The year 2015, coincidentally an election year, is set to see an unprecedented expansion in the amount allocated to high-speed rail infrastructure, up by 48% on 2014.
A total of €3.5 billion is included in the budget for 2015, with €285 million being subsidised by the EU. However, several European countries, including Germany, have been critical of what they perceive to be excessive expenditure on high-speed rail, pointing out that many of the existing thirty-one stations do not receive significant traffic.
The AVE train is due to reach a further eight provincial capitals, including Zamora, León, Palencia and Burgos, and is scheduled to connect all the main cities in Galicia. New rail links will unite Valencia with Castellón and Alicante with Murcia, and the Sevilla line will continue down to Cádiz with a stop in Granada.
Spanish rail companies are doing well internationally, recently winning the contract to build a high-speed train in Saudi Arabia, and Spanish businesses are also competing for involvement in a project to build a high-speed line in California, which would be the first in the USA.