Ouigo, a subsidiary of the French state railway company SNCF, has launched a new low-cost train service with a stop in Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha. The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Nacho Hernando, attended the launch of Ouigo’s Madrid-Alicante line, which stops at Albacete’s ‘Los Llanos’ station. Hernando said that Ouigo’s decision to include a stop in Albacete was great news for the city, as it reinforces the potential of Albacete as a logistics and mobility hub. Ouigo began operating in Spain on 15 March 2021 with services between Madrid and Barcelona, followed by the Madrid-Valencia route in October 2022, which now includes a stop in Albacete. Ouigo expects around 28,000 passengers to use its Albacete-Alicante service every week on trains with 509 seats over two floors.
Other attendees at the launch included the Mayor of Albacete, Emilio Sáez; the President of the Provincial Council of Albacete, Santiago Cabañero; the Regional Delegate in the Province, Pedro Antonio Ruiz Santos; the Ministerial Delegate for Public Works in Albacete, Julen Sánchez; and the General Director of Transport and Mobility, Rubén Sobrino.
Low-cost train services have been on the rise in Spain, and on 27 March, the AVLO Madrid-Alicante service began stopping in Albacete and Cuenca. The AVLO Madrid-Valencia service also includes a stop in Cuenca. Iryo, a private Spanish high-speed rail operator, will add stops in Albacete from June on the Madrid-Alicante and Alicante-Madrid routes. These initiatives have been praised for their triple sustainability benefits: reduced travel times, affordable prices, and environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Albacete hopes to expand its strategic role in the railway system and become a major logistics and mobility hub for the region.