London and Madrid to be linked by high-speed train

Starting in 2012, travelers will be able to go from London to Madrid in eight hours thanks to a planned high-speed rail link. The service, organized by a French and Spanish consortium, will link Paris and Madrid. It’s already quick and easy to get to Paris from London by taking the Eurostar. The trip lasts two hours and fifteen minutes. Travelers will then have to change stations before heading out to Madrid, a trip that will take five and a half hours.

There’s discussion of including Lyon and Barcelona in the route. A high-speed route already links Madrid and Barcelona.

This is a joint operation between Renfe, the Spanish state train operator, and SNCF, its French counterpart. Each will have an equal stake. The system will have ten trains and be managed from Spain, which is already a leader in high-speed trains.