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Train vs plane in Spain, help before I go insane. :-)

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Hello all, we are debating between flying vs the AVE from Barcelona to Madrid. Flying is about $36 cheaper but I'm still leaning toward the train since it leaves from downtown Barcelona and stops in downtown Madrid. So for those of you who have taken the train please answer a few questions:

1. If the train leaves at 7:25 am, what time should we arrive at the station for departure? I'm thinking at least 30 minutes early but if we need to be there sooner please advise.

2. I plan to buy our tickets on Rail Europe on line and print out the tickets, so when we get to the station will we have to wait in any lines, or do we just go straight to the platform?

3. (Sorry, this one might be really stupid but I have to ask) Will we have to go through any type of security like we do at the airport? I've used trains in Europe before and there was no security but I remember the bombing at the Madrid airport a few years ago and I wonder if that changed anything.

4. If there is a reason flying is better please tell me why.

Other advice is welcome.

Thanks.

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