Aug 8, 2022
Cable Theft Disrupts Madrid-to-Barcelona High-Speed Train Link
(Bloomberg) -- High-speed train services between Madrid and Barcelona were interrupted on Monday after 600 meters (1,968 feet) of fiber-optic and signaling cable was pilfered from the track linking Spain’s two biggest cities.
Service was halted between the stations of Camp de Tarragona and Figueres-Vilafant, ADIF, the rail network operator, said in a statement. A 19-year-old man was detained in connection with the theft, according to El Pais newspaper.
The rail disruption complicates an already complex summer travel season with tourism back at pre-pandemic levels. As passengers on Spain’s busiest high-speed train route between the tourist and business hubs faced delays, Ryanair Holdings Plc’s Spanish cabin crews were kicking off a series of strikes that will affect flights until early January.
Rail traffic between Madrid and Barcelona resumed at 11:15 a.m. CET, but further delays may still occur, Adif said in a separate statement. Spain’s state-owned railway company Renfe said 22 journeys were suspended between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., affecting 7,200 travelers.
Monday’s rail hold-ups came after 870 travelers on a train operated by Societe Nationale SNCF SA’s Ouigo service were left stranded for more than three hours in Soria province on Sunday due to mechanical problems, Europa Press news agency reported.
Ouigo had to cancel today’s 7:05am Madrid-Barcelona train and delayed other morning services, a representative for a communications agency working for the firm said by phone. In total, 5,000 Ouigo passengers suffered delays.
Meanwhile, the strike by Ryanair crews caused the suspension of at least 10 flights at Barcelona’s El Prat airport, according to the USO union and the carrier’s external public relations firm in Spain. The walkouts for four days a week are set to last until Jan. 7.
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