Thursday, March 30

«He had to have arrived in Mérida at nine at night. I arrived almost at one in the morning»

Breakdowns of the Extremaduran train

Isabel was traveling to Mérida to spend a few days, but an incident on the train bound for Extremadura affected the convoy and the train was stopped for more than three hours in Illescas

Maria Fernandez

«He had to have arrived in Mérida around nine at night. I arrived almost at one in the morning. It is the story of the Extremaduran Isabel VM, one of the people who traveled yesterday on the Madrid-Cáceres train, which left shortly after half past five in the afternoon from the Spanish capital and was detained for several hours in Illescas.

He is from Mérida, although he lives in Alicante and returns to Extremadura whenever he can. «From Alicante to Madrid it took me two and a half hours. From Madrid to Mérida I don’t even know », she points out. «It cannot be that this transport is so precarious. It makes us stay behind and thus, there can be no progress », she reflects.

The Extremaduran narrates that the convoy left Madrid on time. Less than an hour into the journey, the train stopped. “We cross our fingers, because we know about the problems of the Extremadura train,” says the traveler. Passengers began to ask what was going on, but got no answer. “The inspector had a circumstantial face and he didn’t know how to tell us what was going on,” she says. After a while, it was reported from the public address system that the problems were due to security reasons.

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The railway operator confirmed yesterday that it was a failure in the system related to the signaling of the infrastructure, which caused delays in the trains that circulated through this point. “There was a somewhat tense atmosphere, although very unpleasant, it was not because people are already resigned,” he says.

The incident interrupted circulation between the stations of the Madrid municipality of Griñón and the Toledo town of Illescas. As a consequence, rail traffic between Madrid and Extremadura was also stopped. “When more than three hours had passed, the train began to move as if nothing had happened.”

Remember that the Extremadura-Madrid line is a single track. Therefore, when there is any breakdown or incident at any point, the entire road is stopped because traffic cannot be diverted elsewhere, as is the case with double tracks.

They arrived in Mérida around one in the morning, “with a crippled body.” Renfe put taxis to bring passengers closer to points such as Castuera and Almendralejo. Isabel, who was traveling alone, stayed without having dinner with her sister and her friends as she had planned. “My plan was a dinner, but what about those who had work commitments, those who came for tourism… It’s not an anecdotal problem, it happens a lot,” she concludes.

So far this year, the Extremaduran train has registered several incidents, the last ten days ago, a fault in the signaling that caused a 45-minute delay in the Madrid-Cáceres medium-distance train. The failure took place in the section between the Plasencia and Monfragüe stations.

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