Luxembourgh Times

From Luxembourg to Barcelona by train, in just one night

Idea is part of wider plans by France to create a series of overnight trains in the country and to other parts of Europe

Luxembourg's central train station

Luxembourg's central train station © Photo credit: Pierre Matgé

Kathryn Oglesby

Luxembourg residents in search of some Spanish sun could soon be able to travel to Barcelona on an overnight train from the Grand Duchy in a move towards long-awaited connections to other European capitals.

The train is planned to go from Luxembourg’s central station via Strasbourg in France and pass through the French cities of Metz, Nancy, Montpellier and Perpignan before arriving in Barcelona in north-eastern Spain, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday.

The move comes as part of plans by France to create more long-distance overnight trains through the country and to other parts of Europe, Jean-Baptiste Djebarri, the country’s delegate transport minister said in a series of Tweets on Sunday and Monday.

The French government intends to launch the trains from now until 2030, including an overnight train from Paris to Berlin in 2023, Djebbari said.

Train services have been a lingering sore point in Luxembourg, in particular the proposed high-speed connection to Brussels which has been on the cards for years but is still not up and running. The three-hour train journey to the Belgian capital takes longer than it did decades ago, despite the project costing EU taxpayers around €750 million.

The modernisation project between the two capitals will not be completed until the end of the decade, Luxembourg's Transport Minister François Bausch acknowledged earlier this year.

Passengers in Luxembourg will have to wait up to another four years before they can connect to Wifi on board, a necessity for many people travelling for work. Just over half of stations are currently equipped with Wifi and almost all stations should have a connection by the end of this year, but the on-board service will take much longer, Bausch said earlier this year.

In a bid to get more people to use trains and unclog the usually congested roads in and out of Luxembourg during peak hours, Luxembourg made all public transport free of charge in March 2020, a measure which cost €41 million, funded through taxes.