I've got a seat in Preferente class but without a window. There was no food or drink included in Preferente class of this train. Hence the seat reservation cost was 13EUR instead of the usual 23.5EUR (1st class).
Sin Restauracion means no food or drink service in 1st class
 Since I've got a seat without a window, I went to the bar coach where there were plenty of windows
 The section of Madrid-Valencia and Madrid-Albacete high speed line opened in 2010, while the route to Alicante opened in 2013. As all high speed lines in Spain it is built with standard gauge (1435mm), and electric powered at 25 kV AC, with signalling ERTMS levels 1 and 2.

 Cuenca high speed station

 Basílica del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

 Renfe Class 321 locomotive, now as a tourist train Felipe II
 Arriving to Madrid

 From Atocha station I'm heading to Chamartin station where I will spend the night in a nearby hotel.
 The view from my hotel room to the Cuatro Torres Business Area
 Chamartin station
 Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range

The view down from the hotel room

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