Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

lizufyr t1_jdvxj0d wrote

It would be interesting to correlate this with population density. Like, Spain looks pretty empty until you realise that the population is actually focused mostly around few big cities, while Germany had lots of villages and small towns throughout its area.


lotosprendidos t1_jdw0dpm wrote

And orography. Spain is hilly af. It affects the cost of railroads.


lizufyr t1_jdw29o4 wrote

True, but then Switzerland would look very different. It’s less about cost and more about need.


11160704 t1_jdwb980 wrote

Well in Switzerland you can clearly see the mountains. The North has mostly only small hills while the high mountains are in the south where there is significantly less public transport (and a much power population density)


Janus_The_Great t1_jdwvuys wrote

*lower. FTFY.

Considering most people in the mountainous regions live in the valleys, they usually are not much worse connected to PT than the rest (compared to population), but yes in total numbers there is significantly less PT.


Joseluki t1_jdx3h9x wrote

Because Switzerland had no other option, Spain has longer routes through plains.


marioquartz t1_jdwkdx6 wrote

Canton with less meters above sea have its capital have an elevation of 373m
Canton with more meters above sea have its capital have an elevation of 512m

City with higher elevation in the peninsula: Avila with 1131m
And a lot of cities in the coast.

The diference in elevation is higher in Spain. The same train can (theorically) travel from Avila to the north coast.


AstraImKoerper t1_jdx6t7q wrote

In switzerland the trains not only connect the capitals.You can drive with the train to jungfraujoch 3454m.If you drive from Chur 515 to Brig 491 (both capitals) you can drive up to the Oberalppass 2042m down to andermatt 1400m and up again to furka 2100m.

Allthough its faster to drive the long way around with the tunnels.The huge benefit is that switzerland is so small, way easier to build lasting infrastructure.

i just checked for lulz.

Avila-valladoid-gijon with train only is 2400m up and 3500m down with 393km.
Brig-andermatt-chur with train only is 4100 up and 4100 down with 280km.


Four_beastlings t1_jdxrhq9 wrote

There are no mountains at all until 110kms before Gijón, then it gets mountainous af for a while but there are tunnels. The centre of Spain is elevated, but plain. The reason there aren't more railways there is because it's basically empty.

Source: I'm literally on the Madrid-Valladolid-Gijon route right now.


nac_nabuc t1_je23ukk wrote

Bound to Madrid or Gijón? If it's the latter, please drink a Sidra on our behalf. :-D


moo314159 t1_jdwb43w wrote

Switzerland is comparably rich though


Fixyfoxy3 t1_jdwj6gw wrote

But most railway lines were built when Switzerland wasn't rich yet. I think it is rather that a lot of railways, especially the ones in the mountains weren't dismantled because they were still usefull and powerfull in comparison to early cars


rpsls t1_jdzgj4w wrote

When Credit Suisse (RIP) was founded in order to build the trains and tunnels, Switzerland was already becoming established. And in Swiss fashion, they built a network that’s worth paying for. (It helped that the neighbors also appreciated being able to transit goods through Switzerland, of course.) Today, I spend more on my rail pass than I ever would when I lived in the US, because the utility is so much higher. I can go everywhere, and do it quickly, quietly, and efficiently. Every regular train leaves at the same time past the hour on the same track every time. I can plan a route including which track I’ll arrive and depart from months in advance, or just look at the clock and know how many minutes to my next local train right now. (And all the trains here are hydroelectric powered so it’s guilt-free travel.)

The Swiss mentality is to think about perceived value and build around that, and the trains are no exception. They continue to be built out and upgraded, and I encourage most tourists to forego the car rental and just take the train.


moo314159 t1_jdwy24p wrote

That's fair! I mean upkeep still isn't cheap but that big initial cost of setting it up was already paid for. Projects like the Gotthard Tunnel are still nothing to be done by a poor country


Fixyfoxy3 t1_jdwyrx7 wrote

Yeah, I agree. I think the quality (infrastructure, maintenance and rolling stock) and quantity of (unprofitable) transit services is a bigger sign of how rich a country is than the sheer amount of train tracks.


moo314159 t1_jdyxa4j wrote

>bigger sign of how rich a country is than the sheer amount of train tracks.

While I mostly agree these two might still be correlated. You see this on the map of italy. Italy is divided in a rich(er) industrialised north and a comparably poor rural south. Having railroads doesn't make you rich or vice versa But I think there is still a connection to be observed when you specifically look at the history of a country and the developement of a railroadsystem, don't you think?


Fixyfoxy3 t1_jdzjbnn wrote

I think I get what you mean. When the railways were built Switzerland (like northern Italy) were still somewhat rich (and more inland, less boats) in regards to southern Italy, so they built more railways. This goes the other way around: Railways tend(ed) to attract people and industries. Many cities in Europe but especially in the US were built because of the railway. There is probably a correlation between how rich a country is, how much tracks it has, when they were built and how the service is today. I find it pretty hard to see a direct connection, but imo it should work as a rule of thumb.


Four_beastlings t1_jdxqpe8 wrote

But Switzerland is tiny.


ainz-sama619 t1_jdzwpfo wrote

This. Spain is much bigger, which pushes up cost of construction and more importantly, maintenance.


waldothefrendo t1_je0wplt wrote

But Spain has more people to collect taxes from so it kinda balances out


ainz-sama619 t1_je0yg5m wrote

It also has lower income per capita. Switzerland is very rich in comparison.


TravelTime_LKB OP t1_jdw3cqv wrote

Agreed! Population would help us understand transport demand, whilst geography will impact where stations can be located.


derkuhlekurt t1_jdwiuhp wrote

This is not just trains. For my area of Germany this is way more than just the train lines and it is titles "public transport". So i guess that includes all regular bus lines as well.

In this case lower population density and hills shouldnt be that big of an issue.

Of course places with hardly any population at all like mountains dont need even buses but thats hardly the case in most of spain.


casus_bibi t1_jdwf5n1 wrote

It isn't really cheap to build on swampy soil either. It requires months for soil/sand to set, digging requires constant pumping and anything build up requires piling to be stable. One tunnel in the Netherlands was postponed over 5 years because it kept filling with water, for example. The geography matters, but it is far more complex than orography alone.


Four_beastlings t1_jdxs19w wrote

Mmmhm. All that big empty part is flat, but then if you look at Asturias (hilly af) it's super full of train lines. I really think the lack of lines in the centre is because no one lives there.


Hiro_Trevelyan t1_jdwtt0v wrote

Everything should be on the same scale too. Mountains, rivers but also sheer size tend to make a difference. The Netherlands are much smaller than France, so obviously building a rail network is going to be much different.


Breakin7 t1_jdy2rwm wrote

We have the biggest amount of high speed railroad in the world only China wins us and i mean total numbers not adjusted.

What you are seeing in the north west are mostly bus lines th.


Semarc01 t1_jdynax9 wrote

Yeah, but Germany for example has not just railroads being shown


el_grort t1_jdzori1 wrote

Yeah, topography plays a big part, though tbf part of that is also it tends to decrease population density. So chicken and egg in a way.


MerlinOfRed t1_jdwt5mw wrote

It would also be interesting to see a comparable scale. Belgium is randomly depicted as three times the size of the UK.


41942319 t1_jdx2bn4 wrote

Yup. Right now Germany looks way denser than for example Belgium, but I bet that if you put them at similar scales it's more likely to be the other way around.


Joseluki t1_jdx3kya wrote

I am pretty sure that map is not accounting for a lot of train lines that I don't see represented. Also, there is a huge network of bus lanes for medium and long distances.

I don't know how they have done it but in other countries train lines are continous lines while in Spain are just dots.


johnmarkfoley t1_jdxp45s wrote

I was thinking this and came here to see if anyone else noticed. Spain also has some of the best intercity rail lines in Europe.


LiliaBlossom t1_je0ck91 wrote

exactly, in general public transport in spain is top notch speaking from a german perspective. Shit just arrives on time, good and fast intercity raillines, suburban trains work well, and so on. There’s a lot of pop in spain concentrated around the bigger cities - and the land is huge, no need for the same density than eg germany. Bcs it’s less dense and I think I read their trains with goods / wares use different rails than their intercity trains, shit works better than in germany where every rail is working at or over its limit and shit is constantly late / cancelled bcs one minor issue creates a big chain of other issues. The things I said about spanish public transport can be extended to french one as well.


porgy_tirebiter t1_jdzjb2j wrote

Some of it is an illusion because the countries are all pictured the same size. The most densely populated part of Europe is northwest Germany and Holland. The area where the two countries abut have similarly dense railways, but it appears here as if the train lines thin out suddenly as soon as you cross into the Netherlands.


PaulAspie t1_jdytz9z wrote

Also with level of industry / development. Southern Italy is a little less dense than the north but also way more agricultural & lower wages as people will be fine running their small olive or lemon farm by hand.


lizufyr t1_jdzabrm wrote

Thing is, these are explanations.

It’s just that I don’t think that two maps of train lines can be compared to each other without accounting for different distributions of population, that’s what my comment was about.