MADRID (AP) — A high-speed rail service linking Spain and France has been inaugurated that will cut the journey time between Barcelona and Paris by half.

Up until now the train journey between these two cities lasted some 12 hours, but the new tracks will enable passengers to complete it in just over six.

Spain's tourism statistics agency Frontur says travelers make 82 million trips between the two countries annually, mostly by car.

Spain's train operator RENFE said Sunday it hopes to lure some air-travel passengers.

The service, which opened Sunday, will also provide bullet trains to cities like Madrid, Marseille, Toulouse and Lyon.

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    The Shongololo Express offers five different routes to see Southern Africa, including a 16 day journey across six different countries. The Shongololo travels to 9 different countries including Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania. (Rui Ornelas/Flickr)

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  • The Ghan

    The Ghan spans from North to South Australia, taking three days to travel the 1,852 miles. Sites to see include the Adelaide plains, Flinders Ranges, Katherine Gorge, and the ever changing diversity of Australia's landscape. (Alexis O'Connor/Flickr)

  • The Eastern and Orient Express

    The Eastern & Oriental Express has four routes through South East Asia. The train runs 1,262 miles through Singapore, Malaysia Thailand, and Laos. Each journey is about a week long and goes through city, country side, and jungle to explore Southeast Asia. (David D/Flickr)

  • The Glacier Express

    The Glacier Express travels through the Swiss mountains, taking 7 ½ hours to go 181 miles, giving it the reputation of the slowest express train in the world. The route crosses the Oberalp Pass at 6,670 feet in altitude and runs all the way to the Italian border. (JanetMck/Flickr)

  • The West Highland Line

    The West Highland Line travels across Scotland from Glasgow to Mallaig. The 164 mile route crosses the world's first concrete rail viaduct at Glenfinnan (which was featured in the Harry Potter films) and the silver sands of Morar. (Chris Barber/Flickr)

  • The Zephyr

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  • The Rocky Mountaineer

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  • The Douro Line

    Operating since 1887, the Douro Line runs from Oporto to Barca d´Alva in Portugal. The hour and a half trip stops at the historic Pinhão Station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the country, which is decorated with exquisite blue-and-white glazed tiles. (Hrs51/Flickr)

  • The Hiram Bingham Express

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  • The Pride of Africa

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  • The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

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