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Old December 26th, 2015, 02:31 PM   #3421
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Quote:
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Spain can't be more mountainous than Austria, Italy or Norway, but I will not start a big argument on it and leave it at that.
It is, actually. The difference is that, unlike the countries you've mentioned, Spain has many mid-sized mountains distributed all along the country, not so many huge mountains concentrated in a single place. You have to go through mountain ranges (of variable size) basically to from any given point A to B. They are everywhere. They might not be as massive in size and altitude as the Alpine mountains, but they are still big mountains. Spain is also quite big in size (compared to other European countries) and most of it has a quite high average altitude.

And northern Spain (from Asturias to the Pyrenees) has big mountains and narrow valleys comparable to those in Switzerland or Austria.

This makes transportation very difficult. It has always been very challenging.
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Old December 26th, 2015, 03:06 PM   #3422
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Why hasn't there been an "Atlantic corridor" project then, connecting La Coruña to Irún and all other major Atlantic coastal centers?
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Old December 26th, 2015, 05:02 PM   #3423
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This might be useful here:

Average land slope:


Elevation:


Source: http://sig.marm.es/geoportal/
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:15 PM   #3424
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Why hasn't there been an "Atlantic corridor" project then, connecting La Coruña to Irún and all other major Atlantic coastal centers?
There is a motorway named A-8, from Irún to near La Coruña, which has been started in 1971 and finished last october, so you can make yourself an idea how difficult it has been.
There is also a Narrow Gauge railway between Bilbao and Ferrol, with a lot of tunnels, bridges and tight curves.
There aren´t coastal plains in north Spain.
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Old December 27th, 2015, 02:46 AM   #3425
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Why hasn't there been an "Atlantic corridor" project then, connecting La Coruña to Irún and all other major Atlantic coastal centers?
There is one. Cantabric corridor, it's called (in Spain we make a difference between Atlantic Ocean and Cantabric Sea, although it's actually the same thing).
And this Cantabric Corridor would be even more expensive than others, because of its length and difficulty.

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There is a motorway named A-8, from Irún to near La Coruña, which has been started in 1971 and finished last october, so you can make yourself an idea how difficult it has been.
Indeed.

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There is also a Narrow Gauge railway between Bilbao and Ferrol, with a lot of tunnels, bridges and tight curves.
Yes. On the other hand, the fact that the current line (Ferrol to Bilbao) is built in metric gauge was more of a failure than anything else (Bilbao to Hendaye too, but that section will be left as it is, as it's replaced by the Basque Y).

Only the sections between Luarca and Pravia, between Laredo (or Gibaja) and Bilbao, and between Eibar (or Deba) and Hendaye are really difficult (not that the remaining sections wouldn't have involved any tunnels anyway, though!).

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There aren´t coastal plains in north Spain.
Well, technically there are some, and relatively open valleys too, but just not enough to make any rail or road infrastructure easy to build.

The Cantabric Corridor (Corunna, Ferrol or Lugo to Hendaye via Ribadeo, Oviedo, Torrelavega, Santander and Bilbao) would be a transversal corridor for freight and passengers, but the area is less populated and less touristy tan the Mediterranean, and just about as expensive to build or re-gauge as the Galicia HSL.

As of now, it's entirely out of the question, money doesn't grow on tres and our burden with the HSL's under construction is big enough.

Later sometime.
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Old December 27th, 2015, 12:11 PM   #3426
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Some of us are a bit of dreamers here - how cool it would be to connect "village" A with "village" B with HSR! It would be if money did grow on trees...

The realistic concept of connecting large cities within 200-800 km range has already been stretched close to or even past the breaking point in Spain.
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Old December 29th, 2015, 12:15 PM   #3427
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Length of high speed network



Note that not only detailed (the meter) each line, and plots in standard widths are counted until changers and workshops, but also have removed all unused sections: those who go to changers which they are no longer in service.
So you can see that on the previous line Olmedo-Medina del Campo changer, there are only 3.312 km of which are used for new LAV Zamora.
It also includes the branch from the new Medina HS changer for trains to Salamanca.
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Old December 29th, 2015, 12:56 PM   #3428
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Note that not only detailed (the meter) each line, and plots in standard widths are counted until changers and workshops, but also have removed all unused sections: those who go to changers which they are no longer in service.
So you can see that on the previous line Olmedo-Medina del Campo changer, there are only 3.312 km of which are used for new LAV Zamora.
It also includes the branch from the new Medina HS changer for trains to Salamanca.
Thanks for the table. Anyone else knows what is the correct translation of "Talleres"? Google translate version doesn't help this time...

Do I understand correctly that percentages refer for to the percentage of the route being run over 240 km/h? Also where are located the following stretches - "Variante de Perales" and "Variante de Yeles"?
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Old December 29th, 2015, 01:06 PM   #3429
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Taller = Repair Shop,
(in French, directly Atélier)
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Old December 29th, 2015, 01:15 PM   #3430
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Taller = Repair Shop,
(in French, directly Atélier)
Really? Are you saying there are 5000(!) repair shops on Madrid-Sevilla line.

There must be some rail specific translation...
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Old December 29th, 2015, 01:22 PM   #3431
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Really? Are you saying there are 5000(!) repair shops on Madrid-Sevilla line.

There must be some rail specific translation...
5,000 km = 5 km for repair shops located here. Hence mainly in Madrid-Sevilla and also in the branch to Toledo thus its location


https://www.google.es/maps/place/La+...2d02e6!6m1!1e1
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Old December 29th, 2015, 10:39 PM   #3432
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Note that in Spanish, 5,001 km means five kilometres and one metre. While 5.001 km means five thousand and one kilometres.

In English it's exactly the other way around, so we tend to constantly make mistakes about it.

Some Spanish-English rail vocabulary:

talleres = workshop
depósito = depot
playa de vías = rail yard
cambiador de ancho = gauge changer
ancho de vía = track gauge
gálibo = clearance gauge
raíl = rail
carril = rail
balasto = ballast
traviesas = sleepers
soldar = to weld
aguja = point
cambio = point
enclavamiento = signal box
vía estrecha = narrow gauge
ancho internacional = standard gauge
ancho UIC = standard gauge

Another difference in concept, and a language false friend to a degree, is the following:

vía = track
andén = platform


But in stations in Spain, it's not the platform that's shown on the signs, but the track.
Sometimes the platform may be shown on the signs too though, but never without the track(s).
That happens more often in France, which uses more our way:

quai = andén = platform
voie = vía = track
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Old December 30th, 2015, 12:37 AM   #3433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Note that in Spanish, 5,001 km means five kilometres and one metre. While 5.001 km means five thousand and one kilometres.

In English it's exactly the other way around, so we tend to constantly make mistakes about it.
I even knew that, but was too used to reading/writing in English to realise it immediately. Now Gusiluz table makes perfect sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Another difference in concept, and a language false friend to a degree, is the following:

vía = track
andén = platform


But in stations in Spain, it's not the platform that's shown on the signs, but the track.
Sometimes the platform may be shown on the signs too though, but never without the track(s).
That happens more often in France, which uses more our way:

quai = andén = platform
voie = vía = track
In German also signs always refer to track (Gleis) instead of platform.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 01:41 AM   #3434
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Quote:
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[...]Also where are located the following stretches - "Variante de Perales" and "Variante de Yeles"?
The Variante de Perales is a short stretch enabling the connection of the Barcelona HSL with the Sevilla/Alicante/Valencia HSLs bypassing central Madrid.
It has been inaugurated one year after completion of the BCN line.


The Variante de Yeles segment is similar in that it links the Sevilla HSL with the Valencia/Alicante HSLs. However it is much less effective as trains have to take a 25km detour to reach this short connecting line.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 06:25 AM   #3435
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The Variante de Yeles segment is similar in that it links the Sevilla HSL with the Valencia/Alicante HSLs. However it is much less effective as trains have to take a 25km detour to reach this short connecting line.
Well, ineffective would have been to build a longer chord for such a small decrease of travel time.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 05:49 PM   #3436
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How many daily scheduled trains use the Variante d'Yeles? I read once that Toledo-Cuenca trains were having abysmal ridership.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 06:12 PM   #3437
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How many daily scheduled trains use the Variante d'Yeles? I read once that Toledo-Cuenca trains were having abysmal ridership.
Toledo - Cuenca didn't use it (btw, was it opened then???). They called at Madrid. They did Albacete-Cuenca-Madrid-Toledo (reversing train)


There is one daily Valencia-Seville daily train (through Seville in the morning, through Valencia in the afternoon) and.... that's all.
In Cordoba you can shuttle to Malaga. I know one person who has made a Valencia-Malaga. He stopped at Cordoba and five minutes of call only because it arrived directly a Madrid-Malaga that stopped in the same platform. Quite fast and cool.

In peak dates you can find Alicante-Seville trains too, but just some days in a year.

It is not like Barcelona-Malaga/Seville where you have several daily trains.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 06:12 PM   #3438
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How many daily scheduled trains use the Variante de Yeles?
Like three-four per day by now in summer. Will probably increase over time though.
It saves up about one hour of travel time versus changing at Madrid Atocha.

It's all services between Valencia or Alicante to/from Seville or Malaga.

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I read once that Toledo-Cuenca trains were having abysmal ridership.
NOT THAT URBAN LEGEND AGAIN!!

That was a LIE made up by the Barcelona-based press.
Incredibly though, the rest of the Spanish press simply believed them, when it was a lie.
And it even got abroad. And when the press sells fact, even if it's not, it becomes Biblical Truth, the Gospel.
Never a single article states the accurate route of that train.

First of all, you need to know the story of the Albacete-Toledo thing.

The Madrid-Toledo HSL, which is actually just a short spur off the Madrid-Seville branch, normally sees very little to no AVE services, it's all Avant services instead, because Toledo is at commuter distance from Madrid. They're all well-patronaged, it becomes harder and harder to book a ticket on that route.

The first section of the Madrid-Alicante HSL to open was the Cuenca to Albacete branch (which was open at the same time as the main Madrid to Cuenca and Valencia HSL), to be extended from Albacete to Villena and Alicante years later, after all this story happened.

Note that I said Madrid-Alicante HSL. This is important.

When that happened, and at the request of the Castile-La Mancha autonomous regional government, Renfe started an Albacete-Cuenca-Madrid Atocha-Toledo AVE service, with a reversal at Madrid Atocha.

Note that the train called at Madrid Atocha. This is the gist of the story.

Renfe wasn't very keen on starting that service, they thought it wouldn't get enough passengers with the concurrence of the Avant services between Madrid and Toledo, and the long detour via Madrid, because after all Cuenca to Toledo and Albacete to Toledo are not that much long trips by car.
But at the insistent request of the Castile-La Mancha regional government, they created it. As a bit of an experiment.

The results were not good. It turned out that very little people travelled by AVE from Toledo to Cuenca, or from Toledo to Albacete. And almost no one from Toledo to Madrid.
Why? Because that service had to compete with Avant services from Madrid to Toledo, whick are usually packed, and crucially, much cheaper than an AVE.
So most of the people who travelled by train from Albacete or Cuenca to Toledo just took the AVE or Alvia to Madrid Atocha, then hopped into a much cheaper Avant to get to Toledo.

You also need to remember that yield management had not been implemented yet, it was the time of the all-expensive AVE.
So the fares didn't help, and this is also a crucial part of the story.

The official statistics said that less than 10 people per day took that AVE from Albacete to Toledo, so Renfe decided to cancel it.
Instead, it was replaced by an AVE Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete with a connection to an Avant Madrid-Toledo, which was not a much longer travel time, but cheaper (and that's what everybody did anyway).

Note that what the press said, is that the trains Albacete-Toledo were used by only less than 10 people per day.
Which was a bleeding lie, they were decently patronaged between Madrid and Albacete (still are, and now these very same trains get to Alicante, and obviously get thousands of passengers, and in particular, the route Albacete-Cuenca has been a bit of a discovery, because it's a new route as there had never ever been a previous Cuenca to Albacete railway, and it's proving quite successful, it gets more passengers than expected)...

It's just that the press "forgot" that those trains always called at Madrid Atocha. And all of the passengers who had boarded at Albacete and Cuenca bound for Madrid suddenly vanished from the statistics (in the press).

AND...

The Barcelona-based press started telling its readers that a high-speed line had been built between Albacete and Toledo (implying that it didn't go via Madrid), and as it was blatantly underused, it had been closed and abandoned. Which was a lie. It was only the first section of the Madrid-Alicante HSL that had been built, and obviously still open and taking more and more passengers everyday.

But the Barcelona press lied. And, worse of all, and quite unexpectedly, the rest of the Spanish press decided that the Barcelona press was right, without ever bothering themselves to confirm it. Not even a look at the official press releases by the Ministry. Not even a phone call. Not a single reporter sent on mission to Albacete or Toledo to find any signs of an abandoned HSL. Nothing. It was right and that was the truth, and aaaaall of the newspapers and TV News started talking about that "ghost" HSL that had been opened, then closed between Albacete and Toledo. A ghost, because it never existed in the first place.

And this is how a HSL that never existed came to reality in the minds of millions of Spaniards (and even people from other countries, and not only, but even rail aficionados and even infrastructure gurus believed about its existence!! ).

Humans are stupid sometimes, aren't they?

ps: the funniest of it all, is that, had these Toledo-Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete AVE been implemented just a few years later, once the yield management fare system in place, they could very well have been successful. And as a matter of fact, sometimes they STILL run to Toledo (via Madrid Atocha and from Alicante, not just Albacete and Cuenca), for instance during El Greco Year at Toledo (the Greek painter, not the SSC forumer ), and they do get passengers now. Go figure...
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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:00 PM   #3439
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Ok, now the situation is much clearer. I had read about it on both the Italian and the British press, as an example of Spain overspending in useless infrastructure (this was some years ago, when they closed Ciudad Real airport and so forth).

In any case, are there plans for Alvia trains Cuenca-Toledo using this new chord? Maybe couple trains in the morning and late afternoon? Then people from Toledo can transfer in Cuenca for HS services further in the Southeast.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:44 PM   #3440
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Ok, now the situation is much clearer. I had read about it on both the Italian and the British press, as an example of Spain overspending in useless infrastructure (this was some years ago, when they closed Ciudad Real airport and so forth).
As a matter of fact, the infrastructure overspending in Spain has existed, but mainly in airports (Ciudad Real as you stated, but also other useless airports elsewhere in the country -Lleida, Huesca, Leon, Badajoz...), and also motorways (many of them on not very densely populated regions weren't all that needed).
Some of it, but much less, also happened in railways, but not a lot (the Huesca HSL is definitely the one HSL that was not necessary, not any other, and even if the top speed in some sections of HSL can also be a matter of discussion, the travel time achieved isn't, and helps a great deal to increasing the patronage), and definitely mostly in rail integrations to cities (we have a bit of a fetish to put the urban railway underground), and to an extent urban rail itself (metro, tramway, commuter rail), rather than in HSR.

That said, nearly all of the source of economic trouble for Spain was a huge housing bubble, which was only partly related to overspending in infrastructure. Most of the debt was private.

What happens is that in Spain, partly because of its anachronic classic railway system, the road lobby (coaches, lorries, car user associations) is VERY powerful and influential. Despite its extensive HSR network (which keeps on getting more and more users everyday), Spain remains Europe's most car-oriented country by far. This, put together with air travel companies being not very happy to see thousands of their former passengers switch to HSR, were the two key reasons of a heavy anti-HSR campaign.

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In any case, are there plans for Alvia trains Cuenca-Toledo using this new chord? Maybe couple trains in the morning and late afternoon? Then people from Toledo can transfer in Cuenca for HS services further in the Southeast.
Not really. The amount of passengers doesn't justify it, and having a big railway hub such as Madrid Atocha round the corner, that's not really a need.

Anyway, having the Yeles chord, it is technically feasible, but it would take a heavy increase of population in Toledo and/or Albacete (and a very heavy one in Cuenca) to see that happen.

And that's totally unlikely by now.
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