State rail company RENFE said Monday it had cancelled some 300 high-speed and intercity trains. It said minimum services agreed with labour unions meant that more than 50 per cent of trains would run throughout the day.
Workers called the strike to protest a restructuring of the transport sector next year they claim will cost jobs.
Subway workers in Madrid and Barcelona also staged rush-hour stoppages to protest wage cuts.
Spain is in its second recession in three-years with near 25 per cent unemployment. The government is battling to avoid having to seek a full bailout of its finances.