Monday, December 10, 2012

Barcelona - Figueres HS line to open January 7

Written by  Fernando Puente

SPAIN's national train operator Renfe is ready to launch commercial services on the country's newest high-speed line next month.

Eight Madrid - Barcelona trains will be extended to Girona and Figueres near the French border from January 7, plus an additional Barcelona - Figueres service.

Two of the new services will be timed to allow passengers to transfer to TGV trains currently being operated by French National Railways (SNCF) between Figueres and Paris. It is planned to extend international services from France through to Barcelona in the spring.

While Renfe will only use class 103 AVE units on the domestic services to Figueres, seats in at least one coach of every train will be sold under its Avant regional high-speed brand rather than the higher-priced AVE brand. This will make commuting by high-speed train between the four main cities of Catalonia affordable.

The 130km Barcelona - Figueres line is the first line in Spain designed to allow freight and high-speed trains to share the same tracks.

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