The tests consist of simulating real runs which will become commercial from 8 January 2013.
The travel time on the new line is 51 minutes over a distance of 150 kilometres, including an intermediate stop in Girona. The maximum speed in revenue operation will be 265 km/h and the line will admit both high speed and freight trains.
The regular operation starting in January (Madrid – Barcelona – Figueres) will connect with the TGV service from Paris (twice a day), allowing a total travel time of under 7 hours for the nearly 1,200 km route (conventional line from Nimes to Perpignan).
Once the minimum required stock of trains (from both SNCF and Renfe Operadora) is homologated, the commercial service will operate with the changes and the total travel time will still be reduced. Through services from Paris – Barcelona could be in operation from April and will be operated by Elipsos (operated jointly by SNCF and Renfe Operadora).
Other services will follow, including international-regional high speed trains.