TIL that Spain has the longest high speed rail network in Europe and is second in the world behind China.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVE

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  1. They need a bunch of rail to connect Madrid to all the other population centers on the coasts. I read that Spain has a bunch of unused land – especially when compared to its other European neighbors.

  2. And it’s a long con perpetrated by several administrations. They give the multi-billion contracts to cronies who then run into lots of unexpected problems and spend way more than the original budgets.

    Then, after the years, you get less passengers than the regular lines they substitute because the tickets are too damn expensive.

  3. I moved to Madrid from the US in 2019 and have totally fallen in love with being able to take the train all over the country. A day trip to Segovia or Toledo? Less then an hour to get there. Barcelona for the weekend? Less than three hours. Fast, affordable (especially if you book in advance), and efficient. The only problem is their online app/website is wonky and sometimes just doesn’t work.

    EDIT: And YES, there is a lot of open space. Gorgeous. Lots of olive groves and vineyards. It’s seriously like riding a train through a renaissance painting.

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