Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tarragona, Girona

Today I'm visiting two large towns in Catalonia, which can be reached by trains - Tarragona and Girona.
I'm using Interrail here in Spain, though it's not as easy as in the other European countries. Most stations have ticket gates which are not possible to open with Interrail ticket, and the staff do not always know what Interrail is. The other problem is the expensive seat reservation for long distance trains. Here is Renfe Class 449, Media Distancia in Catalonia, which do not require seat reservation.

 At station Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, I'm changing to Class 448 Regional Exprés to Cambrils
 Inside the coach of Class 448
 Next is the Class 450 - which is a double deck EMU
 The line to Tarragona is located next to the coast of the Mediterranean sea


 I make a short stop at the Villanueva y Geltrú station. The station opened in 1881

 Next to the station is the museum of the railways of Catalonia, which opened in 1990

The museum has a large collection of historic railway locomotives and other rolling stock in a former station and roundhouse.

 Steam locomotive 040-2019


 Another Class 450 will take me to San Vicente de Calders

 Thanks to the broad Iberian gauge the seat composition is 3+2 in this train.

 At Sant Vicenç de Calders I'm changing trains for further ride to Tarragona
 Talgo train to Alicante do not stop here in Sant Vicenç de Calders
 Renfe Class 252 locomotive

 My next train is Class 446 EMU which is used here for Regional Exprés service to Tortosa
 Meanwhile on the other side of the platform I spot this Class 335 - Vossloh Euro 3000
 The locomotive is used here by Transitia Rail - a private Basque operator

 No empty seats between Sant Vicenç de Calders and Tarragona

 Class 446 at Tarragona
 Class 448
 Tarragona is located along the 299km long Valencia - San Vicente Calders Line railway line which opened in 1868

Station in Tarragona is located next to the sea

Balcó del Mediterrani
Monument a Roger de Llúria

Rambla Nova
Tarragona als herois de 1811 -  a monument dedicated to the Siege of Tarragona during the war with Napoleon
Via de l'Imperi Romà
The Roman ruins of Tarraco have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Catedral de Tarragona
Plaça de Santiago Rossinyol
Torre del Pretori

Euromed train from Alicante to Barcelona
Renfe Class 130 is a Talgo 250 high speed dual gauge and dual voltage train
From Tarragona, I had an option to take this train back to Barcelona. Unfortunately, with Interrail that would cost me 23.5EUR for a seat reservation in 1st class, which is more expensive than if I would buy a single ticket for same train/class.
So, I took the Regional Exprés train, which do not require a seat reservation. The ticket for this train to Barcelona costs 8,05EUR.
Renfe Class 470 is a EMU from 1975, rebuilt in 1993

The bad thing with trains without seat reservations is that there are sometimes no available seats
Around 1h trip, and I'm in Barcelona
I'm having typical Spanish lunch at Barcelona Sants station before my next train.
My next destination is Girona. Here I also have the option to take a Regional train (included in Interrail), or to pay a seat reservation and take a high speed train. Since travel time is much faster, 38min compared to 1h20min and the fact that a seat reservation cost only 4EUR, I choose the faster option. Both seat reservations for Renfe SNCF train from France to Spain and Renfe domestic trains can only be purchased at the station and not through Renfe or SNCF websites.
The 4EUR option is for the so called Avant train, a high speed train for regional services.
This Avant train (Renfe Class 114) is used for service between Barcelona and Lleida
My Avant train is also the AVE service from Madrid to Figueras.

Renfe Class 114 and 103

For Avant trains, there is a 4EUR seat reservation fee. Even though I had a 1st class pass, I got a seat in 2nd class car.

38min later, I'm in Girona
AVE Class 103 is a Siemens Velaro E train certified for 350km/h, maximum service speed is however 310km/h

Impressive underground high speed train station in Girona which opened in 2012

The old station in Girona opened in 1862, and it was rebuilt in 1973 (elevated on a viaduct)

River Onyar
Refugio Antiaéreo
It's funny that there has been a sunny weather through my journey in northern Europe, and it is rainy weather here in the south of Europe
The east side city wall is now a tourist route around the old city

Cathedral of Girona

So far, I was lucky to avoid the heavy rain, but here in Girona it would rain quite a lot on this day

Pujada de Sant Domènec

Pont de Sant Agustí

Plaça de la Independència

Media Distancia train back from Girona

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