There will be five fast trains a day between Barcelona and Paris from the 15th December, making Barcelona more attractive to a wave of wealth creators deserting France in favour of more business-friendly destinations.
It has been possible to travel by TGV / AVE fast train between Barcelona and Paris since January, but the journey involved a change of trains, and took seven hours and twenty five minutes. Now Barcelona and Paris just got closer. From the 15th December 15th you won’t have to change trains, cutting the journey time down to six hours and twenty five minutes. City centre to city centre, taking the train will not take much longer than going by air.
There will be five fast trains a day, and the cost of a ticket will vary between €59 and €170, say Spain’s Renfe and France’s SNCF national rail companies, who will run the service jointly. Tickets have been on sale since the 28th of November.
There will also be services to Toulouse taking three hours, and Lyon in five hours, without having to change, but all with stops along the way.
Some trains will go onto Madrid after Barcelona. The service will link seventeen cities in Spain and France, running on the two biggest fast-train networks in Europe.
The operators forecast they will carry one million passengers in 2014, out of a total market of 82 million journeys each year between France and Spain, 89pc of which are by car.
As a result of this, it will be easier than ever to travel quickly between Paris and Barcelona, which I expect will help lift demand for prime Barcelona. As Hollande and his socialists set about undermining the their economy, it seems to be French wealth-creators are pouring out of France in three directions: firstly, north towards London, where prime property now costs 40,000 €/m2; secondly, east towards Geneva, where prime property costs 25,000 €/m2; and thirdly, south towards Barcelona, where prime property costs just 5,000 €/m2 or less. I’m sure there are few French who can do the numbers.
When the new service starts you’ll be able to leave Paris at 07.15, have breakfast and work on the train, and be in Barcelona by 13.40, in time for lunch on the beach.