Renfe’s entry into French roads will not only be at high speed. Its president, Raül Blanco, has revealed today a new plan for the public operator to launch new cross-border routes connecting Catalonia and the Basque Country with the south of France starting in 2024. These new services would receive some type of public subsidy as they are governed by the concept of ‘public service obligation’, the formula with which Brussels allows certain journeys considered to be of general interest to be subsidized.
New ‘Avant’ from Barcelona to Perpignan and Toulouse
The two routes advanced by the state company would use infrastructures that would already connect both countries and that are in operation or in the process of improvement with works that will end in the coming months. On the one hand, I would place the Eastern Connection Between Catalonia and Occitania, Counting Barcelona, Girona and Figueras Conpign Through the Existing High Speed Line Continuing Its Route By Conventional Line to Towns of Carcassonne and Toulouse.
The trains would form part of the ‘Avant’ product with which Renfe defines its high-speed medium-distance trains. RENFE POINTS THAT THE FREQUENCIES FROM SPAIN TO THE STATION WOULD BE DOUBLED, WHICH WILL RECEIVE TWO TRAINES A DAY WHEN THE AVE TO LYON TO MARSELL COMES IN SERVICE, FROM WHICH IT COULD BE DEDUCTED THAT A MINIMUM OF TWO DAILY SERVICES ARE EXPECTED. At least one of these new services would extend its journey to Toulouse.
This railway relationship was recovered by the governments of both regions after Vueling’s decision to open an air route between El Prat and the Occitan capital resulted in significant social and political controversy in France due to the environmental cost of this type of flight. short.
Cercanías between San Sebastián and Bayonne
On the other side of the Pyrenees, on the border between the Basque Country and New Aquitaine, Renfe has advanced its interest in connecting San Sebastián with Hendaye and Bayonne. This project, under study by the authorities, operators and infrastructure managers of both regions, was advanced by La Información and contemplates the creation of a Cercanías service with stops in Irún, Hendaye, Deux-Jumeau (Hendaye Beach), San Juan de Luz, Biarritz and Getaria.
However, its implementation is conditioned by the completion of the works on the so-called ‘third line’ between Irún and Astigarraga, on the outskirts of San Sebastián, which will allow high-speed trains to reach the capital of San Sebastián without changing width one once the ‘Basque Y’ is launched. These works are expected to be completed in the second half of next year, at which time the implementation of this new cross-border service, which requires an initial investment of 83 million euros, would be viable.
The operator hopes to complete these projects throughout the year 2024 in order to create new cross-border relationships between cities very close to both sides of the border. This announcement comes one day after presenting its commercial operations in France, which includes the launch since mid-July of the two new routes Madrid-Barcelona-Marseille and Barcelona-Lyon. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow with promotional prices from 9 euros.