Loco for locos! Slow trains around Spain with travel writer Tom Chesshyre - When in Spain episode 97

Travel journalist and writer Tom Chesshyre joins me to talk about his slow train adventure all around Spain.


As research for his latest book Slow Trains around Spain: A 3,000-Mile Adventure on 52 Rides, Tom spent 35 days on the tracks. He clocked-up 95 hours and 20 minutes onboard all different types of trains, from funiculars, cog trains, narrow gauge, metros and even an aluminium mine train.


Listen to this episode free on the player below or on your favourite podcast app.


Tom shares his experience of going unprepared and traveling in an ad-hoc way with only a rucksack and an armful of books. We look at the history of Spain's railways, train stations, train museums and the all important train station bar.


Slow trains in Spain

Tom shares some anecdotes about his fellow train passengers, hostel owners and station managers. He also talks about the politics of the Spanish train network, his visit to the trenches where George Orwell fought in the Spanish civil war and a train ride in a former aluminium mine deep in Castilla la Mancha.


Tom's slow train route around Spain


Slow Trains Around Spain by Tom Chesshyre

The funicular at Montserrat

Estació del Nord, Valencia

Trains taken by Tom

  1. Hammersmith to King’s Cross – London Underground, 24 minutes, 6 miles

  2. St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord – Eurostar, 2 hours and 17 minutes, 290 miles

  3. Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare d’Austerlitz – Paris Métro, 13 minutes, 3 miles

  4. Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Toulouse – SNCF, 7 hours and 53 minutes, 413 miles

  5. Toulouse to Figueres – Renfe/SNCF, 2 hours and 16 minutes, 145 miles

  6. Figueres to Blanes – Rodalies de Catalunya, 1 hour and 25 minutes, 49 miles

  7. Blanes to Barcelona – Rodalies de Catalunya, 1 hour and 27 minutes, 40 miles

  8. Barcelona to Vilanova i la Geltrú – Rodalies de Catalunya, 1 hour and 8 minutes, 32 miles

  9. Vilanova i la Geltrú to Bellvitge, Barcelona – Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, 54 minutes, 27 miles

  10. Bellvitge, Barcelona to Monistrol de Montserrat – Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, 1 hour, 28 miles

  11. Monistrol de Montserrat to Montserrat – Cremallera i Funiculars de Montserrat, 15 minutes, 3 miles

  12. Montserrat to Monistrol de Montserrat – Cremallera i Funiculars de Montserrat, 15 minutes, 3 miles

  13. Monistrol de Montserrat to Manresa – Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, 37 minutes, 13 miles

  14. Manresa to Lleida – Renfe, 1 hour and 57 minutes, 71 miles

  15. Lleida to Zaragoza – Renfe, 43 minutes, 89 miles

  16. Zaragoza to Huesca – Renfe, 51 minutes, 46 miles

  17. Huesca to Zaragoza – Renfe, 1 hour and 10 minutes, 46 miles

  18. Zaragoza to Pamplona – Renfe, 1 hour and 47 minutes, 109 miles

  19. Pamplona to San Sebastián – Renfe, 1 hour and 44 minutes, 55 miles

  20. San Sebastián to Bilbao – Euskotren, 2 hours and 10 minutes, 67 miles

  21. Bilbao to Santander – Renfe Feve, 3 hours and 1 minute, 67 miles

  22. Santander to Oviedo – Renfe Feve, 5 hours, 120 miles

  23. Oviedo to Ferrol – Renfe Feve, 6 hours and 14 minutes, 157 miles

  24. Ferrol to A Coruña – Renfe, 1 hour and 24 minutes, 30 miles

  25. A Coruña to Santiago de Compostela – Renfe, 40 minutes, 40 miles

  26. Santiago de Compostela to Ourense – Renfe, 38 minutes, 63 miles

  27. Ourense to Zamora – Renfe, 3 hours and 12 minutes, 158 miles

  28. Zamora to Segovia – Renfe, 1 hour and 2 minutes, 103 miles

  29. Segovia to Madrid-Chamartín – Renfe, 1 hour and 53 minutes, 54 miles

  30. Madrid-Chamartín to Tribunal – Metro, 13 minutes, 4 miles

  31. Madrid-Atocha to Badajoz – Renfe, 5 hours and 18 minutes, 250 miles

  32. Badajoz to Mérida – Renfe, 45 minutes, 39 miles

  33. Mérida to Almadén – Renfe, 2 hours and 36 minutes, 135 miles

  34. Mining Park of Almadén, 2 minutes, 400 metres

  35. Almadén to Ciudad Real – Renfe, 2 hours, 61 miles

  36. Ciudad Real to Alcázar de San Juan – Renfe, 1 hour and 6 minutes, 53 miles

  37. Alcázar de San Juan to Aranjuez – Renfe, 47 minutes, 56 miles

  38. Aranjuez to Cuenca – Renfe, 2 hours and 14 minutes, 91 miles

  39. Cuenca to València – Renfe, 3 hours and 37 minutes, 127 miles

  40. València to Alcoy – Renfe, 1 hour and 52 minutes, 65 miles

  41. Alcoy to Xàtiva – Renfe, 1 hour and 14 minutes, 32 miles

  42. Xàtiva to Alicante – Renfe, 59 minutes, 63 miles

  43. Alicante to Benidorm – TRAM Metropolità d’Alacant, 1 hour and 19 minutes, 28 miles

  44. Benidorm to Alicante – TRAM Metropolità d’Alacant, 1 hour and 16 minutes, 28 miles

  45. Alicante to Murcia – Renfe, 1 hour and 19 minutes, 74 miles

  46. Murcia to Águilas – Renfe, 1 hour and 55 minutes, 62 miles

  47. Almería to Granada – Renfe, 2 hours 52 minutes, 100 miles

  48. Granada to Antequera-Santa Ana – Renfe, 52 minutes, 63 miles

  49. Antequera-Santa Ana to Málaga – Renfe, 28 minutes, 30 miles

  50. Málaga to Torremolinos – Renfe, 18 minutes, 9 miles

  51. Torremolinos to Málaga – Renfe, 18 minutes, 9 miles

  52. Málaga to Bobadilla – Renfe, 52 minutes, 36 miles

  53. Bobadilla to Algeciras – Renfe, 2 hours and 38 minutes, 104 miles

  54. Algeciras to Ronda – Renfe, 1 hour and 25 minutes, 63 miles

  55. Ronda to Bobadilla – Renfe, 53 minutes, 41 miles

  56. Bobadilla to Seville – Renfe, 2 hours and 29 minutes, 86 miles


Martorell - The oldest original locomotive in Spain from 1854

Replica of First locomotive in the Iberian Peninsula to serve the first line (Barcelona-Mataró).

The train museums:

https://museudelferrocarril.org/index.php/en/visit-us/plan-your-visit

https://www.museodelferrocarril.org/




More about Tom and his writing.

http://www.tomchesshyre.co.uk/


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