Sunday, August 14

This has been the collective farewell of travelers to the historic Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia train

At 7:00 p.m. this Tuesday, the last train of the conventional line that connects this city with Madrid and Valencia arrives at the Cuenca station. It will be the end of 140 years of a railway line that has been the backbone of the province, one of those that make up the emptied Spain and that has caused social and political rejection of the Plan X Cuenca of the Government of Spain, which has included its closure. In its place, there will be buses, regular lines and new AVANT trains, but it has not been enough to prevent trade union, social and political groups from continuing to criticize this decision and many towns in the province have decided to take this issue to court. But in the meantime, travelers have said goodbye to the train.

During the last few days, in the Facebook group created for users and users of the Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia Regional Train, dozens of videos and photographs have been shared about this route, some to say goodbye and others to demand that the fight continue.

In parallel, there have been reactions from different groups and political parties from the province and the entire region. Mª Ángeles García Jiménez, councilor and spokesperson for the Municipal Group of ‘Cuenca, en Marcha!’ in the Cuenca City Council, she has once again insisted that the investments of Plan X Cuenca in high speed and in terms of the urban development of Adif land are perfectly compatible with the maintenance of the conventional train. “If Plan X Cuenca is compatible with tourist trains, why isn’t it compatible with the transport of people and goods?” She has asked herself.

“It is delirious to end a century-old infrastructure in a context of energy crisis and where the European Union is asking for precisely the opposite, which is to bet on the railway. We are, therefore, faced with a comparative offense with other provinces such as Albacete and Toledo that gain rail services, since they do not lose the conventional train. This formation supports the legal actions undertaken by the Platform in Defense of the Railway and Peoples with the Train in order to reverse the closure of the line and has encouraged the citizens of Cuenca to participate in the concentration that will take place this afternoon at 7:00 p.m. at the railway station “to see off the last train with a see you soon and not a see you forever”.

For its part, the CCOO union has warned that “the last word” has not yet been said on the future of this railway line, since the Ministry of Transport (Mitma) must still respond to the allegations made by the union and presented by itself. and by a dozen city councils that, they say, maintain that the actions aimed at closing the line “were carried out without a legal basis, so the entire file must be annulled.” In the event that the allegations are rejected, CCOO will go to the Supreme Court to request judicial control of the decision to close the line, they added, as reported by the CCOO in a press release.

“Political Alignment”

Ciudadanos Cuenca has said that the closure of the line has the only guarantee of the “political alignment” of the Socialist Party in the central, regional and local government. Said closure has been caused “by an autocratic decision, unilaterally, lacking all democratic guarantees, and forced with haste to liquidate an infrastructure with high heritage, historical and economic value”, the spokeswoman for Cs in the Cuenca City Council has settled Christina Fuentes.

And the president of the PP in Castilla-La Mancha, Paco Núñez, has referred to this issue pointing out that his formation “has fought and defended” the maintenance of the conventional railway but that the PSOE has “ignored”, not only its claims but to those of the group of people from Cuenca who have demonstrated to demand that it not be eliminated.

From the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, the opposite assessment has been made by the Minister of Public Works, Nacho Hernando. “I do not see in the future a train that takes seven hours from Madrid to Valencia or from Valencia to Madrid and that in its busiest section carries 37 passengers a day, at a cost of 10 million euros a year.” Defending the permanence of this route, he has said, is “similar to saying that we continue to go by car on Roman roads.”

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