What has happened to Rodalies and why are people outraged with the service?

Catalonia has woken up on the 12M election day with the most serious impact on Rodalies in recent years.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 22:46
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What has happened to Rodalies and why are people outraged with the service?

Catalonia has woken up on the 12M election day with the most serious impact on Rodalies in recent years. It is a consequence of a new theft of copper cable, which took place at dawn at the Montcada Bifurcació station (Barcelona) and of several subsequent fires in its facilities and in a couple of tunnels. This is what is known so far about the chaos in Rodalies on this Sunday's appointment with the polls, which has unleashed the indignation of travelers:

The theft of copper cables has caused an electrical surge that has generally affected the entire Rodalies service. The infrastructure manager, Adif, has not yet been able to determine when it will be possible to recover a certain normality given “the severity, dispersion and scope of the damage.” “The situation is very complex and minute by minute we are seeing what can be done and how circulation can be expanded. Today is a very complicated day at Rodalies,” said the director of Rodalies, Antonio Carmona.

These are the messages with information for travelers who use this train service:

So far this year, from January 1 to April 30, Catalonia has already recorded 46 copper thefts from railway infrastructure, of which 32 have occurred in the province of Barcelona, ​​especially around the Catalan capital. .

Adif's communications manager, María del Mar Ruiz, explained that this is the situation despite the fact that in recent years communication with the Mossos d'Esquadra has intensified to investigate these thefts. You can read more about the copper thefts in Rodalies in this report by Mayka Navarro and David Guerrero:

The Ministry of Transport has pointed out that the theft of copper has been “intentional”, although the thieves have not taken much. Transportation sources have told EFE that the characteristics of the event do not match an ordinary copper theft, although they refer to the police investigation to clarify if it has any type of relationship with the elections.

Transport highlights that the cable cut occurred at a point that is difficult to access, in a pass under the highway, surrounded by reeds and which has to be climbed up an embankment. This point and, therefore, the burned signal is located 300 meters from the Montcada Bifurcación station, from where the wiring ends at the interlocking. This is a “key” railway junction in the north of Barcelona, ​​these sources add, with many tracks, switch points and signals, as well as an Adif maintenance center and a Renfe workshop.

The Spanish Union of Railway Machinists has requested “a judicial investigation that goes beyond the mere theft of copper, into the accumulation of boycotts that the Rodalies Catalunya network is suffering in recent years”, and has highlighted that in Catalonia 40 % of incidents in the entire State. In a note, the union points out that they are “sabotages that seem aimed at preventing the correct functioning of the service, which have increased in the last two months, and of which several were recorded yesterday until one of them “managed to disable the core of the network, located in the city of Barcelona.”

The ERC and Junts candidacies have asked the Central Electoral Board (JEC) to extend the voting hours beyond 8:00 p.m. considering that the public mobility of many people “has been seriously affected.” After 7:00 p.m. it has become known that the JEC leaves it in the hands of the provincial boards to extend the hours to vote due to the lack of trains.