r2rho
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MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:28 pm

Tomorrow, the new suburban rail (Cercanias) line to MAD T4 will be opened, linking it directly to Chamartin (11min) and Atocha (25min) rail stations. Train will run every 30min and cost 2.15EUR. The tracks are also prepared to be shared with high-speed AVE trains once the high-speed rail tunnel between Atocha and Chamartin is finished in 2013, but it will be a branch and not a full rail center in the sense of CDG or AMS. Travellers going to the old T1-T2-T3 will have to take the shuttle bus to the T4 station.

link in Spanish:
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2011/09/21/madrid/1316618572.html

IMO this will significantly improve MAD's accessibility and may end up being more popular than the metro (a train every 30min is not enough IMO). It will provide a direct link to the two main train stations (very akward to reach today with metro), where it will link up to long-distance trains and other Cercanias lines, enabling many more people to reach T4 with just one interchange than with the current metro link.

The future HSR link however will be of limited use, IMO. The sharing of the tracks with Cercanias, and the fact that T4 is a dead-end station with only two tracks and limited platform length strongly limits the number of AVE trains that could stop there. It will unfortunately not be a full-fledged rail center like CDG, AMS or FRA, but it is definitely a considerable improvement from the current status.
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:47 pm

Besides the connectivity advantages that you mentioned, another very big plus in my opinion is that now, finally, there is more than one way to get to MAD by public transport. If there ever was a breakdown of the metro (I've never experienced one, but excrement happens) then there was nothing but taxis for Europe's 4th biggest airport... There are some buses connecting MAD to suburbs, but that's it. Now the system should be more reliable.

Quoting r2rho (Thread starter):
The future HSR link however will be of limited use, IMO. The sharing of the tracks with Cercanias, and the fact that T4 is a dead-end station with only two tracks and limited platform length strongly limits the number of AVE trains that could stop there. It will unfortunately not be a full-fledged rail center like CDG, AMS or FRA

Exactly, that was a major planning mistake. The Madrid-Barcelona line, instead of leaving from Atocha as it does, could have started at Chamartin, passing through MAD on the way, and continue to Barcelona. Too late now...
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
r2rho
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RE: MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:19 am

Quoting Buyantukhaa (Reply 1):

Exactly, that was a major planning mistake. The Madrid-Barcelona line, instead of leaving from Atocha as it does, could have started at Chamartin, passing through MAD on the way, and continue to Barcelona. Too late now...

I agree that would have been the ideal solution. And I wouldn't rule out such an option sometime in the future, maybe by running HSR tracks parallel to the Civis line to link up with the Barcelona line, and "closing the loop". But not until after the crisis is over.

I agree it is a shame that, with the excellent HSR network Spain is building, they are not taking advantage of intermodal transfers. The AVE also missed the chance to pass by BCN, another pity...
 
UALWN
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RE: MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:58 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 2):
The AVE also missed the chance to pass by BCN, another pity...

The AVE to BCN was part of the original plan, but it was dropped at some point. It may still happen some day, when (or if) the crisis is over.
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GatoVolador
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RE: MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:56 pm

Quoting Buyantukhaa (Reply 1):
Besides the connectivity advantages that you mentioned, another very big plus in my opinion is that now, finally, there is more than one way to get to MAD by public transport. If there ever was a breakdown of the metro (I've never experienced one, but excrement happens) then there was nothing but taxis for Europe's 4th biggest airport... There are some buses connecting MAD to suburbs, but that's it. Now the system should be more reliable.

I disagree. MAD already was very good linked by public transportation (other than taxi).

From there, you can take:

==> the L8 metro line lkinking "Barajas T4" and "Barajas T1-2-3" stations with the "intercambiador de Nuevos Ministerios", and from Nuevos Ministerios to other buses / metro / Renfe trains.

==> The EMT (municipal bus company) Express bus, which runs 24h and goes from all the terminals to Atocha train station (AVE) and Cibeles (Madrid downtown).

==> The 200 EMT line, which goes from the Airport (all terminals) to Avenida América.

==> 5 more EMT lines to non-core Madrid neightbourhoods.

==> Intercity buses to other cities and villages in the province of Madrid (Torrejón, San Fernando...)

==> Long distance buses to other provinces (Zaragoza, Valladolid, León, Murcia....)

==> and now, also the Cercanías train.

In my opinion, there is much more than taxis! BCN is by far more underserved than MAD!
 
r2rho
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RE: MAD T4 Rail Link Opens

Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:43 am

Quoting GatoVolador (Reply 4):
MAD already was very good linked by public transportation (other than taxi).

Yes, MAD was well linked, but as metro L8 has few connections with other metro lines, many places of the city required 2 or more transfers to get there. And the transfer to the circle line at Nuevos Ministerios (the most likely for many) is a long one. All doable on a weekend trip with a carry on, not so convenient when you have luggage. And more critically, there was no direct connection between the airport and the two main train stations. This new line will make transfers to AVE trains much easier, in fact Renfe is promoting the fact that you can ride the new Cercanias with your long-distance train ticket at no additional cost.

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