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Italo high speed train, Italy
Photograph: Eddy Galeotti /

A new high-speed train route could soon link up Madrid and Paris

Italian train company Trenitalia wants to connect the two capital cities by the end of 2024

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Currently, if you want to get from Paris to Madrid by rail, the journey isn’t exactly faff-free. The most popular route is to get one train to Barcelona before changing to another to take you to Madrid. It can take almost ten hours, which, TBH, all seems a bit mad. Despite being relatively close (only about 1,000 kilometres or so), the two European capitals don’t have a direct trainline. 

But that could all be set to change over the next few years. Italian train operator Trenitalia announced earlier this week that it intends to set up a direct Paris-Madrid high-speed rail route. The new service would use Trenitalia’s speedy Frecciarossa trains, which it has already rolled out for services between Paris, Lyon, Turin and Milan.

All of which is tremendously exciting – and a huge step towards complication-free rail travel across Europe. Trenitalia says its new line would stop in Barcelona and that its eventual plans include train connections between Spain and Italy, via France.

At the moment, however, Trenitalia’s ambitions aren’t much more than just an announcement. The company has said it could have a Paris-Madrid high-speed line up and running by the end of 2024, though exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

In other words, all this could be a little while off yet – but that’s no reason not to get excited. Plane-free travel in Europe, here we come!

Did you see that a magnificent new train route along the Italian coast has just launched?

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