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As Spain's high-speed rail system connects major urban centers and smaller provincial capitals, it also runs across fertile agricultural regions. Rail officials say the Spanish government went to great lengths to minimize effects on farms.
There are lessons -- from both successes and mistakes -- that California can learn from Spain's 20-year history with high-speed trains. Top among them is just how hard it is to be self-sufficient, even when conditions seem ideal.
Bee staff writer Tim Sheehan held a live chat Jan. 17 about his special report about Spain's 20 years of experience with high-speed rail and how it reflects on California's controversial bullet train project.
BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Money wasn't a big obstacle when leaders in Spain decided in 1986 to build a high-speed train system.
Reporter Tim Sheehan's stories today about lessons learned from high-speed rail in Spain come at a critical juncture, when the debate about bullet trains in California is about to reach the Legislature.
Links to high-speed rail research and background information used for the Spanish Lessons project: