The History of the Railroad.
The beginning of Railroad in Spain dates from 1848. First line from Barcelona to Mataro, some 29 km, was open on the October 28. 1848. In 1849 queen Isabela II opened the Madrid-Aranjuez line, which represented first 45 km of the Madrid-Alicante line. The railroad continued expanding in Spain and all major lines of the network were created in less than two decades. The length of the network went from 305 km in 1855 to almost 5,000 km in 1868.
When civil war ended in 1939, many railway lines and stations were damaged or destroyed. To restore the railroad, Spain nationalized it in 1941 and created Spanish National Railway Network (R.E.N.F.E). It now owns all railroads in the country with the exception of few local commuter lines.
Pride of current R.E.N.F.E is modern high speed transportation. Spain adopted TGV technology developed in cooperation between France, Germany and Japan. Spanish ‘TGV’ is called AVE (acronym equivalent to BIRD in English). First line of AVE was open in 1992 between Madrid and Seville, train crosses distance of 471 km in 2.5 hours. Newest line between Madrid and Barcelona is expected to open in 2007 with speeds up to 300 km/h. This line will also extend the network to the French border.