Talk about gilding the lilly… The report from the Almería chamber of commerce into the provincial need for a high speed railway train has reported back, and a minimum of 3 return trips a day to Madrid are needed, for all the thousands of eager young businesspeople who need to flock to and fro the national capital for the business deals.
(Haven’t these people heard of the internet?)
José Cano from Asempel reminds us that 3 return trips a day need not be considered insufficient. “At peaks times we can always up the frequency to allow for more passenger capacity” he said confidently. “The projected capacity is sufficient for a private company to take over the running of the railway” he added happily, as I wrote about recently (the Almería AVE will be the first privately run one in Spain, it seems).
What planet are these people on? 3 return trips to Madrid daily, and they’re already planning more capacity for this non-existent, ruinously expensive and unnecessary high speed train link? The daily flight to Madrid is usually less than half full and needs to be underwritten (at great cost to the taxpayer).
Unicaja’s thinktank Analistas Económicos de Andalucía has now been contracted to look at proposals and see if they’re “realistic”. Yup, let’s get a bank to see if projected returns underwritten by the public purse are “realistic”.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, a public company called Port Rail Almanzora has been setup to oversee the management of an eventual link from farms in this area to the train network. Farmers coops reckon the railway will take 150 lorries a day off the roads by allowing farmers to ship their produce out of the Almanzora by railway. A similar organisation is to be setup to manage the “dry port” in Níjar which will ship everything out from that region.
The projected single track railway will allow some 30 trains a day to run on it – if they don’t all have to get out of the way to allow the empty high speed trains to glide majestically by at 302 kph. (Although the top speed on this crummy route will be about half that).