A NEW €4bn high speed train has been launched between Madrid and Asturias after a 13-year delay.
Some 19 years after construction first began, the route connecting the capital and the northern city of Ovedo has finally been completed.
King Felipe and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez today inaugurated the service, which will eventually cut travel time between the two destinations to under three hours.
The project expects to ferry 600,000 visitors each year and slash travel costs by 66%.
Work on the project started in 2004 and was due to be finished in 2010 but the complicated geography and mountain ranges saw the train line delayed by 13 years.
The first services will set off tomorrow, Thursday, November 30 with Alvia and Intercity trains.
Previously five and a half hours long, the journey will initially take between three hours and 39 minutes and three hours and 58 minutes.
The line will go to Pola de Lena, with stops at Segovia, Valladolid, Palencia and León.
Once in Asturias, travellers will be able to catch Cercanias trains to Mieres, Oviedo and Gijón.
The trains travel at speeds of up to 250km/hr.
Next year, the high speed Avril service will begin, reducing the journey to two hours and 43 minutes and extending the line to Aviles.
Four services will leave Madrid every day, with an extra train on Fridays and three trains on Sunday.
The first train of the day will set off at 6:30 every morning.
A round trip will cost between €80 and 188 euros, depending on demand.