One of the commonly cited reasons for the adoption of this non-standard gauge was to obstruct a repetition of French invasion attempts, but it may have been a technical decision, to allow for the running of larger, more powerful locomotives in a mountainous country.
Since the beginning of the 1990s new high-speed passenger lines in Spain have been built to the international standard gauge of , to allow these lines to link to the European high-speed network. Although the 22 km from Tardienta to Huesca (part of a branch from the Madrid to Barcelona high-speed line) has been reconstructed as mixed Iberic and standard gauge, in general the interface between the two gauges in Spain is dealt with by means of gauge-changing installations, which can adjust the gauge of appropriately designed wheelsets on the move.
There are plans to convert the whole broad gauge network to standard gauge, but so far the only visible indication is the use of dual gauge concrete sleepers (with two positions of bolt holes) on stretches of relaid broad-gauge track.
Spain-Track Bed Works, Signaling and Telecomunication Facilities. Section Pk 3,1 a Pk 6,8. San Roque MercancE[degrees]as. Railway Line Bobadilla-Algeciras
Oct 31, 2013; Project Start:January 2013 Project End: December 2015 Project Status:Active Project Phase: Execution Project Location: Spain...
Spain-Implementation of UIC Gauge on the Mediterranean Corridor. Section Castellbisbal Nudo De Vilaseca Phase 1
Oct 31, 2013; Project Start:January 2013 Project End: December 2015 Project Status: Active Project Phase: Execution Project Location: Spain...