Franco-Spanish high-speed rail: a natural progression in the construction of a European rail network

Since 1992, when its first high-speed line came into service between Madrid and Seville, Spain has continued to expand in this modern, safe, fast, comfortable and environmentally sound means of transport. Spain's High-Speed rail network is currently the largest in Europe, with 2,406 km in service since the launch of the high-speed line between Barcelona and Figueres on 9 January 2013 and 1,500 km under construction. AVE (Spain's High-Speed rail service) is today synonymous with excellence in the passenger transport industry. With more than 2 billion passengers, the French railway system, SNCF, has connected cities and brought residents of France and Europe closer together since its creation almost 32 years ago. With a High-Speed rail network spanning over 1,880 km and almost 130 million passengers per year, the TGV (France's High-Speed rail service) is part of everyday life for the French. SNCF has been working with its neighbours for some time now, so it is only natural that the French and Spanish networks should join forces to provide the very best High-Speed rail service in Southern Europe. Renfe and SNCF have combined their experience to come up with an excellent offer that will promote travel between major population hubs like Paris, Île de France (the most populated area in Europe), Barcelona and its surrounding area (6th most populated) and Madrid and its area of influence (4th most populated) and major cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Montpellier and Girona, offering their inhabitants an alternative to the car, the leading mode of transport. This project will also lead to a new regional/international dimension, by bringing together regions and cities on either side of the border and cutting travel time significantly (for example, the trip from Girona to Perpignan will take 39 minutes). This new offer will be made available under the business name “Renfe-SNCF en Cooperación”. Renfe and SNCF have joined forces to offer the best of their knowledge, experience and expertise to the international traveller.

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