The stoic users of the R3, condemned again

Rain over wet in the R3.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:18
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The stoic users of the R3, condemned again

Rain over wet in the R3. In one of the most neglected suburban lines historically, the one that connects Puigcerdà with l'Hospitalet de Llobregat and which suffered four months of cuts in circulation between Mollet-Santa Rosa and Figaró due to the doubling of the track, now it only needed more trouble for Sunday's cable theft.

In the morning rush hour, between seven and nine yesterday, there was an hour and a half delay in traffic between Parets del Vallès and Barcelona. And most users, like stoics trained in the art of waiting, patiently took on the marathon of transshipments until reaching their destination. Maribel Tomillo, administrator of a dermatological clinic in Barcelona, ​​arrived at Parets station shortly before eight in the morning. The previous train to Barcelona had left at 7.20am. Renfe announced on its website that on the R3 line "there are two trains per hour and in each direction", but, unfortunately, yesterday it was not fulfilled towards Barcelona, ​​as the next train stopped at almost 9 am. Maribel, with two other neighbors, Olga Gómez and Montserrat Rodríguez, drove to Ripollet-Montcada, where the line ends, and boarded one of the shuttles enabled by Renfe to Fabra and Puig. He arrived at around 9.20 a.m. and continued with the L1 subway to Plaça Catalunya and there he changed to the FGC to take the L7 with a stop at El Putxet and walk a few minutes to Balmes with Kennedy, where he works. Despite being well informed, she could not fight the delays. "I checked the app, but it didn't help because the timetables are not kept. I've been there since before 8 a.m. because I get in at 9.45 a.m. The doctor and the nurse can't work if I don't take care of the visits. Yesterday (for Monday) I already arrived at 10 am and today I will arrive much later", he lamented.

Most of the users approached the station to check if there was a train, what its timetable was... A young Renfe operator attended to them with kindness, but with limited information. They continuously warned of the transshipment at Ripollet-Montcada over the public address system. Those who did not have a car had few alternatives. According to some residents, "since the beginning of May, Sagalés has reduced the frequency and buses to Barcelona. Either way, we don't have to go by train and hold on," protested Olga Gómez, who had to open a shop in Horta at 10 a.m. and could already see that she wouldn't get there on time. Noa Martínez, 16 years old, had a meeting at 10 a.m. about Erasmus in Portugal, in Plaça Catalunya. I thought the trains went all the way to Catalonia. "Aaah, they don't get there?", he asked in surprise. They ended up calling a friend to take them to Barcelona. Montserrat Rodríguez works at the Egyptian Museum, at the reception and taking care of school visits. "I come in at 10 a.m. and luckily today (for yesterday) I don't have children and I go more calmly. But if this lasts two months as they are saying, it will be very difficult to meet the schedules". Olga Gómez was right and argued that "companies will not be able to endure so many delays if the service continues to be so poor. That they put us alternative buses, like when they cut the tracks to make the split", he proposed. Maribel Tomillo went further: "If this chaos continues, I'm thinking of staying the night at my sister's house in Barcelona," she said very seriously.

After more than an hour of waiting, the train arrived at nine. There were free seats. The passengers, apparently calm, until they are asked. Irene, Liz and Betty had gone up to Canovelles. The first two were going to Cerdanyola del Vallès to look after two grandparents. The third, at a visit to the doctor, for tendinitis, in Barcelona. "We have already warned that we will arrive around 10 am, instead of 9 am. Once in Fabra i Puig we have to take another bus to Cerdanyola del Vallès. We might as well get up early. There aren't two trains an hour, as they announced." Liz was confident that the doctor would take care of her without any problems.

In the other direction, from Fabra i Puig to Granollers, the day did not start very well for Paqui Muñoz, a garment worker in the Valais capital. He enters at 6.30 a.m. and "as I was in the case of the Renfe problem, since 5.30 a.m. I've been waiting for the train to Ripollet-Montcada. He was supposed to leave at 6, but ended up leaving at 6:50. We have to do demonstrations or something because this can't be taken anymore. It's frustrating. What will they say to me at work? Stay longer to make up for lost time", she pointed out, in pain and out of boredom. After 10 a.m., also in the same direction, the lawyer Urko Aguirre boarded the Fabra i Puig bus, heading to the Granollers courts, after a tour. "They have a trial at 12 pm and I left Hospitalet at 8.45 am, I took the L1 subway to Fabra i Puig and there I got on the shuttle bus to the station. I have a car, but I am a regular user of public transport. There has been a bit of a mess, but I think I will arrive on time", he announced intuitively.