so slow that even a tractor overtakes

so slow that even a tractor overtakes



The railway problem in Teruel can be measured in kilometers per hour, specifically the 70 kilometers per hour that can not exceed the so-called "slowest train in Spain". So slow that in some sections even a tractor overtakes it.

The image was seen months ago, and went viral, thanks to the Teruel Existe platform. During the days prior to the demonstration that took place in Valencia in October to demand the start-up of the Zaragoza-Teruel-Sagunto branch, the association broadcast a video in which it is verified that the tractor can overtake the train in the sections in the that this can not exceed 30 kilometers per hour.

Remembering the precarious situation of the railway line that crosses the province of Teruel is due to the failure that two days ago paralyzed a train of the Madrid-Badajoz connection, causing outrage among passengers and political and social agents of Extremadura.

This is a community with no first class rail service, but in Aragon there is almost the same thing.

The province of Teruel has in the train one of its main claims, both for the deficiencies that the current line presents and for the unfulfilled promises about a future modern corridor that would link the Basque Country with the Valencian Community, passing through the Teruel region.

"The current line is worse than a hundred years ago," Manuel Gimeno, a spokesman for Teruel Existe, has repeatedly denounced. The city was the last capital of peninsular Spain to which the railroad arrived in 1901.

Currently, it maintains the same layout projected in the nineteenth century, ie, single track, without electrification and with ramps of up to 24 thousandths, which became a common image those freight wagons that arrived from Zaragoza towards Valencia and stopped at the Teruel station because they were not able to overcome those differences.

The latest actions have been aimed at avoiding these problems, but they are a "patching" in the opinion of Teruel Existe and the Platform in Defense of the Railway, since there has been a tenfold increase in freight traffic along the line. Because it turns out that this line has enormous potential for transportation given its location.

Even so, the breakdowns are common, as reported by these groups, and as an example the figure offered before the penultimate mobilization in May last year in Zaragoza to claim investments for the province, with the train as a flag.

They then spoke of 450 incidents in fifteen months, a hundred of them related to breakdowns in brakes, detachments of windshield wipers in motion or in engines.

But there were also incidents as different as running out of fuel or getting water when it rains, or smoke or noise, in the passenger compartment. Not to mention traveling with a temperature of five degrees.

Teruel There is criticism, also, that in this way they have continued to use the so-called "tamagochi" trains, model 596, an obsolete copy that has been removed from other lines precisely because it is old and, at times, inoperative.

So bus transfers have been common in the life of this line, which obviously use fewer and fewer passengers.

The train is so slow that it even takes longer than the bus to complete the same route and, if that were not enough, the ticket can be more expensive than the AVE.

From Teruel There are reports that political decisions around the line have been aimed at letting her die. In January 1985, the Caminreal-Calatayud line was closed, a natural communication axis with Madrid.

And in 2000 the road was about to be closed definitively, after five derailments in a month, but it was fundamentally avoided, they stand out, thanks to citizen mobilization.

Along with Soria, Teruel is the only capital without access to High Speed ​​and without long distance train service.

Elisa Alegre

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