The start-up of tracks 9 and 10 of the Chamartín station this weekend has led to chaos in the Madrid Cercanías service during the early hours of Sunday to Monday, March 21, with widespread delays on all lines that pass through this station due to a computer error, Renfe sources report.
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Given the possible safety problems arising from this error in the interlocking software, which affects the control, command and signaling subsystems, the ADIF company, responsible for the railway infrastructure, has decided to restrict the passage of trains in Chamartín “until there are operational safety conditions are guaranteed,” it reports in a statement.
All the Cercanías lines have been affected since the beginning of the service except for the C-5 (Móstoles-Atocha-Humanes), the only one that does not pass through Chamartín. In the rest “there will be significant changes in the service,” Renfe and Adif explain in a statement.
Given this situation, Renfe recommends commuters using Cercanías Madrid to use alternative transport to the Cercanías network. The Government is working with Metro de Madrid and with the Regional Transport Consortium to try to meet the increase in demand produced by the transfer of commuters from Cercanías to the Metro and buses, both interurban and those of the EMT.
Long and medium distance affected, not the AVE
The incidence of Chamartín also affects Long Distance and Medium Distance Iberian/conventional gauge trains. These are the Intercity Madrid-Almería (which will go by bus to Vilches) and the Media Distancia trains that link Madrid with Jaén, Albacete, Soria and Zaragoza. In these cases, Renfe will have buses and will additionally arrange for the departures of these trains to be made from Aranjuez (in the case of Jaén and Albacete) or from Alcalá de Henares (Soria and Zaragoza), stations that will be connected by buses with Chamartín until the incident is resolved. For their part, the Santander-Alicante and Gijón-Castellón trains will transfer by bus between Chamartín and Atocha.
For these services, by having a Personalized Ticket and passenger data, Renfe is reporting the incident by SMS and mail to those affected. In case of abandoning the journey, Renfe will allow these travelers to change or cancel the ticket free of charge.
The incident does not affect the AVE, Avant and Alvia services, with international gauge, an infrastructure that does not present any problem at the beginning of the week.