Spain Train Travel - My first experience with the Madrid train station in 1999.
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This page documents my very first time trying to buy a train ticket at a Spain Train Station. This was during my very first visit to Spain (1999) and occurred at the Madrid Train Station. None of the problems I encountered in 1999 would happen to a traveler trying to book a train ticket at the Madrid Train Station today.

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My first experience with the Madrid train station in 1999.

I arrived early. There was no one at the center information desk. Using my phrase book, I finally was able to get a train schedule for Toledo. The schedule was in English, but it took me a few minutes to study it and decide what train to take.  Then I made my biggest mistake.  Right next to where I was sitting there was a row of ticket windows. You took a number and waited to purchase your ticket.  Unfortunately, after a long wait I discovered I was not at the right ticket counter--wrong company, wrong direction (Note: These windows are closed now.)  Two hours had  gone by and now I worried I might get into Toledo too late to find a hotel.

I am certain many people arrive at the train station and have no problem at all. I just happened to turn in the wrong direction and made the wrong assumptions every step of the way.  With the current layout of the Madrid train station I don't think anyone will encounter similar problems today.

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Below an example of a train schedule in Spanish.

 

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This page last updated January 2012
The information on this page comes from my five visits to Spain.