High speed Madrid-Seville, the beginning of a journey of 30 years and 57,000 million investment | companies

The 30 years of history of high speed in Spain, since the April 21, 1992 was launched the first commercial trip between Madrid and Sevilleleave behind an effort of 57.2 billion to weave a network of 3,728 kilometers, the second in the world by extension, after that of China.

That first line, 470 kilometers long, required 3,250 million (30% of the budget was gone) and it was the largest railway engineering work carried out until then in this country. With what was the longest high-speed shaft in Europe came milestones such as the electrification (25 KV in alternating current compared to 3,000 V in direct current of the Spanish railway), signaling german (LZB) or the fiber optic communications.

Three decades later, high speed is a symbol of sustainable transport (100% of the energy that drives it is renewable), its traffic promises to skyrocket with the liberalization which started last year, and new lines continue to come into service, such as the Madrid-Galicia, or the forthcoming extensions to Burgos and Murcia. The four developments already being tested by Adif will increase the international track width to 4,000 kilometers this year.

Construction work, in the 1990s, on the Madrid-Seville line.

As happened on the inaugural trip, today there is talk of an infrastructure that sews the country together. The Minister of Transport, Rachel Sancheztravels this morning to Seville with the presidents of Adif, Marisa Domínguezand Renfe, Isaiah Tables. “Contrary to what is sometimes said, the high-speed train is not a means of selective use, but of massive use”, warned the minister Jose Barrionuevo on the maiden voyage. In the 1980s, the then Minister of the Interior played an essential role in the 1986 Railway Transport Plan. José Borrell who executed the program, who was looking for a train capable of running at 200 per hour.

“AVE is a benchmark for high speed worldwide and since its creation it has transported more than 464 million passengers,” Raquel Sánchez recalled yesterday on her Twitter account. Renfe is now evolving its offer with the renewal of the fleet and the entry into play of the service low cost Lobby. This is the answer to two new players: Ouigoalready on the tracks, and Thatscheduled for release in November.

new investments

This first line to Andalusia is, in the words of Adif, a symbol of quality and is undergoing improvements for 650 million to maintain high reliability standards. These works, together with those carried out in other corridors, raise the budget for work in progress to 11,500 million, to which 12,000 million will be added until 2025.

The vice president in 1992, Narcís Serra, led the procession that traveled on the first AVE to Seville.
The vice president in 1992, Narcís Serra, led the procession that traveled on the first AVE to Seville.

The Madrid-Seville route was the result of studies, in the eighties, to solve the saturation of the Despeñaperros pass in the connections between the center and the south. Japan already had more than 20 years of experience with trips between Tokyo and Osaka (515 kilometers) at more than 200 kilometers per hour. And France had opened between 1981 and 1983 the Paris-Lyon axis (426 kilometers) with trains at 270 per hour. All this, with integration into the EEC in the background, led to think of a high speed that placed Spain at the forefront.


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