Almost 40 million passengers use Alta Velocidad (high-speed) services every year in Spain. The modernisation of our railway throughout much of the Iberian peninsula as regards Larga Distancia (Long Distance) and Media Distancia (Mid-distance) services involves an Alta Velocidad (high-speed) network that has been developed in connection with the conventional network. Development over the years places the cumulative number of passengers who have used the Alta Velocidad (high-speed) network in Spain at more than 400 million passengers.

A countrywide transformation.

28 years after the first Alta Velocidad (high-speed) service, the train is the main mode of collective transport chosen in Spain for long-distance routes on the peninsula.

Multisectoral impact.

The implications of this fact are connected with the Spanish industrial and rail sector, a world reference; with the tourism sector, where Spain is an international benchmark; and with a low-carbon economy; in addition to the safety, reliability and punctuality of services that provide the user with added value.

The network effect.

The effect that the expansion of the Alta Velocidad (high-speed) network has progressively generated means that, together with the millions of annual passengers on AVE (high-speed) services, 65% of Larga Distancia (Long Distance) passengers on services running on the conventional network partially use the Alta Velocidad (high-speed) network, designed to connect end points on unfinished corridors.

The value of time.

The average commercial speed of services over the Spanish Alta Velocidad (high-speed) network is 222 km/h, higher than in pioneering countries such as Japan or France. This is one of the key technological factors of this transformation.

Energy, carbon, externalities.

Rail is one of the central elements for a low-carbon economy and for reducing the externalities caused by transport, avoiding costs and reducing emissions.

Technological forefront.

This technological development has placed the Spanish railway sector and the industrial sector linked to it at the forefront of the global high-speed market. Renfe and Adif are leaders in interoperability and signalling and traffic systems. Spain is the country with the highest deployment of the ERTMS traffic management system, the most advanced standard defined by the European Union for the community bloc, both as regards the track and on board trains.

World reference.

The development of Alta Velocidad (high-speed) has allowed us to export this knowledge and technology to countries such as Saudi Arabia or the United States for the design, construction and operation of high-speed services.


The growth in demand for Alta Velocidad (high-speed) services is a result of the factors that distinguish them (average speed, safety, comfort, reliability and punctuality) and service commitment. The network has been extended and Renfe's Alta Velocidad (high-speed) services have gradually been increased while maintaining outstanding levels of perceived quality that are above average within the transport sector.

New services.

Renfe works to continue adding value to its Alta Velocidad (high-speed) services before, during and after the journey. We perceive citizens and customers who are increasingly independent, demanding and connected in virtual communities that require adaptation to an environment marked by data management, personalisation and a direct, transparent service. Advancing the digital development of the services we offer is therefore an indispensable part of Renfe strategy. The PlayRenfe content and Wi-Fi connection platform is a good example of innovation, customisation and digitisation typical of our era, where the catalogue of opportunities for the customer to add value to their time has multiplied.