The planes to Spain will soon be racing trains

22 December 2010

Bitterwallet - Spain TrainOver two decades ago, those families that couldn't afford to fly had to take the coach for a holiday on the Costa Brava. It. Was. Rubbish. 24 hours trapped in a space not big enough for amateur cat swinging, with kids jacked up on additive-rich cola from Fine Fare.

Of course, now we are rudely spoilt for choice through budget airlines, but there'll soon be another viable alternative - train.

A new high-speed train line that crosses the Pyrenees was officially opened on Sunday, which will lead to a new high-speed route between Paris and Barcelona by early 2013. At that point, the journey will take 5 hours and 30 minutes.

Assuming transfers aren't a complete pain in the backside, then a lesiurely jaunt on the train from London to the Catalan capital would take around eight hours. Improvements to existing high-speed lines in south-west France mean that time will drop to around seven hours by 2020. Of course it'll still be quicker (and probably far cheaper) to fly, but it could provide a perfect alternative that terrified flyers and those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • concerned
    Also hopefully no naked scanning like airports.
  • Spark
    Even though I live in Manchester, I always opt for the Eurostar when I go to Paris now (usually once or twice a year) if only for the very reason that Concerned mentioned. People say it takes longer, and it does slightly, but it is also a shit load more comfortable and on top of that the train will drop you in the centre of the city so you don't then have to spend extra time and money travelling from an airport in the middle of nowhere and on top of that there is none of this 'you have to be there 2-3 hours beforehand' horseshit. Very interested in this as long as the prices aren't too astronomical.
  • christian
    I wonder what the actual time is comparing the 2 hour wait to get on plane, time in air and waiting for luggage and then the probability that the airport is in the middle of nowhere - compared to a straight 8 hours and dropping you in middle of Barcelona. I would say not a lot in it and I FUCKING HATE flying!
  • Christy
    Depends where you live, but if you're relying on the slow train from nowhere just to get to that London, you're gonna be quids in & time saved getting a Ryanair flight from you local airport.
  • james
    Well that depends on the uptake. If they can make is seamless and competitive then I think lots of people would use the train. Particularly as costs are mounting for fuel. I also hate flying and if the train offered a viable alternative I would use it.

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