Tuesday, August 16

The absence of the direct AVE weighs down the users of the train from Vigo to Ourense

One of the most repeated arguments against the construction of a high-speed line between Vigo and Ourense is that the connection would not be profitable in terms of passenger numbers. But these estimates on future traffic always miss a key factor: the demand generated. Entrepreneurs, politicians and users emphasize that when competitive services have been offered in time and frequencies, the public responded. And the proof of this is the “twin” line of the Cerdedo variant that connects Ourense with Santiago and A Coruña.

The road completed ten years in service on the 11th, time in which the Medium Distance trains that circulate through it have displaced more than five million people. Because in addition to reducing connection times with Madrid and the rest of Spain, the 3,300 million euros invested in it also made Galicia back.

After decades of losing competitiveness, users have returned to the railway thanks to the improvements of the new lines prepared for the arrival of the AVE. The 150 kilometers inaugurated in 2011 boosted the relationship of the three cities, tripling their users in seven years.

Five million people employed Cerdedo’s “sister” since 2011

These new Media Distancia services make comparisons odious with those lines that add up to decades without improvements. The launch of the Atlantic Axis in 2015 doubled the relationship between Vigo and Santiago with more than 350,000 travelers in 2019, a figure slightly higher than that of the olive city with Pontevedra. Meanwhile, the traffic between the Guixar terminal and Ourense remained at 21,000 users; a figure that suffers a slight decline from year to year.

The Avant –the medium-distance AVE– linked the city of the burgas with the second and fifth cities of Galicia like never before: 200,000 travelers to A Coruña and 300,000 to Santiago.

Historically, the relationship between the two large cities in the south of the community on an economic and social level has been greater than with those in the north. And although the high price of tolls on the AP-9 or AP-53 has influenced the increase of the train against the road, the entry into force of the payment on highways could break this difference.

During the next decade the line promoted by Jose Cuiña Y Alvarez Helmets you will see Avril trains reach 300 km / h and could even migrate to international gauge, allowing the entry of new private competitors to Renfe. Meanwhile, the nineteenth-century Miño road will undergo some works aimed at merchandise traffic and the deviation of the current regional roads through Santiago is even being considered, as has already happened with the Alvia.

The Galician railway network in figures

New high speed line

New high speed line

New high speed line

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As of December 21 up to 103 weekly trains will circulate between the three cities and some will serve as a link for the AVE that they only arrive until Empalme. The Atlantic Axis will also see its frequencies increased with two new trains. At the opposite extreme, corridors such as Monforte and Lugo or Ferrol, which only have a direct train to A Coruña. Between Vigo and Ourense there will be 80 weekly trains in both directions, although only a third of them as regional service.

The difference in commercial exploitation is based on the infrastructure: while between A Coruña and Ourense it takes 68 minutes for 150 kilometers, the Miño line inaugurated in 1885 increases the time to 140 minutes for an even shorter distance. It is estimated that the South Exit shortens the distance in twenty minutes, while Cerdedo would leave it in less than forty.


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