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Old January 3rd, 2016, 04:10 PM   #3461
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Which classical lines if any are likely to be closed when the currently in progress HSR lines are finished? There are several seemingly very sparsely used lines...
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 05:17 PM   #3462
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Antequera - Granada and Linares-Baeza - Moreda seem quite obvious to me, but maybe they'll remain open due to political reasons.

Zamora - Ourense could close too, but I wouldn't take that for granted.

The only line that so far has closed for passenger services after the opening of a parallel HSL is Córdoba - Fuente de Piedra. It's formally still open, but after regional services were discontinued a couple of years ago there are no passenger trains using that line.

For me it was quite surprising that Aranjuez - Cuenca - Utiel remained open after the opening of Madrid - Cuenca - Valencia HSL.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 06:58 PM   #3463
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Which classical lines if any are likely to be closed when the currently in progress HSR lines are finished? There are several seemingly very sparsely used lines...
Not many, those which have been written above due to freight will remain on classic lines
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 07:35 PM   #3464
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Which classical lines if any are likely to be closed when the currently in progress HSR lines are finished? There are several seemingly very sparsely used lines...
To the ones that arctic_carlos noted, let me add some more lines:

-Miranda de Ebro-Orduña. It is the main classic line to Bilbao.
Just that the section between Miranda and Orduña doesn't generate any passenger traffic, trains simply don't call there.
When the Basque Y opens, all of the passenger trains using it now will move to the new line.
This line must remain open for freight though.

-La Seca (La Robla)-Puente de los Fierros. This is the Pajares pass, the old classic line to Asturias.
It must be kept for freight though, and in case of any incident in the base tunnels.
When the tunnels open between La Seca and Pola de Lena, the travel time between Leon and Pola de Lena will decrease by one hour. Enough said.
Keeping the passenger service going through Busdongo is useless.

-Ourense-O Carballiño-Santiago de Compostela. The classic line, still open, but only just. Could end up closing for passengers in the end. Or not, who knows.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
Antequera - Granada
I wouldn't be so sure about it, although it's a possibility, but then there are the Granada-Algeciras trains.

Anyway, they massacred the stations between Loja and Granada many years ago, the idiots, which were the ones that could give passengers.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
and Linares-Baeza - Moreda seem quite obvious to me, but maybe they'll remain open due to political reasons.
This one is definitely candidate nº1.
And not just for passengers, this could very well be a total closure.

Exception made of the Talgo Madrid-Almeria, it is the most useless railway line in the country.
Plenty of lines that would have given thousands, or even millions more passengers than this one have been closed, this one has remained.
If it stays open, then it means some heads up in the Ministry really need a doctor.

It could only stay open for touristic purpose, because the route is rather beautiful, but just for that, for everything else, Linares-Moreda is a waste of space.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
Zamora - Ourense could close too, but I wouldn't take that for granted.
I agree. I can still see a Valladolid-Ourense regional service.

But it could as well close.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
The only line that so far has closed for passenger services after the opening of a parallel HSL is Córdoba - Fuente de Piedra. It's formally still open, but after regional services were discontinued a couple of years ago there are no passenger trains using that line.
Which was a disgrace, this one should have been kept open.

This is more a case of not wanting to work to get the best out of it.
And I suspect it has more to do with Seville than with Madrid, if you get me.

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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
For me it was quite surprising that Aranjuez - Cuenca - Utiel remained open after the opening of Madrid - Cuenca - Valencia HSL.
Not to me. It still makes sense, even more now that it reaches Valencia Nord again. And between Cuenca and Aranjuez the area is definitely not empty.
I wouldn't be surprised if it closed between Cuenca and Utiel, but I can also see it being kept open. Moreover, if they upgraded it, it would give loads more passengers than it does now.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 08:16 PM   #3465
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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.
Forget about any Cuenca-Teruel link. Too mountainous, too expensive, too unpopulated.

No way such a line is going to be built.

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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.
Teruel-Valencia is not going to happen anytime soon.

It is a similar case to Teruel-Cuenca. Too mountainous, too expensive and too unpopulated.

Alright, that's the Zaragoza-Teruel-Valencia line, but they're building a chord in Tarragona to allow Valencia-Cambrils-Zaragoza high-speed services, and going through Tarragona is much more of an advantage, as that means running through Castellon and Lleida too, connecting three areas which are more populated and which aren't connected right now.

Zaragoza-Teruel should be upgraded though, that section really does allow for a better speed.
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Old January 4th, 2016, 02:18 AM   #3466
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Thanks all for detailed discussion. There are few more lines which have so little passenger traffic that one could as well say none. For example, I found just a single train going from Huelva to Merida and then continuing to Madrid. Is it really worth keeping this train? From Huelva Madrid is much easier and faster reachable via Sevilla and Merida also has few more connections to Madrid plus will have more when the current sections of HSL are in service. All those small towns in between pretty much have to rely on buses and cars anyway...
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Old January 4th, 2016, 03:24 AM   #3467
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Thanks all for detailed discussion. There are few more lines which have so little passenger traffic that one could as well say none. For example, I found just a single train going from Huelva to Merida and then continuing to Madrid. Is it really worth keeping this train? From Huelva Madrid is much easier and faster reachable via Sevilla and Merida also has few more connections to Madrid plus will have more when the current sections of HSL are in service. All those small towns in between pretty much have to rely on buses and cars anyway...
Looking at some of Renfe's schedules and routes, it strikes me that they haven't ever really sat down and worked out where demand exceeds services provided, where there is over-supply, and how to really integrate AVE and classic services.

The passenger timetables and routing really need a thorough cleanup. There are lots of those once or twice daily long-distance routes that really don't make economic sense. Without a decent frequency, even if the route itself is logical, no one is going to use it. The problem is, I imagine that any drastic changes would be politically toxic, and would involve giving some attention to the classic network. It's frustrating as the classic lines can act as feeder traffic into AVE routes if regional and cercanias services were boosted - i.e. Huelva-Sevilla, Cadiz-Sevilla etc.
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Old January 4th, 2016, 08:55 AM   #3468
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Thanks all for detailed discussion. There are few more lines which have so little passenger traffic that one could as well say none. For example, I found just a single train going from Huelva to Merida and then continuing to Madrid. Is it really worth keeping this train? From Huelva Madrid is much easier and faster reachable via Sevilla and Merida also has few more connections to Madrid plus will have more when the current sections of HSL are in service. All those small towns in between pretty much have to rely on buses and cars anyway...
This is a Public Service train, and hard to believe as it seems, some people actually use it to go to/from Madrid from the intermediate stations between Huelva and Merida. It's not a daily train, btw.

The line is rather scenic between Huelva and Zafra, so if you ever have the chance...

But it's not a line that will be affected by any HSL, so if it did close, I would tell you about it in the other thread.

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Looking at some of Renfe's schedules and routes, it strikes me that they haven't ever really sat down and worked out where demand exceeds services provided, where there is over-supply, and how to really integrate AVE and classic services.
Demand doesn't exceed services provided on any line in service and fully operational. Least of all in times of crisis.
But we're growing in passengers and patronage, and HSR plays its part in that, and it's not small.

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Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
The passenger timetables and routing really need a thorough cleanup.
That might come if need be. Not thoroughly, though, that's not needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
There are lots of those once or twice daily long-distance routes that really don't make economic sense.
Like which ones?

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Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
Without a decent frequency, even if the route itself is logical, no one is going to use it.
Without a decent demography or geography, not many people would use it anyway.

On the other hand, Renfe (and Spain in general) is not exactly swimming in €500 notes at the moment, so they have to do what they can.
And no, they don't always do as best they could. But they do better than many think.

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The problem is, I imagine that any drastic changes would be politically toxic, and would involve giving some attention to the classic network. It's frustrating as the classic lines can act as feeder traffic into AVE routes if regional and cercanias services were boosted
As a matter of fact, they're going in that direction wherever it's feasible (it's not always the case).
And it's not something that can be done overnight, as you'll understand.

On the other hand, the demography and the geography of the country are particularly tricky, and let's not forget that, to make matters worse, those two, for all things railway, always go hand in hand.

I don't think the rail network of another European country can be compared to Spain's without the comparison becoming a bit too rich, far-fetched, or unfounded.

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- i.e. Huelva-Sevilla, Cadiz-Sevilla etc.
Cadiz-Seville is actually a big feeder for the Madrid-Seville HSL already, not to talk about the fact of the Alvia services from Cadiz to Madrid and beyond.

Huelva-Seville... been there, man? Because the geography on that line is not the ideal. To correct that you need to invest a huge sum, or keep things the way they are... or wait for an unlikely demographical/economical miracle.

Believe it or not, we know what we're doing. We just don't come from the same place as other countries that had better luck in the 19th and 20th centuries, and are flatter.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 04:53 AM   #3469
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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.
Impossible, a decent new railway between Cuenca and Teruel would have required 40-50% of the whole route in tunnels or in other words 20-30 km of tunnels to serve a city half the size of Toledo, also between Teruel and Sagunto the new railway would require at the very least 45-50 km of tunnels including one over 30km long.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:06 AM   #3470
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Update | Madrid-Galicia HSL.

It's been a while.
Today I've got some time to post some images again.

First, a few images on the sections still in works.

Section Pedralba de la Pradería-Ourense

This is the future A Gudiña station. Unless it finally doesn't become a station, that is.

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Originally Posted by Pepo15 View Post


Section Zamora-Pedralba de la Pradería

This is the viaduct just before entering the tunnel under Puebla de Sanabria station (which would be on the left of the image).
Left, towards Ourense/Santiago. Right, towards Zamora/Madrid.
Image taken in September 2015.

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Originally Posted by CapiARJ View Post


Subsection Otero de Bodas-Mombuey, near the village of Ferreras de Abajo.

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Originally Posted by elburgo View Post
Looking towards Zamora:



Looking towards Ourense:



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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:11 AM   #3471
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Update | Madrid-Galicia HSL.

Now, some images of the Zamora gauge changer, still under tests (with a class S-730 in the images).

In a few days it should be open, and then all the Alvia services to/from Vigo, Corunna and Ferrol will start using the new HSL between Olmedo junction and Zamora.
For now only the new Alvia Madrid-Zamora uses the new section, the others still run on the classic line.

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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:25 AM   #3472
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Update | Madrid-Galicia HSL.

Finally, some images of the new Medina del Campo-AV station.
The HSL is already open here, but not the station which is still in works, not open yet. This is a parkway station, not in the city centre.
And it is the junction for Alvia trains bound for Salamanca, which leave the HSL here, and through a new branch line including a new gauge changer they enter the Medina del Campo to Salamanca classic line.

In Spain we go from 0 to 100, then back from 100 to 0.
After building spaceship-like stations, now the crisis has forced us to switch to... this:

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Originally Posted by jmortizz View Post
Everything starts on this road. To the right, the sign shows us the way to the, erm... station.





Truly a high-capacity motorway:





...which leads us to the magnificent facility:





The most interesting architectural feature will be the station building, with its massive ticket offices and shelters. Nice for the cold, snowy Castilian winter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by elburgo View Post






Needless to say, it is (extremely) provisory. Anyway:
But the national bile, combined with wit, has already given a few opinions about the station, comparing it to things such as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by palme86 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caolín View Post

Note that the last image is actually a ticket office ("taquilla" in Spanish).
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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:40 AM   #3473
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Update | Madrid-Galicia HSL.

Section Zamora-Pedralba de la Pradería

Images taken between the villages of Asturianos and Cernadilla.

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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:57 AM   #3474
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Update | Monforte del Cid (Alicante)-Crevillent(-Murcia) HSL

And now we move from Northwestern Spain to Southeastern Spain.

Images taken between Monforte del Cid junction and Elche, on the HSL to Murcia.

Optimistic inner sources say "maybe June 2016".

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Old January 7th, 2016, 03:25 AM   #3475
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Be thankful you have HSR at all. The US is dragging its heels as much as it can.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 03:29 AM   #3476
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Be thankful you have HSR at all. The US is dragging its heels as much as it can.
Apples and oranges.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 12:58 PM   #3477
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Be thankful you have HSR at all. The US is dragging its heels as much as it can.
But you have Elon Musk who is self-funding the Hyperloop prototype, and with his track record (SpaceX, Solar City, Tesla motors) I would not be surprised to see it materialize within a resonable timeframe.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #3478
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Apples and oranges.
Not really. Both are first world countries. But Spain managed to lay tracks and open a line in 1992, while the US did nothing but flail about.

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But you have Elon Musk who is self-funding the Hyperloop prototype, and with his track record (SpaceX, Solar City, Tesla motors) I would not be surprised to see it materialize within a resonable timeframe.
Hahaha. What.

First of all, Elon Musk isn't funding anything other than the test track.

Second of all, everybody has lemons and this appears to be his. The ideas behind hyperloop have been around for 170 years (1840 literature, 1860 prototype) and its never gotten off the ground for very good reasons. Hyperloop is overly-complex, and the budget would be orders of magnitude beyond what is being hyped.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 05:24 PM   #3479
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But you have Elon Musk who is self-funding the Hyperloop prototype, and with his track record (SpaceX, Solar City, Tesla motors) I would not be surprised to see it materialize within a resonable timeframe.
Hyperloop has some pretty significant safety and capacity issues it needs to iron out (e.g., explosive decompression if any part of the metal tubes are ruptured, low-capacity vehicles without adequate stopping distance, etc.), as well as a way to address the same issues conventional high-speed rail faces (e.g., high construction and astronomical land acquisition costs) before it could be seen as an adequate contender for transportation.

Elon Musk is a smart man, so I assume that his chimerically low cost estimates for Hyperloop come from his desire to attract investors and interested politicians and less from a misunderstanding of how and why infrastructure costs as much as it does.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 07:41 PM   #3480
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Finally, some images of the new Medina del Campo-AV station.
The HSL is already open here, but not the station which is still in works, not open yet. This is a parkway station, not in the city centre.
And it is the junction for Alvia trains bound for Salamanca, which leave the HSL here, and through a new branch line including a new gauge changer they enter the Medina del Campo to Salamanca classic line.

In Spain we go from 0 to 100, then back from 100 to 0.
After building spaceship-like stations, now the crisis has forced us to switch to... this:
That's the last of the problems. The first is the idiot location...
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