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Old April 16th, 2016, 01:57 PM   #2981
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It's a complex situation as usual where one has to balance ideal outcome and available funding...

Regarding Valencia-Alicante and believing Google the route is already faster with a train (1 h 30 mim to 1 h 45 min) than with a car. Probably will be under one hour (for ca 160 km) when all the improvements described above are finished.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 06:35 PM   #2982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
3) Regarding Valencia - Barcelona, there's no proper HSL linking both cities. There's just a classic line that has been upgraded to speeds up to 220 km/h in some sections (although trains there have a maximum speed of 200 km/h). You can count that as HSR, but so far only in some sections of the line. Besides, said upgrade is yet to be completed, and currently there are massive works taking place between Valencia and Castellón. On top of that, a new bypass is being built between Vandellòs and Camp de Tarragona station in the Madrid - Barcelona HSL. Once this new bypass is finished, services between Barcelona and Valencia will use the Madrid - Barcelona HSL between Barcelona and Camp de Tarragona, where they will switch to the new bypass line up to Vandellòs, and from there to Valencia they will use the upgraded classic line. Is it that HSR? Perhaps. But it's not a full HSL, at least between Vandellòs and Valencia.
Wait, would this line be the main route from Valencia to Tarragona? Won´t this hit traffic from the South to Tarragona given that Camp de Tarragona is situated very far outside of the city?
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Old April 16th, 2016, 07:04 PM   #2983
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Most services between Valencia and Barcelona will indeed bypass Tarragona, either stopping at Camp de Tarragona station (10 km from the city center) or becoming direct services without intermediate stops.

However, a new junction is being built at Vila-seca, just west of Tarragona, where the new line u/c crosses the Reus - Tarragona classic line: https://www.google.es/maps/@41.12436.../data=!3m1!1e3

Consequently, it will be possible to continue operating services between Valencia and the city center of Tarragona. Actually, most regional services between Barcelona and Tortosa will surely use this junction, as well as some long distance services between Barcelona and Valencia using the classic line and, of course, all freight trains. But it seems pretty clear that most long distance services (currently called Euromed, maybe Alvia in the future) will bypass Tarragona in order to reduce travel times between Barcelona and Valencia to 2 h 20 min.
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Last edited by arctic_carlos; April 16th, 2016 at 07:28 PM.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #2984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Regarding Valencia-Alicante and believing Google the route is already faster with a train (1 h 30 mim to 1 h 45 min) than with a car. Probably will be under one hour (for ca 160 km) when all the improvements described above are finished.
In these cases I recommend searching the exact schedules on the Renfe website.

Currently there are 11 services from Valencia to Alicante on a weekday. Only 4 of them are fast Euromed non-stop services (between 1 h 36 min and 1 h 38 min). The other services are slower trains stopping at least in Xativa and Villena, or even also in Elda-Petrer, Novelda and Sax, whose travel times range from 1 h 42 min to 2 h 8 min.

In the opposite direction, from Alicante to Valencia, there are also 11 daily services, 4 of them being Euromed. Here you can find travel times between 1 h 30 min and 1 h 42 min. The rest of services range from 1 h 42 min to 2 h 11 min.

Once the remaining sections of HSL Valencia - Xativa - La Encina open, it will possible to do Valencia - Alicante in 55 minutes, but I assume it will finally depend on the number of stops, as both Villena and Xativa will have (or already have, in the case of Villena) HSR stations.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 11:21 PM   #2985
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Actually I did consult Renfe website to find those times. I ignored the frequency of those faster trains because I only wanted to find out how fast is in principle possible on the old line as opposed to how convenient is currently a train service between the two cities.

From my perspective frequency of trains in Spain is rarely sufficient from a point of view of max passenger convenience (economic arguments might differ)...
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Old April 18th, 2016, 04:35 AM   #2986
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Costa del Sol railway.

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Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
As a frequent visitor to Marbella; I wonder if there are any plans to build a railway along the Costa Del Sol?
A line from Malaga - Malaga Airport - Mijas/Fuengirola - Marbella - San Pedro - Estepona - Algeciras for example.

Should be enough people to make it justifiable, also the port of Algeciras could be upgraded and be able to handle more cargo.

In the future the line could extend to Cadiz, Huelva and Portugal. But a intercity line between the Costa Del Sol towns would be great.

Any plans of that getting built?
You've been answered, I just wanted to add that there is no way a line will ever go beyond Cadiz towards Huelva.
That's a big no-no, as between Cadiz and Huelva there's the Doñana National Park. Not even a single road goes there!

As for Algeciras-Cadiz, that would be useful, but very expensive, and less of a priority than building the section between Fuengirola and Algeciras.

And regarding Huelva-Portugal... southern Portugal isn't the most populated part of that country, and both countries are focussing more on the improvement of the current connections (Salamanca-Guarda-Coimbra/Aveiro, and Vigo-Porto, new line Evora-Elvas).
I doubt we'll see a rail bridge across the Guadiana at Ayamonte/Vila Real de Santo António in at least 50 years, if ever.

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Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
True, but a section from Fuengirola to Marbella would only have 27 kilometres and the area is guaranteed to produce decent numbers of passengers, as the area is densely populated. I think it is still a better priority than some of Spain´s other rail investments. The only sad part is, indeed, the issue of costs.
I don't think it should stop at Marbella or Estepona. I think it should run up to Algeciras (or more exactly, San Roque, where it would join the Bobadilla-Algeciras main line). The area is populated, not counting tourists.

As for the issue of costs, that matters indeed, but it can always be built by sections.

I think getting to Marbella isn't more of a priority than getting to Mijas first.
Giving a good rail coverage to Mijas (which now is only very indirectly served through Fuengirola station) would already wipe away many cars from the road, and would be expensive enough.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
The main problem in the second alternative is that the line wouldn't be totally built alongside the coast and the urban centers, but partially following AP-7 motorway, further inland. At least in Marbella and Estepona it would have stations in its urban centers, but it seems in the rest of towns of the corridor it would be built far from the built-up areas. That's why it would be a little longer and some parts could be built above ground. However, the number of potential users would be significantly lower than in the first alternative, as it wouldn't serve the most populated urban centers.

The first alternative would of course give a better service to commuters and tourists, but its prohibitive construction costs could delay the project or even just postpone it until the next century. Therefore I assume we'll have to fight for the cheaper second alternative, which is more realistic given the current financial situation of our country. Even if stations are built out of the urban centers, good bus services can be established communicating these stations to urban centers, so it's not the end of the world, and at least there would be rail service in the crowded Costa del Sol corridor.
I don't think that's a reason to go tight-fisted in there.
I'd go for the underground section, and I'd build it by sections, and very clearly with the final goal of reaching San Roque station on the Bobadilla-Algeciras main line.
That's only too many passengers you can win.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
Another important aspect is that the mostly underground alternative envisages the possibility of continuing the line towards the area of Algeciras/Gibraltar, while the cheaper one doesn't do so (that's weird).
To me, not reaching Algeciras would be a grave mistake, a lost opportunity.

As for Gibraltar, that would involve the UK and would be terribly tricky to run under the airport runway, so I don't think it will ever get built.
Anyway, having a station at La Línea and a bus shuttle up to the border point (or even Gibraltar centre if they get the border story fixed, but that's maybe wishful thinking) would be good enough.
Any other solution/improvement would be mostly up to the Gibraltar/Westminster authorities... and the ever-changing state of politics (or should I say politicians?) of Spain and the UK regarding the Rock.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
And finally there's another issue, not so crucial but also important: what to do with the current Málaga - Fuengirola line, which is not prepared for any new extension bringing loads of passengers. It's still partially single tracked and has too many stations, so future services from Málaga to Marbella and Estepona can't be fast and become a real alternative unless a big investment is done there.
Oh, that's not cheap, but technically it's not very complicated, either. Only very tricky, and will certainly involve cutting the service.
It's just a sum of upgrades to be made. Some stations should also see their capacity improved, to allow faster trains.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
I'd advise postponing for 5-10 years with a hope that economic situation is better plus all the other rail mega projects are already finished.
That's clear. Everybody understands it that way.

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Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
Would there be a station near Puerto Banus/Nueva Andalucia in the plans aswell?
Certainly. Not building it would be nonsense.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 05:20 AM   #2987
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Costa Blanca railway (& Barcelona-Valencia).

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Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
Btw, speaking of coastal rail lines.
I see there are some plans to have high speed rail between Malaga and Alicante. And also between Valencia and Barcelona.
But why not between Alicante and Valencia?

A high-speed line along the coast from Malaga to Barcelona would be pretty cool and probably well used.
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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
Not exactly. When talking about High Speed Rail (HSR) it's important to differentiate between services and infrastructure. I'll try to answer to your questions:

1) Currently there are seasonal HSR services (AVE) between Málaga and both Alicante and Valencia (as well as from Seville to Alicante and Valencia). But there's no High Speed Line (HSL) Málaga - Alicante. Those services I mention use the HSL Madrid - Málaga and then the HSL Madrid - Alicante / Valencia. They don't enter in Madrid because there's a junction between both lines 50 km south of the capital. To sum up: AVE services Málaga - Alicante go via Córdoba, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Albacete, instead of following the Mediterranean coast between both cities (where there's neither HSR nor classic rail).

2) Regarding a possible line following the Mediterranean coast between Málaga and Alicante, geography is too complicated between Málaga and Almería to build it (and between Nerja and El Ejido the population is not that high). There's a HSL under construction between Antequera (on Madrid - Málaga HSL) and Granada, as well as another HSL under construction between Alicante and Murcia. There's also a project of building a HSL between Murcia and Almería (with some parts also under construction), but in the short term nothing will be done between Granada and Almería. Perhaps the classic line will be upgraded, but it does'n follow the coastline.
A gauge changer will be built soon at Granada station.
New Alvia services Madrid-Granada-Almeria will be created (probably Seville-Granada-Almeria too, but that will also depend on the availability of rolling stock), and that gauge changer would of course be used by any future services reaching Murcia or beyond from Granada via Almeria.

It should be added that the Granada-Almeria line is electrified only between Huéneja and Almeria, the missing part between Huéneja and Granada is diesel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
3) Regarding Valencia - Barcelona, there's no proper HSL linking both cities. There's just a classic line that has been upgraded to speeds up to 220 km/h in some sections (although trains there have a maximum speed of 200 km/h). You can count that as HSR, but so far only in some sections of the line. Besides, said upgrade is yet to be completed, and currently there are massive works taking place between Valencia and Castellón. On top of that, a new bypass is being built between Vandellòs and Camp de Tarragona station in the Madrid - Barcelona HSL. Once this new bypass is finished, services between Barcelona and Valencia will use the Madrid - Barcelona HSL between Barcelona and Camp de Tarragona, where they will switch to the new bypass line up to Vandellòs, and from there to Valencia they will use the upgraded classic line. Is it that HSR? Perhaps. But it's not a full HSL, at least between Vandellòs and Valencia.

4) And finally, with regards to Valencia - Alicante, the situation is not exactly what has been described in a few posts above mine:

On the one hand, we have a project to build a new line following the coast. That won't be HSR but something like a classic line with speeds up to 160 km/h, if possible. That new line would actually be an extension of the current Valencia - Gandia classic line, which in turn will be doubled between Cullera and Gandia. Between Gandia and Denia there's no rail whatsoever, but between Denia and Alicate there's a metric gauge line. The latter will probably be partially regauged to standard or Iberian gauge, but unfortunately only small sections of it can be used, as it's very curvy. In any case, someday there will be a brand new line at least between Alicante and Benidorm, but only God knows when it will be built. To sum up, there are plans to build a coastal line Valencia - Gandia - Denia - Benidorm - Alicante, but that's in an early stage of planning.
The Costa Blanca line can be split in three clearly different sections.

Gandia-Denia will mostly use the trackbed of the old metric gauge line that was closed in the 1970's, which in that sector has a very long alignment and could allow for speeds of 160km/h. It's reasonably easy to build, the main problem would be where to put Denia station (personally I wouldn't forget about the Ibiza-Denia ferry service, so I'd try as closest to the port as possible), and potential nimbyism.

Denia-Benidorm should mostly be a regauging of the current metric line.
As Alicante-Valencia will always be faster via Villena-Xativa, in this section around Denia the line can be split up in two, with one flow of commuting/tourist passengers going to Alicante-Madrid, the other to Valencia-Barcelona.
And since the area is mountainous, and massive tunnelling wouldn't do as that would mean getting further away from the populated areas, I'd go for a regauging, with potential short new sections to improve speed just a little bit.

Finally, Benidorm-Alicante should be a new line, but in that section there's already the metric gauge line, which was upgraded for tram-train service, and although it's well-patronized, it's not very effective as it is rather slow.
Locals would want a HSL, but I'd go for a commuter rail line, but in this case further away from the town centres, as the tram-train already covers that, and thus other inland towns (Mutxamel, San Juan) could be served too (now they aren't).

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
On the other hand, we have the traditional route between Valencia and Alicante. That's Valencia - Xativa - La Encina junction - Villena - Alicante. In this case we can also find different stages of completion. Between Valencia and Xative there's a HSL under construction, so currently all trains use the classic line. Xativa - La Encina was upgraded in the 90s to speeds up to 220 km/h, but the line is to be regauged to standard gauge once Valencia - Xativa is completed. Between La Encina and Alicante there's a HSL (part of the Madrid - Alicante HSL), but this HSL is not yet connected in La Encina to the upgraded line that goes towards Valencia. This connection is under construction and will be finished once there's standard gauge between Valencia and La Encina via Xativa. That means that currently Valencia - Alicante trains can't use the HSL between La Encina and Alicante and must use the classic line via Villena. Fortunately that will change in a couple of years. To sum up, there will be HSR services Valencia - Xativa - Villena - Alicante in the short term, but currently all services have to use classic lines (although a small portion between La Encina and Xativa is already upgraded and will be part of a HSL in the short term).

I hope I've cleared some doubts, in any case don't hesitate in asking here should you have other inquires.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Wait, would this line be the main route from Valencia to Tarragona? Won´t this hit traffic from the South to Tarragona given that Camp de Tarragona is situated very far outside of the city?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
Most services between Valencia and Barcelona will indeed bypass Tarragona, either stopping at Camp de Tarragona station (10 km from the city center) or becoming direct services without intermediate stops.

However, a new junction is being built at Vila-seca, just west of Tarragona, where the new line u/c crosses the Reus - Tarragona classic line: https://www.google.es/maps/@41.12436.../data=!3m1!1e3

Consequently, it will be possible to continue operating services between Valencia and the city center of Tarragona. Actually, most regional services between Barcelona and Tortosa will surely use this junction, as well as some long distance services between Barcelona and Valencia using the classic line and, of course, all freight trains. But it seems pretty clear that most long distance services (currently called Euromed, maybe Alvia in the future) will bypass Tarragona in order to reduce travel times between Barcelona and Valencia to 2 h 20 min.
The issue is that Castellon-Camp de Tarragona or Valencia-Camp de Tarragona won't be competitive vs car as opposed to Castellon-Tarragona and Valencia-Tarragona, which are competitive vs car.

And the road is saturated enough...

That's why some LD services through Tarragona and the classic line to Barcelona will be maintained.

ps: regarding regional services between Tarragona and Tortosa... there's the "Salou problem", which isn't solved yet.
Basically, the town hall of Salou has had a fit of nimbyism (and lobbying by a bus company and housing promoters), so they have decided they don't want railway any longer. We're trying to convince them it's a big mistake, but at the moment they're adamant that they don't want railway anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
It's a complex situation as usual where one has to balance ideal outcome and available funding...

Regarding Valencia-Alicante and believing Google the route is already faster with a train (1 h 30 mim to 1 h 45 min) than with a car. Probably will be under one hour (for ca 160 km) when all the improvements described above are finished.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
In these cases I recommend searching the exact schedules on the Renfe website.

Currently there are 11 services from Valencia to Alicante on a weekday. Only 4 of them are fast Euromed non-stop services (between 1 h 36 min and 1 h 38 min). The other services are slower trains stopping at least in Xativa and Villena, or even also in Elda-Petrer, Novelda and Sax, whose travel times range from 1 h 42 min to 2 h 8 min.

In the opposite direction, from Alicante to Valencia, there are also 11 daily services, 4 of them being Euromed. Here you can find travel times between 1 h 30 min and 1 h 42 min. The rest of services range from 1 h 42 min to 2 h 11 min.

Once the remaining sections of HSL Valencia - Xativa - La Encina open, it will possible to do Valencia - Alicante in 55 minutes, but I assume it will finally depend on the number of stops, as both Villena and Xativa will have (or already have, in the case of Villena) HSR stations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Actually I did consult Renfe website to find those times. I ignored the frequency of those faster trains because I only wanted to find out how fast is in principle possible on the old line as opposed to how convenient is currently a train service between the two cities.

From my perspective frequency of trains in Spain is rarely sufficient from a point of view of max passenger convenience (economic arguments might differ)...
They do differ.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 07:57 AM   #2988
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Is Camp de Tarragona station really ever convenient/competitive? I guess for those going to Madrid it would still be, but otherwise not much...
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Old April 18th, 2016, 09:53 AM   #2989
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You're right. Camp de Tarragona has a reasonable amount of users, but it's mostly used to travel towards Madrid, Zaragoza, Andalusia or northern Spain. Almost nobody uses that station to go to Barcelona, it's not competitive compared to the old Tarragona station on the classic line, which is located in the city of Tarragona itself.

Once the connection towards Valencia opens, early next year, perhaps there'll be a significant number of passengers to Alicante and Murcia, but as 437.001 said, it won't be competitive to go to Castellón and Valencia, at least for those passengers coming from the city of Tarragona.

In addition, there's a new HSR station planned halfway between Reus and Tarragona (next to the airport's runway) on the new Camp de Tarragona - Vandellòs line. It wouldn't be closer to Tarragona than the current Camp de Tarragona station, but at least it would also serve Reus. In any case, it looks like this new station has been postponed for a while.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 01:17 AM   #2990
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Costa del Sol railway

More details regarding the two proposed alternatives between Fuengirola and Estepona:

Dotted lines mean underground sections. As you can see the blue line would have more surface sections, while the red line would be almost 100% underground.

In any case both alternatives would serve the urban centers of Marbella, Puerto Banús, San Pedro de Alcántara and Estepona.


http://www.laopiniondemalaga.es/mala...an/844781.html
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Old May 29th, 2016, 08:51 PM   #2991
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Euskotren (Basque Railways) EMU in Usurbil


euskotren EMU-908 Usurbil by Emiliano, en Flickr
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Old May 30th, 2016, 04:55 PM   #2992
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Another case of aging infrastructure
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Old May 31st, 2016, 06:56 PM   #2993
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Another case of aging infrastructure
Really? Do you mean the bridge (because the rest looks fine to me)? Do you expect them to start replacing bridges all over the country because they look a bit "aging"? That would be a fine way to waste taxpayers' money...
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Old May 31st, 2016, 07:23 PM   #2994
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Really? Do you mean the bridge (because the rest looks fine to me)? Do you expect them to start replacing bridges all over the country because they look a bit "aging"? That would be a fine way to waste taxpayers' money...
Heck, even the bridge looks ok. Given the wet climate on the Atlantic coast, some mould and grit will take hold faster than in, say, Almeria.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 02:47 AM   #2995
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Narrow-gauge railways are kinda obsolete except for touristic purposes.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 05:12 AM   #2996
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Narrow-gauge railways are kinda obsolete except for touristic purposes.
Tell that to Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Cambodia, New Zealand, and numerous other states that use narrow gauge.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 09:22 AM   #2997
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Narrow-gauge railways are kinda obsolete except for touristic purposes.
Euskotren in the Basque Country is everything but obsolete, especially as a short-distance commute rail service.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:34 PM   #2998
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Quote:
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Narrow-gauge railways are kinda obsolete except for touristic purposes.
There is no tecnical explanation for your statement. Narrow-gauge isn't a toy, but a full operational railway system, even able of elevate speeds. Because standard gauge is used for most applications, doesn't mean that narrower gauges are "kinda obsolete".
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Old June 4th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #2999
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Rather than touristic, I would say, commuter trains (Barcelona and Valencia underground use these old lines, for instance).
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Old June 4th, 2016, 03:09 PM   #3000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metred View Post
Euskotren in the Basque Country is everything but obsolete, especially as a short-distance commute rail service.
I'm not going to go as far as to say that narrow-gauge is obsolete, but your statement is not correct, either.

Euskotren is ONLY valid for short-distance commuter rail service (and freight).
Bilbao-San Sebastian by Euskotren takes forever, and not a lot of people use it for regional services.
Not because it's Euskotren, but because it's unpractical.

Which means that the lines between Hendaye and Ferrol should have been built in Iberian (not to say standard) gauge.
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