Taking an overnight train journey from Paris to Madrid isn't an option, but despite the distance, it's possible to travel between the two capital cites by high speed daytime trains in under 10 hours.
The only option for making a journey by train in a single day by train from Paris to Madrid involves departing the French capital at 10:14 (departure times can be altered on certain dates).
1 x connection per day
Change trains in: Barcelona
The TGV from Paris is typically scheduled to arrive in Barcelona at 16:54, but the end-to-end journey time of 10hr 1min and an arrival into Madrid at 20:15 is dependent on taking a more-basic, but still high speed Ouigo service and not a regular AVE train.
if you want to travel in the equivalents of 2nd class worth comparing the two services on the 'Trains Guides', but there is no equivalent of 1st class available on a Ouigo service
The Ouigo service will be typically scheduled to depart from Barcelona at 17:40 and the AVE service is scheduled to depart at 18:25, but not on Saturdays, when the first AVE departure after the arrival from Paris, wont be typically available until 19:00
When SMTJ was last at Barcelona Sants there were staff on the platform holding up signs for Madrid, so they could be approached by passengers who would then assist with the onward transfer.
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date
It's worth comparing prices across these agents when looking up this journey, though keep in mind that both RailEurope and Trainline will charge a booking fee on this route.
In the event of a missed connection:
The train operating companies on this route have signed up to the AJC; the relatively new ‘Agreement for Journey Continuation’ policy, which has also been introduced to protect travellers using international railway tickets.
In effect the AJC stipulates that no matter what type of ticket you have booked, or have been issued with, you can continue your DAYTIME journey by a different train to that specified on your ticket, in the event of a delay to a preceding train.
Meaning that the AJC can also offer protection if you are using separate tickets per train, which you purchased by making multiple bookings.
However, Ouigo services are not included within this AJC agreement, so if you book the end-to-end journey which involves taking the Ouigo service on from Barcelona and a delay to the train from Paris causes a missed connection, you will have to re-book tickets for the 20:45 departure.
In contrast, if you book tickets for the end-to-end journey by a combination of TGV + AVE trains, you can transfer tickets at no cost to the AVE departures at 19:00; 19:25 or 20:00.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Rail Europe (UK)||*|
|Rail Europe (UK)||*|
Final Destination: Barcelone (Barcelona)
On departure the train heading to Barcelona will usually be attached in front of another train which will be terminating in Montpellier.
Therefore the coaches heading to Barcelona will usually be found towards the far end of the voie (platform/track).
So don't cut it too fine when boarding these trains, if you don't want to hurry, be at the Gare De Lyon at least 5 minutes before the train will be leaving.
This is a journey of three distinct parts.
1: Between the outskirts of Paris and Nimes the trains travel on the high speed line.
Though what makes the part of the journey between Sete and Perpignan unusual is that between these two towns there are often sea lagoons which can be seen from the left-hand side of the train, particularly south of Narbonne when the railway seems to skim across the surface of the water
As can be seen in the video above, what's unusual and rather fabulous about this part of the journey, as the train leaves Narbonne behind, is that the 'sea' can be seen from both sides of the train.
3, Between Perpignan and Barcelona, the train reverts back to using a high speed line.
Final Destination: Madrid-Atocha
Both the AVE and Ouigo services which the train from Paris connects into are non-stop to Madrid.
Comparison of AVE and Ouigo services:
Luggage allowance on AVE trains:
Up to 3 pieces of hand luggage onto the train, provided that the sum of the three does not exceed 25 kg or 290 cm.
The maximum dimensions allowed are 85x55x35 cm
Though additional allowances cannot be purchased.
Luggage allowance on Ouigo trains:
Each ticket holder can either board with two pieces of hand luggage not exceeding 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) OR 1 piece hand luggage 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) + 1 piece of cabin luggage not exceeding 55 x 35 x 25 cm (height x width x depth).
So in essence this means 2 pieces of hand luggage per passenger OR 1 larger bag + 1 piece of hand luggage.
Though Plus tickets allow for double the luggage allowance.
These Ouigo trains take the same route as the Ave and avlo trains.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.