The trouble is that so many resources are diverted to the high speed lines and the commuter lines, that the secondary lines are falling apart.
As anyone who’s travelled on the Almería line can testify.
The independent commission setup to investigate the safety of Spain’s railways (Comisión de Accidentes Ferroviarios (CIAF)) uncovered the problem and has highlighted dozens of near misses over the last few years.
But ADIF says there’s nothing it can do without an emergency grant from the government.
There are some 1.192 km of secondary lines across Spain, and the worse two are the Ferrol – Bilbao and Balmaseda – Rioja lines.
ADIF owes about 17 billion euros in state debt, and 90% of its budget goes towards maintaining the AVE high speed trainlines (some 2,400 km of it). What’s left is spent according to the traffic on the line, with a bit left over to be pinched by middle management, in the time honoured fashion.