RENFE--trains blocked??

Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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RENFE--trains blocked??

Instead of continuing my saga, which I hope will be a short one, on an existing thread, I will post it here. Tickets--including tickets with steep discounts-- are now available for dates both preceeding and following my own date of travel in January.

The train I am seeking is the morning train (one of two daily) from Madrid to Granada.

Unfortunately, this morning train on my date, 13 January, is now marked as "blocked." Other morning trains in the period--but not all-- are also noted as blocked. There are no discounts shown for the afternoon train on the same date, yet there are discounts available on days both before and after my date.

I did find this link, and a few others, in Spanish, suggesting that this is not a very unusual occurrence. My question is, will the blocked trains become "unblocked?" (I believe the link below may suggest that this is true)

I have been advised on an existing RENFE thread (title RENFE-----GRRRR) to keep monitoring the situation online. But I wonder if anyone has more information about blocked trains...

Also, has anyone here taken a long-distance bus and if so, how was the journey? Travel times of the bus and train are about the same on this route, but I can find no morning bus.....am I overlooking something?

Many thanks!


http://turismoytren.com/index.php/re...s-de-usuarios/
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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I found a bus at 8a.m. on alsa's website. It takes about 5.5 hours and is 16.4 euros.

Unfortuntely I've never taken this bus and can't help you with the details of the journey.

www.alsa.es
CathyM is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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I just checked Renfe on the Madrid-Granada trains on the 13th. They do not show "blocked", but there is a server error when you click on them to purchase the tickets. It could be the old story that the winter schedules for this run have not been updated, or the system is just doing its usual thing...

If you want, you may want to email Renfe to see what's up. They do respond.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 01:07 AM
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Spoke to renfe and the person said she does not know the reason for the blockage but sometimes it is due to pre-arranged strikes. Seems there are a lot of conductor strikes planned these next months but she only had the list for November/December.

Or, they are working on the line in the morning.

She also said it could become unblocked but of course she couldn't guarantee it not knowing the real reason.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 02:57 AM
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Licasanova: A million thanks for making that call. I will keep checking. Will I be sage to wait until a few weeks prior to date of travel to see if the morning train shows up? I would not want to wait too long and then find that there are no seats on the afternoon train!

Robert: Thank you. I have all but abandoned the idea of getting a train ticket with a web discount; now I just want a ticket!

CathyM: I cannot see where you found an 8am bus for the morning of 13 January; this is what I see when I put in that date. Maybe I did something wrong--not an unusual occurrence:


MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 14:00 19:00 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID (INTERCAM AV.AMERICA) GRANADA 15:00 20:50 5h 50min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 15:30 20:50 5h 20min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 16:30 21:30 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 17:00 21:30 4h 30min 32,77€ 62,26€ supra+ yes show
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 17:30 22:30 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID (INTERCAM AV.AMERICA) GRANADA 18:00 23:30 5h 30min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal 42 show This ticket is not available on the Web. Please go to the point of sale.
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 18:30 23:30 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal 42 show This ticket is not available on the Web. Please go to the point of sale.
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 19:30 00:30 +1day 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show
MADRID ESTACION SUR GRANADA 23:30 04:30 +1day 5h 00min 16,40€ 29,52€ normal yes show

These prices do not include administrative costs (1 € for tickets less than 10 € and 2.5 € for tick
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Just an update:

The train that I want is in January now showing, so it was "unblocked."

Web fares are now available.

BUT, I received the "error message: G001 when I tried to book the tickets.

I have phoned my bank and had them on the line at the same time as the person at RENFE.

RENFE person has told us that "American credit cards" cannot be used to buy tickets online. I was transferred to a supervisor who told me the same thing. I kept insisting that "many friends of mine have bought tickets with American credit cards." I was told that this was impossible, and that the website was designed only for people living in Spain!

YIkes! Now I finally have my own RENFE experience!

Is there anything else I can do to buy those tickets besides trying the (American) card of my traveling partner?

Also, should a miracle occur and I am able to buy the tickets, can anyone offer advice on the "best" seats to select for good views and ability to keep an eye on luggage (where is luggage stored--at the end of the cars?) This is the Altaria train.

Many thanks for your continuing help! VERY frustrating!
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Old Nov 25th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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ekscrunchy,

It is absolute c..p that the site is only for 'people living in Spain'. Try with any and all debit or credit cards (and VISA may be preferred).

Have you not been referred to this yet, which covers any problem so far known - http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-...s.Online..html

but essentially, G0001 or very similar, is a failing of connectivity/security between your card provider and RENFE (i.e. in Europe there are stronger safeguards).

(Another regular something which is overlooked is time difference, so work with a Spanish working day).

Good luck.
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Old Nov 25th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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"I was told that this was impossible, and that the website was designed only for people living in Spain!"

not true.
I bought tickets without a problem in the spring ( with Canadian issued MC). I did not even call my bank, during the booking process a security question (from my bank) popped up on the screen .
danon is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Thanks to both of you!

I do know that foreigners have bought tickets on this site. And I read reams of information about the process. And I called the credit card to allow the purchase.

They (credit card company) told me that there has been no attempt today to use the card, despite the fact that I made several attempts, and received that error message each time.

To have the RENFE person tell me on the phone that it NEVER works with foreign credit card is just to add another kernel to the accumulated ineptness of the purchase process. I even spoke to some kind of supervisor, who was no help at all....they told me that the discounts are only for Spaniards! I KNOW this is not true since I've read all the accumulated threads here, along with the TripAdvisor tutorial.
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Old Nov 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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jeeeezzzz.. just got back from an interesting train ride from vlc to mad-- seems the secret police had some interrogation/investigation to do with some passengers .. hmmmm.. very very interesting!

made the totally boring trip a little more curious.

hope you can get those webfares. how irritating! if they disappear, then you CAN get estrella fares on the phone.. so all is not lost.
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Old Nov 27th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Thanks, Lincasanova!

A secret police interrogation certainly lends spice to even the most boring journey!

UPDATE: After at least a dozen attempts, spread over a period of several days at various times of day and night, I threw down my cards and sought the help of my hotel concierge.

I had to fax copies of my passport and credit card to the hotel, but the process proved to be a breeze compared to doing it myself online. Less than 24 hours after making my request the tickets were secured and are waiting for me at the hotel. There was a booking fee of about 10 euro per ticket (set by the travel agency used by the hotel) but I did get the web fare of 27 Euro per ticket. SUCCESS!
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