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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #5661
alserrod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
It's a relic of the past, and the same thing happens in Cerbère (F) and Port Bou (E). It was like that so to allow border checks: passenger of a train coming from Spain were then checked in the French custom, viceversa passengers from France were controlled on Spanish territory.

And despite Schengen agreements this arrangement continues, even if today it makes no sense at all.


All railway borders between France and Spain are like that. There is a technical point to take a view: there is a different gauge. This is... Spanish trains requires to change wheels on border to continue in France and upside down (no change required Portugal to Spain). So then, the train goes to the "other country" but departs from the "own country", even from Spain and France.

When Euro did not exist it had the reason that you will buy the ticket in the own country it will run the train and will be payed in Francs or Pesetas depending the country.
Today... all in Euro but they still keeps with the same system.

Problem is that any commuter train or regional train from Spain will arrive only to Irun, never to Hendaye (another "relic" from past). So then, for a citizen in that area will be very easy to get a TGV train Paris-Irun and later a commuter to San Sebastian, but upside down he will have to do something from Irun (end of commuter) to Hendaye.

There is a second commuter railway that arrives to Hendaye and managed by Basque government. There is a little station (I wonder how they made custom controls in that small station) which is besides the main Hendaye station.

In this image:

http://maps.google.es/maps?q=irun&hl...Vasco&t=h&z=17

eastern bridge, main railway (both French and Spanish gauges)
later, little commuter train. Only one line. It finish at the Hendaye entrance
Later, two road bridges.

A little in the north, the Hendaye stations
In the south, the Irun stadium, the railway terminal and later the main Irun station
A little to the north, the Irun airport.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #5662
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The reason of being of this asymmetric service disappeared with Schengen. This oddity could be resolved overnight allowing French trains to leave Irun with passengers on board, and viceversa. There are absolutely no technical reasons that prohibit that.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:54 AM   #5663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
All railway borders between France and Spain are like that. There is a technical point to take a view: there is a different gauge. This is... Spanish trains requires to change wheels on border to continue in France and upside down (no change required Portugal to Spain). So then, the train goes to the "other country" but departs from the "own country", even from Spain and France.
Actually the times are changing... The Figueres (E) -Perpignan (F) high speed line is operational since 2010, and there is no gauge change as all high speed lines in Spain have european guage. Currently french SCNF TGVs arrive and depart Figueres with passengers.

There is also another regional service between Spain and France. Many trains on the spanish Renfe Barcelona-Puigcerda regional line continue up to La Tour de Carol (F) where they arrive and depart with passengers.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #5664
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I made several trips with my parents in the 80's (I was born in '74). Communist-Communist border controls were usually very strict, almost as strict as from us to Western countries. Especially custom checkings were terrible because of the lack of goods of all communist nations. Even is the early 90s it was forbbiden to fetch a single piece of Deli chocolate from Czechoslovakia to Hungary, and CS custom officer examined my bag detailedly.
1-2 hours of waiting at HU-CS or CS-DDR border was very common. Everyone get out of the car, take all the bags, open them, etc. etc. And, again, especially the custom checking was very strict, the check of personal papers (passport, visa if needed) was simple. All countries in this region suffered from the lack of goods so that practically everything was forbidden to take from one country to another one.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:14 PM   #5665
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I thought communist-communist borders were far more relaxed... there goes the idea of "International communism"...
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:28 PM   #5666
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Funny situation at the Nagylak (Hungary) / Nădlac (Romania) border crossing: a guy went to the border check point while he was pushing his car. When the border officers asked him why he was doing this he replyed that he doesn't have a drivers licence so that's why he is pushing the car. The man declared that he bought the car with 300 € from Germany, but eventually the border officers discovered that the car was actually stolen from Germany a day before. Article in Romanian is here.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #5667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza
I thought communist-communist borders were far more relaxed... there goes the idea of "International communism"...
There were huge differences between 'ideal communism' and 'real communism'. The original Marxist ideal was making all living better while the practical application of this theory made all living worse... I think no country in the world ever experienced the ideal socialism, thus some like Yugoslavia and Cuba were closer than others such N. Korea and USSR during Stalin.

About borders: were checks more relaxed towards western travellers than locals?
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Old January 26th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #5668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAkumana View Post
Actually the times are changing... The Figueres (E) -Perpignan (F) high speed line is operational since 2010, and there is no gauge change as all high speed lines in Spain have european guage. Currently french SCNF TGVs arrive and depart Figueres with passengers.

There is also another regional service between Spain and France. Many trains on the spanish Renfe Barcelona-Puigcerda regional line continue up to La Tour de Carol (F) where they arrive and depart with passengers.


There is another problem: infrastructure is not ready to have trains departing from Hendaye to Spain or from Irun to France. There are only two quais in both stations for the trains of the other country (let's remember they are different gauges).

Furthermore... the railway at Canfranc arrived always from Pau to Canfranc by the tunnel. The station was bi-national... and the town too. I think I talked about the specific status of that village that it is currently running (not applying but not deleted).
Service is made by SNCF bus... so the departs of those buses was given by the own Canfranc station master while that station had that person.

The high speed line between Spain and France is opened in the border. There are two daily trains from Paris to Figueres-Vilafant where you can take a train to Barcelona (timetables shuttle with about 15 minutes delay only). As far as I know they are preparing a branch to have one of them Figueres-Paris and the other Figueres - Paris /Geneve!!!!!!!!!
And all the trains start and ends in the same station.

Only Irun/Hendaye and Port Bou/Cerbere had the "old situation"
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Old January 27th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #5669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attus View Post
Communist-Communist border controls were usually very strict, almost as strict as from us to Western countries.
OTOH, it was far easier for a Yugoslav to get to Italy, Austria or Greece than to Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria, not to mention Albania. In 1986 I was in Montenegro, very close to Albania.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #5670
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Do you know why? I know that relationships with other communist countries and Yugoslavia weren't good, but neither were those with western countries - especially Italy after WW2.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:06 AM   #5671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
Do you know why? I know that relationships with other communist countries and Yugoslavia weren't good, but neither were those with western countries - especially Italy after WW2.
Bad relationship were short lived especially from the late 60's on Trieste became Yugoslavia's shopping mall. Also Yugoslavs did not need visas for most western European countries.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #5672
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza
Do you know why? I know that relationships with other communist countries and Yugoslavia weren't good, but neither were those with western countries - especially Italy after WW2.
I-YU relationship normalized in the 60s. In the first years after the war the border was closed at all.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #5673
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On the motorway D2, border SK/CZ, Czech side, they removed the sloped, repaved that section and removed the low speed limits, so you can travel at 130kph.
On the Slovak side no changes, but according to the Slovak National Motorway Company, some changes will be made in the 2013.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #5674
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On 1 January 1967, Yugoslavia was the first communist country to open its borders to all foreign visitors and abolish visa requirements. Western countries also abolished visas for Yugoslav citizen, so you could go with Yugoslav passport both on West and East without visas. Greece was exception (maybe because Tito supported Greek communists during civil war in Greece 1946-49).
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Old January 27th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #5675
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Originally Posted by Alex_ZR View Post
On 1 January 1967, Yugoslavia was the first communist country to open its borders to all foreign visitors and abolish visa requirements. Western countries also abolished visas for Yugoslav citizen, so you could go with Yugoslav passport both on West and East without visas.
I remember my father told me that when he was younger, he used to play football in an amateur team and had the chance to go play in a tournament in Belgrad. I think he played against Red Star, maybe the B team or something. He told me he was "impressed" by Yugoslavia. I never got to know in which sense.
Must have been late 60s, early 70s.

Quote:
Greece was exception (maybe because Tito supported Greek communists during civil war in Greece 1946-49).
I don't think this is the reason. Tito supported Italian commies too, during the civil war in Italy 1943-1945.

Last edited by g.spinoza; January 27th, 2012 at 01:43 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #5676
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Well there was a period that old Yugoslavia was almost at the level of Italy as wealth.

The main reason why Greece put visa for Yugoslav citizens was the issue of Macedonia, as Tito created this republic as part of the Yugoslav federation and that's why Greece vindicated that with the obligation of visa. But it seems it was a pure formality to get Greek visas.
Tito briefly supported Greek communists, as they turned their back to him and supported the Stalin's line so he closed the borders with Greece and the Greek communists didn't get anymore support from Yugoslavia. That was the main reason why in Greece the communists loosed the battle.
Tito at that time had the idea of creating a Balkan federation. He signed that agreement with Bulgaria, but as he didn't abide to Stalin's dictate he was expelled by the Comintern and considered as an heretic, so Dimitrov stopped it. After that,Tito decided to have an own version of communism and has no more reason to support the Greek communists.
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Last edited by eucitizen; January 27th, 2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #5677
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Well there was a period that old Yugoslavia was almost at the level of Italy as wealth.
The main reason was and it is still Macedonia, as Tito created this republic as part of the Yugoslav federation and that's why Greece put visa for Yugoslav citizens.
I don't think I understand the link between Yugoslavia's past wealth and Macedonia.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #5678
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You were talking about your father coming there and was impressed so I told you that at that time Yugoslavia was quite modern and progressive with people having a good living standard.
The question about Macedonia regards the Greek visa for Yugoslav citizens. Now is it understandable?
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5679
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza
Tito supported Italian commies too, during the civil war in Italy 1943-1945.
After WWII there was a far-left movement that wanted to made Venezia Giulia (Trieste and Gorizia) the 7th Yugoslav republic. In the same period around 2500 Italians, usually workers from Monfalcone shipyards that were influenced by PCI, moved to Pula and Rijeka but they soon decided to return back to Italy probably because the dreamed workers' paradise was different to the reality.

BTW, how were living standards in the SFRY? I know that they were allowed to travel abroad, but were food and other good shortages common and police repressive like in other socialist countries?
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #5680
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Originally Posted by eucitizen View Post
You were talking about your father coming there and was impressed so I told you that at that time Yugoslavia was quite modern and progressive with people having a good living standard.
The question about Macedonia regards the Greek visa for Yugoslav citizens. Now is it understandable?
You said. "Yugoslavia was almost as wealthy as Italy. The main reason was Macedonia". I thought the two were connected but couldn't understand in which way.
Now I understand they're two separate topics.
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