Atlantic Axis high-speed rail line

The Atlantic Axis high-speed rail line, also called Atlantic Corridor high-speed rail line, is a high-speed railway line that links A Coruña and Vigo in Spain. The Atlantic Axis was inaugurated in April 2015.

Atlantic Axis high-speed rail line
TypeHigh-speed rail
LocaleSpain (Galicia)
TerminiA Coruña
Ridership3.6 million (2017)[1]
Opened20 April 2015
Operator(s)Renfe Operadora
Line length155.6 km (96.7 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) Iberian gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz
Operating speed250 km/h


Construction started in 2001 and the first section between A Coruña and Santiago de Compostela opened in 2009 and was electrified in 2011. The extension from Santiago de Compostela to Vigo completed in March 2015[2] and the entire line was inaugurated on 18 April 2015. The total investment of the project exceeded €3bn.[3]

The line was planned to be extended to the south towards the border between Spain and Portugal and with a further connection to the city of Porto including the longest railway bridge on the Iberian Peninsula for the 4.5 km crossing of the Minho River. It was also planned to be extended to the north from A Coruña to Ferrol. However, these plans were shelved in 2011.[3]


The line has a length of 155.6 km of Iberian gauge track of 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in), which is due to be converted to Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) once the Madrid-Ourense-Santiago de Compostela high speed line is fully operational. It is an upgrade of the former 241 km non electrified single railway line between the town of Ferrol and the Portuguese border into a double electrified high-speed line for the part between A Coruña and Vigo. The new rebuilt railway permits mixed use traffic with a maximum design speed of 250 km/h for passenger trains.[4] The new line has 37 tunnels totalling 59.2 km, 38% of the total length and the longest is the 8.25 km tunnel beneath Vigo which connects the line with the new Vigo-Urzaiz station. It also has 32 major bridges, including a 2.4 km viaduct across the valley of the River Sar. The new line shorten the distance between A Coruña and Vigo by 22 km, from 178 km to 156 km, and cut the travel time from around 3 hours on the old railway down to 1 hour and 20 minutes on the new one.[3] The line is linked to the Madrid–Galicia high-speed rail line in Santiago de Compostela, which as of 2016 is under construction.


Within two months of opening in June 2015, the line had carried 400,000 passengers.[5] By January 2017 total cumulative ridership was 5.1 million.[6]


  1. ^ "El tráfico de viajeros en tren crece a ritmo de récord entre Vigo y Coruña". Atlantico Vigo. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Fase final de las obras del Eje Atlántico y de la nueva estación de Vigo-Urzáiz". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Fernando Puente (20 April 2015). "Spain inaugurates Galicia high-speed line". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Eje Atlántico". Adif. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ "El Eje Atlántico de alta velocidad supera los 400.000 pasajeros desde su inauguración" Check |url= value (help). Europa Press (in Spanish). 20 June 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Cinco millones de pasajeros en el Eje Atlántico". Faro de Vigo (in Spanish). 27 January 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2019.

Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to 310 km/h (193 mph). Alta Velocidad Española translates to "Spanish High Speed", but the initials are also a play on the word ave, meaning "bird". As of August 2017, the Spanish AVE system is the longest HSR network in Europe with 3,240 km (2,010 mi) and the second longest in the world, after China's.AVE trains run on a network of high-speed rail track owned and managed by ADIF (Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias), where other high-speed (Avant, Alvia) and mid-speed (Altaria) services also operate. The first line was opened in 1992, connecting the cities of Madrid, Córdoba and Seville. Unlike the rest of the Iberian broad gauge network, the AVE uses standard gauge. This permits direct connections to outside Spain through the link to the French network at the Perthus tunnel. AVE trains are operated by RENFE, but private companies may be allowed to operate trains in the future using other brands, in accordance with European Union legislation. Some TGV-derived trains used to run on the broad-gauge network at slower speeds, but these were branded separately as Euromed until new rolling stock was commissioned for these services.

A Coruña railway station

A Coruña railway station, also known as A Coruña-San Cristovo, is a railway terminus in A Coruña, Spain.

High-speed rail in Europe

High-speed rail in Europe is emerging as an increasingly popular and efficient means of transport. The first high-speed rail lines in Europe, built in the 1980s and 1990s, improved travel times on intra-national corridors. Since then, several countries have built extensive high-speed networks, and there are now several cross-border high-speed rail links. Railway operators frequently run international services, and tracks are continuously being built and upgraded to international standards on the emerging European high-speed rail network.

In 2007, a consortium of European railway operators, Railteam, emerged to co-ordinate and boost cross-border high-speed rail travel. Developing a Trans-European high-speed rail network is a stated goal of the European Union, and most cross-border railway lines receive EU funding. Several countries — France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom — are connected to a cross-border high-speed railway network.

More are expected to be connected in the coming years as Europe invests heavily in tunnels, bridges and other infrastructure and development projects across the continent, many of which are under construction now. Alstom was the first manufacturer to design and deliver a high speed train or HS-Train, which ended up in service with TGV in France.

Currently, there are a number of high-level manufacturers designing and building HSR in Europe, with criss-crossed alliances and partnerships, including Canadian company Bombardier, Alstom itself, the Spanish Talgo and the German Siemens.

List of high-speed railway lines

This article provides a list of operated high-speed rail networks, listed by country or region.

High-speed rail is public transport by rail at speeds of at least 200 km/h (120 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (160 mph) or faster for new track.

Madrid–Galicia high-speed rail line

The Madrid–Galicia high-speed rail line is a high-speed railway line partially open in Spain that will link the city of Madrid with the region of Galicia via the cities of Olmedo, Zamora and Santiago de Compostela when completed. The line will also connect the Atlantic Axis high-speed rail line to the rest of the Spanish AVE high-speed network. The Madrid–Galicia high-speed rail line is being constructed as double electrified line and is designed for trains running at speeds up to 350 kilometres per hour (220 mph).

Madrid–León high-speed rail line

The Madrid–León high-speed rail line (Spanish language: Línea de Alta Velocidad Madrid - León) was inaugurated on 29 September 2015. The line is built to standard gauge and gauge changers are provided at strategic points to allow interchange with older Spanish railways which were built to Iberian gauge.

Vigo-Urzáiz railway station

Vigo railway station, also known as Vigo-Urzáiz, is a railway terminus in Vigo, Spain. It provides high speed train connection through the Atlantic Axis high-speed rail line with main Galician cities as Pontevedra, Vilagarcía de Arousa, Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña every hour. The station is directly connected through the bus stop in Urzaiz street (50 m from the station hall) with the Airport (line 9A) and the Bus Station (line 4C). There is a taxi stop in front of the station.

Lines in service
Lines under construction
Planned lines
Rolling stock
North America
South America


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