Spain’s state controlled rail operator Renfe has cancelled its high speed service that connects Toledo with the cities of Albacete and Cuenca.
The route began operations last December but was taken out of operation last Friday (1st July) due to lack of passenger demand.
Enrique Urkijo, the Director General for Passengers at Renfe called the service a ‘ghost train’.
Only 9 passengers on average use the route daily, Urkijo said last Monday; “Renfe feels the pain when we only transport steel”.
The route ‘works like a shot’ but costs €18,000 a day to operate and has transported just 2796 users in 6 months.
The Toledo to Albacete/Cuenca route was launched after demand from the Mayors of the towns, who said it would benefit their cities greatly.
Renfe have now decided to focus on services between Toledo and Madrid to ‘suit the actual demand for the corridor’.
Passengers who previously travelled on the now cancelled route will have to change trains in Madrid, increasing their journey time by around 25 minutes.
This is equivalent of us giving Basingstoke a high speed line to both Preston and Cambridge.
No wonder they are nearly in as much debt as Greece, it must take a lot of corruption to even run a route like that. Still I’m rather envious as I’m sure both Basingstoke and Cambridge would love higher speed lines to London or even the north.
We could really do with speeding up the trains between our big cities that are not the Capitol.
And there once again proves the myths about ridership per Bent Flyvberg. I put this was predicted to have lots of people. From California and we’re afraid the beginning segment will be like this. Our state is near broke and we’re ready to put this monster system in with no capital, very limited government support, with state laws that prohibit subsidy. It’s going to be a one shot deal, one section in the middle of the central valley. People have called it the train to and from nowhere, perhaps it will Ghost train #2.