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Old May 17th, 2015, 01:13 AM   #13001
Verso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
On a related note about European borders, it seems that the madness concerning local border crossings in Croatia/Slovenia has finally been solved. The local border crossings are now open to everyone who has the right of free movement in the EU without any need for a silly local border pass or otherwise. Time to go and annoy them some more, I guess!
I can finally drive across Gorjanci. Other local BCs aren't so important IMO.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 12:43 PM   #13002
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Quote:
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I can finally drive across Gorjanci. Other local BCs aren't so important IMO.
It should at least take a little bit of pressure off the other ones in summer months. Having said that, even when there were ridiculous queues at Gruskovje/Macelj, the other border crossings nearby were usually empty.

What's also interesting to note is that the distinction between "international" and "intrastate" crossings has now been abolished. All crossings are now either international or EU-only - with (I think...) all the former intrastate crossings now open to everyone. As far as I know, all of the Slovenian intrastate crossings were already at Schengen standards anyway.

Alserrod - thank you so much for that information! I always wondered how it worked there, but I'm not sure I understand it correctly. Do you mean that (for instance) - a train from Paris would call at Irun, unload passengers (with them going through exit French checks / entry Spanish checks) and then return to Hendaye empty?

If so, does it mean that passengers that wanted to travel from Irun had to cross the border in some alternative manner to be able to go from Irun-Paris?

As for the narrow gauge railway, is it possible that there was some infrastructure on the French side to handle police/Customs checks?
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Last edited by Eulanthe; May 17th, 2015 at 12:49 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 01:33 PM   #13003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Alserrod - thank you so much for that information! I always wondered how it worked there, but I'm not sure I understand it correctly. Do you mean that (for instance) - a train from Paris would call at Irun, unload passengers (with them going through exit French checks / entry Spanish checks) and then return to Hendaye empty?

If so, does it mean that passengers that wanted to travel from Irun had to cross the border in some alternative manner to be able to go from Irun-Paris?
There are 2,4 on foot from Irun station to Hendaye station

All trains made (and make, system remains even if there is no passport controls) Paris (or elsewhere)-Irun and return empty to Hendaye and elsewhere (Madrid, Barcelona, Vigo...)-Hendaye and return empty to Irun.

If you wanna go from Paris to Irun you will have direct trains. If you want the return ticket you may... take a train (maybe doesn't worth just for one call) to Hendaye and later a Hendaye-Paris or go by car, bus, etc... to Hendaye station.

But there will be not so many point to point passengers. Most of them come from other cities (and will take in advance another train).

This is, you have two borders, both for arrivals. One in Hendaye, one in Irun.

System remains like it and in the other corner (Mediterranean) it worked in the same way. I point they worked because now you have direct HS trains without calls in the border (same gauge...until Malaga if you want). You have seven daily trains in both directions (four Barcelona-Paris, one Barcelona-Lyon, one Barcelona-Toulouse and one Madrid-Barcelona-Marseille) that have no passport control at all (and you can get in them for domestic trips).




Quote:
As for the narrow gauge railway, is it possible that there was some infrastructure on the French side to handle police/Customs checks?

I really do not know but it is a very small commuter train terminus. French police could set officers in the gate but in Spain I guess that the only way would be random checks (or maybe just some trains crossing the border after controls).

For a Irun/Hendaye - St.Sebastian commuter service it takes longer than Renfe commuter service but has many more calls and stations sometimes are quite more useful due to their location.

I am afraid, I have no further info.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 01:44 PM   #13004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
What's also interesting to note is that the distinction between "international" and "intrastate" crossings has now been abolished. All crossings are now either international or EU-only - with (I think...) all the former intrastate crossings now open to everyone. As far as I know, all of the Slovenian intrastate crossings were already at Schengen standards anyway.
You're right, I didn't even notice that when I checked the Slovenian police website. Which means Serbs don't have to drive to Metlika any more, if they don't wanna buy the Slovenian motorway vignette. Btw, it's "interstate" crossings, because they were between two states, not within one state.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 08:33 PM   #13005
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Crossing from Spain to France on the "old" road (GI-636/D810, formerly N-I and N10) via Behobia/Béhobie:



And same border on the motorway (AP-1/AP-8 and A63). There used to be a single huge border crossing here operated by both countries, but it's now gone and only the toll gates remain:



I like the road in the first video because the oldest sections (there's only a short one left in Spain) look very similar in both countries. Both road bridges above Bidasoa river were built in the 1960s, replacing older ones. And in case you were wondering, here is the old customs building in Behobia (Spain). It is sad how derelict it looks

There's a lot of cross-border commuting on this route, too -it's amazing how busy it gets at rush hour.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 09:23 PM   #13006
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I miss those huge pillars with the plants on top.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 10:04 PM   #13007
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Me too. They could have kept them as a reminder of the crossing.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:22 AM   #13008
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Pictures from crossing from Konstanz, Germany / Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.
I crossed into Switzerland at Zollamt Emmishofer Tor and after a brief walk through Switzerland along the border, back to Germany through a pedestrian only crossing.

https://goo.gl/maps/upkqy


















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Old May 18th, 2015, 10:31 AM   #13009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
As for the narrow gauge railway, is it possible that there was some infrastructure on the French side to handle police/Customs checks?


I asked more info to local forumers

Prior to Schengen treaty, in the last Spanish station, train stopped at the beginning of the platform. All passengers had to get off and walk over the platform. There was a little booth in the middle of it. The train will advance and will wait for them just to cross the international brigde.

In France the station is very small and I guess the only way was to ask for baggage and passports to passengers as soon as they were going out of the station.

Nowadays the station is called "Irun Ficoba" (Ficoba = Basque coast international exhibition centre) but for a while it was called "international bridge" but written in Basque only. Be sure that any non Basque speaker will not understand the meaning of the name (never mind... just a station. If you have to go there, you needn't have to care where it was, just know the station name).

It is in an industrial area, in the middle of nowhere (providing both Hendaye and Irun stations and city centre aren't far at all)


I'm afraid, I cannot link google maps now but just surf there (and take care, do not get the main line but the narrow gauge one, located just a little to the south)
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Old May 24th, 2015, 10:27 AM   #13010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
I've found a very rare photograph indeed - a picture of a Republic Srpska Krajina border crossing!


great foto !
I found a small video with something similar .....
https://youtu.be/MekF5grBqpM
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Old May 24th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #13011
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[QUOTE=alserrod;124075507]I asked more info to local forumers[/2uote]

Thank you, it's so interesting! I knew about the big international stations, but I didn't know about any of the details or the narrow gauge railway.

I asked a friend (who is incredibly well connected with European railway affairs), and he told me that the most likely reason for the ridiculous situation in Irun/Hendaye still existing is because neither SNCF nor RENFE see any need to change it. The narrow gauge railway caters for those that want to return in the opposite direction, and it means that both SNCF/RENFE can operate completely independent timetables.

It's amazing that such a strange system survived Schengen and the Single European Act though!

Gorefest - thank you for that video! It's the first time that I've seen video of the RSK border in action (although it's clear that the defensive obstacles have been removed...) , and that giant Serb flag is mentioned as existing at every RSK border crossing.

I'm guessing that it was almost certainly taken on the Zagreb-Belgrade motorway? (I don't know what number it would have had then...).
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Old May 24th, 2015, 08:20 PM   #13012
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I have searched and... in a normal day, only three Renfe trains arrive to Hendaye. Two ones from Madrid, another one from La Coruña because... Barcelona trains finishes at Irun only.

This is, with double track there should be no problem. All commuter trains has the terminus at Irun.

IMO it was to sell the ticket inside your country (and never sell an international abroad ticket) and all Irun-elsewhere were sold in Pesetas and Hendaye-elsewhere in Francs.

It has nonsense now. In PortBou-Cerbère you had the same situation but now, all trains go through HSL



The exemption was the Canfranc station with international rail traffic till 1970. With a 8 km tunnel (a real huge engineering project in the beginning of 20th century), it was a single track operated only by SNCF. This is, all SNCF trains arrived till Canfranc, all Renfe trains too (tunnel only for French trains) and both customs and railway services were done at Canfranc. French workers lived there and the village has a treaty for double nationality (French workers could go within the village without custom controls but do not leave it and it was awesome but SS patrols were inside the village while the 2nd WW and the French occupation)

https://www.google.es/maps/place/228...46e1d4!6m1!1e1

Today there is no rail service but three daily buses operated by SNCF arrive to Canfranc
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Old May 26th, 2015, 03:15 PM   #13013
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Serbia-Hungary-Romania tripoint festival, majorettes dancing and military bands playing

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Old May 27th, 2015, 12:32 AM   #13014
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Two recent snapshots that I took at Bergh Autoweg, once the biggest border crossing in Europe, on the A3/A12 freeway between Arnhem (NL) and the Ruhr area (D). At its peak in the 80s, 650 were employed at this border crossing. A friend with who I visited this crossing wrote a blog post about it with more and better pictures (in Dutch, but the pictures speak for themselves).



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Old May 27th, 2015, 04:49 PM   #13015
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Vertigo, that website is very interesting! I didn't know that controls for passenger traffic had relaxed so much by 1989 - yet the pictures clearly show that there any attempt at systematic controls had been abandoned.
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Old May 27th, 2015, 05:23 PM   #13016
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Meanwhile because of the G7 meeting border controls have been temporarily restarted between Germany and Austria and Germany and Czech Republic (not sure if only for Bavaria).
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Old May 27th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #13017
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does somebody know exact place where the border crossing between Italy and France at A10 adn A8 was placed?
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Old May 27th, 2015, 06:57 PM   #13018
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I'm guessing it was at the Ventimiglia toll plaza, with goods controls being located just off the exit. There still is some kind of facility there.
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Old May 27th, 2015, 07:28 PM   #13019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
The exemption was the Canfranc station with international rail traffic till 1970.
And also Latour-de-Carol - Enveitg station, where most Spanish trains start and end their services (although there are a couple of services limited to Puigcerdà station, on the Spanish side of the border).

On weekdays there are 7 trains in each direction, of which all but the first and the second ones start in Latour-de-Carol - Enveitg station. In the opposite direction, the three last trains end in Puigcerdà.

Here you have the train schedules:

http://rodalies.gencat.cat/web/.cont...horaris/r3.pdf

Puigcerdà station still has standard gauge tracks and platforms, as in the past French trains used to arrive there. However they have not been used for decades, being since then Latour-de-Carol - Enveitg the only international station of the line, easing the life of passengers traveling from Spain to France or the other way around.

Curiously, Latour-de-Carol - Enveitg station is one of the few stations in the world with three different gauges (together with Hendaye and Montreux, in Switzerland), as it is also the final station of the train jaune (yellow train), a quaint and scenic metric gauge line linking this station to Villefranche - Vernet-les-Bains station, where you can transfer for Perpignan. I highly recommend a trip on that line to anyone!
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Old May 27th, 2015, 08:45 PM   #13020
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Quote:
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Meanwhile because of the G7 meeting border controls have been temporarily restarted between Germany and Austria and Germany and Czech Republic (not sure if only for Bavaria).
Saxony too: > click <. The G7 meetings are on 7th/8th June but the controls will be done until 15th June. The G7 heads of governments meet in Bavaria, the G7 finance ministers meet in Dresden, Saxony.
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