Subject: Trains in Spain
Fellow group members,

Just a quick question. As I am going to Spain at the end of the month and intend to use trains in parts of my journey, do I need to reserve seats well prior to the trip or can I do at the train station the day of the trip or just a couple of days before?

I went to the RENFE web site and tried to do it online, but in order to pay the tickets one must register first and there is a note there, if I understand it correctly, stating that even though you may reserve several trips, at the first trip one must go to the wicket and present id in order to get the ticket and from then on, then it is not necessary but one must present the "tiknet" online print out just when boarding the train.

The problem with the registration at the RENFE site is that they require a passport number and postal code. Canadian passport numbers are alphanumeric as are the postal codes and the site does not accept alphanumeric, but just numbers. Moreover, their postal code has a maximum of 5 digits, ours have 6. I called RENFE on the phone, but because of the time difference I spoke Spanish to the lady who answered and she told me that I would have to call another number (their IT area) during business hours (almost impossible because of the time difference in Vancouver). I also sent an e-mail in English ( I can read, understand and speak some Spanish, but have difficulty in writing it) and received an answer saying that they do not accept alphanumeric and that the postal code was not that important.

Thus, the reason for my initial question. If it is possible to buy an AVE ticket at the station 2 days before the departure, then I would do that. Otherwise, I am wondering whether I can try to fool the computer by just putting the number part of the passport (passport number has 2 letters and numbers) and for the postal code use 0 in place of the letters and the correct numbers up to 5 digits.

Helio, Vancouver, BC