AUSTERITY MEASURES

Public Works Ministry plans to close 48 under-used train lines

Savings will amount to 86 million euros per year as rural Extremadura and Galicia see routes slashed

The Public Works Ministry is proposing to close 48 state-run rail routes and reduce services by an average of 32 percent on 127 others in order to save 86.5 million euros a year.

The lines to be closed are those middle-distance routes identified as least efficient by ministry consultancy Ineco, with an average occupancy rate of 8.4 percent and whose income barely covers 16.2 percent of their cost. These routes are used by 1.65 million passengers a year.

They include the Valladolid-Ávila, Madrid-Ávila and Vigo-Ourense-Ponferrada lines. The latter route is part of a Galician rail network that is set to be among the worst affected. Routes between Extremadura and the western Andalusian province of Huelva will also be seriously affected.

The plan will now be discussed in parliament and is subject to amendments. The details on the timetabling of the trains which will remain in operation along Spain’s middle-distance routes will be taken later on.

 

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