• Spain continues to build high-speed lines

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by lpetrich
Spain inaugurates Galicia high-speed line | International Railway Journal - on April 18. Illustrated with a picture of a train going across one of its bridges, an under-deck truss bridge with the truss being painted light green. A rather atypical color. Also, A Coruña - Vigo upgrade completed - Railway Gazette

It runs Vigo - Santiago de Compostela, adding to the existing SdC - A Coruña line to complete the Atlantic Axis (Eje Atlántico). That line (Vigo - A Coruña) is about 155.6 km long, with both new and upgraded parts, and it is 21.8 km shorter than the original route. It has 37 tunnels, totaling about 59.2km, with its longest one being 8.25 km long. That one runs from Vigo's new Vigo-Urzaiz station. It also has 32 "major" bridges, including a 2.4-km viaduct across the Sar River. It reduces end-to-end travel times 50m to 1h 20m. Its current top speed is 200 km/h, but will be increased to 220 km/h when ETCS is installed, and to 250 km/h when it is converted to standard gauge. Finally, it is double-tracked and electrified.

The Atlantic Axis, along with SdC - Ourense, are both in Iberian gauge, and both are to be converted to standard gauge when the main HSR network is built out to it.

Spain to open 800km of high-speed lines in 2015 | International Railway Journal
New lines that will open the northwest include Olmedo - Zamora - Sanabria (210km), Valladolid - Venta de Baños – León (163km) and the 50km Pajares Base Tunnel. To cut construction costs, Adif has installed standard-gauge single track on several sections of the first two lines, even though both have been designed and built to accommodate a double-track formation.

On the Pajares bypass, only one of the two tubes will open after 10 years of construction due to difficulties in controlling water ingress, and this will only be used by broad-gauge trains.
The Olmedo - Zamora - Sanabria line branches off of the Madrid - Valladolid line a little south of Valladolid, and goes about 2/3 of the way to Ourense. The Pajares tunnel is in the remaining 1/3.

Also to be opened:
  • Venta de Baños - Burgos (75 km), though it may not be done this year
  • Monforte del Cid (near Alicante) - Murcia (62 km)
  • Granada - Antequera (Córdoba - Málaga line) (100 km)
  • Sevilla - Cádiz (145 km) upgrade
  • Plasencia – Badajoz (165 km) (western half of Madrid - Portugal) - single-track, Iberian-gauge, non-electrified
  by lpetrich
Spain to open first single-track high-speed line | International Railway Journal
Valladolid - León HS line opens without ETCS | International Railway Journal
It opened 2015 Sept 30. It is standard-gauge, and partially single-track, though built for double-track along its length. It is double-track for the 57 km between Valladolid and Palencia, and half of the 110 km of trackage between Palencia and León is single-track.

Its top speed is now 200 km/h, and it will go up to 300 km/h when ETCS is installed on it.

Spain opens Olmedo - Zamora high-speed line | International Railway Journal
Olmedo is near Valladolid, and where the line branches off from the existing high-speed line there. The line is 98.6km long, with double-track parts at its ends, 21.6 km and 9.2 km long. The 68.2 km central part is single-track with a passing siding, though it is designed for double-tracking.

Like the Valladolid - León line, its top speed is now 200 km/s, to be bumped up to 300 km/s when ETCS is installed.
  by lpetrich
Spanish premier inaugurates Valencia - Castellón HS extension
SPAIN’s prime minister Mr Mariano Rajoy officially inaugurated a 72km extension to the country’s high-speed network from Valencia to Castellón on the Mediterranean Corridor on January 22 ahead of the start of commercial services on January 23.
It is a dual-gauge line, having both Iberian gauge and standard gauge. It is on Spain's east coast.

AVE - Wikipedia lists some under-construction lines. By opening date:

2018: Alicante - Murcia (east coast), Venta de Baños (between Valladolid and León) - Burgos (north), Antequera (between Córdoba and Málaga) - Granada, some of the Madrid - Jaén line

2019: Zamora - Ourense (northwest), Tarragona - Vandellós (east coast, north), Valencia - Murcia (east coast, south)

2020: Antequera - Sevilla, Plasencia - Badajoz (west)

2023: Burgos - Vitoria - Bilbao, San Sebastian (northeast), Murcía - Almería (east coast, south), Madrid - Plasencia (west)
  by lpetrich
AVE - Wikipedia - Alta Velocidad Española - "Spanish High Speed"
Alta velocidad ferroviaria en España - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre - in Spanish - "High-speed railways in Spain"

LAV = Línea de alta velocidad - "High-speed line"

I'm fluent in two languages: English and autotranslator.

I notice a pattern in their construction.

The first Spanish high-speed line, Madrid - Seville, was built in 1992. The next one was over 10 years later, in 2003. It was Madrid - Lleida, followed in 2006 by Lleida - Tarragona, and in 2008 by Tarragona - Barcelona, completing the Madrid - Barcelona line.

Madrid - Lleida was followed by at least one opening a year extending to the present day, and likely continuing for at least the next few years.
  by lpetrich
Track gauge is an interesting issue. The Madrid-Sevilla line was the first standard-gauge line opened in Spain. Standard gauge is 4' 8 1/2" or 1435 mm, while most Spanish and Portuguese rail lines use Iberian gauge or 5' 5 1/2" or 1,664 mm. Spain also has some meter-gauge lines.

All the subsequent high-speed lines use standard gauge, with only a few exceptions.

Some of them were built in Iberian gauge, with the possibility of making them standard or dual gauge. South: Sevilla - Cádiz. Northwest: Ourense - Santiago de Compostela - Vigo, La Coruña.

One line is an upgraded old line: near Barcelona - near Alicante.
  by David Benton
One would think standard gauge would be the logical choice, dual gauge 2nd , and Iberian gauge last.
I wonder if politics play a part in the choices?
  by lpetrich
David Benton wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:22 pm One would think standard gauge would be the logical choice, dual gauge 2nd , and Iberian gauge last.
I wonder if politics play a part in the choices?
I think that it was a desire to make those tracks immediately usable. When they were built, the high-speed lines in NW Spain were not connected to the rest of the nation's high-speed network. Construction history:
  • 2007: Madrid - Valladolid (std g)
  • 2011: Santiago de Compostela - A Coruña (Iber g)
  • 2011: Santiago de C - Ourense (Iber g)
  • 2015: Olmedo (near Valladolid) - Zamora (std g)
  • 2015: Santiago de C - Vigo (Iber g)
  • 2020: Zamora - Sanabria (std g)
  • 2021: Sanabria - Ourense (std g) -- will open soon
  by lpetrich
AVE - Wikipedia - Spain's high-speed-rail system
Alta velocidad ferroviaria en España - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre - in Spanish

In Madrid, a third tunnel between the Puerta de Atocha (south) station and the Chamartín (north) stations. The first two have Iberian gauge and the third one will have standard gauge. Trains to N and NW use Chamartín and trains to NE, E, SE, S, and SW use Atocha, and the new tunnel will permit N - S through service for high-speed trains. It's expected to open in the first quarter of next year.

Here are the estimated opening dates that I've found:
  • 2022: Madrid tunnel
  • North, northeast, northwest
    • 2022: (Vallladolid - ) Venta de Baños - Burgos
    • 2023: San Sebastián - Irún - French border
    • 2026: Basque Y - Pamplona
    • 2027: Vitoria - Bilbao - San Sebastián (Basque Y)
    • ?: León - La Robla - Poia de Lena - Gijón
    • ?: Burgos - Vitoria
    • ?: Palencia - Reinosa
    • ?: Zaragoza - Pamplona
  • East, southeast:
    • 2022: Valencia - Alicante, (Alicante - ) Orihuela - Murcia
    • 2026: Murcia - Almería
  • Southwest:
    • 2022: Plasencia - Badajoz
    • ?: Toledo - Talayuela - Plasencia