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Mar 13, 4:53 PM EDT

Train travel overtakes the plane in Spain


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MADRID (AP) -- The train in Spain is more popular than the plane.

The National Statistics Institute said Thursday that more people travelled domestically by high-speed train than by plane in January for the first time since monthly records began.

It said 1.9 million people went by train between Spanish cities in January, up 22 percent on the same month 2013. By comparison, 1.8 million people took internal flights, down 7.3 percent from 2013.

Travel by train has grown in popularity in recent years. One reason is that extending of Ave bullet-train connections between Madrid and other Spanish cities, greatly reducing travel time.

While prices between both forms of transport are comparable, the state rail company Renfe has reduced ticket prices and introduced a greater range of discount offers over the last year.

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