"The project is attracting considerable attention from abroad. In proposing its own £34bn ($55bn: 37bn euros) high speed line between London and Glasgow, Britain's Network Rail noted how the AVE service had enabled Spain's railways to take market share from airlines and to promote regional economic development.
In the US, the Obama administration has earmarked $8bn for investment in high speed rail, prompting Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to ride the AVE for himself during a fact finding mission in June.
Judging by his subsequent blog entry, the American politician was impressed."
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