Frédéric Langlois, our President and CEO, contributes to our High-Speed Rail News blog series on a monthly basis. He is considered an expert to express his passion for travel and high-speed rail. Langlois has been employed for more than 17 years and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the German National Tourist Office, the French National Tourist Office and the hotel giant Accor. He has also appeared on cable news debating the future of high-speed trains in the U.S.
Spain still falls in the top five as REI's lists the top-selling destinations. Spain is now ready to welcome tourists and get them on the fast track to explore its cultural diversity, food and art, with its high-speed rail lines linking cities all over the world.
The speed at which Spain has replaced much of its old broad gauge tracks with standard gauge tracks suitable for high-speed train travel is admirable (and it is all about high speed!). Particularly given that in the early '90s, Spain only entered the high-speed rail arena! It also has the enviable position of controlling Europe's most comprehensive high-speed rail network, a network stretching approximately 1,240 miles. France and its legendary TGV trains are closely followed by Spain, which operates a network of approximately 1,178 miles. Spain comes second only to China on a global scale and is closely followed by Japan, which weighs in at #3.
A high-speed line between Perpignan (France) and Figueres opened on December 19, 2010. (Spain). Rail transport links people to locations, and this new line is a sure sign that the days of the rulers of Spain building only broad gauge tracks in an attempt to keep France away from its borders are now only part of the region's rich history
The AVE train from Madrid to Valencia is another newcomer to the AVE family (Spain's high-speed trains). As compared to the 3h40 it previously took, this 242-mile ride now takes only 1h35! This route opened on December 18, 2010, and promises to gain at least 85% market share versus air on the route linking the first city of Spain (Madrid) to its third city (Valencia). In France, high-speed TGVs, including Eurostar trains linking London with Paris and Brussels, have already acquired market share over the air on all routes of less than 3 hours. High-speed trains actually own 65% of the market share vs. air on trips of up to 3 hours and about 95% of the market share vs. air on trips of up to 2 hours.
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