Fewer trains in Spain due to Renfe drivers’ strike

by Lorraine Williamson
renfe trains


MADRID – From Thursday, fewer trains will run because of a strike mainly affecting the timetable of the Cercanías (commuter trains). During peak hours, at least 75% of the timetable is carried out, outside of that only 50%. 

The work will be (partially) stopped on September 30, 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, and 12 October. In total, Renfe will cancel 892 passenger train services and 813 freight trains. This is just in the first four days of the strike. 

Dissatisfaction with Renfe’s reorganisation 

Train drivers union Semaf has called on workers to go on strike out of dissatisfaction with the loss of jobs and services, the transfer of part of the Renfe group, including trains and personnel, to Catalonia, and the privatization of freight transport. The union also wants to put pressure on the implementation of the employment plan. According to Semaf, Renfe has used the pandemic to cancel train services and lay off a significant number of staff. 

On Monday, October 4, the strike will only take place between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, and between 6.00 pm and 10.00 pm. From Tuesday 5 October, the limited timetable will be in effect again all day. Renfe states on the website that the usual busy routes and time slots have been taken into account in the adjusted timetable. 

As mentioned, for the regional trains (Cercanías), at least 75% of the timetable is carried out during rush hour, outside rush hour half the usual number of trains run. For medium-distance routes, 65% of the timetable is carried out, for long-distance it is 72%. A revised timetable of 24% applies to freight trains. 

Renfe has informed its travellers about the strike through various social media. All AVE travelers who travel a long route and all season ticket holders have been informed by SMS and/or e-mail.

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