Good news for fans of high-speed rail. After many months of delay, the through Paris-Barcelona TGV train service is expected to start on December 15.
Although high-speed services do currently operate on this route, passengers must change trains at Figueres on the Franco-Spanish border which means that, besides the inconvenience, the trip takes longer than it should.
Although the train companies have yet to officially release details of the new services, the schedules are now posted on enthusiast’s website seat61.com.
TGV services will be operated by double-decker Duplex trains. These will depart Paris Lyon at 0715 and 1407 to arrive into Barcelona Sants over six hours later at 1332 and 2032 respectively.
Trains will call en route at Montpelier, Perpignan, Figueres Vilfant and Girona.
Trains from Barcelona Sants will depart at 0929 and 1629 to reach Paris Lyon at 1553 and 1953.
From March 31, service frequency will be doubled. There will be additional trains from Paris Lyon at 1007 and 1607, returning from Barcelona Sants at 0615 and 1329.
It means that daytime rail travel between London and Barcelona can easily be accomplished.
In the past Business Traveller has said that the rail firms need to smarten up their act if they wish to better compete with air. And the Paris-Barcelona route is a case in point.
Even though the launch date is three weeks away, through-train schedules have not officially been published by the train firms. It means that bookings cannot yet be made and neither have any tariffs been announced.
Such has been the interest in this new service that London-based rail agent Loco2 is offering en email alert service for when bookings open.