AVE ridership rose 20% in 2013

The number of passengers taking high-speed trains in Spain rose by 20 per cent last year, according to Ana Pastor.

During the first six months of 2014, AVE ridership had risen by a further 12 per cent on the previous year.

Pastor, Spain’s Minister for Public Works, said: “They are figures that make us be satisfied but encourage us to continue working.”

Last month, the Spanish government announced that private companies would be given the opportunity to compete with state-owned rail operator Renfe’s  high-speed services between Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Valencia and Murcia.