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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.