dissabte, 2 de juliol de 2011

Reason 28: ONLY WAY TO BUILD A CARGO RAILWAY FROM CATALONIA TO EUROPE


During the past two decades, Spain has made evident, with most of its big investments, to make a policy based in the consolidation of a ‘Spanish nation’, without considering at all if these investments were profitable. The result is a state with an unsustainable infrastructure, that without the fiscal deficit of the Catalan countries shall go bank rupt even faster than Greece. The Spanish government invests over and over again in infrastructures in places where there isn’t enough commercial activity, not enough tourism, not enough industry, not enough passengers.
The new airport of León, recently opened, is already known as the desert airport. It was thought to accommodate 3 times more passengers and it has cost 80 million Euros. But where are the passengers? Well, the airport has capacity for 580 passengers per hour, but there are no more than 250 passengers in a DAY!
The company that holds the monopoly on airports in Spain, Aena, held a competition for entrepreneurs for the operation of all restoration services of the airport. After a month nobody had appeared. Entrepreneurs do make a research before making an investment. The result: no investors interested.
But it’s not only the initial investment, the maintenance of an empty airport shall be an unsustainable and lasting expense.
Another example is the unsustainable thousands of miles of high-speed railways. Spain is the European state with the most miles. Madrid seems obsessed with trying to extinguish its geographical isolation by the way it invests in transportation. Everybody says the same: they did not even consider the profitability of these high-speed railways. Well, the European directives confirm that none of the Spanish high-speed routes are profitable. A high-speed train needs 9 million passengers a year in order to be profitable. Madrid-Barcelona, the busiest of the routes, has 5,3 million passengers a year.
Yesterday, they closed the line from Toledo to Albacete, which is losing € 18.000,- every day! It is used by the huge amount of 9 passengers a day.
At this moment only 30% of the costs are covered with the sale of tickets. To be honest, the chance that any of the other lines than Madrid-Barcelona ever achieves 9 million passengers is zero. The Spanish high-speed railways is an unsustainable financial disaster.
The last example: Spain is building a new harbour in Algeciras (south of Spain) that shall be 3 times bigger than the harbour of Barcelona. This harbour shall have a cargo railroad from Algeciras to Europe. The cargo shall have to travel 1200 kilometres (745 miles) and be lifted up the mountains until 1000 meters of height before it arrives to Europe. Can this be profitable? impossible.

Images from the web site of the Spanish ministry on infrastructures:
The harbours of Spain today:



The harbours of Spain in 2020:



The Cargo Railroad in construction:



The cargo railroad Catalonia wants since the 80’s, never has come and as long as Catalonia remains part of Spain, never shall come. But this one could be profitable. From Barcelona to France there is a distance of only 155 kilometres (96 miles).
The Dutch made a similar cargo railroad from the harbour of Rotterdam to Germany. From the biggest harbour of Europe to Germany, most important client of Holland. With only 158 kms (98 miles) the Dutch made several studies before investing in such a cargo Railroad. During the first years it was far from profitable, but it seems lately it is starting to improve. The trains that carry goods to Germany are 500 meters long and substitute up to 15000 trailers a month. With this cargo railroad the Dutch save up to 200 kms (124 miles) of traffic jams every day. Analysts say the line shall only be profitable when the Germans finish the line in German soil. We are talking of only 158 kms (98 miles) on flat terrain versus 1200 kms (745 miles) being lifted up to 1000 meters of height.
The Spaniards are systematically diverting economical activity from Catalonia towards their territory (they do so also by prohibiting most intercontinental flights from and to Barcelona). The Catalan economy shall keep decreasing more and more as investors shall move to the better-communicated Algeciras, Madrid, and other parts of Spain.
Without an own state Catalonia shall never have the cargo Railroad to Europe.
Information in Catalan language:
http://www.directe.cat/noticia/160966/tremosa-denuncia-que-l-estat-espanyol-va-boicotejar-una-visita-d-eurodiputats-al-port-de-t
http://www.elpunt.cat/noticia/article/1-territori/12-infraestructures/375886-foment-evitara-prioritzar-leix-mediterrani-per-sobre-el-pirinenc.html
http://www.slideshare.net/pacoriviere/espanya-es-queda-cada-any-19177-meur-dels-impostos-pagats-pels-catalans
http://www.avui.cat/noticia/article/2-societat/5-societat/358163-el-que-fa-madrid-a-leix-mediterrani-es-molt-greu.html
http://www.avui.cat/noticia/article/2-societat/5-societat/279209--ave-la-ruina-de-lestat-.html
http://www.eltriangle.eu/cat/notices/2011/01/Es_rendible_l_ave_20436.php
http://quiron.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/lave-madrid-valencia-competencia-deslleial/

Information in Spanish language:
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/noticia.asp?pkid=607090
http://www.quieroleon.com/index.php/2011/04/el-pal-muestra-su-preocupacion-por-la-situacion-del-aeropuerto-de-leon-al-que-tacha-de-mentira-politica/
http://www.albacity.org/horarios/tren/ave-toledo-cuenca-albacete.htm

Information in English:
http://allplane.blogspot.com/2010/12/spains-empty-airports-iii-leon.html

Information on the Dutch cargo Railroad in Dutch:
http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4324/Nieuws/article/detail/1204571/2008/11/27/Betuwelijn-begint-al-te-bloeien.dhtml