The Fallas Fiesta!!!

How A Spanish City Went Boom, Then Bust

How A Spanish City Went Boom, Then Bust

LISTEN AND READ THE STORY ON:npr

LISTEN1VALENCIA

AVE – HIGH SPEED TRAIN: VALENCIA-MADRID

Spain has become the European leader

in high-speed rail network

Madrid-Valencia-AVE

Spain now hurtles past France as Europe’s high-speed rail leader today as it opens a €6.6-billion line from Madrid (Atocha Station) to Valencia (Joaquín Sorolla Station) , banking on a boost to the economy.

The 438-km route has slashed travel time between the Spanish capital and the Mediterranean port of Valencia, Spain’s third-biggest city, from four hours to just 90 minutes.

The project, built at a cost of €6.6 billion, brings Spain’s high-speed rail network to 2,056 km.

It places Spain ahead of the 1,896 km of high speed rail in France and 1,285 km in Germany, home to Siemens, the world’s largest manufacturer of high-speed trains.

Spain’s high-speed train service, known as Alta Velocidad Espanola (AVE), boasts trains with noses shaped like a duck-billed platypus moving at speeds of up to 300 kph, and it is set to grow further.

Taking into account routes planned or under construction, Spain would be in second place globally with 5,525 km of high speed rail tracks, behind China – the world leader with 13,134 km – but ahead of pioneer Japan with 3,625 km.

“The AVE is very expensive. But it is an investment that generates many jobs and constributes to stimulate the economy, which is good at a time of crisis,” said the director general for travellers at state-owned rail network Renfe.

The new Madrid-Valencia line will create 136,000 jobs directly and indirectly, according to consulting firm Accenture.

But with a population of 47 million people, Spain has fewer potential passengers than France or Germany for its high-speed trains.

Estación Joaquín Sorolla, starting point for the High Speed Train (AVE), between Valencia and Madrid

Map - situation of Joaquín Sorolla Station (AVE Valencia-Madrid)

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