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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Barcelona Malaga High Speed Train plan set!

After MUCH ado about nothing for the last several decades, lots of talk and little action, Development minister Magdalena Alvarez has finally revealed top secret plans about the upcoming Barcelona-Malaga High Speed Train (AVE) connection.

The greatest surprise of the aforementioned announcement is that the AVE train will not pass through Madrid. Talk about cutting out the long-standing middle man! How will the affect Madrid's commercial standing? Probably not too much. They may lose some money on the sandwiches and coffee they would've otherwise sold during the 35 minute layover but that's probably about all.

The "Direct Train Line" (which includes several stops along the way) will shave off 5 hours from the otherwise exhausting 13 hour trip between the two cities.

Currently, there are only two trains per day making this route; one leaves Barcelona at 8am and the other is a night train or "Train Hotel", leaving Barcelona at 9:30 at night and arriving in Malaga the next morning at 9:49am. I can't bare to imagine how I would feel after sitting for 13 hours!! At the very least on a train you can get up and walk around somewhat casually, go to the dining/bar car, have a sizable toilet in which to do your "business", and movies and recorded musical stations - in Spanish. But still, it takes its toll, I'm sure.

No projected date has been set yet for the grand opening of the Barcelona-to-Malaga train line. My guess is it won't happen for another 10 years - but at least now they're more seriously considering it.