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Old June 4th, 2016, 06:31 PM   #3001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
I'm not going to go as far as to say that narrow-gauge is obsolete, but your statement is not correct, either.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.
But it also takes forever due to the route, which is direct on a distance-map, but winds through towns, tight curves, etc. For the Bermeo line it is better, for example. For Bilbao-San Sebastian, no way Jose. It takes 02:40 hours IIRC.
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Old June 4th, 2016, 09:46 PM   #3002
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Of course, that is a problem of alignment, not an inherent problem with being narrow-gauge. Build a standard-gauge train along the same route, and there wouldn't be much difference.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 12:44 AM   #3003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
I'm not going to go as far as to say that narrow-gauge is obsolete, but your statement is not correct, either.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.
It is true that the narrow-gauge railway between Bilbao and Donostia is not competitive, although I think that has more to do with the nature of the territory (very mountainous) and the fact that the rail line has not been completely modernised (many, extensive sections - like the one in the photo - are just one-track).

However, more or less a decade ago Euskotren decided to redirect their service model, transforming it into a regional commuter-rail service. Nobody takes Euskotren to go from Bilbao to San Sebastian, but plenty of people use it for short distances: Bilbao-Bermeo, Bilbao-Durango, Ermua-Eibar, Zarautz-Donostia and finally Donostia-Hendaia (this last one recently transformed into a subway system). The number of passengers for this short-distance routes has actually increased, which has allowed for the modernisation not only of the trains but also of the network itself (tunnels, viaducts, double-track, etc.).

Euskotren is not intended anymore for long-distance traveling. It is intended for metropolitan and short-distance trips, and on that sense it is doing fine.


Euskotren by FurbyTrenes, en Flickr
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Old June 5th, 2016, 12:55 AM   #3004
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I assume Basque Y high speed system whenever it's finally finished will take over almost all rail based regional traffic in that corner of the country.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:02 AM   #3005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metred View Post
It is true that the narrow-gauge railway between Bilbao and Donostia is not competitive, although I think that has more to do with the nature of the territory (very mountainous) and the fact that the rail line has not been completely modernised (many, extensive sections - like the one in the photo - are just one-track).

However, more or less a decade ago Euskotren decided to redirect their service model, transforming it into a regional commuter-rail service. Nobody takes Euskotren to go from Bilbao to San Sebastian, but plenty of people use it for short distances: Bilbao-Bermeo, Bilbao-Durango, Ermua-Eibar, Zarautz-Donostia and finally Donostia-Hendaia (this last one recently transformed into a subway system). The number of passengers for this short-distance routes has actually increased, which has allowed for the modernisation not only of the trains but also of the network itself (tunnels, viaducts, double-track, etc.).

Euskotren is not intended anymore for long-distance traveling. It is intended for metropolitan and short-distance trips, and on that sense it is doing fine.
Alright, now. The point was necessary.

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I assume Basque Y high speed system whenever it's finally finished will take over almost all rail based regional traffic in that corner of the country.
Not really.

There is no real regional rail traffic that can be taken over (and like Metred said, very very few people use it to go from Bilbao to San Sebastian or even less Hendaye).

For instance, people who take the MD Madrid-Irun at Vitoria will rarely go beyond Alsasua, even less beyond Zumarraga.

The Basque Y will have no intermediate stops, excepting Ezkio-Itsaso on the San Sebastian-Hendaye branch, which anyway will serve non-existant routes.

Unless you talk about taking over coach services, in which case it's true.
With the Basque Y, trips such as Bilbao-Vitoria (which has never had a direct railway), Bilbao-San Sebastian-Hendaye (in which very few people use the current Euskotren service), and Vitoria-San Sebastian-Hendaye (in which very few people use the current Renfe service) will become really competitive. But not for the current intermediate stations though.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:05 AM   #3006
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They should have considered, maybe, a Santander-Bilbao-San Sebastian-Irún fast (not necessarily high speed) rail line along the coast, but that would have been expensive.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:11 AM   #3007
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They should have considered, maybe, a Santander-Bilbao-San Sebastian-Irún fast (not necessarily high speed) rail line along the coast, but that would have been expensive.
A new line Santander-Bilbao is not entirely ruled out. Only that there's no money for that now.
It could be built by using parts of the current metric-gauge line, parts of the Muskiz classic line (which would need double-tracking), and entirely new sections.
But the way things are going, it won't happen before 2030-2040.

Bilbao-San Sebastian is alredy under construction (Basque Y).

As for Ferrol-Oviedo-Santander, no intention at all... for now. Could happen beyond 2040.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 12:08 PM   #3008
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They should have considered, maybe, a Santander-Bilbao-San Sebastian-Irún fast (not necessarily high speed) rail line along the coast, but that would have been expensive.
Along the coast would have been very, very expensive, I'd say almost to the point of being non-viable. The Basque Country is mountainous all the way till the very coast, which is very abrupt by the way. Also the fluvial valleys tend to be very narrow and completely encircled by tall mountains until the mouth of the river. There are very little flatlands in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa.
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Old July 11th, 2016, 09:40 PM   #3009
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Railway plans on the Costa Blanca.

The Spanish government has discarded the construction of any railway line between Gandia and Alicante along the coast (through Oliva, Denia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, Villajoyosa), arguing that its cost wouldn't justify it. They just forgot to add "mwahahahahahaaa"...
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Old July 13th, 2016, 10:58 AM   #3010
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Laying of track has been completed on the new A Pobra de San Xiao bypass line (León - Monforte de Lemos - A Coruña classic lne).

Quote:
Finalizado el montaje de la vía de la variante del Ave de A Pobra

No hay fecha para la entrada en servicio del nuevo trazado, con una longitud de 7,9 kilómetros y que lleva en obras desde hace nueve años



http://elprogreso.galiciae.com/notic...l-ave-de-pobra
The press keeps calling the project "AVE" (HSR) when it has nothing to do with that. It's only a 7.9 km bypass line on a classic line, which in 20 or 30 years could become part of a new HSL between Ourense and Lugo (nothing serious at the moment).
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Old July 14th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #3011
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The Spanish government has discarded the construction of any railway line between Gandia and Alicante along the coast (through Oliva, Denia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, Villajoyosa), arguing that its cost wouldn't justify it. They just forgot to add "mwahahahahahaaa"...
Isn't there already a rail line between Alacant and Dénia managed by FGV? It operates under the brand name "TRAM Alicante", does it not?
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Old July 14th, 2016, 06:27 PM   #3012
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The old FGV narrow gauge line is not competitive: it takes almost 3 hours to go from Alicante to Dénia (90 km, 1 hour by car).

To makes matter worse, between Alicante and Benidorm it has been converted into a light rail line, meaning that all passengers must change in Benidorm from tram to train in order to continue up to Dénia.

I mean, light rail within the Alicante metro area is not a bad idea, as now the line has more stops and it's better integrated into the urban area, which means more users. But the consequences for those travelling from Alicante beyond Benidorm (or even to Benidorm itself) have been terrible.

That's why we're now seeing this debate about a new line (of course you can check the Spanish thread for more information: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1654572)
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Old July 17th, 2016, 05:25 PM   #3013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
The Spanish government has discarded the construction of any railway line between Gandia and Alicante along the coast (through Oliva, Denia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, Villajoyosa), arguing that its cost wouldn't justify it. They just forgot to add "mwahahahahahaaa"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metred View Post
Isn't there already a rail line between Alacant and Dénia managed by FGV? It operates under the brand name "TRAM Alicante", does it not?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
The old FGV narrow gauge line is not competitive: it takes almost 3 hours to go from Alicante to Dénia (90 km, 1 hour by car).

To makes matter worse, between Alicante and Benidorm it has been converted into a light rail line, meaning that all passengers must change in Benidorm from tram to train in order to continue up to Dénia.

I mean, light rail within the Alicante metro area is not a bad idea, as now the line has more stops and it's better integrated into the urban area, which means more users. But the consequences for those travelling from Alicante beyond Benidorm (or even to Benidorm itself) have been terrible.

That's why we're now seeing this debate about a new line
Exactly.

Right now there are three ideas of new classic lines to be built:

a) Fuengirola-Marbella-Estepona-La Linea-San Roque, connecting at Fuengirola with the current classic line Malaga-Fuengirola, and at San Roque with the classic line Bobadilla-Algeciras. This would allow the arrival of railway services into four cities with a population over 50,000 (one of them over 100,000) which never had any passenger railway of any kind. These are Mijas, Marbella, Estepona and La Línea.

b) San Isidro-Torrevieja, connecting at San Isidro-Albatera-Catral station with the Murcia-Alicante classic line, and reconnecting Torrevieja to the national rail network. Torrevieja lost its passenger service in the 1970's, the line being closed to all traffic in 1985. That was done at a time in which Torrevieja hadn't had the touristic growth, which happened in the late 1980's basically, just after the closure. This is one of Renfe's biggest mistakes, but at the time it didn't seem like one. Torrevieja, along with Marbella, is the only Peninsular Spanish city of 100,000 inhabitants without a railway line.

c) Gandia-Oliva-Denia. It is the missing link between Valencia and Alicante along the coast. Originally it was a metric gauge line that ran from Carcaixent to Alicante. But in the 1970's the section between Carcaixent and Gandia was closed, the section between Gandia and Tavernes de la Valldigna was changed of gauge to Iberian, and a new section in Iberian gauge was built between Tavernes de la Valldigna and Cullera, to connect it to the Silla-Cullera classic line in Iberian gauge. The plan was to change the gauge of the whole section between Tavernes de la Valldigna and Alicante by phases, so the next phase was Gandia to Denia, which was closed... but works never started (although some Renfe network maps of the 1980's showed the section Gandia-Denia as "under construction").
As for Denia-Benidorm-Alicante, the metric gauge line has never been closed, and it's well used, even though it's quite slow and inefficient, and the section between Alicante and Benidorm has been turned into a tram-train, which even though it's been an improvement, is still rather inefficient. It would greatly benefit from a gauge change, with the platform being upgraded and rectified to allow for higher speeds and frequency.
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Old July 17th, 2016, 05:29 PM   #3014
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Isn't touristic traffic enough to justify this line? The are is packed 4 months per year...
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Old July 17th, 2016, 05:45 PM   #3015
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People remains used to move by car on holidays if it is not so far and they are at least three in the car.
Train exists....but in summer car wins
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Old July 17th, 2016, 06:13 PM   #3016
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Isn't touristic traffic enough to justify this line? The are is packed 4 months per year...
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People remains used to move by car on holidays if it is not so far and they are at least three in the car.
Train exists....but in summer car wins
It's not just about tourism, even less about infrastructures for tourists. It's about general people, tourists or not.

The problem is the cost of these three lines altogether, and the fact of the existence of all the other lines under construction.
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Old July 17th, 2016, 06:15 PM   #3017
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How much (ratio) do the population of these coastal resorts swell between May and September compared to the rest of the year? Or, put the other way, how empty are those places mentioned outside the extended summer season?

I know it is not enough to look at number of hotel rooms because holiday rentals take in many more people than hotels in beach destinations in Spain and Portugal.

Is AP-7 really empty that you can always drive unimpeded outside peak season?
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Old July 17th, 2016, 07:28 PM   #3018
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10 to 1 at least.

I go to two destinations. 2,5 hours by car. Nightmare yo shuttle by train.
Sometimes have taken regionals to move on destination but nobody thinks on railway to approach (sometimes in bus because point to point but barely train)
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Old July 17th, 2016, 08:01 PM   #3019
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How much (ratio) do the population of these coastal resorts swell between May and September compared to the rest of the year? Or, put the other way, how empty are those places mentioned outside the extended summer season?

I know it is not enough to look at number of hotel rooms because holiday rentals take in many more people than hotels in beach destinations in Spain and Portugal.

Is AP-7 really empty that you can always drive unimpeded outside peak season?
It depends on the areas, and also if it's on weekdays or weekends. A trunk line Benidorm - Alicante - Airport - Elche - Torrevieja would be well patronized all year round, I can assure you that.

Between Benidorm and Gandia figures could be lower, but by no means trains would be empty in winter. Temperatures are never low in that area (it's normal to reach 15-20° in winter), so there are always many tourists from the rest of the country (especially retired people) and northern Europe (for instance L'Alfàs del Pi has a big Norwegian community). Moreover, that line would also allow seasonal HSR services both from Madrid and Barcelona to Benidorm and other towns of the area.

Regarding the Fuengirola - Marbella - Estepona line, it would be a great success all year round from the first day. The area has a higher population in summer, but also a considerable amount of people live there permanently. Besides, one of the main advantages is that the airport station already exists and would be part of the line (that's one of the main disadvantages of the Alicante area right now).
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Old July 17th, 2016, 08:21 PM   #3020
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That line would make sense if they connected Estepona with La Línea and Algercías, possible with a branch to Gilbratar (though political developments might reduce greatly the flows there).
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