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Train nation: when a train beats a plane

A vast and fast network of rails is going up across Spain and soon the train may be the dominant way to travel here. The government is investing 108 billion euros in upgrading and extending train travel and the high speed network, the AVE, is receiving 70% of that money. The goal is 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of high-speed track by 2020 so that 90% of Spaniards won’t be more than 30 miles from a station.

In February of 2008, the Barcelona-Madrid bullet train was inaugurated. Capable of traveling at 350km/hour (217mph)- though for now it will be limited to 300km/hour (186mph)- the AVE covers the 410 miles between Spain’s 2 largest cities in 2 hours and 35 minutes.

From city center to city center, it’s a journey fast enough to beat the plane. In this video, we at faircompanies – Nicolás Boullosa, Kirsten Dirksen and baby Inés- decided to test the route, timing our travel from our front door in downtown Barcelona to the center of Madrid.