Missing Timetable Data
At three of the five active cross border lines between France and Spain there are data problems. None of the trains that cross the borders Hendaia – Irun (Euskotren) and Latour-de-Carol – Enveitg – Puigcerdà (Rodalies de Catalunya), and only some of the trains that cross the border Cerbère – Portbou (Rodalies de Catalunya) appear in international train timetable searches. This is because Euskotren and Rodalies de Catalunya (operated by Renfe) do not upload timetables to UIC Merits, the timetable system that is behind rail travel planners like DB Reiseauskunft and ÖBB Scotty. That means that planning a trip like Bordeaux – Bilbao or Toulouse – Barcelona is more complicated than it should be, and indeed non-locals might not even know these trains exist.
What needs to be done: put data for all trains in Spain, regardless of operator, and including Euskotren and Rodalies, into UIC Merits
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 3 relevant France-Spain borders – you can find that PDF here.
Photos from these locations