The tribunal de cuentas, the people in charge of auditing government accounts (strikes me they could do more with a slide rule, but still) have said the AVE investment programme is unsustainable and recommended that all investment in the project be dropped. Spain has over 3.000 km of high speed railway but is insisting upon building more and more. The current track runs at a loss – the operating debt of the state company (ADIF) Continue reading Budget ombudsman begs Government to stop wasting money on more AVE track
The local PP party is jubilant at the news that a section of high speed railway between Almeria and Murcia looks set to be contracted out by next year. The abandoned railway, which has cost the state over a billion euros (the tunnels and all), has been sitting mouldering in the sun for the last few years after the cash ran out. Earlier this year, ADIF, the railways operator, ordered the tunnels to be sealed Continue reading AVE train promises ahead of elections
120 million euros is needed this year to maintain Spain’s older railway lines to a minimum state warns a leaked document from the railway operator ADIF. 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 AVE tunnels under the Cabrera mountains in Sorbas are being sealed up, in order to protect them and save costs until work on the line can be restarted. ADIF, the railways operator, recognising that Almería probably won’t see a high speed train this decade, has decided the best thing to do is wall them up so it doesn’t have to worry about kids getting in, etc.
Here’s an interesting fact for you: Spain has this year cut spending on the expansion of its AVE network by 2.214 million euros. That’s money that was supposed to have been spent this year, but now won’t be. That’s equivalent to: more than the budget for the National Education Ministry; half the National Defense budget; about the same as the non-contributive Pensions budget; 3% of GNP. The graph above explains in brief where the cuts Continue reading Spain finally admits it just can’t afford the AVE network
100 million euros worth of contracts to build parts of the Extremadura high speed train AVE network have been suspended after the Ministry of Development found “irregularities” in the awarding of the contracts. Above, the Minister for Development, Ana Pastora, in front of part of the contracted line which is now suspended. Translations: They found kickbacks to someone who is no longer in political favour? It seems that the companies who won the contract were Continue reading AVE contracts suspended after corruption suspected
A leaked document from ADIF, the railways operator, that Ideal newspaper got hold of, appears to confirm that those in power have no plans whatsoever to continue with the Almeria high speed train link. “Not one cent more for the railway in the province” according to Ideal. The document, which is a high level strategy document adjusting the national strategy for railways, says that the AVE to Murcia should be finished off, and then the Continue reading Leaked railways document confirms no plans for Almeria’s AVE
The government has announced that it is to break RENFE, the national railways operator, up into four distinct business groups, and will permit private groups to operate rail services in Spain. The operation will be complete by July 2013. Spain currently has three public companies operating its railways: Renfe, the train operator, FEVE, which operates narrow gauge lines and ADIF, which maintains the network. FEVE will be dissolved and its operations passed to Adif and Continue reading RENFE to be broken up and private companies allowed onto Spanish railways
Jacobo Armero maintains a blog page with thoughts and comments on the new AVE train line here: http://zonalevantealmeriense.blogspot.com/ He pointed me in the direction of the new ADIF page updating people on the Almeria – Murcia connection, which is here: http://www.adif.es/es_ES/infraestructuras/lineas_de_alta_velocidad/almeria_murcia/almeria_murcia.shtml ADIF say (no idea if it’s true, let me know) that they have an information point in the Murcia del Carmen train station for the Almería AVE. 9-14 and 16-19 weekdays, it seems.