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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:02 PM   #421
elfabyanos
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Cool - gimme everything you've got! What's happening in Minsk then? The map will start growing eastwards soon.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #422
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:22 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
Cool - gimme everything you've got! What's happening in Minsk then? The map will start growing eastwards soon.
and next year southwards when Morocco will start the construction of the Casablanca - Tangier HSL, with a brand new high speed line between Kénitra and Tangier (200km) and an upgrade between Casablanca and Kénitra (130km). Project is approved, exact traject is not yet approved Maximum speed will be +/- 320km, French TGV...
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Several comments:
1- I doubt 100% of the lines you showed as u/c in Spain are actually u/c. For example as far as I know there is no construction going on at the moment south of Figueres (in the north of Catalonia). In June last year the Spanish minister of transportation announced that the line from Figueres to Barcelona would be three years late and would open in 2012 instead of 2009 as had been initially scheduled. I suspect there could be similar cases on other Spanish lines you showed as u/c, especially now that Spain is facing a sharp fall of its economic growth and a credit crunch.
All the lines appearing in that map are actually in construction as many others commented you already. In fact, that map lacks some of them. In Spain, the Government builds HSLs in stages. Córdoba-Málaga HSL or Madrid-Barcelona-French Border, are good examples of this. Works on Barcelona-Girona-FB will get more attention now. French Government also does it, just have a look at LGV Est, with two different phases.

MAD-BCN-FB HSL couldn't be on time because the tunnels through Girona and Barcelona are complex works, too risky to rush on them. Just to say BCN's tunnel is laid besides Sagrada Familia...

Now, entering in where I wanted to. In fact, if Spain is facing a sharp fall of the private construction market (This is NOT all the economy, but a big part of it) is much more probable too see a boom in HSLs construction. Why?. Easy. Since Spain's Government is one of the few in Europe with no public debt, being in fact profitable in its accounting, it's likely to see the goverment focusing on infrasctructure and public works to keep constructors entertained while their problems are sorted out. In addition, if we look at Madrid-Lisboa HSL, Europe tends to give large funds to all works concerning international connections with other member states by railway. Spanish Government has already reserved nearly 100Bn€ exclusively for Railways until 2020.

Credit Crunch?. This is a good one... As I told you already, Spanish Government is one of the few with no public debt at all, it's been making cash year after year. To add some info about Spanish Economy, according to many international financial newspapers and magazines, Spanish Banking structure is the second most stable and secure in the world. Although the credit crunch is a worldwide problem, newspapers just said yesterday Spanish Banks have increased their revenues a 20% since the crisis started, not to forget Spanish bankers weren't really involved in high risk mortgages since they don't like them. So actually, the crisis may be worse in other countries than in Spain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
2- the French lines I listed above (from #1 to #5) are 100% sure to built. It's not like these very optimistic Spanish maps drawn during the Spanish economic boom where you see the entire country crisscrossed by future high speed lines, most of which will probably not be built, or at least not anytime soon, now that the economic boom is over. The 5 French lines I mentioned have gone through all the tedious administrative steps required by French law (except the Bordeaux-Toulouse line still one administrative step behind the other four lines), and are currently getting the last rubber stamp before work actually begins. The line from Bordeaux to Angoulême, for instance, will open in the end of 2012, exactly at the same time as the line from Figueres to Barcelona, yet you show the Figueres-Barcelona line on your map but not the Bordeaux-Angoulême line. Same for the line from Nîmes to Montpellier and the line from Le Mans to Rennes which will both open almost at the same time as the Figueres-Barcelona and which you didn't show on your map either.
Spanish economic boom was in the '60s and '70s, it finished long ago. Let's talk properly, Spain is just in a good economic cycle. Just look up in (for example) Wikipedia for 'Spanish miracle' (Spanish economic boom) and 'Spanish economy' if you want to contrast my information.

All the French HSLs have gone through the tedious administrative steps required by your law. So have the Spanish ones. In addition, the works have started.

The government is focusing in railways because is the last part of their transportation system that has to improve significantly yet. Spain didn't have plan Marshall after its Civil War (1936-1939), a prelude of WWII, so Spain lacked infrastuctures that were distroyed during the war, until Spain started in the '50s and '60s to work on them. Spain has now one of the largest, if not the largest, highway network in Europe, and it's still expanding; Spain's airports are being expanded (MAD-BCN-AGP-ALC and many more) to continuously improve them, and Spain has fairly good maritime ports.

But, where's the railway?. What can the Governmnet do to lessen pollution and to try to apply Kyoto and European policies when it comes to climate change?. That's why now, and until 2020, half of the money of Spanish Infrastructure Plans is dedicated exclusively for railways. Now, Which way to go? Where should Spain's government pay more attention when it comes to railway technology?. That's when High Speed Railway, appears on the equation. Spain started to think seriously in HSR through the '90s, when they realised Madrid-Seville HSL was a complete success. Standars were risen to 350km/h in all new main HSL, because Madrid-Seville line wasn't conceived as a HSL when it was planned. It was thought as a new way to enter Andalucía, since the other route through "Despeñaperros" was going to collapse. It was going to be built using Spanish national gauge, 1668 mm. But the government changed its mind later on and decided to build it up in UIC gauge, 1435 mm. In fact, the technical name of Madrid-Seville HSL is "N.A.F.A.", what stands for "Nuevo Acceso Ferroviario a Andalucía" (New Railway Access for Andalucía). This was the beginings of a planned reconversion for Spanish railways, from 1668mm to 1435mm. It's believed this change of gauge will be done before 2020 in many lines.

I did not pretend to extend myself this much, but I wanted to explain other forumers why Spain is planning that much of HSLs and upgrades in its railway network. Spain achieved a great highway and motorway system through out time. It's time to improve the railways, and we may see in the years to come, maybe later than expected, a HS and Very HS railway network growing little by little in Spain, as in many other countries. Time will say.

elfabyanos, I wanted to know what criteria are you using with the colours when it comes to Spain, and maybe later on Eastern Europe (Russia), for railways in other gauge. For example, Seville-Cádiz is marked as an upgrade, but in fact is a new track since Iberic gauge is changed for UIC gauge (but also improving its speed and quality). However, between Barcelona and Valencia there's a stretch coloured as new line in red, when actually it may be what I would call a "Classic line (Classic Gauge)" in Spain. So, wouldn't be orange a better choice than pink for Cádiz-Seville?. It's just an example. I didin't ask this before because it's not a new line talking properly, but I just wanted to get sure.

PD: About bright-yellow lines, I think it's quite hard to see them, with a backgroung for mainland that's almost white. Look at north-eastern Italy for instance... I would change that if it was me. Sorry for troubling you again with the colour scheme elfabyanos... xD :P

Last edited by growingup; April 4th, 2008 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Added PD. Added Links
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Old April 4th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #425
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Thanks for the info, it's quite interesting. As an aside on the Spanish economy front, I had the impression many Spanish companies extended their finances quite a lot over the last 5 years taking part in the world wide boom of take overs. I would have thought the large amount of leveraged debt these companies used to purchase other companies would be affected by the credit crunch? However, if as you say the leverage had little to do with sub-prime USA it would be quite protected.

Re the choice of colours. I have had difficulty classifying Spanish lines for pretty much exaclty the reasons you state. I would like to have further info to ensure I have made the right choices.

For the lines I would need to know:

a) Change of guage?
b) Change of trackbed?
c) Changes in bridges and other restrictive infrastructure?
d) Changes to alignment?
e) New track-bed next to the old?

and any other info. then it's just a case of having a debate I suppose!!!1
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #426
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[Offtopic] On the Spanish economy, the problem is not only the global credit crunch. It has influenced on Spain's problems, but is not the only cause.The economic cycle that has given Spain very good results for years, based on the construction and the real state market, has come to an end. And it has happened more or less at the same time as the subprimre crisis in USA. Spaniards knew (since some years) there would be a moment when real state business in Spain would have serious troubles. What Spaniards didn't know is it was going to be a subprime crisis in the USA. This crisis in the USA rose all the alarms in Spain. The big constructors will not have a lot of problems, because 6 of the spanish constructor companies are among the 10 biggest ones in the world, so they have works all around the globe.
The problem in Spain is constructors and real state companies have been building houses in a really fast pace, rising their value above its real one, making houses not affordable for the newest generations. So now, with the lack of liquidity in the whole world market and expensive prices, on the one hand, banks don't give loans, and on the other, people can not buy them either. Many of these constructions in fact weren't financed by Spanish big banks, but by foreign banks and saving banks. More serious will be how much would the unemployment rate be affected by this crisis. That's why probably, the government may increased the offer for public works to keep all that workers doing something while the crisis is sorted out. In fact, it is said small companies are already fighting to get all the offers they can for public works from the government, even with a low revenue. Private real state market have reached a saturation situaton, so constructors have to move to another sector. The problem is now with the real state companies, they'll have to sell now all what they built, and prices may go down a lot.
So we'll have to wait to see what happens and what's the "real" dimension of it. As you may see, the situation in Spain is a bit different to that of the USA. I'm not a real expert on economics, but that's what I've been told. [/Offtopic]

Apart from economics (I think thi is not the place for that kind of talks), elfabyanos, the first thing I'll do is sort out the yellow colour. I believe is a bit hard to see it in just a glance.
For the classic lines in other gauges, different from UIC, i think there's three options.
1. Making another colour scheme for them. I don't like this option, because I think the purpose of this map is to make people to understand easily what the map says when they see it for the first times and know nothing about railway networks.
2. Making narrower and wider lines that would represent different gauges.
3. Applying the colour scheme for "Classic lines" to all lines of different gauge, even if they are built after 1978. I suggest taking out the word "upgraded", leaving just the speed. I think this is the best option. Whenever a line of the national gauge is changed to UIC gauge, apply the "New lines" colour scheme. Changing to something more accurate the titles of the two colour schemes, because in the cases of Portugal and Spain, doesn't fit quite well. Anyway there are a few cases in which the Iberic gauge support speeds greater than 200km/h.
Anyway, I think the problem in Spain is, as you kind of pointed out, to define what a "Classic line", a line built before 1978, no matter what gauge; or an iberic gauge line changed to UIC, no matter when it was built.
But let other forumers talk about this too, because i'm not the only one concerned.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali_B View Post
and next year southwards when Morocco will start the construction of the Casablanca - Tangier HSL, with a brand new high speed line between Kénitra and Tangier (200km) and an upgrade between Casablanca and Kénitra (130km). Project is approved, exact traject is not yet approved Maximum speed will be +/- 320km, French TGV...
Since when is Morocco part of Europe? If Turkey won't be included on the map, then certainly Morocco won't be.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #428
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@growingup: You just have to open any newspaper these days to see that Spain is facing big economic problems now. The boom of the former years is over (yes it was a boom, in European terms at least), and the Spanish economic growth is falling from an average of 4% per annum these past years to only 2% per annum in the coming years as officially revealed by your country's authorities. Spanish authorities are also forecasting that the growth of capital investment by companies will fall from 11.6% in 2007, to 4.4% in 2008, and 2.6% in 2009, and the growth of consumer spending will fall from 3.2% in 2007, to 2.3% in 2008, and 1.9% in 2009. Meanwhile, Spanish unemployment is on the rise again: it was 8.3% in 2007 and it is expected to reach 9.8% in 2009.

All these high speed line projects cost an awful lot of money, and money doesn't grow on trees unfortunately. Where are you going to find the money now that the budget surplus is over (less VAT revenues and more unemployment benefits; in the two first months of 2008, VAT revenues were already 8.2% below their 2007 level) and now that the EU is not helping you as much as it used to due to the entrance of Eastern European countries? All of this reminds me of the end of the 1980s in France when they showed maps of high speed lines crisscrossing the entire country. Supposedly France was going to have all these new lines built within 10 years. Governments always tend to be over-optimistic. Then the economic slump of the early 90s arrived, and none of the lines were built. You're in for a big disapointment if you think all the Spanish lines are going to be built.

Quote:
Originally Posted by growingup View Post
In fact, if Spain is facing a sharp fall of the private construction market (This is NOT all the economy, but a big part of it) is much more probable too see a boom in HSLs construction. Why?. Easy. Since Spain's Government is one of the few in Europe with no public debt, being in fact profitable in its accounting, it's likely to see the goverment focusing on infrasctructure and public works to keep constructors entertained while their problems are sorted out.
The room for manoeuvre is limited. Until last year the Spanish government ran a budget surplus, but this surplus will melt due to a decrease of revenues (VAT, corporate tax, and so on) and an increase of spending (social benefits). They will also have to pay for all the promises made by the Socialists during the electoral campaign. The tax rebate of 400 euros promised to all the persons paying an income tax is estimated to cost alone 5 billion euros, which is half of the government budget surplus in 2007. Then they will also have to pay for the 300,000 new spots in public nurseries that they promised during the campaign. And they also promised to eliminate the wealth tax on personal assets which will decrease the government revenues further. Of course they could choose to run a budget deficit, but don't forget that the deficit can't be more than 3% of the Spanish GDP due to the Maastricht Treaty, so the room for manoeuvre is limited.

Last edited by brisavoine; April 4th, 2008 at 10:50 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #429
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Regardless of economic problems, the Spanish government is in a much better fiscal position than the French government. Spain has been running budget surpluses for years whereas France consistently spends more than it collects in revenue. Public debt in Spain is only 40% of GDP vs. 65% in France. The Spaniards can afford to do this.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by virgule82 View Post

Regardless of economic problems, the Spanish government is in a much better fiscal position than the French government. Spain has been running budget surpluses for years whereas France consistently spends more than it collects in revenue. Public debt in Spain is only 40% of GDP vs. 65% in France. The Spaniards can afford to do this.
Read my edited post above.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
You're in for a big disapointment if you think all the Spanish lines are going to be built.
Well, obviously not all the lines will be built, but most of them will be a reality. Have you seen the huge amount of stretches that are being built at the moment? We aren't speaking about projects on a paper but real works! Do you think they're going to stop? The most important sections like the Basque Y, the HSL to Valencia/Alicante/Murcia, the connection with Galicia and Asturias, the Madrid-Lisbon line... ok, maybe later than expected at first but their construction is sure.

I agree others like the northern corridor sound more like a dream, but as you said all the governments tend to be overoptimistic. Just an example, this is the planned map for 2020:

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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #432
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Ok, but at worst they'll cut down on new construction. It seems unlikely that they would cease construction that's already started. I'm not even sure if they legally can, since if I understand correctly, high speed rail in Spain is in part funded by the regions which means that there are binding agreements in place to fund these things.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by virgule82 View Post
Ok, but at worst they'll cut down on new construction. It seems unlikely that they would cease construction that's already started.
I never said they would cease construction on the lines already started. I said many of the projected lines that haven't started construction yet will not be built, at least not until after 2020. If you look at some earlier posts in this thread you can see maps of projected lines with the entire country crisscrossed by high speed lines by 2020, even in remote and not very populated regions. This is not credible. Like I said, money doesn't grow on trees.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #434
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Ah, it's just that you expressed skepticism about the current map which only shows lines under construction. I take it that you now agree with the map then? If so, I'd think everyone on this thread pretty much agrees with one another: They'll finish the lines under construction and build some unknown number of the ones that planned
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:14 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by virgule82 View Post
Ah, it's just that you expressed skepticism about the current map which only shows lines under construction. I take it that you now agree with the map then?
I expressed skepticism that all the lines shown on the map are really under construction at the moment; I did not express skepticism that the lines which are really under construction are going to be stopped. It's extremely rare that a civil engineering project is stopped while under construction.

I also said that it doesn't make sense that a line due to open in 2012 (Barcelona-Figueres) is shown on the map while other lines also due to open in 2012-2013 (Bordeaux-Angoulême, Nîmes-Montpellier, Le Mans-Rennes) are not shown.

All clear now?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #436
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I'm totaly sure they will build every line of importance, the main reason beeing rail is the only viable longterm transportation alternative. Ones the rising oilprice pushes airticket prices back to pre lowcost era, when an average workingclass citizen had to pay the equivalent of a month salary for an arlineticket that you today can by for the equivalent of 5-10 hours work, then rail will be the only means of longdistance transportation just like it was in the pre lowcost era. Car usage will also suffer greatly when you have to pay half a month salary just to fill up the gas tank meaning even greater demand for railtransport, this all govenments know, the spanish incuded.

This is why they sure as hell won't stop funding railprojects untill they're either bankrupt or war interupts. There is no other way than going rail and it will be more and more ovious as time goes by.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #437
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All clear Thing is you need a criterion for inclusion, and the criterion here is that the line has to be under construction, which the Spanish lines clearly are according to all sources. The new French lines will be included in due time I presume.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #438
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This is why they sure as hell won't stop funding railprojects untill they're either bankrupt or war interupts.
You must be very young Gincan. Lol. In reality, when a government is faced with budget problems, the first expenses they cut are civil engineering projects (as well as military expenses), because they are the easiest expenses to cut. If he has to, Zapatero will prefer to cancel one high speed line than cancel the 400 euros tax rebate promised during the campaign. Don't be naive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by virgule82 View Post
the criterion here is that the line has to be under construction
The criterion should be date of completion, especially since we're able to find the dates of completion for all the lines (I already gave the dates for French lines).
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Old April 5th, 2008, 01:35 AM   #439
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The criterion should be date of completion, especially since we're able to find the dates of completion for all the lines (I already gave the dates for French lines).
Date of completion says nothing if the line has not yet even started construction, and even when, most often it is either finnished before or after the date hence it's pointless. To map out lines that are currently beeing built is more logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
You must be very young Gincan. Lol. In reality, when a government is faced with budget problems, the first expenses they cut are civil engineering projects (as well as military expenses), because they are the easiest expenses to cut. If he has to, Zapatero will prefer to cancel one high speed line than cancel the 400 euros tax rebate promised during the campaign. Don't be naive.
There is an agreement between the spanish parties to focus on railprojects, they are the last infrastructure expenses that will get cut out of the buget, how Zapatero is going to finance his election promises is the headache of his party, but to cut in the railbudget is a no no. They need the support of other parties if they are to achieve any results as they didn't get enough votes. More likely is that they will not be able to meet their promises and loose public support.

Last edited by gincan; April 5th, 2008 at 01:55 AM.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 03:04 AM   #440
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ATTENTION: Request to elfabyanos ... you need to get yourself on a brainstorming language course in portuguese and spanish in the next few days.


http://www.rave.pt/concursos/ppp_poc...ia/anuncio.htm

Poceirão-Caia (170km) wich is part of the Lisboa-Madrid was put for tenders last month (anounced in the 14th of March) so now it's almost time to open the proposals (1 month) ... so you should start practicing your reading on these (and use it as a test/exercise before you try to go look at lines u/c in spai or you will get mad with the influx of information from over there):

Why the HSL Lisboa-Madrid will be a "mixed" traffic line: (just put it on google translator)
http://www.rave.pt/estudos/merc.htm

Avaliação de Impacte Ambiental (where you can get the PDF's with the MAPS of the route)

Troço Moita/Montemor-o-Novo (Eixo Lisboa-Madrid, Lote 3A2)
http://www.rave.pt/ambiente/MMLM/L3A2_resumo_nt_EIA.htm

Troço Montemor-o-Novo/Évora (Eixo Lisboa-Madrid, Lote 3B)
http://www.rave.pt/ambiente/MELM/L3B.htm

Troço Évora/Elvas (Eixo Lisboa-Madrid, Lote 3C)
http://www.rave.pt/ambiente/EELM/L3C.htm

Troço Elvas/Caia (Eixo Lisboa-Madrid, Lote LTF)
http://www.rave.pt/ambiente/ECLM/LTF.htm

And by the way ... the chinese are going to build (assisting/pressing) a finishing/packaging industrial area in Beja ... where they will use the new airport (construction work is almost finished there) and its surrounding industrial area to finish/package high value productions to posterior distribution all over europe ... in conjunction with the deep waters port of sines (wich is already a part of direct routes china-sines with mega-container ships) it will start to move a lot of high-speed-freight services in the near future ... let's see if we begin to se TGV/ICE trains labeled "La Motherboard" or "La Mobile Phone" one of these days.

And remember ... its NOT a line u/c yet (except for the freight/secondary variants to Evora and Sines)... but it's getting closer and closer any day.
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