Spanish rail overtakes the rest of Europe

A new section of a high speed line between Madrid and Valencia is set to open this weekend, pushing the Spanish high-speed rail network past that of rivals such as France and Japan in terms of track length.

This week saw the inauguration of the section of the new track between Madrid and Cuenca and Albacete, a journey time of two hours using the country's high speed AVE trains.

When the full link opens between Madrid's Puerta de Atocha and Valencia on December 19, journey time will be cut to 95 minutes from 3 hours 25 minutes, with trains travelling at 300 km/h along most of the lines.

Thirty trains every day will carry an estimated 11,000 people between the two cities, with a standard single ticket starting from around €80.

The opening of the new line will give Spain one of the world's largest high-speed rail networks, second only to China's gargantuan CRH system.

With Madrid connected to 23 Spanish cities using 2,056 kilometres of track, it pushes Spain past the 1,896 km of track used by the French TGV system.

http://www.renfe.com/

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