The official inauguration of the new direct line between Perpignan, France and Figeures, Spain, took place on 27th January 2011. The opening marks the first stage of the high speed rail project between France and Spain.
The 44.4km link has been open for freight and passenger services since 19th December 2010, with over 16,000 customers travelling on the line with TGV since it opened.
The next stage of development in this high speed line, the link between Barcelona and Figeures is expected to be completed by 2013. Currently, the lines are linked with a classic line to Barcelona that is to be upgraded to a high speed link.
Journey times between Barcelona and Paris have been reduced by over an hour thanks to the new service. A new company jointly owned by RENFE and SNCF is to be formed to run services between Paris and Madrid.