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Old October 8th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #21
Chusanch
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Thank you for your opinion, Alserrod.

I am glad that you have all the ideas so clear. I believe that the Tram will definitely reduce the bus routes in the corridor but I am not sure whether all routes will disapear. I think it is actually a good idea that some routes link the rest of the city with at least one stop of the tram, so interchange is possible. Therefore, bus services 29, 35 and 42, for example still will have the possibility to run along their existing routes. Even, 53, that could be curtailed to Plaza San Francisco.

It is true that 20, 30, 40, 41, 45, 141, C3 as well as the new line from the merge of 129 and 142, on the south tram 1 section, will be shortened, or even diverted to other roads, so there is no need to mantain them. However, if distance between stops is enlarged, there will still be a need for at least a frequent bus service to run along the same corridor.

All those details will be revealed as the project is due to open... so all we say for now, will only be speculations.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 02:20 AM   #22
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Let me write some lines more to help anyone understanding about this network.
Current bus network can be found at http://www.tuzsa.es/resources/mapaDiurno.pdf
For someone who doesn't know anything about the city, this network maybe will say nothing. I will try to explain it:
- City centre is located at Ps Independencia, between Pz Paraiso and Pz España. You will notice that 80% lines crosses at least one of those squares.
- Old town (many administrative and touristic sites) is located between Pz España and the Ebro River.
- I may be not easy to know bus traffic density but you can count number of lines that runs on every avenue. Of course not all lines have the same frequency but most of them have an 7-8 minutes frequency of average. Lines number 33, 30, 23, 40, 24... are the most used (no more than 5 minutes in peak hours), and there are just some lines with a frequency higher than 12 minutes, specially those which goes to the farest neighbourhoods: 28, 29, 41, etc... with 43 (30 minutes frequency) being the highest.

In any case it is easy to understand that within 6 avenues we have all traffic. Just having a look, 33, 30, 23 and 40 crosses five of those 6 avenues. Line 24 is a transverse line.

There is, still, more about this: Distance between Pz Paraíso (junction of 5 main avenues) and main hospital (Hospital Miguel Servet, located on the south west) is about 2 km, no more. These two point will need a main station, never minds if tram or subway. Deciding to use an underground system will mean to have just a station between Hospital (and currently football stadium just in front of hospital) and city centre. It happens that between hospital and city centre you can find the university (located at the word "el" from the "Fernando el catolico") and the future (2010 forecast) commuter train station down town (will be located on the cross between Gran Via and Goya Av). It has no sense to have an underground and so many stations. Where should we put station between hospital and city centre?. At university and not being able to connect underground with commuter train?, at junction with commuter train and not having it at university?. Just in the middle between both and making too long all transfers?.

In the tram projetc which Chusanch attached the map you can see that there are THREE stations between these two points. Hospital is on Romareda station, City Centre is on Gran Via station and... commuter train will be on Goya st., university will be on Pz S.Francisco st. and... you can use a new more station: Pz Emp. Carlos V, in the main gate of the biggest park.


Yes... it makes surprising to introduce tram when a subway project is present, specially when most of cities have decided for subway.
But... Zaragoza has its own peculiarities... It is not a BIG city (650.000 people), it has high buildings which makes a big density, short trajects and too many destinations in a small area.

About commuter train... it is designed to shuttle near towns with city centre. As it happens in other Spanish cities, it is not a subway, it has different frequencies as well as higher distance between stations. Usually there is only one station per town and someones on the city. Inside the city it is possible to use as a subway but... with the restriction that there are few stations to choose a destination. In most of cases these trains runs on normal railway lines that are used for regional and long distances trains too.
In the case of Zaragoza there are the following stations:
- Delicias, located at "Estacion de Delicias" (western).
- Portillo, located near Pza Portillo and Av. Clavé
- Miraflores, located just besides Pabellon Principe Felipe (eastern)
- Future station Goya: junction between Goya and Gran Vía (still not on works).

Should it will be enlarged, possible stations INSIDE the city will be: Fleta, where number 23 is on the map at Av. Tenor Fleta, Las Fuentes (eastern) where the 22 on a red square, Vadorrey, just in the other side of the river and, finally, Cataluña (north east) where number 32 is besides this avenue on the map.



Anyway, I would be glad to know the opinion of some one who doesn't know anything about this city.
Sometimes, a third point of view can be clarifier
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Old October 9th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #23
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Today I have worked a little bit more with the map of Tram and Commuter Trail Line Extensions. Well, Tram, I have left it as it was. Only Commuter Line C2 is to be delayed due to lack of investment by the Central Government, which is causing anger within the Regional government... Politicians!!!!

Anyway, C2 Line, Green Line in my map, initially, is only expected to reach the second High Speed Station (intended to "force" a stop to those passing by trains without stop in Zaragoza)


Today, the press informed that the delay for the construction of this station is getting bigger. No investment by the National Government; consequently, no C2 to this station, and Exhibition Centre, as well as a possible airport link (via bus).

Also, that C2 line is planned to cover the Huerva River basin, where a single track line is already in use for the Zaragoza - Teruel - Valencia trains. (Not much traffic there, as there are 4 daily services). Also, I have added a new Station (Plaza Logistic Estate) to give service to the Industrial Estate, that could also be an interchange station to link with the Industrial Estate bus line.

Also, there is the extension towards the North (On the Zaragoza - Huesca single track line) to cover the East and North of the city, servicing Las Fuentes (interchange with T2), Vadorrey, and MercaZaragoza/Royo Villanova Hospital, and additional extensions to San Juan, Villanueva de Gállego and Zuera) that I took the liberty to call C3. Recent news have been announcing a new 10.000 appartment district to be built along this line, near Mercazaragoza, which will benefit from this service.

Additionally, C1 line, as I mentioned in the past, will be extended at both ends, South East to La Cartuja and Low Ebro Corridor towns, as well as Northwest High Ebro Corridor towns.

I would like to apologise for the low quality of the diagram, but I think it gives a good idea of the situation.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #24
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Today, I am talking about another set of Rails... European High Speed Links.

Spain and France are separated by the Pyreenes (I am not telling you anything new)

As you can see, Europe is looking at "the cheapest" way to link Spain and Portugal with the French and European network, by using Hendaya (West Pyrenees) and La Junquera (East Pyrenees) to get over them.

However, Spain has also proposed the constructtion of a Central Pyrenees crossing, marked in the map with a blue Line


This would mean a really costly Tunnel, expected to be around 40kms, that, as the map shows, links Zaragoza with Toulouse and the rest of the network in the most straight line.

Europe is crazy not to use this connection, as it will clearly reduce time of travel considerable between Madrid and Paris and other European Capitals.

The use of Hendaya and La Junquera crossings is also necessary, but as you can see from the Map, Lisbon and Madrid would really benefit from the central Pyrenees crossing.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #25
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nice explanation alserrod... although i didn't catch everything cause i don't live there but i see your problems regarding tram network...
i believe there should be stations wherever is possible even if they make trip longer...
in Zagreb there are tram stops that are less than 100m away (that is an exception ok), but average distance between stops is roughly 300-500m and it's pretty much okay...
so in a direction of 2km you could fit 3 stops easily... and maybe even fourth one would squeeze somehow

@chusanch...
you didn't mention a different gauge that spain has comparing to european... if there will be some high speed link, then spain could be building their tracks all over again with the right gauge... do you think that's possible?
and how do they change now on existing links? is there a direct line towards france or you have to change another train on border?
could be that tunnel will help to reduce trip time... but IMO it's kinda lots of money... maybe better to improve existing connections so in the end you get same thing... but without drilling below Pyrenees
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Old October 16th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #26
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Thanks for your comments.

Spain has a different Gauge, but high speed is being done in UIC (European Gauge).

There are talks that Zaragoza Commuter Line could be the first non-high speed network to use European Gauge, but as you say, it may be a problem for the extensions planned. It is bad enough just putting a train on the track, so... imagine if they had to change the gauge...

As for drilling the Pyrenees, yes, it is Expensive. However, similar plans are being carried out in the ALPS and other mountains I can't remember now... So... if it is ok there, it could be here...

What I didnt say was that Green is already in use. Yellow.. under construction or about to start... and Red, If I am not mistaken, is in the planning table.

My blue line.. has been proposed several times, but Europe doesn't seem to be that much interested in this. The Spanish Government is focusing this line for trucks, that would reduce considerably the amount of trucks on the roads... Hence, less accidents, less pollution, less traffic... I thought we were all going green... Are we really?
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #27
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GOYA STATION and Extensions to C1 Line, in danger due to the Crisis. Zaragoza Alta Velocidad, a joint official body comprised of :

- Diputación General de Aragón:.......25% (Aragon Regional Government)
- Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza:...........25% (Zaragoza City Council)
- A.D.I.F.:..................................37,5% (Government based Rail office)
- RENFE operadora:......................12,5% (Spanish Railway operator)

Money seems to be scarce now, logical, and the pending projects, like Goya Station and the next extensions seem to be at risk. When I have something more firm, I will inform.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJZG View Post
nice explanation alserrod... although i didn't catch everything cause i don't live there but i see your problems regarding tram network...
i believe there should be stations wherever is possible even if they make trip longer...
in Zagreb there are tram stops that are less than 100m away (that is an exception ok), but average distance between stops is roughly 300-500m and it's pretty much okay...
so in a direction of 2km you could fit 3 stops easily... and maybe even fourth one would squeeze somehow

@chusanch...
you didn't mention a different gauge that spain has comparing to european... if there will be some high speed link, then spain could be building their tracks all over again with the right gauge... do you think that's possible?
and how do they change now on existing links? is there a direct line towards france or you have to change another train on border?
could be that tunnel will help to reduce trip time... but IMO it's kinda lots of money... maybe better to improve existing connections so in the end you get same thing... but without drilling below Pyrenees
As a side notice ... it should be noted that THAT IS PRECISELY what has been happening in the last 16 years over here in the peninsula ... lots of "new HSL" built precisely because of the need to move from 1668mm to 1435mm

HSL are being built majorly in 1435mm and route upgrades are using "dual gauge sleepers" abundantly ...
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #29
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CONGRESS for a Fast Rail Link across the Mid Pyrenees.

Wednesday starts the I Congreso Internacional sobre la Travesía Ferroviaria por el Pirineo Central, (1st International Congress about the Central Pyrenees Railways track) organised by the Roads, Canals and Ports Engineering School (CICCP) and the Transpyrenaic Foundation , that will take place in the Congress Centre in the Expo Grounds, as Heraldo de Aragón publishes today. Sorry... Only in Spanish...

The European Union has classified this infrastructure as priority project, consisting in a 40 km tunnel across the Pyrenees. There are already a few companies interested in building / supplying this project, and their support starts by subsidising this event.

5M Euro have been assigned to the project, which has already started. The Aragonese and Spanish Governments have presented several projects, awaiting the ones from the French side, who is starting to see the project as interesting too. Depending on which route France decides, the Spanish Government, will act accordingly.

The congress will last until Friday and will tackle 4 areas: European Railway Projects; Design and building aspects of the tunnels; Rail Transport and border infrastructure management; and finally, Finance.

The result of this congress is supposed to establish certain guidelines to follow to carry out this project, that seems will need about 20 years to build.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 10:22 PM   #30
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COMMUTER C1 LINE: MIRAFLORES

Miraflores is currently the only Station of the 5 operative which is still on works. You reach the station by a little path with a little sign that tells you where to go. However, the works barriers are doing the same task:



The station is already "underground" although this is caused by a false tunnel, as before the works started, this space used to be the old Miraflores Station, that had been long out of service. The new tunnel needed to knock down the old station... There was no particular value in the old station... only the memories.



The new station is functional, concrete walls and hardly any decoration. As you can see, the typical RENFE signs, platform in a diamond (in this case, it is platform 5) and the station name.

Space only to sit and wait the long hour the train takes... But, while you are waiting, it allows you to see the passing medium distance services as well as the High Speed Train (AVE) along the tracks next to the commuter ones.

Trains are the new CIVIA model that RENFE has introduced in commuter lines for 277 people, although the Zaragoza line hasn't been full since its opening earlier in May 2008.



The surrounding area needs to be urbanised yet. Nearby, you can find Principe Felipe Basketball Court, where CAI ZARAGOZA, plays on Sundays. Also, the Veterinary Faculty is within short walking distance.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 09:15 PM   #31
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NEXT STOP... GOYA STATION

This is more a dream than a reality. It will be under construction... when it starts (probably, next year, although in this crisis period we are living... things could take longer)
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:00 PM   #32
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NEXT STOP: PORTILLO STATION

Portillo Station was the former Main Railway station in Zaragoza. When the High Speed was planned, arriving in Zaragoza, a new Station was designed, further out from the centre. Portillo was never handy to get to, but it was closer to the city centre than the current one. But Portillo Station was open air.Now, the new Portillo station is underground.



A new building was constructed with a copper dome, that also allows natural light to reach the tracks underneath.



It has the corporative sign posts. But Portillo goes further. In my opinion, it is quite nice. It reminds you of those nice Metro stations worldwide... (Concrete is still there, unfortunately) but it has a nice mural, showing different monuments of the city.





The surrounding area is built, but all the former tracks are now a site, where new service buildings are planned. Also, a bus station.
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Old November 4th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #33
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NEXT STATION: ESTACIÓN DE DELICIAS

Delicias Multimodal is the new Railway and Bus Central Station. The commuter train allows you to connect with Regional Services as well as Long Distance and AVE (High Speed Trains) that stop in this Station that looks more like a Cathedral. It opened in may 7th 2003 partially, but it was fully operative in 2008, for EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008. Since May 5th 2007 it is the Main Bus Station, therefore, becoming a truly multimodal station.

It holds two Architecture prices do to its curious structure. A huge surface 4Hectares) at 30 mts high, without columns:
  • FAD Archtecture Award in 2004.
  • Brunel Award in 2005.
  • Dedalo Minosse Award 2006.




As a curiosity, when you visit Zaragoza in Winter, you will experience indoor winter too. When it started, it was well known locally because it was a freezing station. The Information Lady was actually with an anorak and a scarf to cope with the cold (unhuman working conditions for a European City...). Since, they have created new waiting rooms, that are climatised, so the wait is more bearable, and the information lady, has a better work place. However, those passengers moving around in winter, should be prepared to feel the same cold as in the street... At the end of the day, the tracks are facing the same direction of the freezing wind... therefore, the draft is rather notorious.

Summer, however, is much more bearable.

The station has 8 tracks, 4 for High Speed Train (International Gauge) and 4 for Regional and Commuter lines (Spanish Gauge).
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Old November 9th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #34
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NEXT STATION (THAT SHOULD BE): MONZALBARBA

Monzalbarba is a small Zaragozan rural district 11kms from the centre. Currently, transportation is carried out by a bus line, that runs every 30 minutes, linking Zaragoza City Centre and the town of Utebo, nearby.


The train passes by, without any stop, the old derelict station, that could definitely help movility to the Monzalbarbians.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #35
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NEXT STATION: UTEBO

Utebo is maybe the town that has benefited the most from the opening of the C1 line. Until May 2008, it had a bus, that ran every 30 minutes.

Utebo Station is actually in the heart of the town. The railway actually divides the town in two, the old Town, (with its spectacular Mudejar Tower) and the new residential estates near the road, the shopping centre and Industrial Estates. But it didn't use to have a station. Trains just passed by.



It is handy wherever you go, but it is reacheable from any point, therefore, it has been proved that most users are actually coming from or to Utebo.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #36
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NEXT STATION: CASETAS (END OF LINE)

Casetas is the last stop of the 5 station line. 16kms and 21 minutes since the beginning of the line in Miraflores, makes this line the shortest commuter line in Spain, and I would say also in Europe (but I don't have data to support it)



Casetas station is a nuew building, just next to the old medium distance train station, that still shows some trains stopping. It is also the dividing point for the Madrid Line and the Bilbao line.

Casetas is a rural district in Zaragoza borough with over 7100 people registered. The station is within walking distance from the Health centre and the Sports centre. However, it is still somehow far from the main residential centre. I have proposed the use of a microbus to link the station and the residential areas, using one of the Hidrogen minibuses used for the EXPO 2008.

I personally know some people who live in Casetas and they are really happy with this service. The Station has a sort of a free Park & Ride carpark that allows you to get to the station with your own car (other than walking, there is no other way to get from the residential area to the station) and get the train to the centre, do your shopping, go to university or work, meeting friends, or whatever... and get back easily.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #37
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EXTENSIONS FOR C1 UNDER STUDY

Zaragoza's C1 Commuter line is under study to expand to Alagón (station currently under renovation) westwards and La Cartuja, Eastwards.

Recent data show that use since the end of the EXPO has dramatically shrinked. From 1100 passenger per day have gone 175.

Why?

Since subsidy is still fed onto the line from the Ministry of Transport (Fomento) reasons will not be looked for... nor solutions will be found.

It is about time the network expands and offers a wider service, making these trains THE WAY to reach the desired destination.

Goya Station, in Zaragoza City centre is supposed to start construction next year, and will be a link with the North-South Tram Line (also starting works next year), making it a fast and attractive way to move within and around Zaragoza.

Timetables need to improve (now it is an hourly service).

Ticketing needs also some study. Integration with other means (bus & tram) will be a must if the service wants to attract new customers. CTAZ (The consortium for Transport in Zaragoza Met. Area) is currently also working on new bus routes, but it seems it is neglecting the C1.

I hope to be able to show better news shortly.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:43 AM   #38
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Zaragoza City Council's Transport Counsellor has announced that works for Tram Line 1 will still start in the first semestre 2009... Acording to news published by Aragón Digital

Quote:
Dueso ha explicado que el informe de impacto medioambiental, elaborado por el Gobierno de Aragón, permanece en exposición pública desde el 28 de noviembre al 28 de diciembre así que “ahora sólo nos falta el compromiso de financiación de la DGA y estamos dentro de la previsión del cronograma para que el fin de las obras sea en 2011”.
Translation : "Dueso has explained that the report for the environmental impact done by the Government of Aragón, is still in public hearing from Nov 28th to Dec 28th, so now we only need the financial compromise from the DGA, and we are still within the chronogram dates, in order to conclude works in 2011"

I would definitely like to see the works going and to have the silly debate Tram VS Undergrond finished... for the time being...
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Transporte Urbano de Zaragoza (y otros temas... ) - Español
La línea 32 por el mundo / Route 32 around the world - Español / English
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Old December 24th, 2008, 03:04 AM   #39
sntiagom
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Congratulations for Zaragoza, at last it seems that your future first light rail line is on the way and I supose others will come after it as well. I hope the city keeps on doing the good work the've been doing for quite a while now since the Expo last summer.

Please keep us informed about the works progress...
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Old January 5th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #40
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Zaragoza City Council and the Government of Aragón sign an agreement to support the construction of Tramline 1 (North-South). It is in Spanish, but basically... it says that both institutions will support the building of the track and there will also be need a third party (private) will be needed. Main candidate seems to be the current transport group that operates the city bus service: AVANZA
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Siempre tengo algo que comentar... Si quieres leerlo, visita mis bitácoras:
Transporte Urbano de Zaragoza (y otros temas... ) - Español
La línea 32 por el mundo / Route 32 around the world - Español / English
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