madrid to lisbon sleeper train

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Dec 4th, 2011, 08:17 AM
  #1
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madrid to lisbon sleeper train

We have done overnight trips in several countries but not in the past few years. I have done some research but still have a few questions.

Can this trip be (easily) pre-booked on the internet? approx. price if pre-booked (we could either be in our own 2 person compartment OR share a single sex larger compartment). I am seeing we can only pre-book 62 days out? If we wait until in Madrid - approx. price? Thanks for your help and feedback!
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Dec 4th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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From what I've heard, the Madrid-Lisbon overnight train is due to stop running at the end of December, too expensive to maintain the line.

A new high speed train is in the works but who knows when it will be ready.
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Dec 4th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Hello..
As you probably already know, train from Lisbon would go through Madrid BUT it is an overnight train so you could sleep on train. Then, it is a 2 1/2 hour journey to Seville. These trains are common there. But as some of my friends said, road trip is actually nice, highways are great and allows you to stop along the way; you really do not need a car in Madrid, but a car in Lisbon may come in handy to do some out of town trips.

Regards,
Ankush
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Dec 4th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Currently there is no reliable day connection by rail between Portugal and Madrid - either Lisbon or Porto that is - a few changes of train are required and change times are short so you could be stranded en route - the overnight train is the only direct train.

But do perhaps as I did and break your journey in Elvas, wonderful old Elvas just over the border in Portugal and take a bus from there either to Lisbon or to a rail station en route to Lisbon.
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Dec 4th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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I had not heard that the Madrid-Lisbon trenhotel was going to stop running. I know it's frequently cheaper to fly but the train is a nice experience. As far as the high speed train goes, that's not going to happen until the new Lisbon airport across the river opens and a new bridge from that airport to the Oriente train station is built. That will be at least 10 years, probably more. I saw a display showing how it was all going to be, and the timeline was pretty far out, and that was before the economy tanked and the plan disappeared. So is it possible that there will be no direct train service between the two cities?

I've only been in the 4-person single sex sleeper cars, so I can't tell you about the 2-person one. But the 4-person was fine.
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Dec 4th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Adult daughter and I were on the Lisbon-Madrid last month coming from San Sebestian to Salmanca..overnight arriving @ 4AM. We did not take the sleeper section but it looked lovely, dining car especially as we boarded @ 10PM. Google " train trip from LIS to MAD " and see how Renfe comes up. It was a comfortable ride, scenic going up to the Basque city and quiet coming back.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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the Lisbon to San Sebastian train via Salamanca goes thru Madrid? Never did before must be a change.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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The Sud Expresso goes through Salamanca and Burgos on the way to Hendaye, but does not go through Madrid.

The Lusitânia Combolo Hotel train runs from Lisbon to Madrid. It is supposed to be replaced by a new high speed train sometime in 2013, but who knows with the current economy.

You currently cannot purchase tickets on the Lusitânia Combolo Hotel from Lisbon to Madrid on the CP website after 3 Jan., or on Renfe (Madrid-Lisbon and Lisboa-Madrid) after 5 Jan.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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still looking for some price info, pre-booking advice - looking at the RENFE website, it still seems to be running (shows times and prices for early Feb.)On the website there was a link to a US agent - Petrabax? anyone have any experience with them?

I was confused about the Madrid reference as well as the Seville? connection.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Forget the train-take a flight on Vueling!
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Dec 5th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Robert - "you currently cannot purchase tickets..." do you mean becasue they are not sold in advance or because the train will not be running? I thought that I had looked at the RENFE website and saw a schedule for into Feb. - there was an "International Trains" section and it gave some info on the Madrid to Lisbon route - did not mention it being discontinued.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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On the website there was a link to a US agent - Petrabax? anyone have any experience with them?>

Vaguely but not enough to comment but I was told by a Rail Europe agent who I have dealth with for years that RailEurope now taps into the RENFE www.renfe.es web site and offers a similar range of fares and not just full priced tickets as previously. I do not know about this but if you want to call the folks at www.budgeteuropetravel.com and ask for Byron he may know the current situation of that and he is also IME a font of good information on European trains.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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Renfe is showing tickets from Lisbon to Madrid, but no train on 6 Jan (Epiphany). CP still hasn't updated their website to reflect any Lisbon-Madrid trains after 3 Jan 2012.

We've used Petrabax. They work fine, but you do pay a premium, as with Rail Europe.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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I have found a variety of sources stating that the Lisbon-Madrid high speed rail link has been cancelled. http://www.coastrider.net/news/natio...bon-madrid-ave

That would seem to make it more likely that the regular old trenhotel would keep running, but who knows. And though I'm no RENFE expert, it does look like there are no Madrid-Lisbon trains listed for 2012.

BTW, and though you didn't ask, if you are left with no trains, I'd strongly suggest plane over bus. The buses are slow and boring, though they do offer basic levels of comfort.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 07:55 PM
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Nearly six years ago I went the other way, Lisbon to Madrid, on the night train. I was traveling on a EurailPass and the T-4 bunk cost €29 extra. It was January and the train was virtually deserted.

Keep in mind that Portugal and Spain are in different time zones. The Portuguese train stations in the countryside are decorated with some very nice tile murals.

For a good cheap lunch with a view go to the ninth floor cafeteria of the Pollux department store and sit outside.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 11:24 PM
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spaarne, a lot has changed in six years...
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Dec 7th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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Lisbon to Madrid high-speed rail link has to be a casualty of the austerity budget in Spain one would think.
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Dec 7th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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PalenQ is right - www.raileurope-world.com now taps into the Renfe ticketing system and offers the same fares as renfe.com, with just a 4 euro fee added.

If renfe.com doesn't work for you, for example you have credit card acceptance problems, raileurope-world.com is now a good fallback.

It will book the Madrid-Lisbon 'Lusitania' sleeper train, at least if you want a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.

Unfortunately, Rail Europe set up their website around only two 'classes' 'second' and 'first', forgetting that sleeper trains might have 5 or 6 different types of accommodation. They have had to set up 'second class' to = a seat (NOT recommended) and 'first class' to = a 2-bed sleeper, for 102 euros per person incluidng breakfast.

It is therefore a good option to use www.raileurope-world.com if you are happy with a 2-bed sleeper, but it's not possible to use it to book a bed in a cheaper 4-berth Tourist sleeper, or a bed in a wonderful 2-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower (and 3-course dinner with wine and breakfast included!), as their website hasn't got enough 'classes' in their software (if that makes sense!)
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Dec 12th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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thanks Man in seat 61 for the details on something I had just heard but did not know how works!
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Dec 13th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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Man in seat 61 has a link to RailEurope on his commercial site www.seat61.com so if having problems with www.renfe.es and willing to pay an extra 4 euros click on the link on Man in Seat 61's site and he'll get some commission I presume - and well earned!
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