The Alta Velocidad Española, competitor of the TGV, will circulate ” before summer “ on the Barcelona-Lyon and Madrid-Marseille lines, promises Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, in a press release issued Monday, January 16, without advancing a precise date. Renfe began the same day its tests on the first of the two lines, which passes through Montpellier. In the long term, it intends to provide two round trips per day between Barcelona and Lyon and between Madrid and Marseille.
After obtaining the safety certificates for the two lines, the Spanish company must still train its railway workers to be able to run its trains on the French network. Mayte Castillo, its representative in Catalonia (North-East), announced at the end of December the intention of Renfe to operate on the Barcelona-Paris line ” longer term “.
In 2021, SNCF launched low-cost Ouigo TGVs on the Spanish market. It also ended in December the partnership that had linked it since 2013 to Renfe and now operates the TGV Paris-Barcelona alone. The Italian company Trenitalia has already been present in France for a little over a year on the Paris-Milan line via Lyon.