daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Railways

Railways (Inter)national commuter and freight trains



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old October 1st, 2017, 07:33 PM   #1
eu01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes (Received): 293

EUROPE | Local cross-border railway lines

Most of European railway lines were built in the second half of 19th century. Soon thereafter the continent has seen several violent conflicts and wars that fundamentally changed the nations, their rulers and economies. Some countries disappeared, many new emerged, borders were shifted, thousand kilometres of new frontiers created.

This thread will consider local lines that lie in the border regions or once existed there. Some were created originally to join the neighbouring nations, other were linking just adjoining towns and villages before borders were created in-between them. In use or abandoned, thriving or forgotten, you´ll find hundreds of lines in Europe influenced by not so distant history.

Let’s begin with the Pau–Canfranc railway, a partially closed 93 km long international single-track line connecting Pau in France with Canfranc in Spain, via the Gave d'Aspe valley and under the Pyrenees. The most renowned object en route is a grand-scale border station in Canfranc. Just today BBC News has published a detailed article about the history of both the line and the vast ghost station. The cross-border connections were terminated after a major derailment accident in March 1970 south of Bedous, France. What are the chances to revive the line? So far the SNCF Réseau will implement the reopening of the stretch between Oloron and Bedous, the plans to reopen the line up till Canfranc also exist. This very picturesque and attractive for tourism line certainly deserves it.
__________________
Tell me how your country cares about its infrastructure, I'll tell you who you are.

Kpc21, Coccodrillo, Zaz965 liked this post
eu01 no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old October 1st, 2017, 07:56 PM   #2
Kpc21
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Łódź
Posts: 18,405
Likes (Received): 6791

There is this thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1230399 which is theoretically also about such local connections. Or, at least, I was writing about such there - but it was quite awkward. Opening a new topic seems to be a good idea

Nice photo. How was the issue of the gauge difference resolved there?
__________________

Zaz965 liked this post
Kpc21 está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2017, 08:18 PM   #3
eu01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes (Received): 293

Never resolved, two different gauges existed and if rebuilt, the French part will be standard gauge while the functioning Spanish track has the Iberian gauge.

By the way, the "Eurostar and Inter-country Railways" thread is very different, discussing the existing main high-volume international connections, here we will deal mostly with minor local lines that usually barely survived (or didn't at all), a very different approach. Much more history to be confronted with a present status quo.
__________________
Tell me how your country cares about its infrastructure, I'll tell you who you are.

Zaz965 liked this post
eu01 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2017, 02:13 AM   #4
Zaz965
Je suis kanonirsss
 
Zaz965's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: CCCP
Posts: 3,107
Likes (Received): 28028

are you sure? the problem of different gauges was solved by this incredible system
__________________

Kpc21, djole13 liked this post
Zaz965 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2017, 02:58 AM   #5
Kpc21
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Łódź
Posts: 18,405
Likes (Received): 6791

If the cross-border section is closed for traffic and the system is quite new, how could it happen there? They installed the Talgo regauging appliances and they are not using them?

But anyway the problem had to be solved in the past (before Talgo) somehow. Either by just a transfer to another vehicle at the border, or by a longer section of the normal track in Spain, or by a similar section of the wide track in France.
__________________

Zaz965 liked this post
Kpc21 está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2017, 02:11 PM   #6
eu01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes (Received): 293

Rumburk – Sebnitz railway

Now let me give you an example of a line that actually didn’t have have good chances to survive, but today…

The Rumburk – Sebnitz railway is a secondary single track line, its planning started in 1870. A small town Rumburk (Rumburg) was located in Austrian Monarchy, Sebnitz is German Saxony. The construction of its 27 km long track was very slow, first stretch of line commissioned in 1873 (till Slukenau/Sluknov), second in 1883 till Nixdorf/Mikulášovice, the last Austrian village Nieder Einsiedel (today Dolní Poustevna) being reached in 1904. In Sebnitz, first train arrived in 1905. Really not a brilliant connection, as the travel time on the entire route was a bit long, one and half hour.

Than came a World War One. In aftermath Czechoslovakia were created and in October 1918 the route passed to the newly established Czechoslovak National Railways (ČSD). From then, the fate of the line was very uncertain. In Czechoslovakia from small border town Rumburk to even smaller Dolní Poustevna and across the border to Germany. The cross-border trains ran till 1945, but two “friendly” Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia and GDR didn’t cooperate in reinstating the passenger train traffic, in 1948 the last cargo train passed between Dolní Poustevna nd Sebnitz, later some 100 m of track on Czechoslovak side were dismantled.
Dolní Poustevna, end of track on Czech side in 2010 (source: Wikimedia Commons)
After 1990 and epecially after Czechia’s EU access the discussion begun aiming at reconstruction of this cross-border link, motivated by the interest in tourism. Both Oberelbe region and Czech local government granted some funds and in 2013 the track gap was closed. Since 2014 a regular passenger traffic is performed there in the two-hour cycle. The trains are operated by Czech Railwas, linking Rumburk with Děčín (both in Czechia) via German towns Sebnitz and Bad Schandau.

With so many border-crossing railway lines dysfunctional or dismantled, several examples of good European cooperation do exist, fortunately.
__________________
Tell me how your country cares about its infrastructure, I'll tell you who you are.

Last edited by eu01; October 2nd, 2017 at 02:16 PM.
eu01 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 01:56 AM   #7
MarcVD
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brussels
Posts: 1,073
Likes (Received): 192

There used to be more than 20 rail border crossings between France and Belgium. Only 5 still exist today, 2 of them without passenger service.

Regarding influence between railways , borders, and politics, one of the best examples is certainly the Vennbahn, running between Germany, Belgium, and Luxemburg. There is an article on that railway in, Wikipedia, but it is in French. I am looking for a good article on it in English, if I find I will post it here.
MarcVD está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 08:36 AM   #8
eu01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes (Received): 293

Indeed, the Vennbahn is an extraordinary example of the fate of railway when borders changed. Built in Germany, nowadays the trackbed is entirely Belgian territory. This was agreed upon under an article the Treaty of Versailles, leaving several enclaves of Germany on the Western side of the line. The line was built as a cargo line carrying mostly coal and iron between Aachen and the north of Luxembourg, with some military significance as well.

Source of the pictures: Wikimedia Commons

Not modern enough to survive, most of the track had been completely removed by September 2008, but together with some other lines it forms at present a 125 km long Vennbahn Cycle Route (see also this website to admire the beauty of countryside and other tourist attractions).
__________________
Tell me how your country cares about its infrastructure, I'll tell you who you are.

Zaz965 liked this post
eu01 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 11:01 AM   #9
Gusiluz
Jaén (Spain)
 
Gusiluz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,603
Likes (Received): 10934

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
If the cross-border section is closed for traffic and the system is quite new, how could it happen there? They installed the Talgo regauging appliances and they are not using them?

But anyway the problem had to be solved in the past (before Talgo) somehow. Either by just a transfer to another vehicle at the border, or by a longer section of the normal track in Spain, or by a similar section of the wide track in France.
No, only the tracks of each gauge reached the station and there the freight was overflowing. That's why it's a huge station.



And so pretty:
Gusiluz no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 11:05 AM   #10
alserrod
Bienvenue ŕ Saragosse
 
alserrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zaragoza
Posts: 59,835

Hi, nice thread… and I will try to talk about first picture and part of its history (there have been pages and pages, and some read several books, I could fill a full thread and feel free to ask)
After starting works in the 19th century, on 18th July 1928, Canfranc tunnel was opened.
Here you are a 2010 SSC banner about this station



And its location in google maps
https://www.google.es/maps/@42.75141...2!8i6656?hl=es

Former path to St.James crosses behind station but nowadays road hasn’t so much traffic since Somport tunnel (entrance one km before town) was opened. Only to reack two ski resorts.

Nowadays it receives daily two small trains from Zaragoza (on weekends a third one until Jaca) and up to six buses from Bedous (less ones in winter). There are links Pau-Bedous by train and Bedous-Canfranc by bus, all managed by SNCF (despite it is a bus, should you have any railway reduction in France, it will run on these buses)
It was used to have always two twin stations in the border Spain/France and usually all trains arrived to the other country and back empty (for one km in Irun/Hendaye, for instance). All border controls where made by both polices “in the arrival country”. This made, for instance, that all trains will depart from their own country and tickets sold in local currency. For instance, a Madrid-Paris via Irun/Hendaye would be a Madrid-Hendaye Hendaye-Paris and conversely Paris-Irun and Irun-Madrid

But in the case of Canfranc it required an 8 km tunnel…and to avoid extra cost, they made only one electrified track, thus an international station was built in Canfranc.
That meant that a lot of French workers had to live in Canfranc and a bi-national treatment was signed. Those workers (customs, railway workers and services) could leave within town without custom formalities. Should they wanna leave the town (and just go to another village valley down) they had to go to both French and Spanish border controls inside station but a railway worker, who for instance had arrived to Canfranc and went to his house there, could leave the train and went there without formalities.
French citizens had some own services as schools for instance and French police was entitled not only to control border pass inside station but to go through village with soveranity over French citizens living there. This treatment hasn’t been abolished yet, thus… it could run again (despite Schengen treatement is more or less the same because Canfranc is not far away from border)
Tracks are different in Spain and Portugal and in the rest of Europe. That meant all trains arrived to Canfranc and had to change of train (or for freight, sometimes, enable to shift wheels). There was a hotel and more services inside station (and in google maps there is one picture inside station)
While Second World War, during French occupation, German army arrived to Canfranc and controlled border after that treatment. Not strongly weird since that Spanish government was friend of German one… and it was often to see Civil guard and German SS together within Canfranc streets… and several politicians who lived there (one, already dead, had a family summer house there and first Aragonese president was born there and his family had main hotel) remember German svastic flag in the French area of the station for several years.
Tunnel was down after war to avoid people leaving through tunnel and later several bunkers where built inside tunnel. Today one out of those tunnels was really enlarged and it is a physics lab. It is almost 2.000 metres under mountains which means 6.000 or so m under sea level for experiments. It belongs to University of Zaragoza and each time I have seen a documentary about it, few people speak Spanish… (thus, it is an unique lab due to its location wihin mountains for experiments and well known in scientific community).

I remember one schedule table. They had two direct trains to Zaragoza, one train through Huesca until Zaragoza (today all go via Huesca) and two night trains to Valencia and to Madrid.
To France they have several ones to Pau and later joining to Paris (and Bordeaux, Toulouse…)

An accident in 1970 in French side made line down… and it was in 2016 when Aquitanian government decided to re-open line between Oloron and Bedous, thus Oloron-Canfranc bus services changed only to Bedous-Canfranc service.

Future plans?. Building has been bought by Aragonese government and refurbishement works are going on, slowly but on. Since it was bought, touristic activities and visits started again and in summer it is full of tourists

Plan is next one: all tracks will be changed to the last corner of station, behind all buildings.
Current buildings will be refurbished and several ones built in the area making a square, public space, hotel, appartments and so on to give life to that area as well as railway operations will remain in one corner of former station.

It is expected from French side to re-open line until Canfranc (only 28 km until tunnel but the most difficult ones)

It is expected from Spanish side to refurbish line, changing to international gauge and upgrading some areas

Nowadays there is enough capacity in international passes but should Spain will deal with freight by train, they will not have it. Canfranc tunnel can help and… the most important work (the tunnel) is already done.

Hope it helps… a lot of histories can be told about this station…. But it is not a ghost. Every day two trains arrive there and several buses from French side.
__________________
Ya ves que fuimos puente herido de abrazos detenidos por ver la libertad


(José A. Labordeta 1935 - 2010)

Gusiluz, eu01 liked this post
alserrod no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 02:43 PM   #11
itfcfan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 27
Likes (Received): 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by eu01 View Post
Let’s begin with the Pau–Canfranc railway, a partially closed 93 km long international single-track line connecting Pau in France with Canfranc in Spain, via the Gave d'Aspe valley and under the Pyrenees. The most renowned object en route is a grand-scale border station in Canfranc. Just today BBC News has published a detailed article about the history of both the line and the vast ghost station.
Canfranc is not the only grand railway station built in a rural location on the France-Spain border...

Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg is a grand station - connected to the North to Toulouse (and currently, still, with a nightly sleeper train to Paris) and to the South to Barcelona with a regional train. Both Standard and Iberian gauge tracks are present in the station, along with the narrow gauge "Train Jaune", East to Villefranche.

There were only a handful of people at this grand station when I was there recently. It's surrounded by wonderful scenery in the Pyrenees.

itfcfan no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 02:48 PM   #12
itfcfan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 27
Likes (Received): 12

My favourite cross border line in Europe was the short connection between Jimbolia (Romania) and Kikinda (Serbia). A single carriage rail-bus took passengers the few minutes across the border, until being withdrawn in 2014.

This website/wiki has great information on railway lines crossing borders in Europe...
http://egtre.info/wiki/Category:Border_Crossings
itfcfan no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 03:05 PM   #13
alserrod
Bienvenue ŕ Saragosse
 
alserrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zaragoza
Posts: 59,835

La Tour de Carol has both services indeed... but Canfranc has a hint... until high speed lines, it was the longest station in Spain... located in the middle of Pyrenees. Not the biggest because main building is long and narrow... but longest.


A lot of years ago they made a picture comparing it with Titanic as remembering they were down in the middle of mountains (and it is bigger than that ship)
__________________
Ya ves que fuimos puente herido de abrazos detenidos por ver la libertad


(José A. Labordeta 1935 - 2010)
alserrod no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 10:54 PM   #14
Kpc21
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Łódź
Posts: 18,405
Likes (Received): 6791

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
There used to be more than 20 rail border crossings between France and Belgium. Only 5 still exist today, 2 of them without passenger service.
Most of those between Poland and Germany as well as between Poland and Czech Republic still work. Although there are kind of endangered, for some time the connection between Wrocław and Dresden, for example, was suspended because the regions of both countries could not find money to finance its operation.

An interesting connection - because quite a long one - is the one from Szczecin to Lübeck. It's a regional train. The distance is over 300 km. And the ride takes almost 5 hours.

It's worse between Poland and Slovakia. Between Poland and Lithuania there is only one connection, which is used by a regional train, on weekends only.

Last edited by Kpc21; October 4th, 2017 at 12:24 AM.
Kpc21 está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 12:09 AM   #15
alserrod
Bienvenue ŕ Saragosse
 
alserrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zaragoza
Posts: 59,835

About railway borders... Portugal started again a service between Entroncamento and Badajoz. You can go to Entroncamento from Lisbon with assured links and about 20 minutes later arriving Badajoz (and conversely in way back) you can take a regional train to Merida and Puertollano. In Merida you can stop and another regional to Caceres and Madrid and in Puertollano a high speed train to Madrid. Time is very similar.

It was about 7 years without international link there and remained once per day since last month.
__________________
Ya ves que fuimos puente herido de abrazos detenidos por ver la libertad


(José A. Labordeta 1935 - 2010)

Ugo Fantozzi liked this post
alserrod no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 06:45 PM   #16
volodaaaa
Registered User
 
volodaaaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Posts: 3,244
Likes (Received): 1756

Guys,

I have got one simple question. I do not travel cross border by train a lot. But when I do, it is towards the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.

In these relations I have noticed a thing related to acoustic announcements in trains. In Hungarian trains, the automatic acoustic announcements that are very clear are played only on the territory of Hungary. The Czech trains play the automatic announcements only on the territory of CZ. The same goes for Slovak and Austrian trains. Outside the home territory of the train, the acoustic announcements are up to the conductor who (sometimes) speaks them in the microphone and sometimes the English announcements are left out or very indistinct. I was told this is due to the installed acoustic system which determines the set of announcements and e.g. Slovak trains do not know the Hungarian announcements.

Seems amusing to me, as electronic displays broadcast in English and the official language of the country the train is passing (regardless of train operator responsible for cars) thru.

Have you experienced this within other relations of Europe?
__________________
Been/drove my car in: SK, CZ, D, A, H, PL, I, F, E, RSM, CH, FL, SLO, HR, SRB, BiH, MK, GR, BG, RO

volodaaaa no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 07:09 PM   #17
VITORIA MAN
on skycrapercity
 
VITORIA MAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: vitoria
Posts: 8,398
Likes (Received): 14404

Spain (Euskotren) by Paul Haywood, en Flickr

EuskoTren 910 by Áureo Salgado, en Flickr
hendaye ( F )-san sebastian (E) by euskotren ( basque railways )


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...nostialdea.jpg
__________________

8166UY liked this post

Last edited by VITORIA MAN; October 6th, 2017 at 12:01 PM.
VITORIA MAN no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 07:21 PM   #18
alserrod
Bienvenue ŕ Saragosse
 
alserrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zaragoza
Posts: 59,835

Regarding that train.... how did they do passport controls?. For French police, not difficult, despite there are no booths but, for Spanish police?
__________________
Ya ves que fuimos puente herido de abrazos detenidos por ver la libertad


(José A. Labordeta 1935 - 2010)
alserrod no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 07:22 PM   #19
VITORIA MAN
on skycrapercity
 
VITORIA MAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: vitoria
Posts: 8,398
Likes (Received): 14404

there are no controls i think
VITORIA MAN no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2017, 07:35 PM   #20
Kpc21
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Łódź
Posts: 18,405
Likes (Received): 6791

Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Guys,

I have got one simple question. I do not travel cross border by train a lot. But when I do, it is towards the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.

In these relations I have noticed a thing related to acoustic announcements in trains. In Hungarian trains, the automatic acoustic announcements that are very clear are played only on the territory of Hungary. The Czech trains play the automatic announcements only on the territory of CZ. The same goes for Slovak and Austrian trains. Outside the home territory of the train, the acoustic announcements are up to the conductor who (sometimes) speaks them in the microphone and sometimes the English announcements are left out or very indistinct. I was told this is due to the installed acoustic system which determines the set of announcements and e.g. Slovak trains do not know the Hungarian announcements.

Seems amusing to me, as electronic displays broadcast in English and the official language of the country the train is passing (regardless of train operator responsible for cars) thru.

Have you experienced this within other relations of Europe?
I have used three such relations between Germany and France: Wörth Rhein - Lauterbourg, Winden - Wissembourg and Appenweier - Strasbourg. In all of them, the announcements were bilingual. Also the "Ausstieg in Fahrtrichtung rechts/links" announcements were translated to French. All the announcements were automatic.

I rode also the train between Berlin/Angermünde and Szczecin. From Germany to Poland. Also all the announcements were automatic, but I remember there was no "Ausstieg in Fahrtrichtung..." announcement on the Polish section. I am not sure about the German section - for sure it was present on the train from Berlin to Angermünde (which continued to Stralsund), but probably not at all on the one from Angermünde to Szczecin.

I am not sure if the announcement were translated to Polish at all, but if so, then only on the Polish part of the route.

Concerning just Poland, for some time also older train units (EN57) are getting passenger information systems, which display at least visual information. I am not sure if it isn't now an official requirement of the state from the train operators. But the "Ausstieg in Fahrtrichtung..." announcements are not present in Poland (maybe except some cross-border trains) at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Regarding that train.... how did they do passport controls?. For French police, not difficult, despite there are no booths but, for Spanish police?
Both France and Spain are in Schengen, so there is no need for controls.
Kpc21 está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
aragón, canfranc

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium