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Old July 17th, 2016, 08:32 PM   #3021
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The connection Estepona - Algeciras would of course make sense, but believe me, the construction of Fuengirola - Marbella - Estepona as a first phase, without the connection with Algeciras, is justified given the population density and tourism of the area.
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Old July 17th, 2016, 09:38 PM   #3022
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Difficult to afford everything at once... I think it does make sense to first finish lines already under construction, then buy more rolling stock for more frequent services on key lines and only then start contemplating new projects.
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Old July 17th, 2016, 10:24 PM   #3023
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The main problem at the moment is that the construction of so many HSL was started simultaneously that there are not enough funds to complete them in the short term, and even less funds to start new lines (HSL or classic lines). And the high construction costs of useful and necessary lines in coastal areas such as Fuengirola - Marbella - Estepona or Gandía - Benidorm - Alicante doesn't precisely help in putting them on the top of the list of government priorities, when indeed they should be there.

The good point, though, is that in 10 years or so most of the Spanish HSR network will have been built and then funds will start to be allocated to the construction of lines like the aforementioned or, generally speaking, upgrades of Cercanías (commuter rail) networks in places such as Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Málaga and Sevilla, which are in dire need of modernization. Cercanías networks in Madrid and Barcelona also need investments, of course, but the situation is not as bad as in those ones (especially Valencia and Alicante/Murcia, where the situation is critical; in Málaga and Sevilla it has more to do with the size of their Cercanías networks).
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Old July 17th, 2016, 11:15 PM   #3024
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From my limited impression during few visits Barcelona's public transport is fairly good. In Sevilla it seemed to be pretty rudimentary and in other big cities in Spain I haven't been...
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Old July 18th, 2016, 01:17 AM   #3025
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Yes, within the city public transport is very good in Barcelona. But commuter rail is improvable, not only in Barcelona but all around Spain. The share of users who choose public transport drops when we're talking about journeys from the metropolitan areas to the city centers, and consequently traffic jams in the accesses to the cities are common.

The only-HSR policy of successive Spanish governments has entailed a dangerous lack of investments in commuter and regional rail, the consequences of which we're now suffering. It's unbelievable that in 2016 Valencia still lacks a cross-city tunnel and some of its commuter rail lines are not electrified and severed due to works since 8 years ago, or that commuter trains between Alicante and Murcia use a non-electrified single track line, without stopping at Alicante airport (6th biggest of the country by number of users) even though the line runs just 500 meters away from the terminal building.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 01:20 AM   #3026
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The HSLs serve another purpose, making cross-country travel easier and faster, something that was envisioned for economical, political and also strategic reasons (such as compensate certain provinces for the purposeful infrastructure neglect the Franco dictatorship had inflicted upon them out of spite).
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Old July 19th, 2016, 01:12 AM   #3027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Difficult to afford everything at once... I think it does make sense to first finish lines already under construction, then buy more rolling stock for more frequent services on key lines and only then start contemplating new projects.
True.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
From my limited impression during few visits Barcelona's public transport is fairly good.
Overall, it is.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
In Sevilla it seemed to be pretty rudimentary and in other big cities in Spain I haven't been...
One of the problems in Seville is that some suburban lines, which on the other hand were in dreadful state, were incredibly closed.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
The only-HSR policy of successive Spanish governments has entailed a dangerous lack of investments in commuter and regional rail, the consequences of which we're now suffering. It's unbelievable that in 2016 Valencia still lacks a cross-city tunnel and some of its commuter rail lines are not electrified and severed due to works since 8 years ago, or that commuter trains between Alicante and Murcia use a non-electrified single track line, without stopping at Alicante airport (6th biggest of the country by number of users) even though the line runs just 500 meters away from the terminal building.
Valencia does have a cross-city tunnel (the Serreria tunnel).
But not a cross-city tunnel that allows through trains at Valencia Nord.

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The HSLs serve another purpose, making cross-country travel easier and faster, something that was envisioned for economical, political and also strategic reasons (such as compensate certain provinces for the purposeful infrastructure neglect the Franco dictatorship had inflicted upon them out of spite).
Railway infrastructure started being modernized under Franco, only that there wasn't a lot of money.
It was more the war and post-war that tore the network apart... and the network had never been very big one.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 01:07 PM   #3028
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NEWS

The 2 new Stadler DMU will enter into service next Monday on the Lleida - La Pobla de Segur FGC line. The use of this new rolling stock will allow an increase in the number of services between Lleida and Balaguer (from 4 to 10 daily services) and between Balaguer and La Pobla de Segur (from 1 to 4 daily services).

Pictures taken during tests on the line (quite scenic, by the way):





You can see in this picture taken in Balaguer station the sharp contrast between the old Renfe DMU and the new FGC DMU:




Source: http://www.vialibre.org/noticias.asp?not=20415&cs=oper
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Old July 20th, 2016, 05:32 PM   #3029
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But will the new trains have as much capacity as the old ones? They might end up needing to order more.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 07:58 PM   #3030
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Those new trains are in addition to the old ones instead of replacing them, right? Otherwise why would there be more than doubling of capacity.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 08:13 PM   #3031
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They're replacing the leased Renfe DMU with their own FGC DMU. It's a line with a very low demand, so it won't be a problem (unless one of the new DMU breaks down, of course).
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Old July 20th, 2016, 08:36 PM   #3032
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
From my limited impression during few visits Barcelona's public transport is fairly good. In Sevilla it seemed to be pretty rudimentary and in other big cities in Spain I haven't been...
The commuter train lines run on the state funded network have lost over 1/3 of the patronage since 2007. Due to lack of adequate investments they are completely unreliable.

The state owned administrator claims it is because of the financial crisis that people have stopped using the commuter trains but that is total bullshit, just look at the passenger numbers for the FGC commuter train lines, they are completely different, no 35% loss of passengers on those line fore sure.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 08:50 PM   #3033
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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
They're replacing the leased Renfe DMU with their own FGC DMU. It's a line with a very low demand, so it won't be a problem (unless one of the new DMU breaks down, of course).
If that is so why are they planning doubling of services?
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Old July 20th, 2016, 08:55 PM   #3034
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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).
It will be strongly difficult due to all area next to Gibraltar is built. It will require a branch and a tunnel under La Linea. They would build an underground station at La Linea and later, anywhere, a station in Gibraltar with customs.

I am talking about a six-eight km. tunnel just to arrive to Gibraltar by train.


I think it will be easier to stop at La Linea current station at get a taxi or a bus to the border, cross it on foot and get a bus inside Gibraltar.

Let's remember a new airport terminal was built and no longer used.... and it is quite smaller than this investment.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 10:04 PM   #3035
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The commuter train lines run on the state funded network have lost over 1/3 of the patronage since 2007. Due to lack of adequate investments they are completely unreliable.
Do you have any kind of official document to back that up?
I say official document, not press article.

The Barcelona commuter Renfe trains have actually improved their reliability since 2007, even though they're still not Japan-like, reliability-wise.

On the other hand, all this is more down to the press, which is very biased and quite probably lobbied by the motorway/petrol/bus/car sectors, and also by the Catalan secessionists.
The press keeps on hammering about its absolute unreliability, when, while it's a fact that delays and technical incidents keep on happening, the network has been improved since 2007, both stations and infrastructure.

Were we talking about privately operated railways, there's no doubt that the road lobbying would even intensify (unless these companies got their part on railway operation).

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The state owned administrator claims it is because of the financial crisis that people have stopped using the commuter trains but that is total bullshit, just look at the passenger numbers for the FGC commuter train lines, they are completely different, no 35% loss of passengers on those line fore sure.
Rubbish. FGC (which is also state-owned, more exactly region-owned) has always been more reliable than Renfe, that's true, but when we talk about FGC, we're talking about two much smaller networks, which are far easier to operate than the Adif network, and which have no juxtaposition of services with regional and long distance services, and in one of the two FGC networks, no freight at all.

Most of the Renfe problems (which are very much concentrated on line R2) are originated outside the Barcelona commuter rail network, particularly between Tarragona and Valencia, and between Tarragona and Zaragoza on the Caspe line.

But the press is also hiding very much the fact that FGC is not as reliable as it used to be (even though it's still more reliable than Renfe).

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If that is so why are they planning doubling of services?
They're not planning doubling services on the Lleida-La Pobla de Segur line, just bringing them back to the pre-crisis timetables.

I doubt they can be very reliable with just two DMU's and no depot.
It's very likely that they'll need substitution buses at the slightest technical incident.

Looks a bit as a way to close the line undercover.

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It will be strongly difficult due to all area next to Gibraltar is built. It will require a branch and a tunnel under La Linea. They would build an underground station at La Linea and later, anywhere, a station in Gibraltar with customs.

I am talking about a six-eight km. tunnel just to arrive to Gibraltar by train.
You don't even know where a hypothetical La Línea station would be located, and you have absolutely no way of knowing that, so this is just down-in-the-pub-like talk.

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I think it will be easier to stop at La Linea current station at get a taxi or a bus to the border, cross it on foot and get a bus inside Gibraltar.
On the other hand, this is very likely. Even more so now that the UK is about to leave the EU.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #3036
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I know where it is.... it is so far that passengers used to go to Algeciras station and take a bus from there.

Keeping same location for current station, bus service could be improve if some passengers would require it (there aren't so many trains, enough to have a bus to shuttle with some trains).

Anyway... a tunnel, terribly expensive (and I am not talking about a border crossing.... just trying to put a station in the middle of La Linea would be unaffordable).
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Old July 20th, 2016, 11:10 PM   #3037
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I know where it is.... it is so far that passengers used to go to Algeciras station and take a bus from there.
Man, you don't know where it would be, because there is none, and the La Línea freight yard hasn't been used for long.

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Keeping same location for current station, bus service could be improve if some passengers would require it (there aren't so many trains, enough to have a bus to shuttle with some trains).
Explain again, please.

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Anyway... a tunnel, terribly expensive (and I am not talking about a border crossing.... just trying to put a station in the middle of La Linea would be unaffordable).
Explain again, please.
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Old July 21st, 2016, 12:07 AM   #3038
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I looked up Lleida-La Pobla de Segur line on Wikipedia and what I found very strange is history of passenger numbers. They more than doubled from 2000 to 2008 and then from 2011 to 2014 collapsed by 70%.

Any good explanation to such enormous volatility? Economic boom and bust cycle perhaps, but I feel there has to be more than that...
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Old July 21st, 2016, 12:11 AM   #3039
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A couple of years ago they had one daily train only. Rest of service was by bus.
Obviously.... double trains, double passengers and so on...
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Old July 21st, 2016, 12:29 AM   #3040
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
I looked up Lleida-La Pobla de Segur line on Wikipedia and what I found very strange is history of passenger numbers. They more than doubled from 2000 to 2008 and then from 2011 to 2014 collapsed by 70%.

Any good explanation to such enormous volatility? Economic boom and bust cycle perhaps, but I feel there has to be more than that...
You have the answer three posts above yours...

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They're not planning doubling services on the Lleida-La Pobla de Segur line, just bringing them back to the pre-crisis timetables.
In a few words: before 2005 that line was in a very bad state and threatened to be closed. There were 3 daily services between Lleida and La Pobla de Segur and that was all.

In 2005 the line was transferred to the Catalan regional government, who carried out considerable upgrades of the infrastructure. In addition, new services were implemented between Lleida and Balaguer (the most important town on the line by far, and the only one that can generate commuter traffic with Lleida of any considerable size) and the the number of passengers started to grow almost automatically.

However, a few years later, in 2011, the Catalan regional government claimed it had not enough funds to maintain that number of services due to the economic crisis and reduced the number of services to just one Lleida - La Pobla de Segur daily service and 4 Lleida - Balaguer services, and thus the sharp fall in the number of passengers.

Besides, one of the reasons given by the Catalan regional government to justify the reduction of services was that the cost of operating leased Renfe DMU was too high, so it announced it would order new DMU to be directly owned and operated by FGC, the region-owned company in charge of the line.

And that's why now, when the new Stadler DMU are about to enter into service, the pre-crisis timetables are to be resumed, although with one extra service to La Pobla de Segur and one more to Balaguer, if I'm not mistaken.
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