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Old July 30th, 2015, 10:17 AM   #2901
Gusiluz
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Thanks for the praise, but you do not you believe me, just read (and translate better than me) to the Court of Auditors (page 36).

Quote:
Si se elimina de este análisis el efecto de los costes de amortización y de los financieros, el grado de cobertura habría superado sobradamente el 100% en todas las líneas excepto Madrid-Valladolid y Madrid-Levante, con un grado de cobertura del 54% y el 89%, respectivamente; y la diferencia entre la línea Madrid-Sevilla y Madrid-Barcelona se reduciría sensiblemente, presentando la primera una cobertura del 193% y la segunda del 158%.
Then there is the realization that we are in a situation similar to the French case, by his Court of Auditors (page 95).
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Old July 30th, 2015, 03:30 PM   #2902
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To my knowledge, the only High Spee Railway line that has repaid its construction and operational costs so far is Paris-Lyon.

Some other lines may follow, some others may never repay them selves.


If access charges would have to include construction and capital costs, I think not one High Speed ticket could be sold.

Building a high speed infrastructure is therefore mostly a political decision, in the hope that such an infrastructure brings benefits to the "whole".

Sometime those benefits can be expressed with a sort of "overall Return of Investment" which also include external benefits in favor of economical growth of the region the line serves or benefits for the development of HSR industry of the country etc. Such calculations are usually carried out prior to planning, and are usually positive giving a R.O.I in the range of 2...10%.
However, those studies are to a high degree fictional as the outcome depends on who commissions the study. In fact, too many variables can be considered at free will and in too many different perspectives. For examples, if assumed reductions of road accidents or pollution are introduced into HSR ROI calcluations, solidity of the outcome is likely to resemble a 30 day weather forecast.

Sometimes such deliberate external ROI calculations serve to justify a more critical political decision of the kind "Because region X has got HSR then my region Y has also the "right" to get HSR connection (to Madrid)".
This kind of reasoning can be rather bad from the financial perspective, as it drains funds that otherwise could be invested in more fruitful ways.


Thus, in my opinion, the Spanish case is not unique by the fact that the infrastructure provider has accumulated construction debts. RFF in France is the public entity that finances new high speed lines and can issue bonds guaranteed by the state (RFF would be bankrupt otherwise). In other countries like Germany there is no special entity because the state or regions directly cover most of the construction costs.

If access charges cover operational charges entirely, then the surplus can be used to feed capital costs resulting from HSR construction. If for example access charges on Madrid-BCN cover 163% of operational costs (c.f. table from Gusiluz above) then this is good. However, we have no information if the 63% surplus are enough to cover capital costs induced by construction of the line.

This fact is not unique to Spain at all, as mentioned RFF for example is also a black hole with its high debt resulting from infrastructure maintenance and HSR construction (33.7 billion € in 2013, which is about three times the debt of ADIF in the same year).

However, and that is the main difference between Spain and other European countries: No one has built such an extensive high speed network (ins such a short time-frame).

Thus, when compared to other countries, the "black hole" of the infrastructure provider is likely to be....considerable.

Now, when researching the numbers, one comes across that ADIF debt is "only" 11.8 billion of € in 2013. But the HSR network must have cost a many times more, around 40 billion € plus 12 billion € what is under construction now (I don't expect much ROI so far). This seems interesting.

Sources (amongst others):
* OECD Economic Surveys SPAIN SEPTEMBER 2014
http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Spain-Overview-2014.pdf
* LGV EN SERVICE MODES DE FINANCEMENT RENTABILITE BILANS ANTE ET POST
http://www.voiesnouvellestgv.webou.n...bilitegpso.pdf
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Last edited by krisu99; July 30th, 2015 at 03:57 PM.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 09:17 PM   #2903
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In a report, even in the Court of Auditors, taking into account European aid for the construction of these HSL: up to now 50% of the investment.
According the Court of Auditors (page 36) the only HSL whose access charges even cover amortization and financial costs is Madrid-Sevilla (124%), if you take into account European aid, the less dependence on oil ... accounts would other.

The excessive length of the HSL has to do with the different gauge, precisely such European aid conditional decision. The European Union could have subsidized the construction of standard gauge lines for exporting goods and resolving bottlenecks (Despeñaperros-Sevilla / Guadarrama-Valladolid) with Iberian gauge, but he did not.
The total HSL investment until 2013 is on page 76.

And yes, always the most important decisions are made by politicians. So it goes.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 01:29 PM   #2904
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Freight train stops at railroad crossing! Gates are down for 40 minutes!

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Old August 3rd, 2015, 10:36 AM   #2905
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Freight train stops at railroad crossing! Gates are down for 40 minutes!

Even without this happening, in Europe (and Australia, for that matter) gates are down quite some time before the train passes. I am always shocked at how in the US crossing are lowered as little as 15 seconds before the train passes by.
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 10:45 AM   #2906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Even without this happening, in Europe (and Australia, for that matter) gates are down quite some time before the train passes. I am always shocked at how in the US crossing are lowered as little as 15 seconds before the train passes by.
I noticed in the Railroad Crossings thread that there is quite a lot of variance on how long before the train passes gates are lowered. In France you only have to wait a few seconds from when the gate lowers to when the train comes through; in Italy the gate comes down and you just sit there and sit there and sit there ...

There's a tough balance to be made between convenience and safety. But IMO if you have to wait for more than a minute between when the gates first drop and the train comes you're making it more likely somebody impatient will try to run the gates. Whereas with short times trying to run them is basically suicidal.
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 10:34 PM   #2907
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Freight train stops at railroad crossing! Gates are down for 40 minutes!

I'll try to explain this.

First, as a general approach, level crossings in Spain are programmed very conservatively: barriers must be fully lowered with enough anticipation to allow a train to stop before reaching it. For this purpose there's a specific signal which tells the driver if the level crossing is properly closed for road traffic. As the train must be able to stop between this signal and the level crossing it refers to, it usually is quite far away, about 1,5km. So, when the barriers are down, the incoming train still has to run this distance to the actual level crossing.

This explains the long delay until the first train arrives, and unfortunately as many people here know that there's plenty of time before the train arrives, they cross the tracks even with the red lights and alarm sounds.

Then, this particular case looks like Salou, a station with 3 tracks on a heavily used single-tracked line (Barcelona - Valencia main line). At 5:25 the freight train arrives and stops waiting for three trains coming on the opposite direction, which arrive at 8:57, 16:19 and 20:25. The first train continues, as it runs through the same track as the first, but probably the second and third wait for yet another train. At 20:50 the freight train resumes, and at 31:25 runs another train for the same track and direction. Off screen, most surely the train which arrived at 20:25 leaves, and then does the one from timestamp 16:19 (because the 20:25 is faster and calls at less stations). Finally, when the track circuit is freed after the 16:19 train leaves, the barriers open.

So, as a summary:

05:25 → freight train, stops at the farthest track
08:57 ← LD train, continues further through nearest track
16:19 ← MD train, stops at nearest track
20:25 ← LD train, stops at center track (all tracks occupied)
20:50 → freight train leaves
31:25 → MD train, runs along the track freed by the freight train 10 minutes ago
Around 33:00 ← LD train from center track leaves
Around 38:00 ← MD train from nearest track leaves
39:34 = once all tracks are cleared, the barriers open
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Old August 4th, 2015, 01:59 AM   #2908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entfe001 View Post
I'll try to explain this.

First, as a general approach, level crossings in Spain are programmed very conservatively: barriers must be fully lowered with enough anticipation to allow a train to stop before reaching it. For this purpose there's a specific signal which tells the driver if the level crossing is properly closed for road traffic. As the train must be able to stop between this signal and the level crossing it refers to, it usually is quite far away, about 1,5km. So, when the barriers are down, the incoming train still has to run this distance to the actual level crossing.

This explains the long delay until the first train arrives, and unfortunately as many people here know that there's plenty of time before the train arrives, they cross the tracks even with the red lights and alarm sounds.

Then, this particular case looks like Salou, a station with 3 tracks on a heavily used single-tracked line (Barcelona - Valencia main line). At 5:25 the freight train arrives and stops waiting for three trains coming on the opposite direction, which arrive at 8:57, 16:19 and 20:25. The first train continues, as it runs through the same track as the first, but probably the second and third wait for yet another train. At 20:50 the freight train resumes, and at 31:25 runs another train for the same track and direction. Off screen, most surely the train which arrived at 20:25 leaves, and then does the one from timestamp 16:19 (because the 20:25 is faster and calls at less stations). Finally, when the track circuit is freed after the 16:19 train leaves, the barriers open.

So, as a summary:

05:25 → freight train, stops at the farthest track
08:57 ← LD train, continues further through nearest track
16:19 ← MD train, stops at nearest track
20:25 ← LD train, stops at center track (all tracks occupied)
20:50 → freight train leaves
31:25 → MD train, runs along the track freed by the freight train 10 minutes ago
Around 33:00 ← LD train from center track leaves
Around 38:00 ← MD train from nearest track leaves
39:34 = once all tracks are cleared, the barriers open
It might be explicable, but it's just stupid. First of all, all of these trains are fouling a public ROW for extended periods of time which does wonders for safety.

Second of all, if you work out the RR x'ing requirements you find that the freight has to trudge along at 16 kph for the 1.5 km between where it triggers the gate and where the gate actually, uh, is. It's no wonder that foot traffic ignores it for the first four minutes or so ... thereby completely subverting the safety the gate should provide.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 02:02 AM   #2909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entfe001 View Post
Then, this particular case looks like Salou, a station with 3 tracks on a heavily used single-tracked line (Barcelona - Valencia main line).
Wait, what? Barcelona-Valencia is not entirely douvled? Man, does Spain have some weird rail funding priorities...
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Old August 4th, 2015, 03:43 AM   #2910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Wait, what? Barcelona-Valencia is not entirely douvled? Man, does Spain have some weird rail funding priorities...
Mediterranean corridor hasn't really been much of a priority, owing mainly to the fact that it doesn't have that much importance, even when Valencia and Catalonia have some similar demographic backgrounds. Even then, HS rail is coming... albeit at a slow pace.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #2911
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Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Wait, what? Barcelona-Valencia is not entirely douvled? Man, does Spain have some weird rail funding priorities...
There are several kilometres in the south of Tarragona that remains one track and new route under construction since two decades.
These months we have had a lot of movemwent there (polls arriving) and several forumers have spotted it
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Old August 5th, 2015, 02:14 AM   #2912
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Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Wait, what? Barcelona-Valencia is not entirely doubled?
Not yet. But by the end of the year it will be double-tracked (well, excepting some 500 m, but that's another story).

Keep in mind that the Barcelona-Madrid classic main line has never been fully double-tracked, and very probably will never be.
The same applies to the Madrid-Seville, Madrid-Valencia, Madrid-Alicante, Madrid-Malaga, Madrid-Galicia, Madrid-Asturias, Barcelona-Bilbao... none of them are.
The only classic main line that ever came to be fully double-tracked is the Madrid-Irun/Hendaye one.

...and you thought Romanian railways were that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Man, Spain does have some weird rail funding priorities...
In the 19th century, Spain developed much more the Cuban railway network than the Iberian one.
But Cuba became independent in 1898. The resulting mess was... well, a mess. We still haven't recovered.

If the 20th century was bad enough for Romania or Germany, among others, it was just AWFUL for Spain. Rail-wise too, needless to say.

When Cuba became independent, a number of the basic lines in Mainland Spain had not even started construction!!
The consequent economic turmoil forced Spain to build cheap, and that was terrible, as Spain is so mountainous.
Some lines that would have become crucial had they been built in the mid-19th century were built much later, but to 19th-century standards and cheaply, meaning narrow bends and steep gradients to avoid longer tunnels and viaducts, and some other lines were built in metric gauge, that is even more cheaply, when they should have been built in Iberian gauge.

It's no wonder we're building and planning so many new lines now. We would have had to even if we hadn't joined the European Union ever.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 07:24 AM   #2913
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Old August 7th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #2914
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I'm looking on this and I'm worried about those who crossed this crossing every day. Where is it, by the way?
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:16 PM   #2915
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I know that railroad crossing! Salou was my holiday destination every year when I was a kid. Anyway, it is nowhere near Barcelona, it's some 110 km to the west-southwest.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 03:13 PM   #2916
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And there, in the same town, barriers down during 40 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&v=qTc5gqilYKY
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Old August 7th, 2015, 06:59 PM   #2917
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I wouldn't like to be the driver of that white car, as I would have to wait a whole 38 min (That's right, thirty-eight minutes, over half-a-hour ) just to get the barrier up.

Ironically, this is the very same railroad crossing I encountered while getting to beach.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 07:12 PM   #2918
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Fortunately all freight trains as well as most long-distance passenger trains will stop using this line later this year or in early 2016, as a new double-track line is being built further inland.

We still don't know if this single-track section will remain in use of regional and suburban services or if it will be dismantled (what the mayor of Salou wants). In any event, the situation will greatly improve for everybody once this bottleneck disappears.
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Old August 8th, 2015, 08:13 AM   #2919
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within Barcelona province

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Old August 10th, 2015, 10:25 AM   #2920
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Posts 305 to 310 are absolutely off-topic in this thread, and have nothing to do with Barcelona suburban rail AT ALL.
They are not within the Barcelona suburban rail boundaries, or even in Barcelona province, but in Tarragona province, which is quite another place.

Moderators should move them to this other thread, where they actually belong.
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