AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Europe’s new HSR leader

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Spain officially became Europe’s high-speed rail leader last Sunday when it opened its US$8.6bn line from Madrid to Valencia. </span> <p>The 438km route means Spain now has the densest network of high-speed rail in Europe, bringing the country’s total length of high-speed rail track to 2056km, ahead of France’s 1285km and Germany’s 1285km.</p><p>The new route will slash the travel time between the Spanish capital and the Mediterranean port of Valencia from four hours to just 90 minutes.</p><p>Spanish operator Renfe expects 4.5 million people to take the high-speed train, known as the Alta Velocidad Espanola (AVE), on the new line in 2011.</p><p>The train boasts speeds of up to 300 km/h.</p><p>Renfe sold 74,562 tickets for the new route during the first month of marketing.</p><p>Spain’s main AVE lines have so far linked Madrid with Barcelona and Seville.</p><p>Spain has reportedly set an ambitous target of having 90% of its population living within 50km of a high-speed railway station by 2020.<br />&nbsp</p>