High speed train testing track goes off the rails

LAST UPDATED: 16 Jan, 2011 @ 13:02
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High speed train testing track goes off the rails

By Jon Clarke and Anatoly Kurmanaev

POLITICAL parties of all colours have united to oppose a ‘crackpot’ project that would see the world’s biggest train testing track open near Antequera.

Pressure group Antequera Habitable has joined forces with the three main parties in Mollina demanding that the scheme be scrapped.

They are compiling a petition that insists that the plan, which would see 450 hectares of the vega between Mollina and Antequera developed, is ‘unsustainable’.

The double testing track – which would allow trains to drive at speeds of up to 450km/h – would see the uprooting of numerous farms, including vineyards.

With the longest of two tracks being 55km in length, it would dwarf other existing tracks in the US, Japan and the Czech Republic.

The scheme, which the railway authority (ADIF) insist will create 7000 jobs, has already been allocated 344 million by the central government.

It is invisaged that work will begin in 2011 and the project be completed by 2015.

But farmers trade unions COAG, Asaja and UPA insist the scheme will destroy the productive area of farmland, known as ‘the vega’.

There is already a project to bring an international airport to the area, and they insist enough is enough.

A spokesman for pressure group Antequera Habitable said that it is planning protests against the project.

“It will destroy a lot of land without bringing economic benefit to the area,” he said. “We need our politicians to bring sustainable schemes, not destructive ones.”

He added: “This shows a lack of respect for our district and the testing tracks will destroy high quality land, in particular of olives and vines.”

The government had hoped that the hub would become one of the world’s finest, dedicated to research and development of the new-generation of ultra-fast AVE trains.

Now it will be more concerned that its best plans could be rapidly derailed.

4 COMMENTS

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  1. I have been a resident of Mollina for 5 years and see many properties in an unfinished or un-occupied state. Local bar / restaurant owners are complaining of lack of business, locals are complaining about no work opportunities. Every one speaks of the “CRISIS” There are “the haves” and many many “have nots”
    To help the area out of the crisis this is an opportunity to have the area a world leader in High Speed Rail Transport Technology, with a possibilty of very low unemployment and high prosperity.
    it is an opportunity for the area to diversify with a long term benefit to all.
    The openeing of Antequera Santa Ana High Speed railway station has opened up the access to the beauty and history of the area to many more, tourisum, golf, a major logistical centre. Business people can be in Madrid in 2 hours, Barcelona direct in 5 hours, thanks to high speed trains. Let’s be at the forefront of this technology for the benefit of all

  2. Bob, so the new train line has come. I bet very few of the ‘have-nots’ that you mention can even afford a ticket to Madrid, let alone commute there, and I would also wager that they could not get any of the available jobs in Madrid or elsewhere anyway. And who on earth will come from Madrid and Barcelona to see Mollina!?

    Trains are for the elite; they are not accessible to the vast majority of people who live and work in the coutryside. It is a fallacy to think that trains will solve Spain’s problems. For starters, they need to be made extremely cheap to use so that all people can benefit from them. What good are trains when there are no jobs to travel to Bob?

  3. Fred
    I was not relating to people from here travelling to other parts, but the opportunity of work for 7000 people in the area for 4 years to build the testing track, the proposed new research centre for high speed trains at Bobadilla Estacion, the possible employment in the long term for local people-
    In 4 years the economy may improve.
    The 344 million Euros is available now for this project

  4. High spead freight lines is what they should have built as I mention on another thread. The French are looking to $150 a barrel of oil and working fast on feasability studies for such a network in France.

    Spain sold it’s soul to the petrol/deisel engine – how will Andalucia and Murcia compete to sell their fruit and veg to northern Europe when the price of oil shoots up. The huge Dutch investment in vast solar powered greenhouses in northern Kent has surpassed their expectations. The same scenario will be rolled out across France and Germany

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