When were the Spanish railways electrified?
The history of the Spanish railways begins onCuba, Colony of Spain until 1898. November 10th1837 The first train in Spain was used here, 28 km from La Havana. Sugar cane cultivation provided the background, which made it easier and faster to export it to the port in Havana and thus to the motherland. One of the engineers responsible for the construction of the railway line was the Catalan Miquel Biada.
in the middle of the 19th centuryThe dream of this technology also became a reality on the Spanish mainland. On October 28, 1848 the 30 km long railway line betweenBarcelona,which developed more and more into an up-and-coming trading city by the sea, and Mataró, where parts of the textile industry had settled, opened the first railway line on the Iberian Peninsula. This solved two of the country's urgent problems at the time: the poorly developed road system and the threat posed by the Bandeleros, the highway robbers who were active throughout Spain and also in Catalonia. The train at that time consisted of 25 cars and on its first 58-minute journey, 900 passengers accompanied the train.
In contrast for most of the countries in Europe that introduced the English gauge of 1,435 mm, Spain chose a gauge of "6 Castilian feet", 1,674 mm, which later on1.688mm have been expanded. This latitude was justified by the geographical characteristics of Spain. With a larger track width, it was thought that more powerful locomotives could be used, as required by the many mountain ranges in Spain. However, this to the detriment of goods and passenger traffic connected to the rest of Europe.
The second railway lineSpain was between 1851 by Queen Isabel IIMadrid and Aranjuezopened and shortly afterwards expanded to Albacete. Here, too, economic interests played an important role. The agricultural goods around Madrid, especially the strawberries from Aranjuez, should be brought to the capital quickly and safely.1855 Spain already owned a 400 km railway network, the builders of which were mainly foreign private investors. In the same year, the first Spanish railway law came into force, which should regulate the construction of further railway lines. By 1865, the Spanish rail network had grown to 4,756 km, making it the third largest in Europe after England, the motherland of the railways, and France.
The first narrow-gauge railways were built in 1877. At the beginning of the 20th century, Spain already had 10,000 km of broad-gauge and 5,000 km of narrow-gauge railway lines.
Since inSpanish Civil War (1936-1939) almost all railway lines and trains were destroyed, the Franco regime nationalized all private 1,688 mm broad gauge companies and the current network of the Spanish State Railways (Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles - RENFE for short) was founded. The 30 different signaling systems and regulations that had existed until then due to the various private operators were standardized, large parts of the route network were electrified, and new locomotives and railroad cars were used. The line speed increased to 140 km / h. In 1975 the last steam locomotive was shut down, it was a Mikado 1-4-1, which can be seen today in the Railway Museum in Madrid.
After Franco's death In the 1980s, the top priority was to improve regional transport. The so-called Cercanías, the local trains, emerged.1992 the high-speed train AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) went online for the EXPO 92 world exhibition in Seville, which has since connected Madrid with Seville on the 1,435 mm standard gauge and reduced the former 574 km (now 471 km) from 6 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes . Express trains with the TALGO-RD gauge changing system enable a seamless connection with the old broad gauge.
Focus of the Spanish rail policyik today is the expansion of the high-speed network, which, however, was at the expense of the other railway lines and triggered sharp criticism, especially with regard to the cost-use calculation. At the beginning of 2005 the Spanish railways were partially privatized and the era of RENFE came to an end. Two new companies were formed: Adif and Renfe Operadora. Adif manages the state rail network and the train stations, while Renfe Operadora, as a railway company, takes care of the transport of people and goods and also manages some local train stations in metropolitan areas. Nevertheless, Spain lies with hisHigh-speed network of 2,665 kmin first place in Europe before France and Germany and is the second longest in the world after China.
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