Tuesday, July 16, 2019


I have one more day in Spain, and since I have a consecutive Interrail pass, I need to make us of it. Today I will make a day trip from Barcelona to Calatayud and back.
Calatayud is located 400km from Barcelona, but thanks to the high speed railway the trip can be done fast.
Cats in Catalonia
First I'm taking a direct train from Barcelona to Madrid. It is AVE 3080 and it takes 2:30 to reach a distance of 620km.
It seems that this service is very popular as the platform is already crowded with passengers
On the other side is the AVE S100 train to Lyon operated by Renfe-SNCF

AVE S103 Velaro E
For the high speed line Barcelona-Madrid this type of trains are used in the first place. In 2006 one of the S103 trains reached 403.7km/h speed between Guadalajara and Calatayud making a record in Spain.

I'm not travelling with 400km/h, but I would say that it was 300km/h almost all the way

Passing by Lleida
On Renfe website, it is possible to view services for each train. AVE 3080 has "Breakfast in Preferente Class". As I'm travelling with Interrail, I had to pay a reservation fee of 23.5EUR. Buying a full price ticket would cost me around 170EUR (Promo) or 215EUR (Flexible) - which is a huge price in my opinion.
So, what do you get for 23.5EUR (Except for the seat)...
The breakfast has both warm and cold dishes.
Passing by Zaragoza

A movie is displayed
Guadalajara station

Arriving to Madrid - on time!

I only have 35 min here in Madrid before my next train. Interrail travellers with 1st class reservation are granted access to Renfe lounge. There is a selection of snacks and drinks available here.
Not many people here in the lounge
As my previous train did not stop in Calatayud, I have to take another AVE (now from Madrid), that do stop there. So, I'm travelling back...

AVE 3113 that I'm taking now has "Aperitif" in Preferente class
Which means some sandwiches and snacks
Drinks are included too, I chose Cava and coffee

This trip lasted only 55 minutes
AVE S103 at Calatayud
High speed line between Barcelona and Madrid opened in sections, this part opened in 2003.
There are tracks with platform access and for the bypass
The station is located in the central Calatyud connecting the Iberian gauge and Standard gauge railways together
The original station opened in 1863

Renfe Class 448 at Calatayud. This train was manufactured in 1987

Renfe Class 597, TER (Tren Español Rápido)
This diesel train was manufactured by FIAT/CAF in 1964
Castle of Calatayud. One of reasons I'm here, and a site that can be seen while travelling by the railway which I have done many times before.

40 or 25? I think it was somewhere in between or closer to 25, I felt lucky as I know this place can be really hot in the summer.

From Wikipedia: "The name Calatayud came from the Arabic قلعة أيوب Qal‘at ’Ayyūb "Ayyub's castle" (Ayyub, a version of the Biblical name Job, is a fairly common Arabic given name). The ancient inhabitants of Bilbilis moved to the new site. Occupying a strategic placement between the central meseta of Spain and the Ebro valley the city retained its importance in succeeding centuries. By the eleventh century a substantial Jewish community was present, surviving the reconquista until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Judaica texts from this era refer to Calatayud as "kela Iyov." (קלע איוב, קלעה איוב, or קלעיה איוב[9] The city was conquered from the Muslims by Alfonso I of Aragón in 1119. Many surviving examples of mudéjar church architecture show that the Moorish influence lived on."
The tower of the Santa María church of mudéjar style. Mudéjar refers to the group of Muslims who remained in Iberia in the late medieval period despite the Christian reconquest.
Long distance bus passing Calatayud
Plaza del Fuerte

Church of San Andrés.

Cat in Calatayud

The cat got scared
But curious at the same time
I'm climbing up to the Ayyub Castle

Most of the castle was closed due to renovation

Plaza España

A cold beer was nice after walking up and down

I'm back to the station
At the Iberian gauge track a freight train was present

It is a Vossloh Euro 4000 with Iberian gauge
335 025 is from Alpha Trains Iberia, hired to Logitren Ferroviaria S.A., Valencia

Renfe Class 470 arriving from Zaragoza, or actually it is a Regional Express from Barcelona. If I would take this train instead of AVE I would arrive only now. The trip would take 6h instead of 2h.

Most AVE trains do not stop here

I arrived a bit earlier to the platform, and could spot an earlier AVE to Barcelona. When entering this platform I had to pass through security control, the guards told me that it is forbidden to take photos, which was a shock for me.
Apparently there is a rule from the Spanish civil war in the 30's forbidding to photograph railway and stations, there is more information to read here. A special permission is required.
Anyway, I have been taking so many pictures already in Spain and nobody did stop me, so I decided to not follow the prohibition, hopefully the police and guard have more important duties than chasing rail photographers.
Class 333 from LCR (Low Cost Rail)

Class 253 is not only used by Renfe, but also by Captrain
253 102 is a Traxx F140 DC with Iberian gauge

Renfe Class S120 operated as Alvia service to Pamplona

S120 is a dual-gauge EMU from CAF, manufactured in 2001

Finally, my train is arriving

It is a double AVE S103 train set
It is important to get on the right train, as it is not possible to walk between these

Afternoon snack on AVE 3153



Antiguo Pueblo De Rodén

As the attendant was passing by me once again, she gave me another bottle of Cava

Back to where I came from

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