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25 years of high-speed rail in Spain: a beacon of international reference

10 May 2017  •  Author(s): Pedro Fortea, Director of Mafex – the Spanish Railway Association

High-speed rail in Spain is now 25 years old. With more than 3,100km in commercial operation, it is not only one of the largest but also one of the best equipped lines with the most advanced breakthroughs in innovation and design. The network’s length in kilometres ranks first in Europe and second in the world, just behind China. Here, Pedro Fortea, Director of Mafex – the Spanish Railway Association, explains how Spain’s extensive experience and continued developments with high-speed rail make the country a worldwide reference model. 

25 years of high-speed rail in Spain: a beacon of international reference

Since 1992, Spain’s operational high-speed rail network has grown from 470km of track to more than 3,100km and this mode now reaches 47 cities. At present 67.4% of the Spanish population has access to high-speed in their province. Spain’s high-speed rail success is recognised worldwide and the Spanish railway industry – including its sub-sectors that contribute to high-speed rail projects – are leading international reference points.

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