High-speed train will cross the Pyrenees next December for the first time
A high-speed train will link Figueres, in the Girona Province, and Perpignan, the capital of the French Roussillon, crossing through the Pyrenees. However, the Figueres-Barcelona part has not yet been finished and will enter into service in 2014. Besides, France has not yet started the construction of a high-speed railway between Perpignan and Montpellier, which could take up to 10 years time.
Figueres (ACN).- Passenger and freight will soon be able to cross the Pyrenees much faster. The 44.4 kilometres of high-speed train service between Figueres and Perpignan will begin running on the 12th of December, according to the French company Eiffage that is responsible for the railway construction. Construction works spanning 44.4 kilometres finished in 2008, but rails and navigation systems had to be first installed and tested. However, the high-speed train line between Barcelona and Paris, a European priority, will still be incomplete. The southern side between Figueres and Barcelona will not be ready until late 2014. However, the worst scenario is on the French side, where trains will have to go at regular speed between Perpignan and Montpellier until at least 2020.
Passengers travelling between Barcelona and Perpignan will gain 50 minutes time with the arrival of the new railway between the French city and Figueres. However, in Figueres passengers will have to change trains and take a regular speed train to Barcelona. Between Perpignan and Figueres there will be 2 trains per week and direction.
The railway between Perpignan and Figueres will enter into service on the 12th of December, according to Jean-François Roverato, the President of Eiffage, which built the line together with the Spanish company ACS Dragados. The railway crosses the Pyrenees and has one of the longest train tunnels in Europe, the Pertús. The President of the French train company SNCF has confirmed his presence at the inauguration ceremony.