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Old January 11th, 2017, 03:14 PM   #3781
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A Mid-Pyrenees high speed line, if ever made, will not be meant to serve the mountains. No matter how tourist the Pyrenees can become, there is no chance they will ever generate enough traffic, similar to this generated by the big metropolitan areas, to justify the need of a high speed line there. The objective of this line will be to connect the significant from business perspective metropolitan area of Toulouse to Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona and further to other areas in Spain, and especially for freight purposes.

Most probably such a line will not have any station right at the Pyrenees mountains, at least not somewhere closer than Huesca or Tarbes. Even in the most tourist Alpine French resorts which are served by TGV, there are no high speed lines there, there are just TGV trains arriving to small towns using conventional lines. Cities near the ski resorts and other tourist destinations like Jaca do not need HSR stations. They just need better connection to the AVE network via conventional lines. The line between Huesca and Jaca for example could be modernized in order to be served by more efficient schedules than it now has, but a 300km/h line from Huesca to Jaca just to serve the tourism is definitely too much. Especially as long as the Zaragoza-Huesca section is not even a real high speed line.

By the way this Tardienta station is a big joke! You travel with 200km/h between Zaragoza and Tardienta and with 160km/h between Tardienta and Huesca, and any benefit in time you get from these speeds is ruined by the additional 20 minutes the train needs just to make the stop in Tardienta. It is ridiculous, it losses the meaning of the high speed rail even of such a type!
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Old January 11th, 2017, 03:52 PM   #3782
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About Spain-France HSR: I think we'll just need to accept the fact that there simply aren't millions and millions of passengers who'd like to travel between those two countries regardless of cost and speed. I've crossed the border between various countries via rail many times and in the stretch which actually crosses the border the train is always significantly emptier than before or after. About 10 trains a day is probably already at a limit of demand.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 05:56 PM   #3783
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The white sections are those where you do not know what will happen: new platform or mixed gauge?
What is the story behind the different, non European gauge in Spain?
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Old January 11th, 2017, 06:48 PM   #3784
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In the 19th Century, a break-of-gauge was a defense mechanism, slowing down invading armies. That's the same reason for Russia and India. Technically, it still can serve the same purpose today.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 07:42 PM   #3785
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I'm sorry, but that's very widespread urban legends.
The greatest historian specialized in railway history has not found any reference.
In the case of Spain was to have wider locomotives to have greater power.

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Está basada en el Informe Subercasse (Real Orden de 31/12/1844, (más en #45 ) que, entre otras cosas, dice:

“Demostrada ya la conveniencia de que haya uniformidad en las dimensiones transversales de todas las grandes líneas de caminos de hierro, es claro que deben adoptarse las que los principios teóricos, confirmados por el buen éxito de su aplicación a los caminos más recientes, designan como más ventajosas. En ancho de vía generalmente empleado hasta pocos años hace, y que se emplea en muchas partes, es de 5 pies 17 centésimas (1,44 m), pero en un país virgen, donde se empieza a establecer un sistema de caminos de hierro, debe adoptase una anchura que permita caminar por ellos con toda la rapidez y seguridad que pueden obtenerse con las últimas perfecciones que han recibido las locomotoras. Para este efecto, conviene aumentar el ancho de las vías, y esta es la tendencia que generalmente se observa en el día. Así vemos en el camino de Londres a Yarmouth una vía de 5,45 pies (1,52 metros), en el de Dundee a Forfar de 6,03 pies (1,68 m), en el de Great Western de 7,64 pies (2,13 m) y en el de Petersburgo a Tzárskoye Selo de 6,57 (1,83 m). La Comisión del Parlamento ingles, encargada de informar sobre un sistema general de caminos de hierro en Irlanda, proponía 6,75 pies (1,88 m). Nosotros hemos adoptado 6 pies (1,67 m), porque sin aumentar considerablemente los gastos de establecimiento del camino, permite locomotoras de dimensiones suficientes para producir en un tiempo dado la cantidad de vapor bastante para obtener, con la misma carga, una velocidad mayor que la que podría conseguirse con las vías de 4,25 pies (1,18 m), propuestas por una de las empresas que ha hecho proposiciones al Gobierno, y mayor también de la que podría emplearse con las de 5,17 pies (1,44 m) que más frecuentemente se han usado hasta ahora, consiguiéndose, además, que sin disminuir la estabilidad se puede hacer mayor el diámetro de las ruedas, lo que también conduce a aumentar la velocidad".

En 1855 el ancho quedó definido en la Ley General de Ferrocarriles. El ministro de la Guerra, Ros de Olano, había dirigido una comunicación manifestando que su Ministerio se mantenía neutral acerca de esta cuestión. (Apéndice núm. 57 a la Memoria de Obras Públicas de 1856)

Según Jesús Moreno en su libro Prehistoria del ferrocarril sobre la Ley General de Ferrocarriles de 1855:

Comenzaba la comisión insinuando lo contrario de lo que pretendía demostrar, es decir, la maravilla de que "los trenes partidos del Volga llegarían sin dificultad hasta el Estrecho de Gibraltar". Mas, ¡ay!, los pobres europeos, debido a haber acogido el invento del ferrocarril cuando aún no estaba perfeccionado, se veían, hoy día, obligados a mantener una vía estrecha e imperfecta y, mucho peor aún, a seguir instalándola en las nuevas construcciones, pues "la manera antigua de construir prevalece, porque la unidad y la continuidad simétrica del trayecto la libertan de la ley del progreso a que no podía ya someterse sin graves inconvenientes". Sin embargo, nosotros, que adoptamos más tarde las vías de hierro, "podemos consultar la ciencia sin temor y seguir sus inspiraciones con la seguridad de la convicción". De esta consulta se deduce más estabilidad, caldera de mayor diámetro, más capacidad de evaporación y más espacio para los mecanismos, es decir, los trasnochados argumentos de los partidarios de las vías anchas de hacía veinte arios. ¿Estaba justificado desechar esta magnífica vía ancha por el simple hecho de que “no se ajusta a la que se halla establecida en las líneas de Francia?. Muy grave error sería, por cierto, ya se atienda al porvenir y ya al momento presente". Por lo que se refería al futuro, la idea de unir París con Lisboa tenía "más de especioso que de sólido", puesto que "en los grandes trayectos hay poblaciones y puentes [sic], registros y aduanas, cambios de viajeros, composturas de carruajes, ocurrencias imprevistas que interrumpen su marcha; los vagones se reponen; se admiten nuevos pasajeros; hay paradas inevitables, y no siempre se ajustan las líneas a los pasos difíciles donde una alteración interrumpe su igualdad absoluta".
Por lo que se refiere al momento presente, entre las líneas construidas y puestas en construcción, contamos con una longitud de 1.317 km. Podría acometerse el estrechamiento de la vía, pero otra cosa sucede con el material rodante contratado para las líneas ya concedidas y puestas en ejecución. Habría que indemnizar a los empresarios y el estado de nuestro Tesoro no lo permite.
El coste de la conversión, a finales de 1854, podría estimarse en unos 28,3 millones de pesetas, cantidad que el Gobierno hubiera tenido que abonar a los concesionarios durante el período 1855/57. Dado que las subvenciones ferroviarias, desembolsadas por el Estado en este período, fueron de 48,5 millones de pesetas, la operación hubiera significado incrementar éstas en un 58,5 %.
Also happened in the United Kingdom, and there the military problem does not exist.
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El ancho estándar (también llamado de Stephenson: 1.435 mm) es llamado así por ser, con diferencia, el más difundido en el mundo. George Stephenson comenzó la construcción de su primera locomotora (Locomotion) en la mina Killingworth, que tenía un ancho de vía de 1.422 mm; si lo hubiese hecho en la mina Wylam, donde también estuvo, seguramente su ancho hubiese sido de 1.524 mm. Cuando inicia su carrera de ingeniero y proyecta el FC de la mina Hetton y el de Stockton-Darlington (el primero del mundo, el 27/09/1825) emplea ese mismo ancho. Al proyectar el Liverpool-Manchester (primero de viajeros, el 15/09/1830), lo incrementó en media pulgada (hasta 1.435 mm) para aumentar el juego de vía, ya que la distancia entre las ruedas de sus vehículos continuó invariable.
Ese ancho se difundió rápidamente, puesto que las líneas nuevas se unían a la de Liverpool-Manchester, o eran proyectadas por Stephenson, su hijo, o sus discípulos. También viajó a Europa, EE UU y a otros lugares mostrando su invento; ¡incluso a España!.
La primera línea con otro ancho fue rusa, (San Petersburgo-Tsarskoie, en 1837), con ancho de 1.830 mm para poder aumentar el tamaño de la caldera ante las duras condiciones climáticas, pero la locomotora fue fabricada por Robert Stephenson y Cía. y su caldera era igual de estrecha. Sin embargo, su segunda línea (San Petersburgo-Moscú) fue construida con ancho “sureño” (1.524 mm) por ingenieros americanos.
En 1836 se autorizó una línea en Escocia con un ancho de 1.676 mm. Por otra parte, la Eastern Counties inauguró la línea Londres-Yarmouth en 1839 con el de 1.524 mm, lo que forzó a Northern & Eastern a hacer lo propio; en 1844 se dieron cuenta de que se quedarían aislados y cambiaron su ancho al de Stephenson.
Ingenieros alemanes de Baden propusieron un ancho de 1.500 mm y después de 2.100, ya que una caldera mayor consume relativamente menos combustible. Al final la línea Mannheim-Heidelberg se inauguró en 1840 con 1.600 mm; cambió el ancho en 1855.
En Irlanda también se construyó con el ancho de 1.600 mm, que incluso está en Australia.
En 1835 el ingeniero de Great Western, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, propuso el ancho de 2.130 mm para poder colocar ruedas más altas y así reducir la resistencia de la rodadura; también usó el argumento de que los carruajes de caballos medían 1,98 m y al situar las ruedas por fuera del mismo resultaba ese ancho (¡!).

Bueno, ya tenemos el lío de los anchos en el Reino Unido de mediados del XIX. Pero, ¿cómo no se daban cuenta del enorme error que cometían?. Según Jesús Moreno en su libro Prehistoria del ferrocarril:

“Hubo varios factores que, bien aislada o conjuntamente, explican un hecho tan insólito. El más importante eran las expectativas de beneficio a corto y medio plazo. En efecto, las compañías que decidieron apartarse del ancho normal estaban convencidas de que su principal fuente de beneficios sería el tráfico propio de la línea y, en consecuencia, despreciaron el tráfico afluente que en un futuro más o menos lejano podría aportarles la conexión con otras líneas.
Otro factor que propiciaba la ruptura del ancho de vía era la escasa importancia concedida a los transbordos. Era práctica común que los viajeros cambiaran de coche al pasar de una línea a otra, cuando éstas pertenecían a diferentes compañías, de manera que nadie encontraba inconveniente en realizar esta misma operación en los puntos de ruptura del ancho. En cuanto a los transbordos de las mercancías, éstos eran de poco volumen y su coste insignificante.”
Un hombre tan revolucionario como Brunel, que diseñó un sistema de transbordo de mercancías (que no funcionó), creyó que las compañías "nunca confiarían sus propios vehículos en manos ajenas".

La llamada “guerra de los anchos” comenzó en Gloucester en 1844, donde llegaban los trenes de vía ancha (2.130 mm) y normal (1.435), y su “campo de batalla” fue el Parlamento. La Cámara de los Comunes aprobó el 20/06/1845 las líneas de vía ancha Oxford a Rugby, y de Oxford a Worcester y Wolverhampton, con feroz oposición de los representantes de la vía normal, que consiguieron que en el tramo Oxford-Worcester se instalase un tercer carril.
Como consecuencia de todo esto, en 1845 se creó una Comisión para estudiar el ancho idóneo, donde declararon los presidentes e ingenieros de las diversas compañías defendiendo “su ancho”. Los ingenieros independientes mantenían que la vía ancha era desmesurada, y que la normal era un poco estrecha. Se hicieron pruebas y comprobaron que en la vía ancha se llevaba la misma carga a mayor velocidad y con mayor comodidad, a pesar de lo cual la Comisión aconsejó estrechar las líneas de vía ancha al ancho normal único. Pero la Cámara de los Comunes consideró desmesurado el coste y se limitó a prohibir las nuevas líneas “para viajeros” en ancho distinto al normal, salvo las prolongaciones de las líneas antiguas. Así que la vía ancha siguió extendiéndose y en 1854 contaba con 1.900 km, además de otros 600 con tercer carril.

Finalmente, ante la extensión del ancho normal, la vía ancha comenzó a ser cambiada a partir de 1865, finalizándose el proceso el 23/05/1892. Mientras, la normalización internacional del ancho de Stephenson como ancho “preferente” no se produjo hasta la Conferencia de Berna en 1907.
En el 2000, del millón cien mil km que forman la red mundial, el 59 % tiene un ancho de 1.435 mm, el 21,2 % es mayor y el 19,8 menor.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 11:32 AM   #3786
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In the haste I forgot something obvious to disprove the theory; If you want to better prevent an invasion: put tracks narrower, not wider.

The wide gauge can be narrowed: the german army narrowed 28,700 km of tracks in its advance by the USSR between 1941 and 1943. If you want to prevent an invasion, it is best to install tracks with a smaller gauge that will prevent the advance in tunnels and bridges.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 08:55 PM   #3787
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The biggest waste of money for me in all those projects is the Y shape line in the Basque country. Why the hell do you need to connect all these 3 Basque cities (Bilbao, Vitoria and St. Sebastian) via high speed line, given the very difficult terrain of the Basque country side for building HSR lines and given the close distance they are located these 3 cities one another?

They should have built just one HS line connecting the biggest and more industrialized of them (Bilbao) to Madrid or even better to Zaragoza and then via the existing Madrid-Barcelona line to Madrid and to Barcelona. The other two cities if they are not on the way of this new line could have access to the HS network simply via conventional lines connected to the new HS line at some intermediate station.

The Basque Y line is a nice to have but for its huge construction cost I think there are other lines to give priority in construction, like for example connecting Barcelona to Valencia or Seville to Malaga.

At least they could have finish first the section Valladolid-Burgos-Vitoria before they start building the Basque Y. From commercial point of view it would make much more sense.
The logic behind the Basque Y is pretty straightforward if one starts thinking about it, even if we see it as individual parts: on one hand we have the interest of linking Bilbao, the most important city in the north, with Madrid (and from there everywhere else). From a technical perspective, Vitoria-Gasteiz is the easiest of the Basque capitals to reach from Castile, due to it being located south of the Basque mountains on a relatively flat land, so it's only logical that the link would start there. A Madrid-Vitoria-Bilbao HSL connection makes much sense given the demographic and economic weight of Bilbao.

However, the Basque Country is not located on *any* corner of the country, but actually bordering France on one of the two places where you can easily cross the mountainous border. A HSL connection with Europe already exists in the Mediterranean, but the interest is to have another one in the Atlantic. To that we add the fact that the San Sebastian-Irun area is heavily industrialised and the Irun-Hendaia are has always been a hotspot for freight rail. Note that the eastern part of the Basque Y is not actually Vitoria-San Sebastian, but Vitoria-Irun, with a small branch to San Sebastian. The main interest is to connect with the French border.

So the logic behind both Madrid-Vitoria-Bilbao (demographic and economic connections) and Madrid-Vitoria-Irun (connection to France and Europe) are pretty clear in my opinion. The only that could be considered additional is the Bilbao-San Sebastian branch, although I think its long-term benefits are evident (connecting Bilbao to Europe).

There's some uncertainty about the Basque Y due to the fact that it will be isolated for any other network for some time, but it still should help to improve the times between Madrid and Bilbao, and as the Basque railways company is interested in providing the services between the capitals and there are important movements between them (especially Bilbao-Vitoria), the services could very well have good numbers.

In my opinion the Basque Y should have had preference over other parts of the network, such as the branch to Leon or the Galicia inner network.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 10:51 PM   #3788
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So to speak.



Right.



Er... not exactly.

Zaragoza-Tardienta is an entirely new line, which runs parallel to the old classic line (which is still in use).
Tardienta-Huesca didn't exactly change gauge, it was a 3rd rail that was added. What was changed was the OHLE and its tension.
As for its maximum speeds, you were right.

But I guess you already knew.

-------------------------------------------------------

On the other hand, the map above included Valencia-Castellon as a HSL, which is debatable.

And they include Castejon-Pamplona, which as far as I'm aware, it only barely started works in a very small section, then these were halted and there's no way they're going ahead anytime soon.

In addition... choose between calling at Tardienta or running at 30 km/h


Tardienta-Huesca was de-electrified for classic trains (freight and regionals)
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Old January 13th, 2017, 10:38 AM   #3789
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The logic behind the Basque Y is pretty straightforward if one starts thinking about it, even if we see it as individual parts: on one hand we have the interest of linking Bilbao, the most important city in the north, with Madrid (and from there everywhere else). From a technical perspective, Vitoria-Gasteiz is the easiest of the Basque capitals to reach from Castile, due to it being located south of the Basque mountains on a relatively flat land, so it's only logical that the link would start there. A Madrid-Vitoria-Bilbao HSL connection makes much sense given the demographic and economic weight of Bilbao.

However, the Basque Country is not located on *any* corner of the country, but actually bordering France on one of the two places where you can easily cross the mountainous border. A HSL connection with Europe already exists in the Mediterranean, but the interest is to have another one in the Atlantic. To that we add the fact that the San Sebastian-Irun area is heavily industrialised and the Irun-Hendaia are has always been a hotspot for freight rail. Note that the eastern part of the Basque Y is not actually Vitoria-San Sebastian, but Vitoria-Irun, with a small branch to San Sebastian. The main interest is to connect with the French border.

So the logic behind both Madrid-Vitoria-Bilbao (demographic and economic connections) and Madrid-Vitoria-Irun (connection to France and Europe) are pretty clear in my opinion. The only that could be considered additional is the Bilbao-San Sebastian branch, although I think its long-term benefits are evident (connecting Bilbao to Europe).

There's some uncertainty about the Basque Y due to the fact that it will be isolated for any other network for some time, but it still should help to improve the times between Madrid and Bilbao, and as the Basque railways company is interested in providing the services between the capitals and there are important movements between them (especially Bilbao-Vitoria), the services could very well have good numbers.

In my opinion the Basque Y should have had preference over other parts of the network, such as the branch to Leon or the Galicia inner network.
The logic is well understood. As I said the priority in construction given to this line does not make sense to me.

The plan for a future Y shape line to connect the 3 main Basque cities with the Spanish and the French HS rail network is correct, the wrong is that its construction was set for the decade of 2000 on high speed standards, well before first to be ensured that this line can be linked easily to the rest of the Spanish and the French HSR network. It doesn't make sense to connect all these 3 cities with HS line if you haven’t connected any of them to Madrid, and it doesn't make scene to start building a line towards the French boarder if you are not sure when and if there will be a high speed connection to the other side.

However, I agree that there should be a priority to connect the Basque country in general with Madrid and other important Spanish cities, over the lines in other Spanish regions with less economic and demographic weight.

Given the difficulty of the Basque terrain, the high construction costs for HSR there and the status of the other Spanish HS lines in the mid 00's when the construction of the Basque Y started, for me the most logical step would be to start first with building a HS line between Vitoria and Zaragoza. This line could have been implemented much easier and earlier than the Basque Y or the Madrid-Valladolid-Vitoria section and could give easy access for the entire Basque country to the rest of the existing HS network and most importantly easy access to both Madrid and Barcelona, the two most important cities and metropolitan areas from business, cultural and demographical perspective, not only in Spain but among the most important ones in the whole Europe. Perhaps some modernization could occur at the same time in order to improve time schedules between Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastian via the existing classical lines.

HS connection between Vitoria and Bilbao should have come at second place and HS connection between those two cities and the French border in San Sebastian area should have been considered only when the French side announces a clear plan for extension of its LGV network to this border (or under commitment between the two countries).

It is really a pity that the strategical position of Zaragoza in relation to the AVE network for the entire north-east Spain has not been exploited as it could. The new built, big, modern but now empty and cold central station of Zaragoza would be ideal to accommodate more AVE and non-AVE rail services and play the role of a main hub for connections. I see a lot of potential there.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 01:51 PM   #3790
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It is really a pity that the strategical position of Zaragoza in relation to the AVE network for the entire north-east Spain has not been exploited as it could. The new built, big, modern but now empty and cold central station of Zaragoza would be ideal to accommodate more AVE and non-AVE rail services and play the role of a main hub for connections. I see a lot of potential there.
Is Zaragoza Delicias that empty?
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Old January 13th, 2017, 02:13 PM   #3791
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There are schedules but compared to the size of the station, it is pretty much empty most of the time. The bus station located in the same complex is more busy than the train station, there is only one coffee place inside, no other stores and the station hotel is also very empty (I am not sure if it is open at all).
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Old January 13th, 2017, 09:57 PM   #3792
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Zaragoza AVE station is not an architectural marvel for sure, but it does fulfil its purpose. Fastest way to travel to both Barcelona and Madrid.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #3793
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Zaragoza Delicias station has an intensive use, especially regarding trips towards Barcelona and Madrid, but also towards Andalusia and northern Spain.

However, as Zaragoza is a large city without a metropolitan area in accordance with its size, trains aren't much used for local and regional services. That's a big difference when you compare it with cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Seville or even Málaga and Bilbao, which are smaller in size as cities.

As a result, Zaragoza Delicias station perhaps doesn't have the hustle and bustle typical of large train stations which can be found in Seville Santa Justa, Valencia Nord or Barcelona Sants. But it's not a white elephant.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 09:38 PM   #3794
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Is Zaragoza Delicias that empty?
No, but many sides are empty.


There are rent a car offices, torism office ans so on. But it could be greater
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Old January 16th, 2017, 11:08 AM   #3795
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Zaragoza AVE station is not an architectural marvel for sure, but it does fulfil its purpose. Fastest way to travel to both Barcelona and Madrid.
It is not that it does not fulfil its purpose. The issue here is that it has been designed to fulfil many more purposes than it actually does.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 06:42 PM   #3796
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strongly agree
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Arremójate la tripa que ya viene la calor...


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Old January 16th, 2017, 08:16 PM   #3797
Sunfuns
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It is not that it does not fulfil its purpose. The issue here is that it has been designed to fulfil many more purposes than it actually does.
And those would be?
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Old January 16th, 2017, 10:50 PM   #3798
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And those would be?
More traffic basically. You do not need all those platforms with all those waiting rooms and check in desks plus the underground connection hall just to serve one high speed line (Barcelona-Madrid) and a very few other regional routes. You do not either need such a big station which could accommodate dozens of stores for such a traffic.

The station in the winter time is extremely cold due to very few people are inside, it would be a waste of money to open the heat in such a huge empty indoor space. As a consequence the few travellers have to stay inside those ugly glassy boxes with portable heating while waiting for their train. Waiting on the platforms or anywhere else is the same as waiting outside in the cold and there are almost no other stores/restaurants around to kill your time. For this traffic it would be much better to have a smaller and warmer station instead.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 11:03 PM   #3799
alserrod
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
And those would be?
there are passenegers but few trains start/finish there and people stay few time in the station
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Arremójate la tripa que ya viene la calor...


(Meditaciones de Severino el sordo. José A. Labordeta)
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Old January 17th, 2017, 12:05 AM   #3800
Sunfuns
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Originally Posted by clickgr View Post
More traffic basically. You do not need all those platforms with all those waiting rooms and check in desks plus the underground connection hall just to serve one high speed line (Barcelona-Madrid) and a very few other regional routes. You do not either need such a big station which could accommodate dozens of stores for such a traffic.

The station in the winter time is extremely cold due to very few people are inside, it would be a waste of money to open the heat in such a huge empty indoor space. As a consequence the few travellers have to stay inside those ugly glassy boxes with portable heating while waiting for their train. Waiting on the platforms or anywhere else is the same as waiting outside in the cold and there are almost no other stores/restaurants around to kill your time. For this traffic it would be much better to have a smaller and warmer station instead.
I've been in this particular station (in summer) so I'm hardly going to disagree. All I was saying is that at least it fulfils it's primary function as a station on Barcelona-Madrid high speed line. In addition to what you were saying the transport connection to downtown is not that great either.

We came to Zaragoza as a "side trip" from Barcelona for two days. Without HSR it would have taken too long and we probably would have chosen some other destination. So classical induced demand
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