Widespread disruption in commuter train service after cable theft

No Rodalies services able to reach Barcelona after incident at Montcada-Bifurcació, Sagrera metro station closed

Plaça Catalunya station in Barcelona, where no trains operate because of a theft of copper cable at Montcada Bifurcació
Plaça Catalunya station in Barcelona, where no trains operate because of a theft of copper cable at Montcada Bifurcació / Laura Fíguls

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

May 12, 2024 09:23 AM

May 12, 2024 07:53 PM

The Rodalies commuter train service in the Barcelona area was severely disrupted on Sunday morning due to the theft of copper cable in Montcada i Reixac, just northeast of Barcelona.

Renfe, the Spanish government-owned public company in charge of the service, recommends passengers to use an alternative means of transport – while works are underway to fix the issue, there is no forecast on when it will be resolved, as of midday.

No commuter train lines were able to reach Barcelona on Sunday morning, while regional trains are also affected and high-speed trains work as usual.

R1, the one connecting the capital with the Maresme county coastal towns in the north, starts and finishes in Badalona, where users can take the metro to arrive in Barcelona.

R2 south, the one between Barcelona, the airport and Vilanova I la Geltrú among others, start and end at Bellvitge.

R4 line is not completing its full route between Vilafranca del Penedès and Manresa through Barcelona – on the one hand, it starts at L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to the east in the Penedès counties, and on the other hand it operates between Cerdanyola del Vallès and Manresa, and between Montcada i Reixac and Portbou.

R3 is not connecting Barcelona with Vic and Puigcerdà, because it starts and finishes at Montcada Ripollet and travels north from there.

Meanwhile, R7 and R8 have alternative service by road transport.

Thus trains cannot run through Barcelona tunnels and between Maçanet, Granollers and el Clot, as well as between Maçanet, Mataró and el Clot. No trains can run between Montcada Bifurcació and Montcada either.

Adif, the public company in charge of the network and infrastructure, said on Sunday morning that "the damage caused is severe and widespread."

Sagrera metro station closed

The excess voltage at the Rodalies network due to the theft of copper cable generated minor fires in the Barcelona train tunnels, and the firefighters were working around midday in Sagrera station.

In order to prevent the impact of smoke, the Sagrera metro station was closed, according to the civil protection authorities, which affects metro lines L1, L5, L9 and L10N.

Major train disruption 'affects right to vote,' says Catalan government

The major incident coincides with the Catalan election day, and the Catalan vice president, Laura Vilagrà, said that the disruptions affect the right to vote and the turnout.

The situation is "unacceptable," she said, calling on the Spanish transports minister, Óscar Puente, to take prompt action.

Upon voting, the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, also said that the damage to the commuter train network could affect the right to vote, and added that the issues come after years of "lack of public spending" in the service by the Spanish government.