In the middle of a political dispute over the Cercanías service and with the operation starting for Holy Week, problems have once again reached the Chamartín-Clara Campoamor station in Madrid, the epicenter of communications to the north of Spain and, for a few months, also for the Valencian Community. In this case, the problem focuses on high-speed trains, whose infrastructure has suffered an incident in railway operation.
The problem, which began shortly before five in the afternoon and is causing crowds on the platforms and lobbies of the station, has occurred because the catenary has lost electrical voltage, according to ADIF sources, and has caused trains cannot enter or leave the station for almost two hours. A situation that has had an impact on the dozens of convoys that were scheduled to pass through the capital enclave during the first day of the departure operation and that have seen at around 5:45 p.m. gradual Adif did not consider the problem solved until 19:10. "The trains run late. The Valencia/Alicante relations run diverted through the Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes station," they point out from Renfe.
"Adif technicians are working to solve the incident as soon as possible," they point out from Adif, the company in charge of managing railway infrastructure, without giving an exact time for the service to resume. This has caused hundreds of people to be blocked at the station and have expressed their complaints through social networks. Even the breakdown and the large number of people are preventing many travelers from even accessing the interior of the station, also creating riots at the doors.
The situation in Chamartín, which had lasted since 4:50 p.m., is affecting other stations in the national territory that have to connect with the capital. For this reason, the delays oscillated around an hour in other Spanish cities such as Oviedo, Calatayud, Valencia or Burgos. "Nobody tells us anything, it's outrageous how they treat us," says Lucía Díaz, from the station platform waiting for her train to return to her house in Asturias.
The voltage in the catenary has recovered from 5:45 p.m. However, the delays accumulate in various parts of the national territory because the trains have not yet managed to return to their normal circulation due to all those who have been affected, including Renfe's AVE and Ouigo's low cost and Iryo. From the Chamartín public address system, the restoration of circulation has been reported. However, the hostesses of some Ouigo trains are informing passengers that their service is canceled, forcing them to get off their train a second time.
The company announced this morning that it was increasing the available capacity with the most demanded destinations. In total, some two million seats among all its AVE, Avlo, Alvia, Euromed, Intercity and Media Distancia trains to travel from this Friday to Monday, April 10. It also offers 836,685 seats "between the Avant and Media Distancia services that link the entire territory".
According to their estimates, the days with the highest demand coincide with the start and return of the festivities: Wednesday and Thursday and return Sunday and Monday. Also this Friday, "a large volume of trips in Renfe services" is expected.
In addition, another incident has been added to this situation, in this case at the Atocha-Almudena Grandes station, which has caused delays of around 15 minutes on the trains on lines C2, C7 and C8 of the Madrid Cercanías. A situation that has been repeated repeatedly in recent months and has caused a political confrontation between the Community of Madrid and the Ministry of Transport, which have even met to try to improve the service without being able to reach an agreement.
After learning about these incidents, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has charged against the central government, stating that "we must also invest in Madrid and its Cercanías and AVE, even though we do not have embassies or spend the money on regionalism" . "Instead of renaming stations, the Government should be solving and avoiding the breakdowns that occur in them," the popular leader concluded.
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