Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Girona? Didn't heard of it, but sounds strange: to my knowledge, the high-speed section there (in tunnel, along with the new line) didn't even begin construction!

On the other hand, you mentioned Pharaonic PP projects, I mentioned cheap projects, and the worst combination was the Madrid-Barcelona line, so bad it is put up as bad example across Europe:

  • On the already opened section until Lleida, dismissing geologists, near Zaragoza the line was built upon a limestone plateau in which there are constantly implosions caused by water - one happened just next to the line when opening, causing speed restrictions (maybe you heard this?).

  • Also on the opened section, Aznar's government boldly went for betting on the first European installation of the new all-European train control/signalling system ERTMS Level 2, just handing the tender to the cheapest offer from Ansaldo/Italy. But the technology just couldn't come out of its teething troubles, not Ansaldo's version, and not even until today, and the standard Spanish system had to be installed as back-up - meaning much slower speeds...

  • On the Lleida-Barcelona section, again dismissing the warnings of geologists, the line was planned to run down from the mountains towards the Mediterranean along the simplest route, on the side of a valley - but that valley side is instable, it is moving, and two tunnels were badly deformed in just a few months - with years of delay and a hundred million extra cost, some emergency solution was needed...

  • Meanwhile, the agreement with the Barcelona city council just couldn't be finished, so the final leg started construction also late.

(To be fair, ERTMS Lev 2 had its problems in other countries and from other manufacturers too, and Siemens - one of the train deliverers, see my earlier Highest Speed diary - is also way late - because it made an offer based on a German train it made jointly with Bombardier, and assumed they'll get the licenses easily... but didn't get them at all, so Siemens had to re-develop all Bombardier parts...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 12th, 2005 at 10:31:54 AM EST
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