- Barcelona Sants railway station
Barcelona Sants (also known as Estació de Sants) is the name of the main
railway stationin Barcelona, operated by RENFE. It has become the Catalan capital's most important transportation hub - being the centre of commuter ( Rodalies Barcelona) and medium-distance train services, as well as the main inter-city train 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 reformed on the occasion of the introduction of the Spanish high-speed train AVEin the city, which took place on February 20 2008. There is also an adjacent international busstation by the same name.
History and architectural design
The modern Sants station was built in the 1970’s 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 come clearly to eclipse the earlier França terminus (
Barcelona Estació de França), from the 1920's, 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 re-development, set to take until 2012, has aimed to make the surface-level concourse and ticket-hall area considerably more spacious and bright. Yet signs could be clearer and the layout of separate ticket offices and information points for local, medium and long-distance trains can be rather confusing. Above this, a four-star hotel (Hotel Barceló Sants) occupies most of the upper floors of its main building.
The station is in the
Sants-Montjuïcdistrict of Barcelona, a little way to the North-West 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 Romabetween two squares, Plaça dels Països Catalansand Plaça Joan Peiró, it has two entrances, one in each.
RENFE Cercanías/Rodalies run Barcelona's widespread
commuter trainservice from Barcelona-Sants. These include a half-hourly Barcelona International Airporttrain (line R10), and services to the popular resort of Sitges(4 per hour) on line 2.
Regional and "Catalunya Express"
Long distance and "Grandes Líneas"
AVE high-speed railsystem can get you between Barcelona and Madridin just over two-and-a-half hours. Recently extended from Madridto Tarragonain southern Catalonia, the Madrid-Barcelona-French Border line fully came into operation from this station in late 2007. It uses platforms 1-6, 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 the following year in order to provide a wider access to high-speed train to the north of the city.
April 2008a regional AVEservice called Avant was introduced, connecting Barcelona with Tarragona(Camp de Tarragona) and Lleida(Lleida-Pirineus), the line's terminus.
List of railway stations in Barcelona
List of Rodalies Barcelona railway stations
Estació de la Sagrera
Estació de França
* [http://www.trenscat.com/renfe/barcelonasants_ct.html Barcelona-Sants at Trenscat.com]
* [http://www.barcelona-sants.com Personal Website about Train and Bus Station]
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