Page 6 - Vía Libre Special - 25 Years of Spanish High Speed Rail
P. 6


             years of Spanish high speed rail

                                                                 with the AVE. The cities now reached by high speed
                                                                 rail have also benefited from more tourism and
                                                                 more conferences; in short they have been placed
                                                                 on the world map of attractive destinations.
                                                                      But  high  speed rail  has  also  had other
                                                                 collateral effects on the rail system, such as freeing
                                                                 up  capacity  on  conventional  lines  for  freight
                                                                 services (a freight train from Madrid to Seville now
                                                                 takes half the time to cover the distance than it did
                                                                 in 1990), the possibility of increasing frequencies
                                                                 on suburban lines, the provision of feeder traffic
                                                                 to regional lines, etc.
                                                                      And looking further afield than the rail
                                                                 system itself, high speed rail has enabled Spain to
                                                                 develop its own technology backed by a specialized
                                                                 industry which has become cutting edge globally,
                                                                 while Spanish engineering firms have triumphed
                                                                 the world over with the knowhow acquired in the

                                                                                Spain’s competitive

                                                                        advantage in high speed

                                                                       rail has been achieved by

                                                                         combining technologies

                                                                              from various sources

                                                                           and obtaining the best

                                                                     performance and the most

                                                                  effective knowledge transfer.

                                                                 process of implementing high speed rail in Spain.
                                                                      We are now at the beginning of the second
                                                                 quarter century of high speed rail in Spain. This is
                                                                 a challenge for which we are far better prepared
                                                                 now than we were 25 years ago. Even so there will
                                                                 still be some uncharted territory and difficulties to
                                                                 face, but also some marvellous opportunities. The
                                                                 digitization of society, environmental challenges,
                                                                 and the development of other transport modes
                                                                 will make it necessary to work hard to retain
                                                                 our leadership position, to ensure that in the
                                                                 21st century the railway continues to be the
                                                                 most efficient and socially most useful mode of
                                                                 transport. That high speed rail continues to deliver
                                                                 its “miraculous” effects of multiplying passenger
                                                                 numbers and benefits to society, while reducing
                                                                 costs and becoming a potential tool for improving
                                                                 people’s quality of life.

               6  Vía Libre • Special 25th Anniversary of the AVE Edition
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11