Travel times are increased between 7 and 13 minutes through the new tunnel in Madrid. Two AVE through Orihuela are still in the south station
Starting today, four of the six daily services currently provided by Renfe between the Region of Murcia and Madrid will use the Chamartín station, in the north of Madrid, instead of Atocha. This change of header entails lengthening the travel time between 7 and 13 minutes. Only two trains will continue to use the Atocha station, along with another that only runs on weekends.
This modification also affects the majority of trains that circulate between Alicante and Madrid, connected by 14 daily frequencies in each direction. The protests in both provinces have not made a dent in the Ministry of Transport, which maintains that Atocha is saturated and that the restructuring will facilitate rail communications with the north of Spain through the new Madrid tunnel.
The first morning AVE from Orihuela, the two combined services by bus to Albacete and another with transfer in Alicante will be affected today by this change, according to information from Renfe. In a second phase, in a few years, all the trains will stop at Atocha and Chamartín, when a new transit station is built in the southern area.
The minister presents the plans for this fall of Ouigo and Iryo, which may extend their offer to the Region later
The Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, explained yesterday in Chamartín the functionality of the new tunnel, accompanied by the president of Adif, María Luisa Domínguez, the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Isabel Pardo de Vera; the president of Renfe, Isaías Táboas; as well as by the president of Iryo, Carlos Bertomeu; and the general director of Ouigo Spain, Hélène Valenzuela.
He indicated that as of today 110 weekly services will use this tunnel, including the high-speed Madrid-Alicante/Murcia. Some of those operating from the Region will be added at the end of the year. “Part of the adjoining services from Madrid will begin to be provided from here and our goal is to expand the railway capacity of the city of Madrid and convert Chamartín and Atocha into two terminals at a single station,” explained the minister. Additionally, she calculates that, by 2040, Chamartín alone will host more than 40 million annual travelers.
Raquel Sánchez also highlighted the railway liberalization model initiated in Spain, which she described as “revolutionary”, reports EP. On October 7, Ouigo will begin operating between Madrid and Valencia and Iryo is expected to do so from November between Barcelona and Madrid. “This liberalization process, in which Chamartín plays a determining role, already reaches close to 25 million citizens in 14 provinces with access to competing corridors,” said the minister. Iryo also plans to operate from Murcia.
Raquel Sánchez pointed out that she has not yet decided whether to extend the gratuitousness of the Cercanías and Media Distancia bonds beyond December 31. There are more than 900,000 since the measure was launched.
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