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Old June 2nd, 2014, 08:21 PM   #2601
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Originally Posted by krisu99 View Post
The case of Burgos where the city crossing line is taken out of the core into the suburbs is so crazy. A road replaces the rails. And it will be a busy road because it goes straight through the city. Great.

There are several cities in Spain that lost or will lose their core rail exchange central stations. I wonder why they do that, this choice is pretty unusual in Europe. Maybe real estate speculators expect rising prices of houses or the opportunity to cover the free land around the former central stations with office buildings or parking lots?
Not even in France they do things like that along their LGV's where city centers are at least served with a off-on branch from the LGV or directly with a through line (e.g. Lille) following the old alignment.

Other cities in Spain where the city center railway traffic will be replaced with car bound road traffic are Vitoria, Alcantarilla, Granada and Mérida. Others just bury the rails under earth, which is better than to remove them from the center, nut it is also ridiculously expensive. I am aware of the reasons given that "the railway line cuts" the city. Well, car drivers have to wait in front of closed barriers that's it.

Luckily I can say that the economic crisis in Spain at least has some advantages in the sense that regions are so bankrupt nowadays that for now they can not pay for costly city tunneling, not even removing the tracks out of the centers as apparently they would like to do.

Which leads to some disasters like Leon where they already cut the direct city crossing line so trains now have to reverse and take a big loop around the city, losing I guess at least 15 Minutes (the gain of the LAV Palencia-León?).
Or take Palencia where they try to squeeze the new LAV line onto the existing rail corridor, resulting in two mini capacity single track(!) lines (one UIC, one iberian) where previously there was a reasonable double tracked iberian line.

Why haven't they had a look to France for instance? Or Germany or Switzerland? Build underpasses and bridges in the city center, but leave the rail there! Cover maybe half a kilometer but not the entire city (like Zaragosa).
Otherwise billions of public/european Euros are lost, money other European countries could only dream for when it comes to rail investments. Not to mention the passengers lost and the car and real-estate centric acceleration of urban space redefinition...

So great the high speed network is, so fantastic it is to travel with 300km/h through the country: On a regional level, in maybe half of the cases the worst choices have been taken. Either the super luxury approaches no other country could have afforded in a similar quantity (city tunnels), or the total failures like Burgos or the out-of-money cases like Leon.

Other endless stories with LAV integration are Valencia, the impossibility to route trains from BCN into the new through tunnel in Madrid, the UIC connection of Barjas Airport ... plus the network desintregration because of the UIC/Iberian jam..


But at the end, all this makes Spain a really interesting country to follow and a lot of interesting things are happening in such a short time span like in no other country except China, plus a strong iberian railway industry developing top state-of-the-art technology that now can perfectly compete and beat other world class "traditional" high speed rail countries like France or Germany (for Medina-Makkah HSl for example).
The overall is right, but the situation is not that extreme as you explain.

Just considering new stations, the situation is not about to move out of town all the railway hubs.

In the particular case of Burgos, the current station is farther from the old town, but it is not worse located than the old station. It is, Burgos spans mostly to the west and northwest from the old town. Actually the older station was mostly on an edge of the city. One of the most populated neighborhoods of Burgos, Gamonal (more than a third of the population of the city) is actually almost closer to the new station than to the older one. Even, I would say that if you consder the real distribution of population the new station as average is not farther. Accesibility is far better in the new station as it could get direct access to the Northern bypass of the city. The only real problem is that the area where it is located isn't still developed and you will need several decades to get a continuous and compact urban area around the station, but it is a project of future. Anyway, we are not talking about a parkway station out of town in the case of Burgos.

As well, the new northern railway bypass of Burgos, avoiding the city core, and on which the new station has been built, will allow faster speeds for direct trains, without needing doubling the line along two different paths (like in Zaragoza or Lleida).

The cases of Guadalajara, Camp de Tarragona, Antequera-Santa Ana, Puente Genil-Herrera, Segovia-Guiomar, Cuenca-Fernando Zobel, Requena-Utiel and Villena-AV are like in the French case, parkway stations, where demand is not as concentrated and old network and stations don't fit well to high speed requirements. Maybe, in some cases a better integration between old lines and new lines, generating interchange hubs and stations between both networks would be interesting, specially considering the break of gauge. It would be my only real critic to that situation, but I hope it will be better solver in the upcoming years, like it happened in France with some new parkway stations which miss conventional railway link, and now they are being modified.

I would make a clarification about Camp de Tarragona. The network around the polycentric urban area of Tarragona needs to be reorganized. And it will in the future. Just consider that Camp de Tarragona was the easiest way to solve the station in that area on the Madrid-Barcelona HSL. In the future, hopefullym, it will be connected to the conventional network (regional and commuter trains) and furthermore, Tarragona city center station could receive other trains. We will see anyway, if the new Central Station is built or not... but for people who is not living in the city center of Tarragona I would say Camp de Tarragona is better, or at least not that bad. Lots of improvements needs to be done there.

The case of León is pretty dumb, that's true. It is not clear which could be the better option, as there is a fight between the different municipalities of the urban area of León. Tricky thing, and the coolest option (making a whole underground line through the urbanised area) is really expensive. I think they made the wrong decision when they just cut the line without thinking on the real possibilities of a better urban integration.

Actually, the serious problem is the break of gauge as you say, which don't allow all the trains to change from a high speed line to a conventional line in a easy way, as in France, making expensive urban integrations and new dedicated tracks through existing narrow urban corridors. Apparently the change of tracks gauge is going to start on the Mediterranean Corridor, but it is a really serious challenge.

The integration in Valencia is not complicated, but expensive, and the optimal situation is the North-South tunnel and new platforms on the current station site.

I would say the lack of strong railway development in the first age of railways in Spain like in other countries in Europe (which would have reserved lot of land inside urban area for railway facilities) and the huge sale of grounds within cities made by Renfe for reducing debt during the 80's and 90's. It has caused, according to me, some lack of space for trains in the cities. It depends on the city, for sure.

But as you say, the panorama is quite diverse and interesting.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 12:11 AM   #2602
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I think that in Spain failed two things - complete belief that endless money will be available and lack of complex and comprehensive vision of the future railway. As a result basically three rail networks were created - National Iberian gauge, UIC high speed rail and dedicated UIC freight corridors. It was only after financial crisis that everybody noticed that this isn't possible and then another panic decisions were made like single track HS lines, one track bottlenecks at major junctions and massive triple gauge scenarios.

I was watching section Burgos to Mirinda de Ebro particularly to see tracks and basically on whole stretch (in some sections replaced recently) are gauge convertible sleepers but according to plan which was leaked on this forum now it is envisaged dual gauge track on this section requiring not only another sleeper replacement but also expensive in building and maintenance third rail.

This simply must be stopped and it must be decided whether to migrate fully or partially to UIC and draw comprehensive re-gauging plans determining where break of gauge can occur without or with minor disruptions. All this simply because not only Spain but most of the countries in the World can't afford having basically three separate nationwide networks.

Of course I am not criticising Spain’s railway as whole because I do see various problems which it must face starting at underdeveloped network, through tough mountain terrain, to different gauges and power supply. Regarding that it is astonishing what was achieved but it could be done much more if tuff decisions were made in first place
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 12:30 AM   #2603
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I´ll post about that in a while.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 12:33 AM   #2604
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Completely disagree with that.

Edit: 437.001 edited his post making mine complete without sense.

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Old June 3rd, 2014, 12:44 AM   #2605
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Which inexact fact that the four posts before post 2604 contain you want me to talk about, then?

Anyway, I won´t discuss it here, but on the high speed railway Spain thread.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 12:56 AM   #2606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Which inexact fact that the four posts before post 2604 contain you want me to talk about, then?
If You don't won’t to talk than don't do it, there are three people who expressed their opinions and that's what for forums are. Respect it and peace Brother – don’t start wars where they aren’t... .

Quote:
Anyway, I won´t discuss it here, but on the high speed railway Spain thread.
Which will be complete nonsense as we are talking about classic lines, its re-gauging, freight bypasses or major stations replacement... .

Edit: By the way recent posts in Spanish HS thread are of flora and fauna, doesn't that bothers You?

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Old June 3rd, 2014, 09:34 PM   #2607
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Does anyone have Spain structure and loading gauge?
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Old June 4th, 2014, 12:20 AM   #2608
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I do not understand the question, sorry
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Old June 4th, 2014, 12:27 AM   #2609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAN_ View Post
Does anyone have Spain structure and loading gauge?
Well, some time ago (approx. 2 months ago) someone posted such dimensions but despite sincere attempts I can't find this post. But from that graph was evident that structure gauge and thus loading gauge are a bit wider than European standards although keeping height restrictions. From My knowledge national Iberian gauge network complies to UIC GA/GB/GB+ standards while HS network to GC. Despite that most of rolling stock uses minimal GA loading gauge. (I assume that You are familiar with Wikipedia article about UIC standards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge )
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Old June 4th, 2014, 12:31 AM   #2610
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Well, I mostly intrested in that "wider" thing.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 12:57 AM   #2611
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAN_ View Post
Well, I mostly intrested in that "wider" thing.
Hold your horses, I think that by accident I've found what we are looking for in this post by user neuromancer: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=265

Edit: Although later I have noticed link to ADIF PDF file where on page 43 are full dimensions of Iberian gauge:
http://www.adif.es/es_ES/conoceradif...d_Completo.pdf

Simple comparison UIC minimal loading gauge is 4310 mm high, Iberian is 4300. Regarding width it is 3290/3240 (lower part) while Iberian gauge enables 3300 throughout.

Edit2: Comparing structure gauge to loading gauge is also interesting as Iberian gauge enables 4,3 m maximum train height while structure gauge is set for 4,8 m which makes 50 cm gap between electric wires and train roof while in some European countries only 20 cm separation is required. This problem is even higher in HS lines where structure gauge enables 5,5 m height while maximum UIC GC loading gauge gives 4,7 m so here we have 80 cm separation.

Also looking at structure gauge we may say that platforms can be 2150 mm from track centre in Iberian gauge and 2350 on HS lines which is rather generous bearing in mind that train in Iberian loading gauge can reach up to 1650 mm from track centre and in UIC standards only 1620 mm. Although we don't know if those linked structure gauges include plarofm space or not.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 05:36 PM   #2612
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From Rail Journal:

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http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=542

Driver error "only cause" of Santiago accident, says report
Thursday, June 05, 2014



SPAIN's Transport Ministry yesterday published the final investigation report into the Santiago de Compostela accident on July 24 2013, when a train derailed while travelling at 180km/h on an 80km/h curve killing 79 people.

The 266-page document points to the human factor as the sole cause of the derailment, as "driving staff failed to follow the regulations contained in the train timetable and the route plan," two printed documents stating maximum permitted speeds for each section between distance markers carried by every driver while on duty.

The driver's lack of attention, caused by a telephone call answered seconds before the derailment, has been defined by the technical investigation as the only contributing cause of the accident.

Despite failing to identify any other direct or contributing causes besides human factors, CIAF, the body responsible for the investigation of railway accidents in Spain, has issued a total of 9 recommendations affecting the entire public rail sector.

Two of these recommendations have been handed down to Adif, inviting the country's rail infrastructure manager to install conventional fixed signals indicating the maximum permitted speed, and balises to control speeds using Asfa, the national ATP system, at locations similar to the sharp curve where the accident occurred, and which were both absent.

Renfe receives two recommendations, one asking the operator to evaluate the possibility of installing video recorders in cabs (a proposal already made by the Spanish government, and the other calling for better coordination of its internal communications procedures.

This latter recommendation is connected with an alert raised by a train driver two weeks before the official opening of the Santiago – Ourense high-speed line in December 2011 The driver expressed concerns were about the lack of conventional speed markers before the curve where the accident occurred.

"There is only a speed reduction signal at km 84.230 (200m before the derailment point) but it is useless because if (when passing the fixed signal) the train has not already decelerated nothing could be done," he said in his report. According to Adif, this communication failed to reach the bodies responsible for infrastructure safety and thus no actions were taken.

The remaining five recommendations are directed to the Transport Ministry to ensure that the orders given to Adif and Renfe are enforced, and that reinforced risk assessment processes are carried out before a new high-speed line is opened.

The report does not mention the lack of working onboard ETCS equipment as a contributory cause. Had it not been disconnected in June 2012 due to compatibility problems, the onboard ECTS equipment would have triggered an alert when the train was passing the final ETCS balise on the high-speed line, located 4km from the crash site, obliging the driver to acknowledge the train position, and triggering an emergency brake application if he had failed to do so.

The Spanish rail investigation body depends entirely on the Transport Ministry. Its president and its five board members are directly appointed and removed by the minister. It has no permanent inspectors and is assisted in its investigations by Ineco (a company entirely owned by the Transport Ministry). When an accident occurs an ad hoc investigation team is formed, and it is always composed by a member of the Ciaf secretariat and two safety executives from both Adif and Renfe.

The Ciaf report is independent of the judiciary investigation still underway and which has summoned not only the train driver, but also a dozen Adif board members which were in office when the Ourense – Santiago line opened (including the former president Mr Antonio Gonzalez) to give evidence.

The final report can be viewed in full (Spanish text PDF) on the ministry's website
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Old June 5th, 2014, 05:46 PM   #2613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
The Spanish rail investigation body depends entirely on the Transport Ministry. Its president and its five board members are directly appointed and removed by the minister.
Well...this says it all ... :-(
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Old June 6th, 2014, 12:20 AM   #2614
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Going back for a while into gauge issues apart from links in earlier post which show structure gauge and loading gauge I’ve found pdf file which has also kinetic gauge (starting at page 15) and much more detailed stuff where specialist can work on to compare basically all track requirements.

https://upcommons.upc.edu/pfc/bitstr.../5938/5/04.pdf

Although I still can't find simple information as how far from track centre can be platform edge located
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Old June 13th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #2615
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...-approved.html

Competition in the Spanish passenger market approved
13 Jun 2014



SPAIN: Development Minister Ana Pastor announced on June 13 that the cabinet had given its approval for bids to be invited to operate commercial long-distance passenger services in competition with state operator RENFE.

The winning bidder would be able to operate services for a period of seven years on the Levante network of conventional and high speed routes from Madrid to Albacete, Valencia, Castelló de la Plana, Alacant and Murcia.

According to Pastor, the new operator would be free to set service levels and fares, with RENFE’s train leasing subsidiary to provide it with rolling stock while it sources its own fleet. At the end of the seven-year period, the Levante network would be fully opened up to competition.

By progressively opening up the long-distance passenger market to competition, the Spanish government hopes to see increased services at more competitive fares, with ‘new business models’ meeting the needs of passengers. Competition is also expected to drive up rail usage, while RENFE would continue to provide services across the country
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Old June 20th, 2014, 02:13 AM   #2616
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I was to Barcelona and Sitges a month ago and filmed some trains just South of Sitges. It was very beautiful!

Luke

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Old June 20th, 2014, 02:20 AM   #2617
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And some men walking along the tracks to go to the gay beach...
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Old June 22nd, 2014, 09:51 PM   #2618
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I just returned from Santiago and the relevant part for this forum is a return trip to Pontevedra. So before I forget some of it here is the story with pictures and impressions from someone using Spanish rail for the first time.

This preserved old train is the first thing you see when arriving at Santiago station. Unfortunately there was no sing so I can't tell you more about it. Anyone knows?



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Old June 22nd, 2014, 09:54 PM   #2619
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This is Santiago station from outside



I think the station building itself is very old and rather small for a city of its size. It has however been recently refurbished and contains all the facilities one would expect. There is a bus stop in front of it, car park it's also possible to rent a car there. The station is quite close to the city centre (10 min walk).
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Old June 22nd, 2014, 10:00 PM   #2620
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The "overhead" structure is obviously much younger than the station building. I bet most of the platforms are new as well (5 currently). Everything seems to be ready for expected increase in traffic volumes after the opening of the new line in a year or two.

Actually traffic is really light at this time. I arrived 40 min early for my 10 am train and no other train came or left before mine. Just from station capacity alone there could be 4-5 times as many as currently.

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