FEBRUARY 16 saw Renfe introduce Alaris tilting trains on the Madrid - Valencia inter-city corridor. The 10 sets built by Alstom-Fiat are based on the Pendolino design, and were formerly known as IC 2000 (RG 10.98 p693). Six trains a day each way will run at up to 200 km/h, and are scheduled to cover the 490 km in 3h 30min.
Alaris sets comprise three cars; each train can carry 49 passengers in preferente seats and 111 more in tourist class. As with many other long-distance trains, Renfe offers at-seat video and audio entertainment, with six screens per car. Comprehensive passenger information systems are controlled by the train supervisor. On-board catering is contracted to Wagons-Lits.
The same day saw the relaunch of conventional loco-hauled trains on the same route under the branding Arco. Two trains a day each way run between Madrid and Barcelona via Valencia, integrated with Euromed services on the coastal section. One train continues to and from Port Bou.