The presentation of the trains that Alstom is manufacturing in Santa Perpètua with an appearance very similar to those that Renfe has acquired for Cercanías has reopened the debate on the destination of the new units. In the initial plans it was contemplated that a hundred of them would go to Rodalies, but the public operator has already been warning for months that it will not put any new train in Catalonia without the pending program contract to be signed for twelve years with the Generalitat.
The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has joined Renfe's warnings. "If the Generalitat wants to move forward and have the new trains, it must sign the program contract, from there we can talk about the next steps regarding the transfer," Sánchez assured during his visit to the InnoTrans fair, the world's largest rail transport fair that takes place these days in Berlin.
In the department led by Jordi Puigneró, the signing of the agreement demanded by Renfe and the Ministry is not even remotely considered and they limit themselves to demanding the complete transfer. However, the minister is optimistic: "I trust that it can be resolved."
Raquel Sánchez has visited the new Alstom model on which the new Cercanías trains will be based, which are characterized by combining single- and double-decker wagons to offer more capacity while gaining space for those who travel by bicycle or have reduced mobility. She has done so accompanied by the president of Renfe, Isaías Táboas, who on several occasions has been very blunt about the destination of the trains if there is no prior contract with the Generalitat, since it is the document on which long-term investments can be established. .
In this way, if the trains left the plant today, they would go to other Cercanías hubs such as Madrid, Seville and Bilbao. The long term of manufacturing in this sector gives room for negotiation between the Generalitat and the Ministry of Transport, which have been in dialogue to take steps in the economic transfer of Rodalies for months, as agreed in 2010.