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Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:59 am Post subject: AVE train link?
Anyone have any up to date (factual) news in respect of the AVE link to Vera. Just read on a website that the tunnel in Almeria has been sealed off and that there has been no further construction of the line during the past 12 months.
Do not read too much into the sealing of the tunnels.
Obviously these very long tunnels could be a safety issue, a target for squatters etc. The "seal" or bricking up can easily be removed if the project resumes.
Branding it a white elephant is harsh, the train link makes sense when all current traffic is via the road system, with all the environmental consequences.
The economic breakdown was not predicted by anyone, the reason for the pause is sensible.. Starting the most expensive sections first, made sense at the time. What was odd was that the total route was never decided or contracts priced for whole of the other bits, before they started the tunnels.
With these projects it always feels as if things are just stopped and forgotten. The truth is that behind the scenes a small army of people are still employed to lobby the politicians, PR the project and rewrite budget plans and research the technology, gather private and public investors etc.
My take on this is that somewhere someone is furiously filling in forms, taking pictures and producing graphs in order to get a huge chunk of the EU infrastructure budget. These projects are started and then put on hold primarily to convince the EU to fund the situation. If it hadn't been started you can easily suggest the country reduces its ambitions, once started it becomes an unfinished infrastructure project and the EU will at some point step in.
This is a game, and a game that Spain has been very good at in the past. You only have to drive the E15 to see the benefits of good lobbying in Brussels.
My prediction is that 2015 will see an announcement that work will continue and that includes the station in Vera.
Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:39 pm Post subject: Response
Some interesting responses here and thank you for your inputs. Firstly the comment re 'white elephant' was not an accusation .... merely a question in terms of 'potential' outcome ... a review of the original posting would be advised accordingly.
I have to lean towards the suggestion that tactical play is being adopted taken by the Spanish in terms of leverage to attract EU funding. The logic behind improving infrastructure to then improve economic growth, leading to a reduction in national debt, is no doubt a persuasive case for Brussels to consider.
We will see how this situation pans out going forward with a high degree of interest.
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