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Old October 17th, 2015, 09:53 PM   #3361
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There are some rumours that Chinese are going to try running their trains at 350 km/h again. Let's see how that goes... For them it's a lot more important than it would be in Spain anyway.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 12:43 AM   #3362
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Hi,

Thank you for the timetables!
I wonder why the cross border trip between Perpignan & Barcelona are slower than planned, and why the Paris - Madrid trip is slower than Paris - Barcelona - Madrid?
Also: why is Madrid - Lisbon slower today than ten years ago?

Thanks
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Old October 19th, 2015, 02:39 AM   #3363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Hi,
Hi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
I wonder why the cross border trip between Perpignan & Barcelona are slower than planned,
Because it's not completely finished. There's a power station missing.
On the other hand, they discovered that running trains at high speed next to freight trains was not very good for the freight trains. I don't know wether that was a big flaw or something that would have been unavoidable anyway (the former, methinks...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
and why the Paris - Madrid trip is slower than Paris - Barcelona - Madrid?
Because right now the Paris-Hendaye-Madrid route includes much longer sections on classic rail (from Valladolid to Tours there's no HSL yet) than the Paris-Barcelona-Madrid route, which is all done on a HSL excepting the section between Nimes and Perpignan.

This may change soon though, as a rather long section of HSL will be opening soon in France (Tours-Poitiers-Angouleme-Bordeaux), and another one in Spain too by 2018/2019 (Vitoria-San Sebastian).

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Also: why is Madrid - Lisbon slower today than ten years ago?
Because the current route is longer.
Now they run via Madrid-Avila-Salamanca-Vilar Formoso-Guarda-Pampilhosa-Coimbra B-Entroncamento-Santarem-Lisbon, with a considerable detour via Salamanca.
While in the past the route was Madrid-Talavera-Navalmoral-Caceres-Valencia de Alcantara-Torre das Vargens-Abrantes-Entroncamento-Santarem-Lisbon, which was much shorter.
But the line was closed between Torre das Vargens and Valencia de Alcantara not long ago, so they had to change the route by cutting costs and plugging it to the Sudexpreso (Hendaye-Lisbon).

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Thanks
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Old October 19th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #3364
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
On the other hand, they discovered that running trains at high speed next to freight trains was not very good for the freight trains. I don't know wether that was a big flaw or something that would have been unavoidable anyway (the former, methinks...).
The high speed train displaces air to the side at high speed and when that air pressure wave hits something that could be a problem. It could even shatter windows or dislodge doors and tarps.

In Germany freight trains must have pressure sealed driving cabs to be allowed on high speed tracks and even then the high speed trains have to reduce speed when passing in tunnels. But when you take for instance the 250 km/h Cologne to Düren high speed section I wonder if high speed trains and freight trains are allowed to drive there at the same time.

This effect could have been predicted beforehand. The only real way to solve it is to lay the tracks a few meters further apart, requiring wider infrastructure everywhere.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #3365
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@437.001, thank you very much.

Are there trains running between Perpignan & Madrid at full speed?
Could freight trains not run at night over the line?

I know before the financial crisis there were plans to install a HS link between Lisboa & Madrid, are there still talks going? (I know Spain has wonderful HS lines, world scale). Most of that line would lie in Spain of course, and would integrate Portugal more in the EU rail network.

Any news on the more direct tunnel between FR & Spain at the Atlantic side?
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Old October 19th, 2015, 07:00 PM   #3366
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In the Atlantic side works will halt at St. Sebastian cos there is no project still in France (I think for 2030 or so).
This is, from Vitoria they will have a new HSL line until St. Sebastian and be able to continue in the classic line till the border.

Trains Madrid-Perpignan go on full speed until Barcelona
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Old October 19th, 2015, 08:34 PM   #3367
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In the Atlantic side works will halt at St. Sebastian cos there is no project still in France (I think for 2030 or so).
This is, from Vitoria they will have a new HSL line until St. Sebastian and be able to continue in the classic line till the border.

Trains Madrid-Perpignan go on full speed until Barcelona
But then trains would change gauges 4 times? At Venta de Baños or Palencia than before Vitoria than after San Sebastian and then again at Hendaye?
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Old October 19th, 2015, 08:40 PM   #3368
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No change between St. Sebastian and Hendaye would be required.

They are trying to look for best solution between Burgos and Vitoria
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Old October 19th, 2015, 09:17 PM   #3369
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The goal would have been Perpignan - Barcelona in 50 minutes...
Is this still in the pipeline?
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Old October 20th, 2015, 01:58 PM   #3370
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This effect could have been predicted beforehand. The only real way to solve it is to lay the tracks a few meters further apart, requiring wider infrastructure everywhere.
Yes, that was a rather big flaw. I think it's because they just reused the original plan of the Barcelona-Perpignan HSL, which was even older than the one for the Madrid-Seville HSL, and which I doubt was thought with freight in mind.
Although they could even have made a small modification to the project, the idiots... now we'd have faster travel times.

Anyway, flaw or not, that's one more reason to attacking the beast that haunts the classic Spanish rail network: the Gauge Problem.

Because the more the HSL is extended on the French side, the more AVE and TGV trains to Spain. And the less room for freight, so to speak.
So that should foster a gauge change, although it wouldn't be cheap at all...

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Are there trains running between Perpignan & Madrid at full speed?
Not between Perpignan and Barcelona, where they are limited at 200 km/h because of the freight problem, even though the line allows for faster trains (but not that much, it's not a 300 km/h line).

For instance the AVE Madrid-Marseille only goes faster than 200 km/h between Madrid and Barcelona, and between Avignon TGV and Marseille.

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Could freight trains not run at night over the line?
They don't! There aren't that many trains, and basically night time on HSLs is for maintenance.
So I don't think there's much need for night time freight trains at the moment.

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
I know before the financial crisis there were plans to install a HS link between Lisboa & Madrid, are there still talks going? (I know Spain has wonderful HS lines, world scale). Most of that line would lie in Spain of course, and would integrate Portugal more in the EU rail network.
The line in Spain is still being built between Navalmoral and Badajoz (but not between Navalmoral and Madrid), and recently Portugal seems to have reactivated the Evora-Elvas plan (which doesn't include HSR, just a classic line). This Evora-Elvas new line alone will greatly reduce travel time.

I don't think Portugal will ever "integrate in the EU network". Look at a map.
Portugal is really far away from any big European city (not counting Spain, of course), and Lisbon is not a very big city (it's a big one, but not a very big one). So that doesn't help a lot. If travel time from say Barcelona to Lisbon would at the very least be of around 6 hours, you can imagine from Paris or Marseille to Lisbon...

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Any news on the more direct tunnel between FR & Spain at the Atlantic side?
It will take a long time. On the French side of the Basque Country there's a rather big nimby/environmentalist problem.

So the French HSL will end at Dax (that is, when it gets built, which won't happen exactly next week...), and the Spanish line at San Sebastian for the time being (which will happen by 2018/2019, if all goes well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
In the Atlantic side works will halt at St. Sebastian cos there is no project still in France (I think for 2030 or so).
This is, from Vitoria they will have a new HSL line until St. Sebastian and be able to continue in the classic line till the border.
There will be dual gauge between San Sebastian and Irun (under 3 kV DC, so I doubt any TGV will enter Spain on the Atlantic side until at least the San Sebastian-Irun HSL gets built -and that could take a VERY LONG time).

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Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
But then trains would change gauges 4 times? At Venta de Baños or Palencia than before Vitoria than after San Sebastian and then again at Hendaye?
No. They wouldn't change gauge at all. They would only change tension.
They'd do Madrid to Burgos on the HSL, then classic line to Vitoria on dual gauge, then HSL to San Sebastian, then dual gauge from there to Hendaye.
Personally I'd prefer gauge changers over dual gauge.
Dual gauge sometimes poses technical issues in terms of exploitation, and speeds are not necessarily higher.
While gauge changers, while more expensive, increase travel time, but they pose less technical issues (that is, not counting when they fail).

It's either one or the other, otherwise there's no other way to overcome the gauge problem without a massive multi-dozen-billion euro gauge change plan.

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Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
No change between St. Sebastian and Hendaye would be required.
But it would involve a change of tension. San Sebastian-Irun is under 3 kV DC, while the HSL is under 25 kV AC... and from Hendaye to Dax it's 1,5 kV DC.
Between Irun and Hendaye you can choose between 3 kV DC and 1,5 kV DC, since you can travel under both tensions.

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Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
They are trying to look for best solution between Burgos and Vitoria
Dual gauge, it seems. That will be a problem, travel time will take longer than expected. Many people believe that they should have built the difficult parts (Burgos-Vitoria, Basque Y, Madrid-Valladolid), and just upgrade the classic line on the easy parts (Valladolid-Burgos). But now the deed is done, and only building another section of HSL between Burgos and Vitoria could further improve the travel time (I'm obviously not counting the benefit of the Basque Y, which will be huge, but if both the Basque Y and the Burgos-Vitoria HSL were built, the benefit would be even bigger).

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
The goal would have been Perpignan - Barcelona in 50 minutes...
Is this still in the pipeline?
Not at the moment.

The biggest complaint in the area are the bad timetables between Barcelona (and to a lesser degree, Madrid) and Marseille/Toulouse.
If you live inside of that triangle (that is, the Costa Brava and the Languedoc -Girona, Figueres, Perpignan, Narbonne, Agde, Sète, Montpellier, Béziers, Carcassonne, Nimes, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence), there is need for an earlier train to be at Barcelona in the morning (and a direct link between Toulouse and Madrid via Barcelona is missing too).

As for Perpignan and Barcelona/Madrid, there is a technical issue.
Currently up to eight Spanish AVE end up at Figueres Vilafant station, unable to continue to Perpignan (where a reasonable amount of demand to both cities exists), because of the tension of the Perpignan station electrification (1,5 kV DC, while the HSL is 25 kV AC).
It's a pity, because the AVE trains Madrid-Figueres Vilafant are not full between Barcelona and Figueres, so adding Perpignan would not only improve the service to Southern France, but it would also improve the patronage on that section quite a bit.

The problem is that it's two public rail operating companies and two national infrastructure companies that you have to get together for an agreement, and there's a national border in the middle...
And by now, the focus both in Spain and France seems to be on internal rail affairs...
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Old October 20th, 2015, 06:30 PM   #3371
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Tension is not a really big problem when it comes to ride on the line, as the train can run at a lower speed (significantly lower on 1.5KV). Of course, a more expensive train is needed (like the Eurostar, Thalys or some ICE models)...

The gauge problem is indeed sad, and that is the reason why freight travel is mostly truck in Europe....

Why has Spain got two tensions on its overhead wires?

And I believe that with adding a link (preferably high speed for the future, but just standard gauge at reasonable speed is ok too) would provide enormous benefit to Portugal.
Sleeper trains would be able to traverse the continent...
When the "Atlantic link" would be made, Spain - Madrid times could improve, and if some works are done for Lisboa, Santiago-De-Compostella, France this would even make me happier
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Old October 20th, 2015, 07:02 PM   #3372
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Tension is not a really big problem when it comes to ride on the line, as the train can run at a lower speed (significantly lower on 1.5KV). Of course, a more expensive train is needed (like the Eurostar, Thalys or some ICE models)...
Most Spanish HST's can't run under DC. But French TGVs could be used.
However, I see more future for a regional 200 kph service. SNCF recently has become more open for running regional services over HSL's. The concept is called "SR-GV", or Service Regional - Grande Vitesse. A lot cheaper to run than a full TGV service, and I think for linking the areas north and south of the Pyrenees ideal.
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Old October 20th, 2015, 07:39 PM   #3373
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Wait so the Venta de Banos-Vitoria segment is not going to be built in the foreseable future? Tell me they are not prioritizing an Asturias link over this... Also, are speeds to Bilbao going to be increased with the new timetable? Even the short segment to VdB should make some difference, no?
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Old October 20th, 2015, 08:13 PM   #3374
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Quote:
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Tension is not a really big problem when it comes to ride on the line, as the train can run at a lower speed (significantly lower on 1.5KV). Of course, a more expensive train is needed (like the Eurostar, Thalys or some ICE models)...
No, trains can't run at lower speeds everywhere under a different tension.
Certainly no French train arriving at Hendaye could go beyond Irun, except for those adapted to 3 kV DC.

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
The gauge problem is indeed sad, and that is the reason why freight travel is mostly truck in Europe....
No it isn't. Freight is mostly truck in Europe because of many other factors, not just the Spanish railway gauge.

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Why has Spain got two tensions on its overhead wires?
That's far from being a strange case. Happens in the UK, Portugal, France, Italy...

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
And I believe that with adding a link (preferably high speed for the future, but just standard gauge at reasonable speed is ok too) would provide enormous benefit to Portugal.
Not that much. The Portuguese are up to other things at the moment.

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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
Sleeper trains would be able to traverse the continent...
I think not. At the moment they're cancelling more and more night trains all throughout Europe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post
When the "Atlantic link" would be made, Spain - Madrid times could improve, and if some works are done for Lisboa, Santiago-De-Compostella, France this would even make me happier
This will still take some time, but gradually travel time on the Madrid-Hendaye-Bordeaux-Paris route will have improved quite a bit by 2020.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Most Spanish HST's can't run under DC. But French TGVs could be used.
Not many, I believe. Which ones are adapted for both the LGV Atlantique signalling and 3 kV DC?

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
However, I see more future for a regional 200 kph service. SNCF recently has become more open for running regional services over HSL's. The concept is called "SR-GV", or Service Regional - Grande Vitesse. A lot cheaper to run than a full TGV service, and I think for linking the areas north and south of the Pyrenees ideal.
I'm afraid you're being optimistic.

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Wait so the Venta de Banos-Vitoria segment is not going to be built in the foreseable future?
Venta de Baños-Burgos is being built, it's for 2016, 2017 at worst.

Burgos-Vitoria... I'm afraid there won't be a HSL in that section anytime soon.
Unless things change, there will be dual gauge between Burgos and Vitoria, initially a gauge changer will be built at Burgos though.

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Tell me they are not prioritizing an Asturias link over this...
Not only they have (I should say "they did", because this is the result of things happened years ago), but the HSL between Valladolid and Leon opened last 29 September 2015... and the Pajares tunnels are advancing, they will most certainly open before the Basque Y.

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Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Also, are speeds to Bilbao going to be increased with the new timetable? Even the short segment to VdB should make some difference, no?
No. On the contrary, travel time has increased a bit for trains from Valladolid to Burgos (services to Vitoria, Hendaye, Bilbao, Barcelona).

You'll have to wait for the opening of the Venta de Baños-Burgos HSL for a (small) improvement of travel times.

Only when the Basque Y gets ready the service to Bilbao and Hendaye (from Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Galicia, etc) will get a real boost in travel times.
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Old October 20th, 2015, 08:38 PM   #3375
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How is the newly opened line doing actually? Any early impressions either positive or negative from the Spanish public.

Line to Asturias will be nice for people like me. I think I like that coast of Spain better than the Mediterranean one.
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Old October 20th, 2015, 08:50 PM   #3376
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How is the newly opened line doing actually? Any early impressions either positive or negative from the Spanish public.
They've sold lots of tickets on the first week, but that was a promo thing.
We'll see. This one won't really start generating passengers until the Pajares tunnels open. And it won't be the most used anyway.

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Line to Asturias will be nice for people like me. I think I like that coast of Spain better than the Mediterranean one.
Shhhhhusssshhh!! DON'T SAY THAT ALOUD! It's a secret!
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Old October 20th, 2015, 11:37 PM   #3377
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How is the newly opened line doing actually? Any early impressions either positive or negative from the Spanish public.

Line to Asturias will be nice for people like me. I think I like that coast of Spain better than the Mediterranean one.
Asturias is in advanced stages of demographic extinction, i.e. the number of births is expected to fall to below 50% of deaths in a few years, an honour only parts of NW Bulgaria enjoy in the world. The money spent on the line are more or less thrown out the window in my opinion. While the common trunk route to Leon might have some justification, the Cantabric crossing is IMO one of the most misguided investments ever, especially if as 437.001 said the Burgos-Vitoria section (which is in less difficult terrain and leading to economically much more critical regions) is postponed.
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Old October 21st, 2015, 12:02 AM   #3378
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Why is Asturias particularly unpopular among the Spanish as a place to live? No jobs whatsoever? I haven't been there yet myself, but I have been to neighbouring Galicia and I liked that place a lot (to visit at least).

Now the investment has been made though and it would be for the best to claim maximum possible advantage.
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Old October 21st, 2015, 12:03 AM   #3379
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Asturias is in advanced stages of demographic extinction, i.e. the number of births is expected to fall to below 50% of deaths in a few years, an honour only parts of NW Bulgaria enjoy in the world.
Man, if I had to talk about "demographic extinction" of one Spanish province, that would DEFINITELY NOT be Asturias.

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The money spent on the line are more or less thrown out the window in my opinion. While the common trunk route to Leon might have some justification, the Cantabric crossing is IMO one of the most misguided investments ever, especially if as 437.001 said the Burgos-Vitoria section (which is in less difficult terrain and leading to economically much more critical regions) is postponed.
Still living in Bilbao, huh?

Anyway, I find that rather curious, because many of us defend the Pajares tunnels yet despise the Valladolid-Burgos and Venta de Baños-Leon HSLs.

In fact, the Pajares tunnels have long since been planned.

Personally, I think that the difference it makes between having a HSL (or any other infrastructure) and not having it, is time. Not just next month, or one year, or two.

The biggest cities usually don't feel the change, the smallest either. It's the mid-sized cities and the big-but-not-biggest cities that feel it the most.

i.e. Seville was one city before the HSL opened. Now it's another.
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Old October 21st, 2015, 12:20 AM   #3380
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Why is Asturias particularly unpopular among the Spanish as a place to live? No jobs whatsoever? I haven't been there yet myself, but I have been to neighbouring Galicia and I liked that place a lot (to visit at least).
Asturias is not under danger of extinction, unlike Robi_damian says.

It's not that Asturias is unpopular, on the contrary, many people who go there as tourists come back delighted, and Asturian food is really excellent, nothing to envy the Basque Country.

It's just that it's our little "Broken Northern England/Glasgow/Cardiff" side.
Definitely NOT the Mediterranean. Even Liverpool is more Mediterranean than Gijon in some climatic respects.

Asturias used to be one of the richest Spanish regions, and one of the most heavily industrialized. Specialised in mines. Coal in particular.
But unlike the Basque Country, it has never really recovered from the 1970/80s crisis. Now it's one of the poorest Spanish regions.

As many people outside Spain do not know, Northern Spain is really rainy, I mean really very much rainy.
Just as much as Glasgow, if not more. I'm not joking at all.
Only that they get more daylight in winter than the Scots do, but that's about it.
And it's just about as cold as Scotland. So beach tourism in Med-style is really not an option for Asturias. Even less than for Galicia.
Of course, both in Asturias and Scotland one is absolutely free to go to the beach. Even in winter...

They are doing a lot of promotion inside Spain, but I'm not sure wether they do it abroad as well or not.
There's also the fact that it's very difficult for Spain to remind Northern Europeans of an Atlantic, green and rainy, bagpipe-playing, cider-drinking image.
They just go "that's not really Spain"... but it turns out it's the cradle of the country.
Ot they'll just go "I don't like it, it's not sunny, to go there I'd rather stay at home".

Many Asturians suspect that the lack of modern infrastructure has damaged their then-powerful economy.
I believe it's true.
Politics haven't helped either. Its trade unions are VERY strong, if you know what I mean.

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Now the investment has been made though and it would be for the best to claim maximum possible advantage.
It hasn't "been made". It's not until the Pajares tunnels open.
Once they open, we'll start to feel the difference, I'm certain of it.
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