As of Thursday 28 November, it is possible to reserve a train ticket on a direct high-speed rail service linking France and Spain. The first commercial service will run on 15 December this year. It will now be possible to leave Paris Gare de Lyon station at 14:07 and arrive Barcelona Sants at 20:40, or leave Toulouse at 20:44 and alight in the centre of the Catalan capital at 23:26. SNCF and Renfe are combining their experience and knowledge by connecting these two large European high speed networks. This constitutes another step forward in the construction of high speed rail in Europe.
From 15 December 2013, customers will be offered new direct services: Paris, Toulouse and Lyon > Barcelona as well as Marseille, Barcelona > Madrid, with additional services to be added over the course of 2014.
Initially, Renfe and SNCF will operate five services a day in each direction:
- Two daily return trips between Paris and Barcelona: six hours and 25 minutes, starting from 59 euros
- One daily return trip between Marseille and Madrid: seven hours, starting from 89 euros
- One daily return trip between Toulouse and Barcelona: three hours, starting from 39 euros
- One daily return trip between Lyon and Barcelona: four hours, starting from 49 euros
- Thanks to this ambitious project, 17 towns in France and Spain will be part of this new connection. Passengers will no longer have to change at Figueres when making the trip from Paris to Barcelona.
The new direct connection offers shorter travel times, more services and reduced prices for journeys to towns in the south of France and the Côte d’Azur. The service now links towns on both sides of the Pyrenees such as Girona, Figueres, Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier and Nîmes with at least four trains a day in each direction.
(Source: RENFE – SNCF)