RAILWAY authorities have been slammed by the regional government of Extremadura, in western Spain, after more than 160 ‘angry and cold’ passengers were left stranded for hours in the middle of the night.
Regional chief of transportation, Jose Gonzalez reportedly said that if Renfe ‘lacks the ability to manage transportation they should stop doing it’. The region has long complained about poor railway infrastructure compared with the rest of Spain.
Renfe has since issued an apology and launched an internal investigation into the ‘journey from hell’ which saw travellers depart from Badajoz at 5.18pm on New Year’s Day destined for Barcelona, a journey which took 10 and a half hours.
It should take six hours and 37 minutes.
The chaos began after a malfunction in Merida forced passengers to get off the train and board a second one to Navalmoral de la Mata.
According to reports, there were two trains to choose from, and railway authorities ‘decided to put the passengers on the older one’, which went on to break down twice.
After coming to a stand-still in the ‘middle of the countryside’ in temperatures of 2 degrees, travellers had to wait hours for a further train to arrive and tow them back to Navalmoral, where they were offered three buses to Madrid – or a third train.
A journalist on board posted a video on social media showing viewers the dark night, with the caption ‘2019 begins like 2018 for the people of Extremadura, as the most forgotten region of Spain’.
El tren, aún a oscuras, arranca pero se detiene de nuevo y avanza lentamente, remolcado por el otro tren. La indignación crece entre los pasajeros 😤🚆🤚 #TrenDignoYa #Extremadura #Tren pic.twitter.com/E4ysVTON5i
— Extremadura en Red (@extremadurared) January 2, 2019