Nov 27 2013
The Spanish Minister of Transport1, Ana Pastor, had spilled the beans last week by telling Catalan radio that TGV2 Paris-Barcelona would be inaugurated on December 15. Thursday, indiscretion becomes a new commercial offer: travelers can book their tickets to Paris but also connect Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille in the capital of Catalonia and even Madrid from Marseille. In total, five daily roundtrips will be provided between France and Spain without travelers have need to change trains at the border, as was the case until now.
By mid-December, two back and forth between Paris and Barcelona will be done in 6:25 minutes. A daily return will go and Lyon 4:53 Barcelona. Another daily service linking Toulouse to Barcelona in 3 hours while a go and 2 daily return link Marseille in Madrid 7:00 3 via Barcelona. In April, the number of frequencies should be doubled to meet tourist demand.
The rates proposed by the immediate SNCF3 and Renfe4 are identical to those already offered both business travelers. It was not until spring that a new price range will be unveiled. For now, the station merely indicates its price floor – accessible when tickets are booked in advance.
No Franco-Spanish delivered
Obviously, these low prices (from 59 euros for a Paris-Barcelona) seem competitive with airline fares. But the low-cost companies such as easyJet and Vueling connect the two cities in 1 hour 30 less than 80 euros.
But the flow of passengers waited on Franco-Spanish railway network is an entirely different magnitude than the airlines, the two railway companies provide one million passengers will travel on these new lines in 2014. By comparison, 800,000 trips were recorded on the French railway line to the Spanish border since December 2010, when the tunnel Perthus allowed TGV to move to Spain.
Disappointment for travelers who borrow these direct links between France and Spain, no specific livery has been provided. Trains into service between France and Spain in two weeks will be conventional TGV SNCF and Renfe: Duplex trains Alstom but Renfe AVE renovated. New duplex trains Euro should gradually be put into service next year by SNCF