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Trains in Spain

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This is a supplement to my question about travel in Spain/Galicia in another thread.

Basically I am trying to decide whether my friend and I would enjoy the experience of the night train (in the "pullman" compartments with little bunks) from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela (as an adventure in itself) or should just take the plane to get from one place to another.

In general, I also want tips about the train service around Madrid and in Galicia.

Has anyone here taken the night train? Was it okay? (Were the beds clean? Are there standards of cleanliness etc. they must observe?)
Are trains generally reliable?
How is luggage handled on long train trips (such as Madrid to Compostela)?

Any answers to any of the above questions will be very much appreciated.

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