At a ceremony held at the Palace of the Kings of Mallorca in Perpignan, a host of officials heralded an ‘historic’ day as they announced the new AVE high-speed train link between Barcelona and Paris.
There are now four direct AVE routes between Spain and France, with Barcelona to Paris now being a 6 hour 25 minute journey.
The four direct routes link Barcelona and Paris, with two trains daily in each direction, Madrid and Marseille through Barcelona in seven hours, Barcelona with Lyon in 4 hours and 53 minutes, and in the future, Barcelona and Toulouse in three hours.
The stretch between Nimes and Perpignan is still conventional track, meaning the high-speed trains will have to slow down, but once the Nimes to Montpelier section is adapted, scheduled for 2017, this will shave an incredible twenty minutes off the total journey time.
The Montpelier to Perpignan section is still being studied but could be adapted by 2030.
There are around 82 million journeys made between Spain and France each year, with 89% of these being made by private vehicle.