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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:10 PM   #741
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My point is that there are several examples of long HSL service that run way beyond 4 hours. So they do seem to have a market.
As long as the train is a comfortable one, and the price and schedule is right it will get customers.
I do agree, for longer distances the HS train won't take most of market but there will be a seriously taken amount of passengers for 4+h service. There are people who rather don't fly and I think they choose train even when it takes 5 or 6 hours.

For Barcelona - Malaga I found only one 5h30 service for today. This kind of timetable(only one deparature giving fastest time per day) don't show the potential market share.

But when there will be two hourly Paris - Barcelona then it will show something I think.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:21 PM   #742
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I agree with you. Furthermore, Barcelona-Malaga (and Barcelona-Sevilla) obviously doesn't have all the passengers point to point. Despite they are important cities, a lot of passengers take on/off after Barcelona or before Sevilla/Malaga. Think in Tarragona (one hour to Barcelona airport, and less time by train because it is first stop)... or just think in the surroundings of Ciudad Real where there are no flights to anywhere and HSL crosses that area. They are really with very nice connections.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:35 PM   #743
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My point is that there are several examples of long HSL service that run way beyond 4 hours. So they do seem to have a market.
I know, I know... but Barcelona-Amsterdam is very long, even longer than Barcelona-Cologne.
Thereīs no way that can be done, at least not until the Nimes to Perpignan section will be finished.
And then, weīd have two more problems: the Paris-Lyon HSL, which is bordering saturation, and Lyon-Part Dieu station, which can hardly take in any more trains without collapsing.

I think that we could talk about expanding the services only when the POCL HSL would be finished, but in any case, that could not produce more than, at most, three trains per day for London, Brussels or Amsterdam, that is, being optimistic.

Brussels or even London might do though, theyīre closer than Amsterdam is, but I doubt that they can produce more than a train per day to Barcelona, in the current state of the French infrastructures, to think otherwise would be too naive.
As I say, for tourist beach resorts, flying is a better option since many of them arenīt connected (or well connected) to the railway network.

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I find flying a hassle between any two destinations. And I'm not the only one. I know quite a few people who rather spend 10 hours on a train, then flying. As long as the train is a comfortable one, and the price and schedule is right it will get customers.
Certainly. But then the question, beyond other factors like saturation and so on, is: can that produce many trains to Barcelona on say, an average Monday in February? Iīm not so sure...

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I'm more thinking about continuing to Valencia, and on to Alacant.
Valencia is not a beach resort at all, though two of them (Cullera and Gandia) are connected to the Valencia suburban network.

As for Alicante... well, the train leaves you in Alicante itself, then you should take a tram to Benidorm, Villajoyosa, Altea, and so on, and that after having traveled like 10 hours by train. And other places like Santa Pola, Torrevieja, Guardamar, Pilar de la Horadada, arenīt connected to the railway network at all.

Is that reasonable? Can it justify a seasonal TGV/AVE/Thalys/Eurostar/ICE when most people can fly or drive? Iīm not so sure...

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Originally Posted by ArtManDoo View Post
I do agree, for longer distances the HS train won't take most of market but there will be a seriously taken amount of passengers for 4+h service. There are people who rather don't fly and I think they choose train even when it takes 5 or 6 hours.
I know, but we should not forget that one thing is national rail and another thing is international rail.

Perhaps this has a different meaning for people in smaller countries like the Benelux, Austria or Switzerland (where a frontier is always round the corner), than it does for bigger countries like Spain, France or the UK, which have to approach this differently (and which donīt just look to the rest of Europe but also to the Americas, Asia or Africa).

The EU is going through a hazardous period, we donīt know what might happen in the future. What if the UK leaves, for instance? Which consequences could that have on the rest of the EU then? We donīt know, so I think itīs wise to be be prudent for a while.

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For Barcelona - Malaga I found only one 5h30 service for today. This kind of timetable(only one deparature giving fastest time per day) don't show the potential market share.
Thereīs two per day between Barcelona-Malaga and Barcelona-Seville. If they kept on evolving positively, a third one could be added (not planned by now, that we know). But Paris to Malaga... that would be extremely long, more than 10 hours! And forget about anything north of Paris, thatīs unfeasible!

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But when there will be two hourly Paris - Barcelona then it will show something I think.
Two by now (with a change at Figueres), to become three direct trains by April. Weīll see how they work. Barcelona-Paris is a consolidated route, but only as a night train... we have yet to explore how it will work by day, and the peaks and lows of the affluence (you can imagine which will be the peaks of the service, but not all of the lows!).

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Old December 21st, 2012, 03:21 PM   #744
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I know, but we should not forget that one thing is national rail and another thing is international rail.

Perhaps this has a different meaning for people in smaller countries like the Benelux, Austria or Switzerland (where a frontier is always round the corner), than it does for bigger countries like Spain, France or the UK, which have to approach this differently (and which donīt just look to the rest of Europe but also to the Americas, Asia or Africa).
I don't think it's all that different for long distance train traffic. Two cities of size A and B will still have significantly more passengers between them if they are in the same country than if they are in different ones (less of a difference if the language is the same).

Barcelona-Amsterdam probably would have enough patronage to make it worthwhile, but from infrastructure point of view it's a marginal service which should be run only if there is a spare capacity. The new Spanish standard gauge connection with France would be best most useful for traveling between Lyon or Marseille and Barcelona. It's difficult to judge for me how many passengers a day might want to make such a journey. And of course let's not forget freight operations to Barcelona port and more local connections to Perpignan and Montpelier.


P.S. Thanks to all about clarification about Euskotrain, Basque Y etc.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 03:50 PM   #745
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I don't think it's all that different for long distance train traffic. Two cities of size A and B will still have significantly more passengers between them if they are in the same country than if they are in different ones (less of a difference if the language is the same).
Unless itīs a London-Paris case. Or a Vienna-Bratislava case.

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Barcelona-Amsterdam probably would have enough patronage to make it worthwhile,
It should also stop at Disneyland, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels to make it worthwhile. And also Lyons, Montpellier and possibly Perpignan and Girona too. Lots of stops for lots of kilometers which include around 200km outside the HSL. Hum...

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but from infrastructure point of view it's a marginal service which should be run only if there is a spare capacity.
Which isnīt the case in the Paris-Lyon HSL, not at Lyon-Part Dieu.

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The new Spanish standard gauge connection with France would be best most useful for traveling between Lyon or Marseille and Barcelona.
But Nice, Paris, Geneva and Bordeaux are also reachable.
If the French did their part of the line, things would be very different, as the travel time would shorten a lot.
Looks like the Montpellier to Nimes section is about to start works, and weīre really really looking forward to it, but they never really seem to start, do they?
If it did and it opened, it would be a huge improvement. And even more so when they decide to go on with the Montpellier-Perpignan section.

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It's difficult to judge for me how many passengers a day might want to make such a journey. And of course let's not forget freight operations to Barcelona port and more local connections to Perpignan and Montpelier.
I donīt think there will be any local connections from Barcelona to Perpignan and Montpellier. Or do you mean from Paris?
Btw, the Barcelona port sooner or later will stop using the HSL, as theyīll end up changing the rail gauge between Figueres and Cerbčre/Port-Bou.

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P.S. Thanks to all about clarification about Euskotrain, Basque Y etc.
Donīt mention.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 04:13 PM   #746
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Unless itīs a London-Paris case. Or a Vienna-Bratislava case.
London and Paris are the two largest cities in Western Europe and I'd be willing to bet that the traffic would be even more busy if they were in the same country. Bratislava is in a commuting distance (ca 60 km) from Vienna so it doesn't count as a long distance segment. Many Slovaks commute to work in Vienna.

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It should also stop at Disneyland, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels to make it worthwhile. And also Lyons, Montpellier and possibly Perpignan and Girona too. Lots of stops for lots of kilometers which include around 200km outside the HSL. Hum...
Of course and most of passengers will be doing some intermediate distance.

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Which isnīt the case in the Paris-Lyon HSL, not at Lyon-Part Dieu.
I know, but if the train stops at Disneyland then perhaps it can capture some of the people who want to get to there and to Paris suburbs from Lyon thus fitting in nicely with a higher priority market.

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But Nice, Paris, Geneva and Bordeaux are also reachable.
If the French did their part of the line, things would be very different, as the travel time would shorten a lot.
Looks like the Montpellier to Nimes section is about to start works, and weīre really really looking forward to it, but they never really seem to start, do they?
If it did, when it would open it woud be a huge improvement. And even more so when they decide to go on with the Montpellier-Perpignan section.
I thought they already started. With socialists in power now there is a good chance of no further delays. Montpellier-Perpignan is of rather low priority in the French national context. I wouldn't hold my breath for that one... Those other cities you mention are indeed reachable and no doubt will generate significant traffic, but Lyon and Marseille are at a perfect distance from Barcelona to out-compete airline on the same route.


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donīt think there will be any local connections from Barcelona to Perpignan and Montpellier. Or do you mean from Paris?
There doesn't need to be as long as there are enough longer distance trains stopping there. If not then there should be. By the way will there be Barcelona-Marseille connection as well or only Barcelona-Paris?
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Old December 21st, 2012, 05:13 PM   #747
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I know, but if the train stops at Disneyland then perhaps it can capture some of the people who want to get to there and to Paris suburbs from Lyon thus fitting in nicely with a higher priority market.
No, no, I didnīt mean that, I meant that itīs becoming increasingly difficult to stuff more trains in the Paris-Lyon HSL (because you donīt "put" them anymore, you "stuff" them in there, such is the lack of capacity).
So unless youīd find an empty path (rare), youīd have a hard time to find a right timetable, unless you coupled that train to another TGV.

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I thought they already started.
Many people seem to think so, but they havenīt yet. But they should be about to start, although I keep on saying this for more than six months now.

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With socialists in power now there is a good chance of no further delays.
Iīm not so sure.

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Montpellier-Perpignan is of rather low priority in the French national context.
But not in the European context. Brussels is pinching France to make it. Obviously Southern France and Eastern Spain do too.
Itīs become the only high speed missing link between London and Amsterdam on one side, and Seville and Malaga on the other!

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I wouldn't hold my breath for that one...
I do though. Itīs one of the few new lines in France that hasnīt started yet that I can see going on. Because not only would it be good for the France-Spain (and Switzerland-Spain) traffic, but also for the inner traffic Nice-Bordeaux, and thatīs quite a number of people, think: Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Raphael, Draguignan, Toulon, Marseille, Aix en Provence, Nimes, Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montauban, Agen, Bordeaux... thatīs not exactly Northern Canada!

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Those other cities you mention are indeed reachable and no doubt will generate significant traffic, but Lyon and Marseille are at a perfect distance from Barcelona to out-compete airline on the same route.
I donīt have any doubt that BCN-Marseille is a route that will work from day one, and more than anything else because thereīs Aix en Provence, Toulon, Nice and etc behind it.

As for Lyon... Iīm a bit more doubtful... itīs a new route with a city that, unlike Marseille, has never had a strong relationship with Barcelona. In fact the first schedule doesnīt include any BCN-Lyon train, just a BCN-Geneva stopping at Lyon-Part Dieu.

What you donīt mention is the route that to me, has the highest potential: Toulouse (and a possible further extension to Bordeaux). Barcelona-Toulouse will be only 2h20min.

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There doesn't need to be as long as there are enough longer distance trains stopping there. If not then there should be. By the way will there be Barcelona-Marseille connection as well or only Barcelona-Paris?
Now there are two TGV Figueres-Paris with a connection to Barcelona that is currently assured by a regional train, but in a couple of weeks or so (someone said January the 7th or the 8th) will be done by an AVE, gaining one more hour (from 7h30min to 6h30min).
Montpellier and Perpignan are included, Narbonne and Nimes too, but not Beziers, Agde nor Sčte (I donīt understand why).

Then, in April, it will be the start of the direct TGV service BCN-Paris (3 trains/day), and Barcelona-Geneva (1 train/day).

Then, as long as Alstom finish the TGVs (because theyīre not on time!), more routes might be introduced, first of them all Toulouse (to Barcelona but also to Madrid), then Marseille. Both are supposed to have two trains/day from the start.

Later, if it works ok and thereīs room enough at Lyon, Lyon might be the next.

Then thereīs talk of Bordeaux (which I find very interesting indeed), Nice (desirable, but the line between Marseille and Nice is saturated), and then Lille, which would be great as that would nearly mean London and Brussels, but thereīs the huge problem of the saturation between Paris and Lyon, and the saturation at Lyon station itself.

As for other destinations, the first that come to mind are London, Brussels (but they depend heavily on the two saturation cases Iīve just told you about), and then Basel, Freiburg (Germany), and Strasbourg, which are a bit far away, and though thereīs the new line, again Lyon and its saturation come as a problem as they are unavoidable (Lyon-Part Dieu station is becoming more and more of a big problem for the French railway).

Last edited by 437.001; December 21st, 2012 at 05:29 PM.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:13 PM   #748
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No, no, I didnīt mean that, I meant that itīs becoming increasingly difficult to stuff more trains in the Paris-Lyon HSL (because you donīt "put" them anymore, you "stuff" them in there, such is the lack of capacity).
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Then thereīs talk of Bordeaux (which I find very interesting indeed), Nice (desirable, but the line between Marseille and Nice is saturated), and then Lille, which would be great as that would nearly mean London and Brussels, but thereīs the huge problem of the saturation between Paris and Lyon, and the saturation at Lyon station itself.
Two things:
- RFF will have to address the capacty issues on the LGV Sud-Est eventually. When they do it will probably increase capacity from the current maximum 15 tph to something like 25 tph.
- Marseilles - Nice is by no means saturated. RFF now has a interval timetable based on two hour intervals. If you look at the timetable for the line you'll see that there are quite a few unused slots still left.

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(Lyon-Part Dieu station is becoming more and more of a big problem for the French railway).
But TGVs can bypass Lyon...
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:26 PM   #749
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Two things:
- RFF will have to address the capacty issues on the LGV Sud-Est eventually. When they do it will probably increase capacity from the current maximum 15 tph to something like 25 tph.
Hope they do it!

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- Marseilles - Nice is by no means saturated. RFF now has a interval timetable based on two hour intervals. If you look at the timetable for the line you'll see that there are quite a few unused slots still left.
Even in Marseilles-Aubagne and Cannes-Nice? I thought it was reaching a "Nimes-Montpellier-or-worse" situation

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But TGVs can bypass Lyon...
Not if you come from Besanįon (unless you enter the HSL at Mâcon, something that Iīm not sure if itīs possible if you access the HSL from Chagny to the HSL or vice versa) or Bellegarde (in this case you head straight into Part-Dieu, no escape... unless you follow Culoz-Montmélian-Valence, which isnīt the best of options)!

Besides, any TGV bound for Spain and not coming from Paris will always have an interest in stopping at Lyon, to fill the train...
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:59 PM   #750
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Even in Marseilles-Aubagne and Cannes-Nice? I thought it was reaching a "Nimes-Montpellier-or-worse" situation
Looking at the schedule I do see a lot of unused slots. The basic schedule seems to have a half hourly slot for a trains that runs limited stop Marseilles - Ventimiglia. Some are used for fast TER services, some for TGV, but a lot are unused.


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Not if you come from Besanįon (unless you enter the HSL at Mâcon, something that Iīm not sure if itīs possible if you access the HSL from Chagny to the HSL or vice versa) or Bellegarde (in this case you head straight into Part-Dieu, no escape... unless you follow Culoz-Montmélian-Valence, which isnīt the best of options)!
The southern branch of the LGV Rhin-Rhone is supposed to connect to the Ambčrieu - Lyon line, which means that this line will probably be upgraded, and get a connection with the line around Lyon. That would solve a few problems.
And of course, France (and Spain) might finally learn how to define "congested" in a way more in line with what is common in the rest of Europe...
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Old December 21st, 2012, 10:41 PM   #751
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Looking at the schedule I do see a lot of unused slots. The basic schedule seems to have a half hourly slot for a trains that runs limited stop Marseilles - Ventimiglia. Some are used for fast TER services, some for TGV, but a lot are unused.
Thanks for the info! I thought it was worse than it actually is then.

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The southern branch of the LGV Rhin-Rhone is supposed to connect to the Ambčrieu - Lyon line,
By which century?

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which means that this line will probably be upgraded, and get a connection with the line around Lyon. That would solve a few problems.
The CFAL is not necessarily linked to the Rhin-Rhône, is it?
At which stage is this project? I find it one of the most needed in France.

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And of course, France (and Spain) might finally learn how to define "congested" in a way more in line with what is common in the rest of Europe...
What do you mean?
Arenīt the Paris-Lyon HSL and the RER B + D between Châtelet and Gare du Nord the two most saturated lines of their kind in Continental Europe?
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 02:23 AM   #752
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Hi everybody!

Have we plz some recent stats about the market share Air/AVE in Madrid-Barcelona Corridor ?
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 06:26 AM   #753
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Hi everybody!

Have we plz some recent stats about the market share Air/AVE in Madrid-Barcelona Corridor ?
AVE wins, but not by much, like 50/50. We still donīt know why very well (it used to be the busiest airline in the world in the past), but we guess it has to do with the fact that the AVE is expensive... and that not so many people travel between each city that want to use a train.

People who can afford it still usually prefer the plane.

Trains have always been for the poor... and the business quarter in Madrid is closer to the airport than to Atocha station.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 12:28 PM   #754
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Point to point (Barcelona to Madrid) 50/50 train/plane.

But trais make several stops in station with population around and no link to those cities... so a little more than plane in the full corridor.


Barcelona to Madrid passengers would choose plane if they have to link with another plane in almost all cases, would choose train if destination is easy to reach by train or linking another train and in almost all of cases, that one they prefer.

They are mixed blessings for any kind of transport, of course.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 03:33 PM   #755
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When calculating market share connecting airline passengers have to be substracted (it might have been done already for the numbers you report). Of course someone who is traveling from Barcelona to South America via Madrid will choose a plane unless there is a large price difference.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 04:16 PM   #756
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When calculating market share connecting airline passengers have to be substracted (it might have been done already for the numbers you report). Of course someone who is traveling from Barcelona to South America via Madrid will choose a plane unless there is a large price difference.
well that's why SNCF/RFF in France, created a HSL station inside Paris-CDG airport to link directly the airports to main cities (Lille, Brussels, Lyon, Strasbourg, Marseille,...) to catch passengers looking for connecting airlines

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Old December 23rd, 2012, 08:35 PM   #757
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well that's why SNCF/RFF in France, created a HSL station inside Paris-CDG airport to link directly the airports to main cities (Lille, Brussels, Lyon, Strasbourg, Marseille,...) to catch passengers looking for connecting airlines
But that station is connected to the suburban RER train too, so we donīt know (or do we?) how many of these passengers are transfering to the actual airport or to the commuter trains...
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Old December 24th, 2012, 12:50 AM   #758
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But that station is connected to the suburban RER train too, so we donīt know (or do we?) how many of these passengers are transfering to the actual airport or to the commuter trains...
Yep, the station is connected to the RER station, but there the platforms are separated.

TGV station is mainly used by passengers coming to Paris-CDG by plane from foreign locations and willing to go to province cities (or Brussels) without going to Center Paris by RER and taking a TGV from Paris-Nord, Paris-Est ou Paris-Lyon...
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Old January 1st, 2013, 09:43 AM   #759
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Hi there.

Inauguration of the Barcelona-Figueres Vilafant HSL on January the 8th.

AVE services Madrid-Figueres Vilafant to start on January the 9th. Like eight per day or so (Iīve seen the timetables, but I canīt remember now).

Two of them will have a transfer to TGVs Paris-Figueres Vilafant.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 09:58 AM   #760
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I checked Renfe website to see how long it would take from Madrid, but it hasn't been updated yet...
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