Empty stations and discontent on the R3 due to the Rodalis chaos

Empty stations and discontent on the R3 due to the Rodalis chaos

There are no words to describe the discontent of users of Vic (Osona) station due to a malfunction of the R3 de Rodalis, one of the lines most suffering from constant breakdowns, delays and lack of trains. the Lamentations of the hundreds of people who every day have to take the train to travel to Barcelona, ​​Puigcerda -The last two stations of the line- or other points along the way, Like Ripoll, it has become a constant stimulant: “We have become accustomed to the R3 always going slow or late, that is the norm,” Montserrat Esteve explains resignedly. A resident of the capital of Osuna has been taking the train every day to go to work in Barcelona for more than a decade. However, this situation has worsened after the widespread collapse of the Renfe Rodalis railway service that began last Sunday, May 12, due to the theft of copper wires at the Montcada Bifurcació facilities. “If taking the train was once so difficult, now it has become torture.”Itzipa Carles Busquets, who criticizes the chaos in Rodales with some friends sitting at a table in the university bar in Vic, a regular gathering, as he confirmed in a conversation with El Mon, over the past few days.

The theft of copper wires has affected many train lines, but all of them are slowly recovering to normal, with the exception of R3. Currently, the service operates between Puigcerdà (Cerdanya) and Montcada-Ripollet (Vallès Occidental), meaning that The section connecting central Catalonia to Barcelona is not working. Users have to stop in Montcada to take the shuttle bus that will take them to Fabra i Puig station, and there they take the metro to go to the point they want in the Catalan capital. One A new reality Which, as the Minister of Transport, Oscar Puente, admitted, will last two months: “It is outrageous, if it usually takes us a long time to get to Barcelona, ​​now we can be there for more than three hours,” he emphasizes. Montserrat Esteve, who believes that regardless of the length of the trip, the problem also lies in the “information chaos” that users experience.

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The indignation that is also shared by the spokesperson for the platform because we do not deceive the train, Marc Janeras, an organized group that claims and condemns the continued bad situation of the R3: “It is clear that the major collapse was caused by Montcada’s theft, but the problem with the line is systemic. When it’s not garlic it’s onion“, Itzipa. They also recall from the platform that the Fabra i Puig station “is not in the center of Barcelona and this means additional time for users to reach their destination”, an additional time that affects “many users”: “We have to count on our defense,” adds Janeras. .

Photo of the almost empty Vic train station / GM

Distrust of Rodalis leads to emptying of R3 terminals

In the face of the continuing shortcomings of this line, many ordinary users are beginning to lose – and even more – their confidence in Rodalis and choose to use other means of transportation, e.g. Express bus line connecting Vic to Barcelona. Mistrust has vanished, as this newspaper has been able to verify The stations are practically empty. but, This type of bus does not stop, which prevents communication with other intermediate points On the R3 route, such as Centelles or la Garriga: “I would like to be able to take the express bus, which goes very fast, but to go to work [treballa a Parets del Vallès, una altra de les estacions de la línia] Regarding public transportation, I have no other alternative than the train,” explains Mercy Filiu as he patiently waits for his train to arrive at Vic Station.

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According to the user, this trend of train departure has been increasing for some time. One of the main reasons is the four months of works – between November 2023 and the beginning of February of this year – carried out on the section between Garriga and Barres del Valles (Vallés Oriental) to divide the route and which forced them to cut the service between the two stations. These actions have been answered Improved infrastructure has been long demanded From Catalonia, but was always postponed by the Spanish government. In fact, this was one of the points that drove the demand for the integrated transport of the Rodalis service, which was signed by the PSOE and ERC last November but whose rollout has not yet begun. In the coming months, in theory, the second phase of track division will begin, which will once again temporarily paralyze a section of the railway service.

During all this time that the service between Garriga and Barets was stopped, some users continued to take the train because they were “very clear” at which station they needed to get off to take the bus, but others preferred to look for new alternative means of transportation. But now a “lack of information and accuracy” has largely emptied the stations. “We are desperate and very busy,” exclaimed Filho, who asserted that “some informants tell you one thing, others another.”

User accesses R3/ACN Vic station

“Urgent” solutions for R3

Users are demanding “urgent” solutions for the entire Rodalies service, especially for the R3, so they can restore “normalcy” to public transport: “I would rather everything go back to the way it was before, no matter how it was.” It’s terrible, always having to make a trip this week,” points out Carles Busquets. Vegata also believes it is very necessary to know exactly what happened last Sunday to prevent it from happening again: “A robbery like this cannot happen again,” he shouted. Claims very similar to those made by the R3 defense platform: “How could such an essential element of infrastructure be unprotected in this way and could be entered at three in the morning to steal copper without security footage, without people watching and without the cops?,arguments.

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In fact, it was these same responsibilities that opened a new rift between state government and the Spanish language. While the director of Rodales, Antonio Carmona, attributed responsibility for the security of the facilities where the theft occurred to the Mossos family, the director of the Catalan police, Pere Ferrer, and the Ministry of the Territory, in the hands of the acting council. Esther Kabila, they closed their ranks and turned their attention to Adif. Regardless of the criticism, the Catalan executive has requested a “specific audit” to try to find out who is behind the theft. However, in the meantime, users face the coming months with patience and resignation.

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