Photo of the Day: Euskotren Tranbia

As well as the Metro and an excellent bus system –Bilbobus– Bilbao also has a small tram system. Running CAF built Urbos 1 Light Rail vehicles, the route covers different sections of the city to the faster and longer reaching Metro, offering a highly visible distributor from a couple of Metro stations it connects with to important destinations like the Guggenheim Museum. It runs both on the city streets and on dedicated and grassed corridors by the river. The Quay side has a wide promenade and cycleways on both banks. The revitalisation of Bilbao is built on the back of investment in high quality public realm with thorough attention to Transit and Walking and Cycling networks. The Guggenheim Museum is really the icing on the cake of this rebirth, not the starting point.






Photographs by Patrick Reynolds.

39 comments to Photo of the Day: Euskotren Tranbia

  • Konrad Kurta

    That pic beside the river… imagine if Quay street looked like that!

  • Ted E

    No bikes in sight, no buses only parked cars! What time of day and week? Only pedestrians active (3 cars parked on the street opposite the station)

    • We saw lots of cyclists in Bilbao. You can see pics of some here:
      Interesting math: you managed to find a few parked cars in the distance in one image, but missed all those tram passengers in the foreground?

      • Economic reason

        Bilbao can not be separated from the economic and social mess of the rest of Spain. The truth is the Spanish Government borrowed far beyond its ability to repay and wasted the money on a host of projects. Motorways, airports, trains, they were all unaffordable. Would you like NZ to have 50% unemployment in under 25 year olds just to fund the CRL? Of course Len Brown is already spending money Auckland does not have so we may yet all be crying into our paella

        • Well if you are interested in accuracy you will discover that different parts of Spain are in completely economic conditions and in fact have quite separate structures. The Basque country is an outlier in terms of economic performance from the rest of Spain, and its cities in particular are at the heart of this:

          Pretty clumsy to lump millions of people in different conditions in one heap just because we’re a long way away.

          Secondly I know some people seem to feel it makes sense to argue that because European cities have good transit systems and Europe is not generally not performing well economically therefore building for cars and not Transit makes a place rich. Writing the argument like that shows how stupid it is, but that is essentially how some argue; including the current minister of transport. Clearly this is a vast and inaccurate over-simplification and false conclusion.

          Looking for primary causes of European economic woes start with energy poverty, then move to fiscal inflexibility [Euro], competition from new economies…

          And most importantly if you are worried about borrowing and debt its the RoNS that should scare you Tens of Billions on duplicate highways that will doing nothing for economic performance only double down on our commitment to need ever more increasingly unaffordable liquid fuels imports. Also I’m not sure about your math 50% debt just to pay for the CRL, think you’ve thrown an addition zero on there amigo?

          • You would also have to argue that cycling must be a great economic boost as the countries that have high cycling rates have generally been the best performing post-GFC (Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia).

          • There’s no case for even correlation let alone causation between building urban Transit and poor economic performance as the boomingest nation of our age has also built not only Transit on an unprecedented scale but also the world’s most extensive High Speed Rail network…. China.

  • TheBigWheel

    Nice armadillos 😉

    Interesting too to see them temporarily relocated for the street works.

  • Pete

    Ohh, imagine if that was in Auckland. Shut down Queen Street, make it a park, and have a light rail system run up and down, awesome. Plenty of back streets for service vehicles etc!

  • Jacob Winn

    That would be pure joy around downtown Auckland… it would completely transform the economics and livability of the downtown area…

  • Economic Reason

    All very pretty until you are reminded that crap like this is what sent the Spanish economy back to the dark ages. The Spanish Govt were over spending up to 5% of GDP – so yes Jacob – it would transform the economy

  • George

    We could almost squeeze these on our network, being 1000mm gauge.

  • Peter Olorenshaw

    Yes why is Auckland Transport Blog anti trams?

    • Can’t speak for the others, but I don’t think we are ‘anti-trams’, we can be sceptical about their cost-benefit especially where they are sharing space with general traffic. I certainly prefer them to diesel buses, yet for the cost only one or two extremely busy routes could possible justify the capital investment. Most of us agree that there is a case for a Quay St-Queen-Dom Rd tram route,as Nick discussed in an earlier post. I would certainly like to see the bus route there run properly to build the case for higher capacity systems.

      Also in terms of what would make the biggest difference to Auckland investment in the CRL to unlock the dormant capacity, speed, and reach of the existing rail network is a far greater priority. But that isn’t because of being pro- rail and anti tram, or any other mode preference, but rather from an analysis of the opportunities and challenges faced by the city. And obviously capital is scarce, so i see any Light Rail investment as necessarily coming later.

      Of course if we had never lost them in the first place would be so much better- very had to get systems back once they’re dismantled.

    • Not sure how you get that we’re anti trams. A full tram network would be brilliant but for the time being it’s not that practical to push for. My take is that we have a number of key components missing to a really successful PT system in Auckland. We’re missing the high level rapid transit that other cities have and that’s were the CFN comes in. At the next level down we have a number of not very customer friendly bus routes and that’s being addressed by the new network, we’re missing easy to understand (and fair) fares and that should be addressed by integrated fares. Let’s get the RTN sorted first and get the bus network completely optimised and humming. After that we can look to upgrade key bus routes to trams but there’s certainly lower hanging fruit out there first.

  • Sacha

    Love the tramlines on grass. Let’s do that somewhere here.

  • James

    That is some really gorgeous looking infrastructure – love the grass!

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