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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:45 PM   #3441
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
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.
That's not very likely.

Even though Toledo is the regional capital, it is a relatively small city, just above 80,000 inhabitants. It's not even the largest city of the region (Albacete has 172,000 inhabitants) nor of its province (Talavera de la Reina has some 88,000 inhabitants).

Castile-La Mancha (Castilla-La Mancha) is a quite peculiar region. Most of it used to belong the historic region of New Castile (Castilla la Nueva), whose capital was, of course, Madrid. But after the restoration of democracy in 1977 and the creation of the current autonomous regions between 1979 and 1983, it was decided that Madrid should become an independent autonomous region (like Île-de-France). Otherwise it would have been unfair for both the province of Madrid and the other provinces of New Castille, given the huge demographic and economic differences between Madrid and its surrounding provinces.

Toledo was choses as capital city of the new region due to its historic symbolism (a little bit like Merida in Extremadura or Santiago de Compostela in Galicia), but it's just a mid-sized city with a huge touristic attractive. Even though its population has increased in the last decades due to its proximity with Madrid, it has precisely become almost a suburb of Madrid, within reach by Avant in just 30 minutes (like a commuter train).

Therefore it's a city with only small traffic towards the rest of Castile-La Mancha (besides tourism), and no direct services to other destinations are currently envisaged. Perhaps once the new tunnel in Madrid opens (linking Madrid Atocha with Madrid Chamartín in standard gauge), there could be Segovia - Madrid - Toledo Avant services... But the tunnel will open without the new underground platforms in Atocha station for through trains, and any Toledo - Madrid Avant service just calling in Madrid Chamartín will be less attractive than the current Toledo - Madrid Atocha Avant services.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 08:13 PM   #3442
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It must be added that the current railway situation of Toledo as a dead-end was a result of a terribly wrong design of the network, which avoided Toledo like hell, and which helped back in the 19th century when it was created, to not foster economic growth in that city.

Oddly enough, the current HSR network has been designed the same way, even if some of us campaign for the Madrid-Toledo branch to be made the start of the Madrid-Extremadura-Lisbon HSL and hence finally connected to a main line, helping a better economic development of Toledo.

It's quite a bit of a bug in the Spanish forum, comes and goes.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 08:28 PM   #3443
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In any event, the big delay in the construction of the Madrid-Extremadura-Lisbon HSL allows us plenty of time to lobby for it.

I hope the government changes its decision and finally Toledo is included in the HSL project towards Lisbon. However it must be said that the current dead-end station is not suitable for the Lisbon HSL and therefore an expensive tunnel (with maybe an underground station) would have to be built in the north of Toledo to connect the city with the new HSL towards Extremadura and Lisbon.
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Old January 1st, 2016, 03:22 PM   #3444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001
It must be added that the current railway situation of Toledo as a dead-end was a result of a terribly wrong design of the networ
What I wonder is why the iberian gauge connection line has been scraped. So Toledo has lost all regional connections its towns to the east. The high speed "commuter" line to Madrid is surely cool, but I can imagine that many locals in the region became furious because of the total loss of the regional services along the line to Madrid.

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Originally Posted by 437.001
It's quite a bit of a bug in the Spanish forum, comes and goes.
haha, I can imagine :-) To me when I first "discovered" the layout of the network between and around Toledo to Aranjuez I had so many questions... it is really weird.


How long would a HSL tunnel through Toledo need to be to route the Extremadura line through it?

The topology seems to be rather suitable from what I can see...
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Old January 1st, 2016, 03:56 PM   #3445
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Toledo has only Madrid-Aranjuez-Toledo trains before HSL

They lost connection to Aranjuez and southbound Madrid and gain fast one to Madrid centre
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Old January 1st, 2016, 06:17 PM   #3446
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Sometime in the future they will come up with a Toledo-Plasencia line and the city will have a lot more trains to the west and Portugal.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 06:32 AM   #3447
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisu99 View Post
What I wonder is why the iberian gauge connection line has been scraped. So Toledo has lost all regional connections its towns to the east. The high speed "commuter" line to Madrid is surely cool, but I can imagine that many locals in the region became furious because of the total loss of the regional services along the line to Madrid.
Actually most people went to Madrid. Only a few people did the trip to Aranjuez, the line was in rather bad state.
Besides, I think a fair number of trains were non-stop between Madrid Atocha and Aranjuez, iirc. In the last years, I think all of them were non-stop between Madrid and Aranjuez.

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haha, I can imagine :-) To me when I first "discovered" the layout of the network between and around Toledo to Aranjuez I had so many questions... it is really weird.
Indeed. Toledo has always been a dead-end station, but in the past it used to have more connections tan it does now.

-the Madrid-Aranjuez-Castillejo Añover-Algodor-Toledo line (the last classic line to serve Toledo). Now it's closed between Algodor and Toledo, the section between Castillejo Añover and Algodor is only for freight.

-the Madrid-Parla-Algodor-Toledo line (closed south of Parla and till Villaseca Mocejón because its route was largely coincident with the Madrid-Seville HSL).

-the Madrid-Fuenlabrada-Villaluena Yuncler-Villaseca Mocejón-Algodor-Toledo, of which the section Villaseca-Villaluenga (and now Algodor) is only for freight, although it occasionally is used by the Al-Andalus Expreso (a vintage tourist train).

-the Toledo-Bargas line, which linked Toledo to Talavera de la Reina and Extremadura. It was closed in the 1940s, one of the very first line closures in Spain (largely because of floods, it seems).

Now they only have the HSL branch. Go figure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisu99 View Post
How long would a HSL tunnel through Toledo need to be to route the Extremadura line through it?

The topology seems to be rather suitable from what I can see...
lt would be longish. Toledo is in a rather rugged area. But not unfeasible. The main risk in Toledo is the archaeological one.

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Sometime in the future they will come up with a Toledo-Plasencia line and the city will have a lot more trains to the west and Portugal.
Fingers crossed. It will take many years though, probably decades.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 02:34 PM   #3448
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Sometime in the future they will come up with a Toledo-Plasencia line and the city will have a lot more trains to the west and Portugal.
It would require either an expensive tunnel or a new station several km north of Toledo in the middle of nowhere, having 2 stations in Toledo would make no sense and not keeping the existing one would be criminally incompetent, so the only realistic solution is a very expensive tunnel through geologically complex soil right under the city, and with the tunneling track record in Spain in such urban environments, it is very unlikely to happen.

Given that very few cities of any importance lies west of Toledo, It would only really make sense if the HSR is finnished between Madrid and Lisbon, there just is not enough demand to justify the investment for the very limited travel demand between Toledo and Extremadura.

A third option would be to move the current station 500 meters to the east and build a bridge over tajo and A-42, but then people would go bananas over the ugly bridge right in front of the old city.

Last edited by gincan; January 2nd, 2016 at 02:49 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 10:47 PM   #3449
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Quote:
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It would require either an expensive tunnel or a new station several km north of Toledo in the middle of nowhere.

[...]

Given that very few cities of any importance lies west of Toledo, It would only really make sense if the HSR is finnished between Madrid and Lisbon, there just is not enough demand to justify the investment for the very limited travel demand between Toledo and Extremadura.
The Portuguese are about to start the missing section between Evora and Elvas. Once that happens, rail passenger traffic between Madrid and Lisbon, and between Extremadura and Lisbon will start getting more and more decent numbers.

In the end, there is one problem with this idea, though.
Between Humanes and Madrid, there is the bottleneck of the Cercanías, which have an almost metro-like headway between Fuenlabrada and Madrid.

So to avoid that, the ministry had this idea to connect it to the Madrid-Seville HSL at Pantoja, just north of the junction of the Toledo HSL and south of the Yeles chord for Valencia and Alicante, leaving Toledo disconnected once again from any main line.

Wouldn't it be a bit silly to leave such a touristy place as Toledo (which is as well a regional capital, so it attracts a number of businesses related to the regional government) out of the route?

You'd solve many more things by putting Toledo on the main line than by leaving it out of the way again.

It's a matter of thinking big and being ahead of the game. After all, like it's been said, this is something that will be happening in years, probably even more than a decade. So there's plenty of time to think about it.

As for the tunnel, it's not as complex as you say.
There's serious archaeological risk only if you run under the old town, but not if you run through the south bank of the Tagus.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 11:06 PM   #3450
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So if the Portuguse build the line to Badajoz, would it be expected traffic through Fuentes de Oro and Guarda to reduce?
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 11:41 PM   #3451
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So if the Portuguse build the line to Badajoz, would it be expected traffic through Fuentes de Oro and Guarda to reduce?
It's two totally different lines. Their goals are totally different.

The Pampilhosa-Guarda-Vilar Formoso/Fuentes de Oñoro-Salamanca-Medina del Campo line is the main entrance to Portugal from France, although nowadays it's more for freight than anything else, because due to the Iberian gauge issue, rail passenger traffic between the Basque Country/France and Portugal is not really developed.

It is also used as the main route between Madrid and Lisbon since the closure of the Torre das Vargens-Marvâo Beirâ line (total) and the Abrantes-Torre das Vargens-Elvas line (now only for freight, although passenger service will be reintroduced between Abrantes and Portalegre). But it's a long detour via Medina del Campo, when the straight line between Madrid and Lisbon goes closest to Marvâo Beirâ.

But the travel time to Lisbon from Spain's Extremadura was always atrocious due to the fact of the bad profile of the route (rather more bendy than needed), and the enormous detour via Abrantes/Entroncamento, which really kills the passenger traffic as Entroncamento itself is not a big city, just a small one.

Connecting Evora (and Setúbal and Lisbon) to Elvas (and Badajoz) will greatly reduce the travel time between Extremadura and Lisbon (hence between Madrid and Lisbon), allowing for a decent travel time between the two areas AT LAST. Which is something that's never happened before.

This, and the electrification between Nine and Valença do Minho/Tui on the Galician border will boost rail passenger traffic between Spain and Portugal.

As for freight, the electrification of Salamanca-Vilar Formoso should improve it.
And maybe one could hope for a Madrid-Salamanca-Ciudad Rodrigo-Guarda-Coimbra B Alvia service? Who knows...
After all, both Coimbra and Salamanca (which are two of the oldest universities in Europe) attract a number of students...
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 12:37 AM   #3452
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What is the condition of the line between Merida and Brazatortas?
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 01:16 AM   #3453
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and with the tunneling track record in Spain in such urban environments, it is very unlikely to happen.
What track record?
I understand (and can see on satellite images) that there are a lot of railway tunnels in Spain in cities...
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 01:46 AM   #3454
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What is the condition of the line between Merida and Brazatortas?
Quite bad.

And they improved thanks to thinking that a link in Puertollano was better than a direct train on the classic line
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 02:15 AM   #3455
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That's not correct.

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What is the condition of the line between Merida and Brazatortas?
Excellent between Mérida and Castuera (for 160 km/h).

Worse than bad between Castuera and Brazatortas (40 km/h or less). It's falling to pieces.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 05:41 AM   #3456
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HSR passenger statistics for 2015.

Quote:
Almost 31 million people have travelled on the high-speed services in Spain in 2015

By 2008, at the start of the crisis in Spain, only 16 million people travelled by high-speed rail
Source (in Spanish): Expansión (01/Jan/2016)

Not bad. We've doubled passengers in seven years.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 06:00 AM   #3457
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Do they have plans to build a high-speed connection to Teruel, some 1-track high-speed rail like they did to connect Huesca? I'm thinking of a Cuenca-Teruel link.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 11:26 AM   #3458
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There was a plan to have a Madrid-Valencia via Cuenca-Teruel. It would take 10 min more to Valencia and 30 less to Castellon.

It was dropped and nothing is expected for next five decades (or more)
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 01:35 PM   #3459
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Do they have plans to build a high-speed connection to Teruel, some 1-track high-speed rail like they did to connect Huesca? I'm thinking of a Cuenca-Teruel link.
The plan was to upgrade Zaragoza - Teruel - Valencia and convert it into a HSL. In fact, they upgraded Zaragoza - Teruel 10 years ago, but they didn't electrify it and it remained single-tracked.

The main problem is that Teruel - Valencia will require a brand new line, as the current one has a really bad profile. But of course this project is on-hold, Spain has a bunch of new lines under construction which have more priority than that one.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 01:52 PM   #3460
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So if the Portuguese build the line to Badajoz, would it be expected traffic through Fuentes de Oñoro and Guarda to reduce?
Well, there's only one passenger train each way between Salamanca and Portugal through Fuentes de Oñoro, so any "traffic reduction" would mean closing the line for passenger trains.

Currently, only the Lisbon - Hendaye night train uses that line, and it circulates together with the Lisbon - Madrid night train between Lisbon and Medina del Campo (in order to save costs).

With the opening of Évora - Elvas - Badajoz we can expect that Lisbon - Hendaye will continue using its current route through Fuentes de Oñoro, and that Lisbon - Madrid trains will start using the new route (and hopefully additional services will be introduced).

As 437.001 has pointed out, the lack of railway connection between Évora and Elvas has traditionally rendered rail connections between Madrid and Lisbon quite inefficient.

Quote:
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What is the condition of the line between Merida and Brazatortas?
It's very unlikely that new Madrid - Lisbon services use this line. They will surely use Madrid - Talavera de la Reina- Plasencia - Cáceres - Mérida - Badajoz line.

There were plans to build a gauge changer in Brazatortas for Madrid - Badajoz trains using the Madrid - Sevilla HSL between Madrid and Brazatortas, but those plans were scrapped long time ago. The reason is that the HSL currently under construction between Plasencia and Badajoz will enable better travel times, even if it's not electrified and single-tracked in a first phase.

And of course the new HSL will also serve Plasencia and Cáceres, two cities that would have been left out of the Madrid - Badajoz service, had the Brazatortas gauge changer been built.
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