Europe’s £8,100,000,000 high-speed train that puts the UK to shame

Atocha Train Station, Madrid, Spain

Trains in Spain don’t break the bank (Picture: Natalia de la Rubia/Getty)

A luxury high-speed train between two major European cities has put the UK’s creaking rail network to shame.

The £8.1billion line linking Barcelona and Madrid allows passengers to whizz the 385-mile distance in just two and a half hours.

The new leg, connecting the Catalonian capital with Madrid, launched in February 2008 after five years of construction on existing tracks, which are compatible with those in neighbouring France.

And it’s proven popular ever since, carrying 4.4million passengers in 2019 alone.

Locals and tourists alike can enjoy the views on board the train as it zooms at 174mph (280km/h) from Barcelona-Sants, then stops in Zaragoza before finishing at Madrid-Puerta de Atocha.

Where Barcelona, Madrid and Zaragoza are located (Picture: Metro)

Church of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (Picture: Eloi_Omella/Getty)

Travelling by car, the same distance across Spain would take close to seven hours.

And don’t get us started on the cost – or time – of a similar journey across the UK…

UK trains compared

Spain boasts one of the longest high-speed networks in Europe and the second longest in the world, after China.

It spans 2,464 miles compared to the UK’s 67 miles of purpose-built tracks, with only a handful of these built for faster trains.

Trains on the East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line, Midland Main Line and parts of Cross Country Route and West Coast Main Line can reach maximum speeds of 125mph on the upgraded tracks.

This means the 400-mile train journey from London to Edinburgh takes around four and a half hours.

Euston station in London after a signal failure caused severe disruption in April (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Standard tickets on LNER from King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley start from £73 without a Railcard, even when booked weeks in advance.

The purpose-built 67-mile HS1 connecting London with the Channel Tunnel allows trains to travel at up to 186mph (300km/h).

What passengers in Britain are eagerly awaiting is the highly controversial HS2, a high-speed rail network due to be completed in 2033.

But the project been marred by delays and spiraling costs. And now, an entire leg to North West has been cancelled.

Former prime minister Rishi Sunak announced late last year that the high-speed train will run only from London to the West Midlands after the Manchester leg was shelved.

Even previous PMs David Cameron and Boris Johnson criticised the move, saying it signaled that the UK could not make long-term decisions.

The cancelled section of the HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester could be replaced by alternative connections, but it will be up to local leaders like the metro mayors.


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♬ original sound – Joe Leggett

Passengers can choose from three companies …read more

Source:: Metro


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