Monday, December 26, 2011

Ghost Train

With all the publicity concerning airports in Spain where no planes land any more, or where no planes have ever landed, here is a reminder of some failed projects from an earlier age. We did a weekend trip to Jaca in August to do some walking and had some time to take a look at the international railway station of Canfranc. A very fine looking building it is too, but a bridge accident in 1970 on the French side has meant that international traffic has been a bit sparse for the last 40 years. Not that there are no trains at all in Canfranc, a graffiti covered two coach service from Zaragoza arrived whilst I was taking photos of the station. But it goes no further towards France than this.

It seems that the most successful period for the Canfranc line was during the second world war, with busy trade between Franco's Spain and Nazi occupied France. The sort of thing that the revisionists who play down the fascism of Franco's dictatorship tend not to like very much.

Over in Cantabria there is a significantly less successful line. The station at Yera has never seen any trains at all as the Santander-Mediterranean rail link was never completed. We did want to take a look at the nearby tunnel of La Engaña which cuts through the mountainside separating Cantabria from Castilla-León for almost 7 kilometres, but we didn't have the right footwear for the day we were there in November. In any case the tunnel is not recommended for visits, having collapsed in places. Instead we went off to eat cabrito asado.


Tumbit said...

I really shouldn't be surprised, but this waste of money that the Spaniards have a penchant for is staggering !

ejh said...

What sort of a comment is that? How do "the Spaniards" have "a penchant" for "waste of money"?

Tumbit said...

Let me see.... I suppose one isolated case may be the 'need' for AENA - The Spanish Airports Authority - to build 52 airports for the population of 46 Million, of which just 20 of them are operating at a profit ? The country is going through a grim and prolonged economic downturn, but still the refurbishment and new terminal being built at around a dozen of these airport is still ongoing.