Perthus Tunnel

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Perthus Tunnel
Estació-Figueres-Vilafant-construction.jpg
Overview
Line LGV Perpignan–Figueres
Location Border between France and Spain
Coordinates 42°28′N 2°52′E / 42.467°N 2.867°E / 42.467; 2.867Coordinates: 42°28′N 2°52′E / 42.467°N 2.867°E / 42.467; 2.867
Status Active
Start La Jonquera: 42°26′49″N 2°51′43″E / 42.44694°N 2.86194°E / 42.44694; 2.86194 (La Jonquera Portal)
End Montesquieu-des-Albères: 42°31′14″N 2°51′34″E / 42.52056°N 2.85944°E / 42.52056; 2.85944 (Montesquieu-des-Albères Portal)
Operation
Opened 2009 (tunnel)
2010 (passenger service)
Technical
Construction 2005-2009
Line length 8.3-kilometre (5.2 mi)

The Perthus Tunnel is a twin-bore railway tunnel between France and Spain under the Eastern Pyrenees, built as part of the high-speed railway line Perpignan-Figueres. The tunnel has made possible the implementation of direct high-speed trains connecting the two countries' railway systems since December 2013, linking the Spanish AVE network with the French TGV.[1][2][3]

The tunnel has been designed to allow for freight as well as passenger traffic. It is 8.3-kilometre (5.2 mi) long.[4][5]

History[edit]

The tunnel forms part of the 44.4-kilometre (27.6 mi) Perpignan-Figueres high-speed rail line, built through a Public–private partnership scheme by the TP Ferro consortium, a joint venture of Eiffage (France) and Dragados (Spain), under a fifty year concession.[6][7] It took five years to build and was completed on February 17, 2009, although it wasn't opened for traffic until December 19, 2010.[8] At this time the high-speed (and standard gauge) line ended at Figueres-Vilafant station. An Iberian gauge spur was built from the Barcelona-Figueres conventional line to serve this station. To compensate for this delay, TP Ferro's concession was extended by three years.[9] The high-speed line between Barcelona and Figueres was opened to traffic on 8 January 2013, but until December passengers had to change trains at Figueres Vilafant station, from a French TGV to a Spanish AVE, as neither trainset was approved for use on the other country's network. Finally, direct trains were launched in December 2013.[10][11]

In France, the tunnel connects to the Perpignan-Villefranche line.[4] Formal design studies for a high-speed Perpignan-Montpellier line to connect to the tunnel were launched in November 2009 by Réseau Ferré de France.[12]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Spain completes Iberia's high-speed link to Europe". International Railway Journal. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  2. ^ "High speed services between France and Spain launched". Railway Gazette. 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  3. ^ "Paris-Barcelona TGVs set for December 15 launch". International Railway Journal. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Tunnel with no trains". Railway Gazette. 2009-04-15. 
  5. ^ "Le percement du tunnel du Perthus est terminé". La Dépêche. 2007-11-23.  (French)
  6. ^ "Perpignan – Figueres link inaugurated". Railway Gazette. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  7. ^ "Tunnel with no trains". Railway Gazette. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Historique. Le TGV a franchi les Pyrénées pour la première fois" (in French). La Dépêche. 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^ "Perpignan - Figueres concession extended". Railway Gazette. 2009-11-24. 
  10. ^ "High speed services between France and Spain launched". Railway Gazette. 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  11. ^ "Paris-Barcelona TGVs set for December 15 launch". International Railway Journal. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  12. ^ "RFF to launch Perpignan – Montpellier study". Railway Gazette. 2009-11-26. 

External links[edit]