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Travel By High-Speed Train Through New Pajares Bypass In Spain

Pajares Bypass takes passengers through the Cantabrian Mountains on a high-speed train to Asturias
Pajares Bypass takes passengers on a high-speed train to Asturias [Image by conxurau from Pixabay]
After 20 years in the making, the Pajares Bypass in Spain has opened up a chance to travel by high-speed train across the Cantabrian Mountains. Traveling to rugged beaches and glacial lakes, the train now connects the provinces of León and Asturias. Meanwhile, the €4 ($4.3) billion project brings high-speed train connections to Asturias while fixing the gap with León. Moreover, the new high-speed train and rail tunnel cut travel time to Madrid by more than an hour.

Pajares Bypass brings a high-speed train to León and Asturias

Pola de Lena Station in Asturias, Spain
Pola de Lena Station in Asturias [Image by Felipe Cuenca Diaz on Flickr]
At almost 25 km (15.5 mi) in length, the Pajares Base Tunnel is the seventh longest of its kind in Europe. Meanwhile, it forms part of the 50 km (31 mi) Pajares Bypass joining up Pola de Lena in Asturias and La Robla in León, Spain.

Meanwhile, the bypass serves both passenger and freight rail traffic through a series of 12 tunnels and 10 viaducts. The tunnels form 80 percent of the route that heads through the Cantabrian Mountain Range

Sustainable travel in Spain

In recent years, much effort has been put into promoting rail travel rather than flying, to help reduce CO2 emissions. In the case of the new Pajares Bypass, it is hoped that by shortening train travel time and making it more attractive to travel by land will help to reduce the carbon footprint.

Asturias, Spain
Asturias in Spain [Image by Enrique from Pixabay]
Meanwhile, the Spanish government estimates that ticket sales on the new line will reach 1.25 million during its first year of operation. This is especially so for travelers, wishing to see more of the beautiful country.

Visit Asturias on the Pajares Bypass

Asturias landscapes
Landscapes of Asturias [Image by Antonio López from Pixabay]
The province of Asturias features soaring mountains, lush green valleys and beautiful, rugged coastlines. It also features traditional villages to visit and explore. However, some parts of the province have suffered population decline over recent years. Moreover, the town of Ponga launched a scheme to attract people back to the village by paying them to move there.

Fast forward to now and the new Pajares Bypass makes Asturias far more accessible to travelers, whether seeking adventure or a relaxed vacation in beautiful landscapes. Those travelers who love nature can visit Las Ubiñas-La Mesa, a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in the heart of the Cantabrian Mountains. This beautiful reserve offers sanctuary to brown bears, the western capercaillie grouse and other species.

It also features rare and threatened plants and fascinating rock paintings from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Moreover, the province also hosts the Picos de Europa National Park, renowned for its glacial Covadonga Lakes.

Spain and its commitment to high-speed train travel

Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa [Image by Manuel Torres Garcia from Pixabay]
This latest high-speed train link is part of the country’s wider commitment to upgrade and improve Spain’s rail network. That network spans more than 4,000 km (2,485 mi) and the country has the most extensive high-speed rail in Europe. Moreover, in the world, Spain comes second only to China for its network.

Other rail lines are planned for the Basque Country, Extremadura and Navarra, as well as a potential revival of the line linking Madrid and Lisbon in neighboring Portugal.




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