Travel with bike on trains from Algeciras (or nearby) to Santander?

I am cycling from Santander to southern tip of Spain in May/June and hope to get the train (with bike) back up to Santander. I've searched how to do this train trip but have struggled to find the best route and even if it is possible with bike. I would appreciate any help.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 20, 2016 16:41
    Hi John,

    To travel that distance with a bike, you would need a purpose-designed bicycle bag (measuring no more than 120cm x 90cm). A bike can fit in such a bag with the wheels and pedals detached and the handlebars parallel to the frame. These bags can be taken on board any train at no extra cost.

    In Spain, fully assembled bicycles are only allowed on board MD (Media Distancia) and other regional trains; however, no such trains even operate on the stretch of railway between Antequera and Madrid. Even if there was an MD/regional train on this stretch, a connection comprised of these trains all the way from Algeciras to Santander would take a considerable amount of time and would not even be possible within a time frame of 24 hours.

    With the bicycle bag, the connection would still take about 12.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Madrid and then once in Valladolid.

    You would purchase tickets by entering a route under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage, www.raileurope.com. For a trip from Algeciras to Santander, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Algeciras to Madrid, another search for trains from Madrid to Valladolid, and another search for trains from Valladolid to Santander.

    When doing these searches, you will see that trains from Algeciras to Madrid arrive into the Atocha station in Madrid, while the trains from Madrid to Valladolid depart out of the Chamartin station. To commute from Atocha to Chamartin, you would take a Renfe 'Cercanias' train, which is like a local commuter train. The ride between Atocha and Chamartin only takes about 10 to 13 minutes, but you would still want to allow yourself at least 1 full hour between your arrival from Algeciras and your departure to Valladolid. You would pay to board a Cercanias train right at the station before boarding.

    Direct trains from Algeciras to Madrid are Altaria trains.

    Trains from Madrid to Valladolid are Avant, Alvia, or AVE trains.

    Trains from Valladolid to Santander are Alvia trains or MD trains.

    Generally, these trains can be booked once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 20, 2016 19:25
      Otherwise, if you enough time, you could do as I advised for your question about travel from Cadiz to Santander here: http://community.raileurope.com/raileurope/topics/southern-spain-to-santander-with-bicycle.

      With this option, you would be able to travel with your bike fully assembled by avoiding that stretch of railway from Antequera to Madrid on which MD (Media Distancia) trains and regional trains do not operate. Instead of going directly north from Algeciras from Madrid, you would head west to Seville when you get to Antequera and then north to either Mérida or Cáceres before cutting back east to Madrid.

      My response to your question about travel from Cadiz to Santander advises how you travel with an assembled bike for the segments from Seville to Santander. To get from Algeciras to Seville with an assembled bike, you would take a combination of MD trains via Antequera. Therefore, you would take an MD train from Algeciras to Antequera and another MD train from Antequera to Seville.

      You would still end up having to overnight in either Mérida or Cáceres along the way.
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