SPANISH national operator Renfe increased the frequency of its AVE high-speed service between Barcelona and Lyon in France to daily on September 1, having operated the new service from Friday to Monday since it began on July 13.

Barcelona - Lyon was the first cross-border route to be operated entirely by Renfe rather than in partnership with French National Railways (SNCF), which unilaterally pulled out of the Elipsos joint venture with the Spanish national operator in 2022.

Renfe introduced its second route to France, running from Madrid to Marseille, on July 28. The frequency of this service, currently operating from Friday to Monday, will also increase to daily on October 1, offering a total of 28 trains a week between Spain and France.

Over 120,000 tickets have been sold for travel on the new cross-border high-speed services, and Renfe reports that they have carried over 68,000 passengers.

Demand has been high, it says, with the average train occupancy rate being over 80% and services fully booked on the busiest days.

The Lyon service departs from Barcelona Sants at 08.22, calling at Girona, Figueres Vilafant, Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier Saint Roch, Nîmes and Valence TGV to arrive at Lyon Part Dieu at 13.20.

The return service leaves Lyon at 14.35 to arrive in Barcelona at 19.32.