The central station for the AVE (Spanish High Speed Rail​​), is Atocha Station. As seen in the picture, inside the old station, with an area of ​​4,000 square meters (4,783 yd²), is a large greenhouse containing an interesting botanical garden with 7,200 plants of 260 different tropical and subtropical, species.

Invernadero y Jardín Botánico de Atocha
Botanical Garden Atocha Station

Some notes to mention, of the high speed rail in Spain (AVE), it’s a service operated by RENFE, the Spanish national railway company.

In December 2011, the AVE Railway System, stands as the longest network of HSR (High Speed ​​Railway) in Europe, with 2665 km (1656 mi), and is second in the world after China. The speed reached by the AVE is 310 km/h (193 mph).

AVE - Alta Velocidad Española
AVE – Spanish High Speed Rail

The first line first operated in 1992, connecting the cities of Madrid, Cordoba and Seville. Unlike the rest of the Spanish broad gauge network, the AVE uses standard gauge, allowing direct connections outside of Spain.

AVE Tren de Alta Velocidad
High Speed AVE Train

On the line that goes from Madrid to Seville, the service guarantees arrival within five minutes of the advertised time, and offers a full refund if the train is delayed more than this.  Therefore, the timeliness of the AVE is exceptional on this journey.  On other AVE lines, this promise of punctuality is somewhat longer, such as the 15-minute margin of delay to Barcelona.

Estación de Atocha - Plaza del Emperador Carlos V
Atocha Train Station – Plaza del Emperador Carlos V


Unidad de Alta Velocidad serie 130 apartado en...

Renfe Avant en la estación de Madrid-Atocha
Renfe Avant en la estación de Madrid-Atocha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Español: Estación de Atocha, Madrid.
Español: Estación de Atocha, Madrid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)