Renfe launches its first international high-speed service

Barcelona – Lyon high-speed serviceThe Spanish rail operator Renfe has launched Barcelona – Lyon high-speed service, company’s first international AVE train beyond Perpignan area.

On July 13, 2023, the first Renfe AVE train to Lyon departed from Barcelona Sants station and at 9:52 the train left the Perpignan station and for the first time a 100% Renfe service, with a Spanish train driver at the controls, entered French territory to provide commercial service in France.

To mark this milestone, Renfe has organised the “Queen Stage, Paris Goal” on board exhibition, a tribute to the 65 Spanish cyclists who have won 130 stages of the Tour de France.

The operator says that in three weeks has already sold 43,000 tickets for the new AVE train service that connects 17 cities on both sides of the border and that recover the direct international rail connection between Spain and such relevant cities as Lyon, Marseille, Nimes, Avignon or Aix-en-Provence.

Beyond the international connection, Renfe arrives in France to compete in the domestic market. To boost its presence on the ten French destinations, the company has launched a promotional campaign with tickets for only EUR 9.

EUR 19 is the value of a journey with Renfe between between Valence, Nimes, Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne, Perpignan and Spanish cities and EUR 29, between Marseille, Lyon, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Spanish cities.

The operator is committed to providing passengers with increased comfort, punctuality and quality of customer services with added amenities such as Wi-Fi connection and on-board entertainment, restaurants, baggage policy and a flexible pricing system.

In addition to Barcelona – Lyon high-speed service, Renfe will also add to this route the Madrid – Marseille service on July 28.  AVE trains connect Barcelona with Lyon in 5 hours, and when the new service will be launched, the connections will reach Marseille in 5 hours from Barcelona and 8 hours from Madrid, Avignon and Aix-en Provence.

The services between Barcelona and Lyon as well as the Madrid -Barcelona – Marseille AVE services are provided from Friday to Monday. In September on the Lyon route and in October on the Marseille route, Renfe will start operating its AVE trains from Monday to Sunday and will offer 28 weekly services.

Renfe’s Strategic Plan aims for 10% of the company’s income to come from international markets in 2028. The company is studying public service obligation projects in other markets, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. In February 2023, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of Renfe Proyectos Internacionales (Renfe International Projects) which helps company to access foreign markets.


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