TTR198 Out & About Basque Bilbao

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Bilbao is the largest city in the autonomous Basque country in northern Spain. We arrive by rail from Madrid- a journey of nearly five hours until the AVE arrives in ten years time. Bilbao is a former industrial city that has reinvented itself as a tourist centre. The old wharfs that occupied much of the city centre have been swept away to be replaced by the modern facilities of an emerging cultural city – the centre piece being the Guggenheim museum. The geography of the city is dominated by the River Nervión. The Metro, whose stations were designed by the Norman Foster practice in the UK,  runs along both sides of the river, while the RENFE Cercanías commuter railway runs only on the west bank over three routes centred on Abando station. The eastern Basque Country is served by Euskotren Trena;  a metre gauge electric railway which is both a local commuter railway and a Regional railway to the eastern cities and Hendaye just over the border in France. Euskotren Trena also operate the funicular - the Funicular de Artxanda where you get magnificent views down the river towards the estuary and the modern port. The metre gauge railways to the west of Bilbao remain the property of the Spanish government. Formerly operated by FEVE or in full Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha these lines carry compact InterCity trains to Santander and León.  FEVE is now owned by: ADIF- stations, track and signalling and RENFE- operations.  The latest public transport asset is the Euskotren Tranbia;  currently a single line system running in a loop alongside the river from the old town to the major public transport interchange at San Mamés.  One more public transport asset awaits our attention – this time on the outskirts near the mouth of the river: the transporter bridge – the oldest of its type in the world. The whole palette of transport options are pulled together with a tariff zone card called a BARIK CARD we show you how to buy one. RT 55 mins Narrated, filmed in HD. ©FHP 2014


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