The iconic and historical time piece that is the ” Strawberry Train” that runs the scenic day trip from Madrid to Aranjuez is resuming service after a gap year due to the pandemic.
The Madrid tourist authority made the announcement yesterday, Wednesday 2nd June, for the resumption of this popular train at the museum platform at the Madrid Railway Museum in the old Delicias station near Atocha, where the service runs.
The first service is scheduled to run from 19th June until 31st October.
The train is so named as the fields around Aranjuez have long been famous for their strawberries, and which are served with whipped cream on the train trip down.
This year also marks the 170th anniversary of the opening of the 50 km Madrid – Aranjuez line, by Queen Isabel II in 1851.
The line, which was the first to be built in the Madrid region and only the second one built in Spain ( Barcelona got there first in 1848) was supposed to have linked Madrid with the Andalucian coast but funds ran dry early and the project was abandoned.
Instead the line was used to connect the town of Aranjuez with an additional stop at the Royal Palace which was where the Royal Family often stayed during the summer months.
However it was never a profitable line and fell into disrepair before being restored as a scenic tourist route in 1984 using the same wooden carriages from the 1910s and 20s.
The line was further boosted by 2001 decision to make Aranjuez a UNESCO site.
The day trip can be booked in advance or at any mainline station and leaves from the Train Museum in the old Delicias station by Atocha with return by 19.30.
Various ticketing options exist on arrival in Aranjuez and include visits to the Royal Palace, Royal Gardens and boat trips amongst other packages.