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Expanding Europe’s high-speed rails

The Alta Velocidad Española inaugurates a Valencia to Madrid route next month, making the trip in about 90 minutes, at up to 205 miles per hour. The Alta Velocidad Española inaugurates a Valencia to Madrid route next month, making the trip in about 90 minutes, at up to 205 miles per hour. (Rail Europe)
November 28, 2010

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Spain launches a new high-speed train between Valencia and Madrid next month that will cut travel time from nearly four hours to just 90 minutes. The Alta Velocidad Española, or AVE, makes its inaugural run Dec. 19, and will reach speeds of up to 205 miles per hour. Eventually, up to 30 trains are planned for the route. The AVE will have four preferente, or club class, coaches with 71 seats and eight tourist-class coaches with 294 seats. It is scheduled to make two stops en route: in Requena, which is known for its wineries, and Cuenca. One-way rates start at about $125. Advance tickets can be purchased through Rail Europe. 800-622-8600, www.raileurope.com

Site organizes and economizes

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Dramatic ride through Midtown

Hop aboard The Ride, a 49-seat traveling theater, and watch New York’s holiday spirit unfold on the streets before you. On the 4 1/2-mile journey through midtown Manhattan, your guide discusses the area’s history and sites, while street performers entertain and interact with passengers. You’ll enjoy holiday music, surprise Santa appearances, and a Nutcracker-inspired dance number during the 75-minute tour. The Ride runs several times daily from the New York Marriott Marquis at 1535 Broadway. Tickets cost $59-$65, but you will receive $5 off until Jan. 2 if you mention “offer’’ when booking. 866-299-9682, www.experiencetheride.com

KARI BODNARCHUK