SNCF to operate Barcelona-Paris train route alone from December 11, tickets on sale

French company parts ways with Spain's Renfe after nine years of joint services

A train service by French operator SNCF
A train service by French operator SNCF / SNCF
Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | @enGuifre | Barcelona

October 20, 2022 01:30 PM

France's SNCF will operate the Barcelona – Paris route without Spain's Renfe from December 11.

The company has been providing services between the Catalan and the French capitals jointly with Spain's Renfe since 2013, but this cooperation will come to an end on December 10.

In February, SNCF decided to not extend the agreement between both companies to share the train infrastructure between the two countries.

The reason behind the decision, the French company claims, is a lack of cost-effectiveness. Since 2013, when the service started, up to 5.5 million travelers have used it.

Renfe sided against putting an end to the deal, but could not prevent this from happening. At the moment, it is waiting for France to greenlight allowing its trains to also connect Barcelona and France, sources told the Catalan News Agency.

From December 11, travelers will be able to travel the exact same routes as now between the Catalan capital in Paris in roughly the same time, just above 6 and a half hours.

Two services per day, three in summer

Like the old joint service, SNCF trains will stop in Girona, Figueres, Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Sète, Montpellier, Nîmes, and Valence before reaching their final destination.

Three daily services will operate in the summer, and two will cover the route the rest of the year: they will depart from Barcelona Sants station at 10:33 am and 2:32 pm and will arrive at Paris Gare de Lyon at 5:18 pm and 9:18 pm.

Also, two trains will depart from the French capital every day at 9:42 am and 2:56 pm and arrive at 4:25 pm and 9:25 pm.

Tickets are already on sale at http://www.sncf-connect.com, with a launching offer of €39 for some services. Groups of over 10 people and frequent travelers will be offered discounts from November 2 through the 'Carte Avantage SNCF' card.

Rest of Catalonia - France high-speed train routes disappear

Renfe and SNCF have been operating other high-speed routes from Catalonia to France, including the Barcelona - Toulouse one, which was removed due to the pandemic and never restored, and the Barcelona - Lyon and Madrid - Marseille (stopping in Catalonia), which will at least for now disappear from December 11, according to SNCF sources.