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Cost-benefit analysis of the high-speed train in Spain

Vicente Inglada () and Ginés de Rus ()

The Annals of Regional Science, 1997, vol. 31, issue 2, 175-188

Abstract: The high-speed train is a technological break-through in passenger transport which has allowed to increase railways share in modal split in medium range distances, competing with road and air transport. The first high-speed link in Spain was launched in April 1992, with high success according to occupancy rates and public opinion of its quality, safety and impact on regional development. The Madrid-Sevilla corridor includes several routes (commuting, long-distance and services provided using high-speed infrastructure but with Talgo technology). In this paper, an ex post cost-benefit analysis is carried out from demand and cost data available and under several assumptions about the life span of the project, growth hypothesis, time and accident values, and with a social discount rate of 6% in real terms. Economic evaluation of the project shows that the Spanish high-speed train project should have not been carried out in 1987 in that particular corridor.

Date: 1997
Note: Received: July 1996 / Accepted: January 1997
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