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Flying into MAD @7:40AM, which train time should I reserve from Atocha?

Flying into MAD @7:40AM, which train time should I reserve from Atocha?

May 18th, 2014, 07:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Flying into MAD @7:40AM, which train time should I reserve from Atocha?

We are scheduled to fly into Madrid arriving on a Wednesday morning at 7:40AM and will only have carry-on luggage so won't have any checked bags to wait for. I am worried about allowing enough time to get to the train station, in case our flight is delayed. We plan to take an AVE train from Madrid Atocha rail station to Seville and I see that they depart every hour on the hour. Which train time should we reserve, 11AM or noon? I am thinking we may buy Promo+ train tickets because those say that they can be changed for a fee, has anyone done this? Thanks in advance for any advice.
lisa is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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If you arrive 07.40 and are out of the terminal at 8, then you'll be in Atocha at 8.20-8.25 if you take a taxi (30€ flat fee from the airport to the city center).

The train leaves terminal 4 every 30 minutes (0.28 and 0.58) and takes 25 mins to Atocha. If on schedule, you should be in Atocha before 8.30. Tickets are 2,55€. http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/

The bus takes 40 minutes from Terminal 4 and leaves every 15-20 minutes (5€). In other words, if you land on time, you should be in Atocha about 9am if you take the bus.

Free bus between the terminals leaves every 5 mins. 7-9 mins bus ride between terminal 1 and 4.
kimhe is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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Thanks. I'm leaning toward booking the 10AM train then, unless others think we should allow more time.
lisa is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Depends on how worried you are about delays. We did this about 8 months ago, only took a train to Cordoba, not Seville. I had even planned to take the bus from the airport to the Atocha train station, but even though we were not delayed, we had delays with luggage (which I realize you will not have), and I decided to taxi to Atocha. Of course we made it in plenty of time (if I remember correctly I left myself three hours between flight arrival and train departure), but I swore I would not do it again. Just was too much for my nerves.
Flame123 is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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I would definitely go with the 10am train. If your flight is one hour delayed, you'll still be in Atocha before 9.30 with either train or taxi.
kimhe is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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Well, Liza, it all depends on which terminal you're arriving at. If you're flying internationally, and due to arrive at T4S, the plane normally reaches the reach the gate in about 10 minutes. If you're arriving at T1, it takes 15 to 20 minutes of taxing before the flight reaches the gate. T4 is for flights within Europe, not international flights.

Depending on where you're sitting, it can take 20 minutes, or more, just to deplane. It's also a long walk from the arrival gate to passport control in T1, quicker in T4S.

Getting through passport control will also depend on how many flights are landing at around the same time and how many people will be ahead of you in the passport control line. The lines move quicker for EU passport holders.

A taxi is the quickest way to reach Atocha station, usually under 25 minutes, even in commuter traffic. The only delay we've ever encountered was during a protest when the streets where blocked the the taxi had to make a detour.

On our last trip, we made it to Atocha station about 90 minutes after arriving at the gate, and that was with checked luggage. Normally, we allow 3 hours should anything happen.

If you miss your train, the ticket is worthless. Any changes must be done prior to the train departing the station.
Robert2533 is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 11:30 AM
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Pressume 7.40 is gatetime. Has never taken me more than 45 mins from reaching the gate with carry-on luggage until safe and sound in the center of Madrid. The passport control might perhaps take some minutes extra (I travel within Europe, so no passport control).
kimhe is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Flying internationally is not the same as flying within Schengen countries. The planes tend to be larger, with more passengers. And T4S is further out than T4. Lines at passport control, for non-EU types, can be long if there are two or three international flights arriving within minutes of each other.

Reaching the center of Madrid in 45 minutes would be dreaming for anyone traveling internationally.
Robert2533 is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 01:18 PM
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Lisa, In March we arrived early enough to Madrid to take an earlier train to Cordoba from Atocha, we also had promo plus tickets. We found the change fees that would allow us to take the earlier train very expensive; about 70 euros for our two tickets so we decided spending an extra hour at Atocha was better for our budget.

With our Madrid/Cordoba tickets we could take the cercanias for no additional cost, since we had plenty of time it was not a problem when our train stopped shortly after departing and then went in reverse back past previous stops, where we waited until beginning again. I think all this back and forth doubled the usual travel time to Atocha but not a worry for us, we had lots of extra time Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 03:54 AM
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I have to share that the Madrid airport is huge and it took us at least :20 minutes if not longer to get from our plane to customs - there are even signs that tell you how long it will take you to get there. Same thing with returning home. It was huge, to get to our gate R from the drop off took us at least 25 minutes or longer.
Momddtravel2 is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for all of this information. FWIW, we are flying into T1.
lisa is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 08:25 PM
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Then opt for the later train!
Robert2533 is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 02:54 AM
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And if you get some extra time in Atocha, go to very popular café/bar/restaurant El Brillante just across the street from the train station. An institution in town, and excellent Madrid speciality Bocadillo de calamares (fried squid baguette, pure heaven with a sprinkle of lemon), typical Madrid breakfast Churros con chocolate etc. etc. Full of both locals and tourists: http://www.barelbrillante.es/?lang=en
kimhe is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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We were to land in MAD at 10:15 a.m.on a Saturday. I was so worried about missing our train at Atocha to Seville that I booked the 2 PM.

Heck, I could have booked the noon train.

I concur with most of the statements above:
--The walk from the plane to exit at MAD is about the same as the "Walk of Death" from Terminal 1 in Heathrow.
--Our taxis both ways were reliable and we thought reasonable
--We considered the train change fee and 86ed it. The station itself is beautiful, although we should have had kimhe with us to recommend the restaurant
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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