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Old March 30th, 2015, 11:14 PM   #2761
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For some reason, construction costs in general are very low in Spain (compared to any other Western European country, including Portugal). So projects that would not be economically viable in, say, France, are viable in Spain.

Spain was way more HSL km built and u/c than Italy, and spent less than 40% of what Italy spent and is spending to build its basic Y-shape axes (Torino-Venezia + Milano-Salerno)
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Old March 31st, 2015, 12:47 AM   #2762
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Quote:
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funnily enough, it is in the flatlands of Central Spain where most of new HSLs have been built, whereas in the mediterranean coast the spanish state decided to upgrade the existing line between Barcelone and Valencia.
That's slightly inaccurate.

The line from Castellón to Vandellós (Southern Tarragona) was rebuilt around the same time than the HSL Madrid-Seville was built and with really similar standards. However, the main difference is that along the Mediterranean corridor the Iberian gauge was kept as there was not technology and there was not alternative for keeping Iberian gauge continuity.

Many factor needs to be considered to try to understand this decision. For sure, the political reason of having a president from Seville at that time and the Expo in Sevilla in 1992 had some importance.

However, I think there were other more important technical reasons:

-The original project for the new access from Castille to Andalusia planned basically a completely new line through Sierra Morena between Puertollano and Cordova in Iberian gauge. It had obviously a better design than the classic lines, but out of that it was just a new link integrated in the existing network. As well, there was the upgrading of the conventional old line from Madrid to Ciudad Real, which was really easy as the topography is pretty flat. At some point the decide to use the new line as the excuse to create a new full HSL from Madrid to Seville, making the most from the Expo in Seville, migrating the new infrastructure to standard gauge which forced to extend the new line from Cordova to Seville. There was still the classic line through Despeñaperros so Iberian gauge continuity was assured.

-Along the Mediterranean coast the line was upgraded as well, but only from Castellón to Vandellós. For setting the standard gauge along this line, it was needed to extend the line to Barcelona and to Valencia . To Valencia it would have been relatively easy, but to Barcelona landscape is more complicated. I think the Spanish government during the 1990's should have invested much more money for extending the modern infrastructure from Vandellós to Tarragona and from Castellón to Valencia. The Mediterranean Corridor is one of the most used of the country, but that's true that the importance of freight trains makes more complicated any kind of restrictive solution. A detour is not available like between Andalusia and Castille.

Anyway, Central, Southern and Mediterranean Corridor in Spain have been traditionally the areas best maintained considering railway infrastructure. Northwestern Spain have been the truly forgotten region of Spain for railways.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 06:43 PM   #2763
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Do they have long term plans to change the gauge on this sector?



I don't like the railway is so exposed and people casually walk along it. They should erect fences around the ROW.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 08:31 PM   #2764
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I do not think so and may freight go to El Vendrell in the inner side over the mountain

The journey is gorgeous. It is enough a commuter ticket to do it
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Old March 31st, 2015, 09:36 PM   #2765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitxofo View Post
Well, HS lines are not "economically profitable" for cities with less than 500000 inhabitants approx., but politicians are politicians...

Spanish Government should develop the "conventional network" with speeds up to 250 kph.

This is my personal opinion.
I have no wish to be controversial, but in response to "Madrid was not there", I tried to say that if Barcelona were where is A Coruña, northwestern tip of the peninsula have already HSL.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 09:59 PM   #2766
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Do they have long term plans to change the gauge on this sector?



I don't like the railway is so exposed and people casually walk along it. They should erect fences around the ROW.
You have to know the Spanish geography, in most of the lines that run through mountainous areas (no HSL) walking through them may be the only way to do it. Of course locally. At another level there are roads.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 11:31 PM   #2767
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Changing the gauge in that area means to affect deeply the commuter train network of Barcelona, which is pretty complicated.

In the long term, probably it will be migrated to standard gauge.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 11:56 PM   #2768
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Isn't there a VERY long-term plan to convert the major corridors to standard-gauge?
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Old April 1st, 2015, 12:36 AM   #2769
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A very long-term not defined plan for the whole network... The only defined intervention is along the Mediterranean corridor.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 12:52 AM   #2770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reivajar View Post
A very long-term not defined plan for the whole network... The only defined intervention is along the Mediterranean corridor.
Doesn't Stiges belong on the MEditerranean corridor?
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Old April 1st, 2015, 12:53 AM   #2771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castor_Game View Post
I have no wish to be controversial, but in response to "Madrid was not there", I tried to say that if Barcelona were where is A Coruña, northwestern tip of the peninsula have already HSL.
Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Sevilla, including Zaragoza because it is in the middle of the HS line from BCN to MAD, are OK for HS lines.
In the rest of the capital cities, lines adapted to 220-250 kph are enough.
This is my personal opinion.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 12:56 AM   #2772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitxofo View Post
Madrid, Barcelona, Bilabo, Valencia and Sevilla, including Zaragoza because it is in the middle of the HS line from BCN to MAD, are OK for HS lines.
In the rest of the capital cities, lines adapted to 220-250 kph are enough.
This is my personal opinion.
The point is for linking Northwestern Spanish cities with lines adapted to 220-250 kph new lines need to be built. So, a big budget is needed in any case. The difference of building new 220-250 kph lines or 300 kph in Galicia or in Asturias is minimum.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 01:13 AM   #2773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Doesn't Stiges belong on the MEditerranean corridor?
No, it does not.

Mediterranean corridor will use Barcelona-Madrid HSL till Camp de Tarragona
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Old April 1st, 2015, 01:22 AM   #2774
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Are there any update on the issue of the Burgos-Aranda del Oro-Madrid line? It has been closed due to a landslide, right?
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Old April 1st, 2015, 09:48 AM   #2775
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Before the HSL was built, which route did Zaragoza => Barcelona trains used? Lleida or Caspe and Reus?
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Old April 1st, 2015, 10:06 AM   #2776
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Before the HSL was built, which route did Zaragoza => Barcelona trains used? Lleida or Caspe and Reus?
Both. The traditional route was via Caspe, but in recent times most long distance trains went via Lleida in order to serve that city. Some did Zaragoza - Lleida - Reus - Barcelona and others Zaragoza - Lleida - Valls - Barcelona. However, a minority of long distance trains continued using the route via Caspe.

Anyway there were (and there are) regional trains using both routes.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 10:09 AM   #2777
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Quote:
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Are there any update on the issue of the Burgos-Aranda del Oro-Madrid line? It has been closed due to a landslide, right?
Aranda de Duero although they'd be very happy to be Aranda del Oro (oro means gold in Spanish).

Sadly the line remains closed due to a landslide in Somosierra tunnel, between Madrid and Aranda de Duero. There are plans to reopen it for freight between Aranda de Duero and Burgos, but I'm a little skeptical about that.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 10:21 AM   #2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Doesn't Stiges belong on the MEditerranean corridor?
The Mediterranean Corridor for freight trains only uses the coastal line south of Sant Vicenç de Calders station. North of it, it uses the classic line via Martorell to Mollet (properly adapted to standard gauge with third rail), where it joins the Barcelona - Perpignan HSL (suitable for freight as well as for passenger trains).

Passenger trains on the Mediterranean Corridor currently use the coastal line (via Sitges) between Barcelona and Tarragona, as the connection between HSL Madrid - Barcelona and the coastal line in the boundaries of Tarragona is still under construction, with an expected opening later this year or in 2016. When that happens, Barcelona - Valencia trains will stop going via Sitges.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 09:24 AM   #2779
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When that happens, Barcelona - Valencia trains will stop going via Sitges.
That's a shame. When taking a morning train to Castellón or Valencia that part of the line (Castelldefels to Tarragona) always made my day, it's a beautifull stretch of track.
And from what I understand, I will not really add a lot to the efficiency, since the "black" part of the line (single track past Tarragona) will still be in use?
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 11:48 AM   #2780
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That's a shame. When taking a morning train to Castellón or Valencia that part of the line (Castelldefels to Tarragona) always made my day, it's a beautifull stretch of track. And from what I understand, I will not really add a lot to the efficiency, since the "black" part of the line (single track past Tarragona) will still be in use?
No, the project includes a new double track section further inland between Vandellòs (current end of double track) and Camp de Tarragona station on the HSL. When the project is finished, Barcelona - Valencia will be around 2h15min, much better than now.
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