Renfe, the Spanish rail operator, plans to launch a service this summer linking the cities of Madrid and Barcelona to Marseille and Lyon. No date has been specified, but test trains are already running to train drivers.
RENFE plays solo
When completed, it would be Renfe’s first solo international service. Until now, train travel was possible between Spain and France thanks to a partnership agreement with the French operator SNCF. However, since last December, the latter company has started to operate its own line between Paris and Barcelona.
The route, which will be served by AVE high-speed flagship trains, will have the following stops: Madrid Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes Station, Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Camp Tarragona, Barcelona Sants, Girona, Figueres Vilafant, Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier St Roch, Nîmes, Avignon TGV, Aix-en-Provence TGV and Marseille St. Charles
Ordering oversized trains in Spain
Renfe suffered the biggest fiasco in recent years, ordering trains that were too big for the tunnels, reports El País.
In 2020, 31 trains were ordered – they were to be launched by Asturias and Cantabria in the north of the country. These are mountainous areas with an old narrow track and many tunnels.