New high-speed rail links inaugurated

Journey time between Barcelona and Paris reduced to seven hours

High-speed rail infrastructure took a significant leapthe pastweekend, with the inauguration of two new lines joining Madrid with Valencia, and Barcelona with Paris.

The country's entire political leadership was on hand to celebrate the new AVE link between Madrid and Valencia on Saturday, a journey that now covers 391 kilometers in a little under 95 minutes. The S-112 train carried 250 passengers, including King Juan Carlos, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, leader of the opposition Popular Party Mariano Rajoy, and the regional and local leaders of Valencia and Madrid.

The new Barcelona-Paris journey, which takes seven hours and 25 minutes, is a joint Spanish-French project that takes passengers from the Catalan capital to Figueres, where they board a TGV train.