Cable theft shuts down AVE train traffic between Madrid and Barcelona

by Lorraine Williamson
fibre optic cable theft

MADRID – A cable theft at sunrise on Monday caused the circulation of the high-speed line between Madrid and Catalonia to be interrupted. 

The vandalistic act caused delays and the cancellation of trains on the AVE, AVLO and Ouigo train. This has been since 6.00 am Monday morning. Problems were previously discovered in communications, signalling, remote control systems and other security equipment between L’Arboç and Figueres-Vilafant, railway manager Adif reported to El País. 

Fibre optic cable theft

Adif technicians went to check and discovered several breaks in the fibre optic cable on two tracks in a section of approximately 200 metres at about kilometre point 545 between L’Arboc and La Pobla de Montornes. In total, according to initial estimates, about 600 metres of fibre optic cable and signalling were stolen. 

Agents of the Catalan police Mossos d’Esquadra have arrested a 19-year-old boy in the municipality of Santa Oliva (Tarragona) in connection with the theft. The man was surprised at the track and resisted his arrest. 

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Adif technicians are working hard to resolve the incident as quickly as possible. Until then, Ouigo’s trains will run on the Puerta de Atocha-Camp de Tarragona route, Adif said. 


AVLO and AVE were able to resume circulation between Madrid and Tarragona at 8.57 am. According to Renfe sources, travellers from Figueres and Girona to Barcelona have been diverted to Cercanías trains. 

In addition, Renfe has set up a special train for passengers of AVLO and AVE trains to Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lérida and Camp de Tarragona. The railway company has asked passengers to contact the service centre of Madrid Puerta de Atocha station for more information. 

For many passengers, road traffic is not possible because buses are full. Planes are very expensive and there are no more BlaBlaCars (a car-sharing service). 

According to the latest news, train traffic will be restored between 11.30 am and 12 noon. 

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