The Anonymous Widower

Conference Calls For More Freight Routes To And From Spain

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

Salvador Galve, Chairman of the Railway Commission of the General Council of Industrial Engineers, presented the European Alliance for the Development of Railway Corridors in the Iberian Peninsula initiative at a conference held in Madrid on March 9.

These are some points from the article.

  • Less than 4% of freight is currently transported by rail in Spain, compared with an average of 18% across the EU.
  • The Spanish government wants to raise this to 20%.
  • Incidentally, in the UK, rail freight is at a level of 5 %.
  • Italy has seven main lines connecting it to its neighbours, Spain has only two!
  • Spain also has a break of gauge, whereas the UK and Italy do not!
  • Plans exist for more freight corridors in Spain, and linking these to ports in North Africa and logistics hubs in the rest of Europe.
  • Zaragoza, could be turned into a key southern European logistics hub, linked by tunnels to the main line between Toulouse and Bordeaux.

But to me the most interesting plan is set out in this paragraph.

On March 1 the Infrastructure Ministry gave its provisional approval for study into the feasibility of converting the single track, non-electrified line from Huesca to Canfranc from 1 668 mm gauge to 1 435 mm gauge, ahead of any possible reconstruction of the through route to Pau in France in the longer term.

It has always been on my bucket list to visit the magnificent Canfranc station.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Remodelled Station Opens In Canfranc Ahead Of Reopening Of Cross-Border Link

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

On April 15, a RENFE DMU carrying invited guests from Zaragoza became the first train to arrive at the remodelled and relocated station in Canfranc, marking a further step in the long-running plan to reinstate the railway through the Pyrénées mountains linking Pau with Huesca.

I have an ambition to visit Canfranc station, where the Spanish and French railways meet at one of the largest stations in Europe.

  • On the French side the Pau-Canfranc Railway is gradually being reopened.
  • On the Spanish side there is a railway to Zaragoza, from where there are high speed trains to Barcelona and Madrid.

Both routes appear to be mainly single-track

There would appear to be pressure for reopening  the full route In a Section entitled Renovation and Reopening, Wikipedia says this.

In present economic development, the transport route beneath the Aspe peak via the Gave d’Aspe valley is changing from a relatively unknown into a major transport channel. This is not only due to the regional pressure between Bordeaux and Zaragoza (which on the Spanish side alone has a regional population of 1 million people), but also the importance of the international route between Paris and Valencia. These economic pressures – in part driven by the General Motors plant located in Zaragoza – have in recent years resulted in heavy truck and car traffic on the roads of the upper Gave d’Aspe valley, and an increased number of accidents.

Sounds like this indicates a powerful case.

Madrid And London By The Scenic Rail Route

The route would be as follows.

  • Madrid and Zaragoza by High Speed Train.
  • Zaragoza and Canfranc by local train  through the mountains.
  • Canfranc and Pau by local train  through the mountains.
  • Pau and Paris by TGV
  • Paris and London via Eurostar.

Note.

  1. According to the Railway Gazette, a luxury hotel is being built at Canfranc.
  2. Bordeaux is a good city for an overnight stop.
  3. Prior to the covids, Eurostar were hoping to run a direct London and Bordeaux service.

I hope to do this trip in the next couple of years.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments