The Leaders experience the opportunities offered by Spanish high-speed rail

The Leaders experience the opportunities offered by Spanish high-speed rail

On their way to Seville, they visited the cockpit and were briefed on the Spanish high-speed railway system

The Leaders left Madrid for Seville to move on with the agenda for the first Leaders Programme. SACF’s delegation travelled by train and José Antonio García Bárez, Head of Coordination and Support at RENFE, joined the group and used the 2 hours and 30 minutes it takes to get there to explain how the system works and show the group around the cockpit.

José Antonio García Bárez went over the trains’ characteristics and operation, including the driver’s responsibilities and the communication in place with RENFE’s National Centre of Operations. The Centre is located in Madrid (at Atocha railway station) and 70 people oversee the whole fleet, managing potential incidents and delays and monitoring the location of the crew.

The participants in the Programme were extremely interested in in the Spanish high-speed rail system, as shown at the meeting they held at the Ministry of Public Works. The Leaders and the Australian Government value Spain’s expertise and capacity as a pioneer in high-speed rail worldwide. The Australian Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, visited Spain in 2013 to learn about our country’s rail network.

Australia is the world’s sixth largest country by surface area. Its low population and its concentration into five large population hubs which are all a long way from one another largely conditions the transport of people, cargo and services. The Australian Government is therefore prioritising rail transport and has committed to improving and expanding the country’s railway infrastructure and high-speed systems. The project, which has been in the pipeline for years, would link Australia’s main cities: Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

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