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for another great course in railways that I´d never run into otherwise.  It would be nice if infrastructure projects learned from previous mistakes elsewhere, but I can´t think of any.

What would you consider a ´fair´, or an average European ticket price for this trip?  And also, what would be the benefit of subsidized ticket prices overall, in the long run?  

The ticket pricing is strange because some are €101 and some are €120 depending on the time.
https:/w1.renfe.es/vol

Via Libre is not clear on the prices, but the €101-120 tickets are one-way only and there is always a 20% discount on a round trip, so it goes down to €80.  There are actually no promo-rates, but you get up to 40%-60% discount for 7-15-day advance purchase, which makes it more reasonable for a regular person and more than fair for the usual business commuter.  They are also maintaining the 22:00 all-nighter for €38, but I hope I don´t need to take that one, with the 6 bunkbeds in a closet, again.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Wed Feb 20th, 2008 at 04:35:52 PM EST
For this trip, from a back-of-the-envelope calculation, I think the average could be as low as €60, but €80 in place of the €100 one-way ticket would already look nicer. (BTW, for comparison, could you find the pre-May-2006 price for a Madrid-Barcelona trip? I believe to remember you took one such trip yourself.)

The way I read it, €120 is for direct (and thus faster) M-B trains, so it depends on time, but I'm not sure what you meant by time.

Via libre mentions the 20% discount. It also calls the 60% discount for web purchase "tarifa promocional", does that not mean promotional pricing? (BTW, on the TGV Est, there was a similar promo price -- for first-class, making first-class cheaper than second-class for the lucky.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 20th, 2008 at 06:37:43 PM EST
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A few years ago I got a first-class couchette (around 70 Euros) from Verona to Paris, because the discounted tickets were sold out, and the regular second-class price was 100 Euro. I wonder how widespread this phenomenon is?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 12:57:32 AM EST
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Actually the SNCF is careful that discounted places for the first class are a bit cheaper than full price second class seats, so as to make sure the first class gets filled up a bit.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 05:22:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looked at more detail, since my link above doesn´t want to turn blue:
2:38 min. trip = €119.50 one way, or €95.60 round trip.
3:24 min. trip = €101.30  OW

so it must make stops and there are many choices for both, M-F.  All, but one, trips on weekends seem to be the longer ones.  It´s a price to make you think twice, but definitely worth avoiding the airport hassles and anxiety, to me.  I hope they don´t start putting the same insecurity controls in train stations, although they already have the databases anyway; at least if you buy on the net/with plastic.

My trip in 2003? was maybe €48? for 9:30 hours in a bunk and it is now €50.50 for the same, while a seat is €38.10.

The 40-60% discounts are new Renfe policy for all long-distance trains, not just ave, with advance purchase and penalized ticket exchanges.  The 20% on round trips has been the policy for several years.

Almost OT:
Ave = bird (family)
Averia = malfunction

When the Ave got to Seville for the 92 Expo, it was already commonly called ´averia´ and it should have been food for thought, but "No! we don´t believe in (pre)destiny... It will fly.", I heard as I was forced to take a flight back to Madrid that October.  (;  Maybe an ostrich (avestruz) would have been a better omen/logo.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:56:10 PM EST
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