Spain have invested massive amounts of money into their high speed rail network, making it one of the very best in the world, behind China. But a new study has revealed that due to the elevated costs involved, it has not been a benefit to business or society in general.
To date, the Spanish government has invested over 40 billion – yes that’s right forty billion! – euros directly into the project, with another 12 billion into related projects that support the network. But the problem is that there are relatively few passengers for the amount of rail network that has been built.
The high speed network covers 2,515 km and an additional 1,200 km are now under construction. Only China, a much vaster country, has more rail lines. But there are only 11,800 passengers for every km of track, compared with over 158,000 per km in Japan and over 61,000 in France.
The only way that Spain can recover the losses on this project is with a considerable increase in passengers, something that doesn’t look likely at the moment.