Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Paris to Barcelona by TGV 2N2 - part 2

The nature is changed very fast, as well as the weather when you travel long distances by high speed train. 
 Massif Central mountains to the west.
 Our train is bypassing Lyon to east from the city.
 The bypass has instead a railway stop at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport, but our train does not stop there either.
 Now the sunshine is gone and its raining, the first stop is at Valence TGV.
 Valence TGV is the first stop along the extended line LGV Medirranée, which opened 2001.
 Now the sun is back again, even though its getting darker.
 A7 motoroway (or E15) from Inverness (Scotland) to Algeciras (Spain).
Canal Donzère-Mondragon
 Now the railway is turning to the west from the main LGV Medirranée line and continuing for another 25km before the high speed line is ended.
 Now we are joining the regular railway line Avignon-Nîmes.
 The new high speed bypass line Contournement Nîmes-Montplellier is still under construction and expected to be open 2017. It will have two new TGV stations Manduel-Redessan (near Nîmes) and Odysseum (near Montpellier).
 Second stop is Nîmes
 I was not the only person quickly getting off/on at each stop, my reason was to take photos, everybody else were smoking. The train was a bit late, so people could not smoke their cigarettes completely. Long distance high speed journeys with short stops and non smoking coaches are apparently a bad combination for some people in France.
 We are in the south, palms are outside.
 Montpellier station.

 Last stop in France is Perpignan.
 The station has also name in Catalan - Perpinya. Perpignan was the capital of Northern Catalonia before 1659. Sometimes the region is called French Catalonia.
 Travelling between France and Spain at 300km/h. After some hours on conventional tracks, we are finally back to high speed railway. The railway goes in a 8,3km long tunnel under Eastern Pyrenees and it is called Perthus Tunnel. It was opened 2010 and as today it is the only standard gauge connection from Spain to the rest of Europe.
 First stop in Spain (Catalonia) is Figueres-Vilafant station. It is an end stop for many high speed AVE trains from Madrid.
 Second stop is in Girona. Now it is not far to Barcelona.
 An AVE S103 train can be viewed here. Barcelona-Girona-Figueres high speed line opened 2013
 Final destination - Barcelona Sants, after travelling 1075km and 6h 30min.

 Christmas and New Year's decorations on Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes.

 Passeig de Gràcia
 Coming out of the metro and viewing Gaudi's Casa Batlló was worth travelling this far.
 Barcelona Metro corridor
 Passeig de Gràcia commuter train station.
 Rodalies de Calaunya is the local commuter train service of Catalonia. In country Basque it is called Aldiriak and in the rest of the Spain it is called Cercanías. Here is Serie 450 double deck train from Alstom, built 1989. Now I'm using Iberian broad gauge railway.
Talgo 250 or Renfe Class 130 train is passing by without stopping here.

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