Felipe VI and Sánchez are 22 years late on the new train to Extremadura

Felipe VI and Sánchez are 22 years behind on the new Extremadura express train

One minute. This is how it took this Monday afternoon for the train to leave the hour of Cáceres on purpose in the direction of Badajoz. The screen of the car attracts the attention of passengers until it indicates the maximum speed reached throughout the journey: 180 kilometers per hour. After two decades of postponement, the people of Extremadura finally have a faster train than the previous ones, which connects the main communities of the region to Spanish incomes. King Felipe VI and the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, inaugurated this Monday the Plasencia-Cáceres-Mérida-Badajoz border, the first border of rapid reincorporation in Extremadura. Both were placed with the individual in the convoy, who left Cáceres in employment during Plasencia.

The four main stations remained in the cities, although despite their renovation there was still no cafeteria at the time in Cáceres. Follow the tradition of refilling bags of chips at the machines. And you only pay cash.

The climb to the car was hermetic. None of the participants could see the entrance. “Everyone inside,” ordered a member of security as he neared the train’s departure. “Renfe welcomes you” echoes through the speakers of the semi-air-conditioned car and the seats that smell like new. La voz also announces that there will be a cafeteria service, internet access and an entertainment content platform.

The rattle of the train begins to sound. Moving the Guadiana River, the train slows down. Once in town, you can see the magnificent Conduction of Los Milagros through the window. 40 minutes by car which starts the new corridor. Here King Felipe VI. and the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, got off the train for a few minutes to accept the corregidor of Mérida, Antonio Rodríguez. Handshake and pose for the cameras.

The (average) commercial speed, which depends on the conditions of a regular train hallucination, such as the circulation of other trains, intermediate stops or station entrances and waits, depends on the route: from Monfragüe or Plasencia to Cáceres with 130.4 km/h, from Badajoz to Mérida (122.5) and from Madrid-Atocha to Badajoz (106.7).

When the border line is completed, the new section will have 150 kilometers of track on which 730 reincorporation trains will run at new speed. “This is another step in dismantling the infrastructure that was not accommodating the citizens of this country proportionately. Today is a day of departure and a turning point,” said Raquel Sánchez Giménez, Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Planning.

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Many generations of people from Extremadura have had to put up with a lot, accustomed to delays and using medium-distance trains for a long-distance trip, like the one from Badajoz to Madrid. The promises of the realization of the return of the thesis. “We will work so that the trains enter the four capitals of Extremadura and that the routes are safer, the times are better and the hallucination is of higher quality,” said Guillermo Fernández Vara, president of the Society of Extremadura. ‘Extremadura.

While Felipe VI. Between applause and smiles, it was the turn of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who made an itinerary through the history of Extremadura’s infrastructures. Extremadura has a rail network of 725 kilometers. And until three springs ago, it was the only region in Spain that didn’t have a long-distance railway: “It was an 1890 railway with wooden sleepers. Even the traffic cuts were done by telephone (…) These are the first 150 kilometers at reintegration speed in Extremadura. It is the appearance of a path from which there is no return”. More promises. “In 2023, work will be carried out on a complete double track and the electrification of the entire section. Extremadura will take the train of progress”.

After 22 years of perpetual travel and old wagons, the historical appeal of Extremadurians materializes in a decaffeinated way. It was not the AVE that was disheveled, as José María Aznar suspected at the beginning of this century. Twenty people from the Milana Bonita association have not forgotten it. They made noise in front of the station of Cáceres to demand “a train in decent conditions” in Extremadura. Like Manuel González, 72, who illustrates the difficulties passengers face today in their hallucination of Navalmoral de la Mata. “There was a delay… It took me an hour and a half.” And he adds, resigned: “Now they do little, but we don’t know when it will end or if it will end proportionally. What we want is a train with electric tracks. “Wide” for now. This is how the hallucination ends with a voice in the loudspeaker warning all Extremadurians that the section will be open from this Tuesday.

View of the Alvia S-730 train leaving Cáceres station for Badajoz this afternoon.Hearing of the Alvia S-730 train that appeared this afternoon from Cáceres to Badajoz.Jero Morales (EFE)

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