Barcelona Sants railway station or Estació de Barcelona-Sants is the main railway station in Barcelona, owned by Adif, the railway infrastructure agency of Spain. It has become the Catalan capital's most important transport hub - being the centre of Rodalies de Catalunya including Barcelona suburban railway services and regional services, as well as the main inter-city station for national and international destinations. The station is named after Sants, the neighbourhood of Barcelona in which it is located. New parts of the station have recently been remodeled to accommodate the Spanishhigh-speed trainAVE in the city, which started serving the city on 20 February 2008. There is also an adjacent international bus station bearing the same name and a metro station that serves the railway station.
The modern Sants station was built in the 1970s as part of construction of the first east-west regional line running under the centre of Barcelona. Over the last 30 years, Estació de Sants has since eclipsed the earlier França terminus (Barcelona Estació de França), from the 1920s, as Barcelona’s main railway station.
The station has been built in a modern airport style, with all its many platforms sited underground in something of a subterranean sprawl. Nevertheless the ongoing redevelopment, set to take until 2012, has aimed to make the surface-level concourse and ticket-hall area considerably more spacious and bright. Above this, a four-star hotel (Hotel Barceló Sants) occupies most of the upper floors of its main building.
Access to the metro station from the railway station
The station is in the Sants-Montjuïcdistrict of Barcelona, a little way to the northwest of the city centre, and is easily accessible via metro (see section below) or bus from anywhere in the city. Sited at the end of Avinguda Roma between two squares, Plaça dels Països Catalans and Plaça Joan Peiró, it has two entrances, one in each.
Madrid is two and a half hours away on the AVEMadrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line, after the link between Camp de Tarragona and Barcelona opened in 2008. Extension of the line east into France connecting with the TGV network is expected to be complete in 2012. The high speed service uses platforms 1 to 6, which have now been converted to the European standard gauge for use by the AVE services, unlike the remaining 8 for other RENFE services using the wider Spanish gauge tracks. A second major railway station in Barcelona, Estació de la Sagrera, currently under construction, is expected to join it in order to provide a wider access to high-speed and long distance train to the north of the city.