Missing Services

At two of the five active cross border lines between France and Spain there are missing services. At Hendaye – Irun and Cerbère – Portbou there are standard gauge tracks from France to the Spanish side, and Iberian gauge tracks from Spain to the French side. At Hendaye – Irun these tracks are no longer in regular use, and all SNCF services terminate at Hendaye and all Renfe services at Irun, despite the two being just 2.2km apart, so passengers need to use the separate Euskotren line to cross the border here (that itself has data problems). At Cerbère – Portbou the number of services crossing the border has dropped sharply in recent years, in part because of a language dispute, often meaning passengers have longer waits to travel the 2.0km between the two stations either side of the border.

What needs to be done: France and Spain need to agree how to extend services across the border in each case, to ensure onwards connections


European Commission Analysis

In 2018 the European Commission published its “Comprehensive analysis of the existing cross-border rail transport connections and missing links on the internal EU borders”. The main report (74 pages, PDF) summarises the issues, and Annex 3 of the report (384 pages, PDF) analysed every single border.

For the sake of simplicity, I have made a PDF just of the relevant pages of Annex 3 that cover the 2 relevant France-Spain borders – you can find that PDF here.


Photos from these locations


Map of these locations

Full zoomable All The Borders map on umap.