The EU contributed €70 million to fund the construction of the 44.4km, 300km/h maximum speed Figueres Vilafant – Perpignan high speed line through the Pyrenees between France and Spain, but the line is shockingly under-used. One of the few cross border high speed lines in Europe, it conveys just two trains a day each way year round, and this increases to just four trains a day in summertime. The lines either side of the cross border section – between Figueres and Barcelona, and from Perpignan northwards towards Paris are much better served than the cross border section.
What needs to be done: run more trains. If state owned operators Renfe and SNCF are unwilling to do this, investigate obstacles preventing other operators offering services on this line
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 Figueres-Perpignan – you can find that PDF here.
Photos from this location