Renfe Spain offers five times a day, six in the spring and seven in the summer, direct trains to 21 destinations to create a network with 64 connections.
The two leading high-speed operators, Renfe and SNCF, created a strategic alliance that made the first high-speed France-Spain international rail link possible with the inaugural voyage on December 15, 2013, a link that significantly cut down travel times between the main cities in the two countries.
Renfe – SNCF en Coopération connects 21 international destinations, taking passengers from city centre to city centre in Madrid, Zaragoza, Tarragona, Barcelona, Girona and Figueres in Spain, and Perpignan, Narbonne, Beziers, Agde, Sète, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, Valence, Lyon and Paris in France. Five daily trains join the two countries year-round, a figure that rises to six in spring and seven in summer.
Direct connections link Barcelona and Paris in 6 hours 19 minutes, Madrid and Marseille in 7 hours 40 minutes, Barcelona and Lyon in 5 hours and Barcelona and Toulouse in 3 hours, significantly cutting down travel times and offering a new transport option to the public, considering that France and Spain are two major destinations for international tourists.
Since the launch of the international high speed trains – in December 2013 until December, 2016, 2.5 million international travellers have used the high-speed link between France and Spain. Currently, the international travellers ‘profile on the four routes corresponds to 39% of French residents, 18% of Spain residents and 43% are residents of other countries.
This link owes its success to the advantages offered by Renfe-SNCF en Coopération trains in comparison to other means of transport, such as direct access to the destination city, no boarding checks and allowing boarding up to two minutes before the departure time. The journey offers all kinds of amenities. Passengers can move around inside the train, go to the restaurant car, there are seats with tables and outlets at every seat, spaces for people with reduced mobility, the option to carry up to three bags… All this adds up to a relaxing, stress-free trip while enjoying the marvellous sights along the route.
The convenience of travelling by train
- Connectivity between stations, taking passengers from city centre to city centre. Easy routing to other destinations.
- All-inclusive price that includes 3 bags, reserved seating and credit card payment.
- Unobtrusive boarding checks.
- Board the train up to 2 minutes before departure time.
- Comfortable, ample seats with seating for one or two people. Mobility between cars.
- Restaurant car and in-seat food service.
- Seats with tables so you can work comfortably.
- Electrical outlets so you can use devices during the trip.
- On-board film and audio on some routes.
- Area for people with reduced mobility in stations and on trains.
- Ample room for baggage.
- Option to travel with pets and items like bicycles.
- Free Club Lounge (Sala Club) in Spanish stations for first-class ticket holders.
- Bilingual crews.
Renfe – SNCF en Coopération
The two leading high-speed rail operators have joined together to offer all their know-how and experience to international travellers. Each company contributed ten high-speed rains to this project (TGV Euroduplex and AVE S-100 models), and cooperated in the process to certify the trains and crews. They also set up a joint marketing and sales strategy to offer a single product.
For this project to become a reality it was also necessary to coordinate the technical aspects of three different rail system operators (ADIF, RFF and TP Ferro).