After the coming-out yesterday by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and King Felipe VI, this Tuesday was the day of the premiere of the first commercial trip of the Alvia S-730 train for passengers between Badajoz and Madrid, which in theory was going to save 51 minutes on a journey that still lasts, for 437 kilometers of travel, 4 hours and 18 minutes. That is in theory because not even on the first trip has it been fulfilled, thus adding to the multiple incidents that have been happening on this line historically.

At 7.27 in the morning the new train left. He already left two minutes late (his official time was 7.25). 44 people got on the cars for a train with a capacity for 256, which were almost filled throughout the journey (240 tickets sold). But the first surprise came in the initial section, between Badajoz and Mérida (59 kilometers away), where he planned to enter the station in the regional capital at 7:59 a.m. after completing an 18-kilometre bypass because it is still not resolved the entrance to this city. However, and due to “a human error”, as Adif sources have explained to this newspaper, the route ran along the old track instead of the new one that could already be used today on the first day of the premiere. The maximum speed for the new line is limited by going with diesel traction. The 59.2 km distance was covered in 33 minutes, with an average speed of 105.7 km/h, with specific points where the speed drops to 40 km/h.

Between Badajoz and Mérida both tracks can now be used, but the control post that supervises the routes of each route, in charge of regulating the train, has maintained the previous route at the San Nicolás fork (around, near the station of Montijo, the one that had been used until now, thus losing the first 7 minutes, a time that has already been increasing during the trip to reach the Atocha station at 11:57 a.m. with twelve minutes delay while its definitive stop has been in Chamartín, where they arrived at 12:12 p.m., 14 minutes late.

Before, in Cáceres, at 8:50 am, the accumulated delay was 16 minutes with respect to the departure time. Passengers have assured that between Mérida and Cáceres the train has stopped once for two minutes. These delays have occurred on a trip to which there was much expectation and they have tried to take care of all the details, since even several information teams have made the entire journey to count the first day of use for users. In Torrijos, the delay was 17 minutes. In Talavera de la Reina there were 19, as in Oropesa.

In addition, although neither Renfe nor Adif is aware of it, some passengers-guests at the opening on Monday have said that on the return trip from Badajoz-Cáceres, after the opening ceremony that included speeches by the authorities in the capital of Badajoz, there was a standstill on the track for around four minutes due to signaling problems. Experts assure that this could happen frequently in the next few dates due to the fact that the work is not finished in many sections of the Extremadura section.

Regarding the criticism of the inauguration of the new service, the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, has assured this Tuesday that they are “a consequence of how badly we have had it”, due to the situation of the train in the community. In any case, he has considered that “today a new period begins, which is not the definitive one”, since “it will have to be accompanied by new improvements”.

According to Renfe, more than 15,000 passengers have purchased tickets, since they went on sale at the end of June, for the new services that began this Tuesday, July 19, in Extremadura, both on Long and Medium Distance trains.

For Renfe, “passengers have welcomed the commissioning of a line” that has improved the service it provided in Extremadura “with remodeled Alvia S-730 trains, which will accompany the Intercity on long-distance journeys to or from this autonomous community”.

With this new service, the objective is to “increase the number of frequencies and stops at Extremadura stations in Medium Distance and Regional services, in addition to Long Distance ones,” says the entity.

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