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Boost for southern France as launch dates set for new ‘TGV’ routes

Vamos! Spanish train operator Renfe will begin services from Lyon and Marseille to Spain in July

Tickets to destinations within France will begin at €9 Pic: V_E / Shutterstock

Two new high-speed train services are scheduled to begin operations in the southern half of France next month. 

Spain’s state-owned rail operator Renfe will resume a route between Lyon and Barcelona on July 13.

It will then begin a link running from Marseille to Madrid via Barcelona two weeks later on July 28.

Renfe also has plans to begin services on the Lyon-Paris line.

The introduction of the Spanish operator is part of moves in France to open up the country’s network to competition.

Italian train operator Trenitalia began running high-speed trains between Paris, Lyon and Milan in late 2021 and its arrival has helped to bring down ticket prices on the route.

Where will the Lyon-Barcelona service stop?

Renfe will resume services on this line - it abandoned a joint project with SNCF last December after a falling out - on Thursday, July 13, a day before France’s national day on Friday, July 14.

Renfe - the launch day aside - will initially only run trains from Friday to Monday before expanding to an all-week service in October.

The Lyon-Barcelona service, which takes five hours, will stop at the following stations:

  • Lyon Part Dieu

  • Valence TGV

  • Nîmes

  • Montpellier Saint-Roch

  • Béziers

  • Narbonne

  • Perpignan

  • Figueres-Vilafant

  • Girona

  • Barcelona Sants

Where will the Marseille-Barcelona-Madrid service stop?

Trains between Marseille and Madrid via Barcelona begin on Friday, July 28.

It will take eight hours to link the southern French city and the Spanish capital.

The train will stop at the following stations:

  • Marseille

  • Aix-en-Provence TGV

  • Avignon TGV

  • Nîmes

  • Montpellier Saint-Roch

  • Béziers

  • Narbonne

  • Perpignan

  • Figueres-Vilafant

  • Girona

  • Barcelona Sants

  • Camp de Tarragona

  • Zaragoza–Delicias

  • Guadalajara–Yebes

  • Madrid Atocha

How do I get tickets?

Renfe says tickets will go on sale via its website or smartphone app on Wednesday (June 21).

It says tickets for destinations within France will begin at €9, while the cheapest France-Spain tickets are from €19.

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France-Italy train tunnel: How is the Lyon-Turin project progressing?

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