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Safety first

13 September 2013

Took opportunity while in Cordoba in Southern Spain this summer, with family, to visit the train station. Nothing has more visibly demonstrated Spain’s boom and confidence than the construction, over the last twenty years, of the high speed rail network – the AVE.

Cordoba station is really impressive. Totally rebuilt with six tracks and a line for freight to go through without tangling with anything else. Lofty roof, airy, modern. Lots of staff around, but interesting/disconcerting to see what airport style scanning is in place. Modern, sleek trains glide in and out on time. Whatever you think about the cost this network is an impressive achievement.

However, all seemed overshadowed by the tragic accident outside Santiago de Compostela a few weeks before. All this investment, all this modernity, all this speed counts for nothing if the system is not safe or appears not to be safe.

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