LATEST: 1,500+ trains cancelled as Spain's rail strike set to begin

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
LATEST: 1,500+ trains cancelled as Spain's rail strike set to begin
Unions will confirm the nationwide strike action by November 10th. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

At least 1,548 train journeys will be cancelled as part of a five-day nationwide rail strike that begins on Friday November 24th. Spain's rail operator Renfe has announced how many minimum services it will offer to passengers.


UPDATE: Spain's five-day rail strike called off at the last minute

*** The information in the article below is therefore outdated as of Friday November 24th 2023

The strike days are called for Friday November 24th and Thursday November 30th as well as Friday December 1st, Monday December 4th and Tuesday December 5th. 

By law, Renfe has to offer minimum services whenever there's a workers' stoppage.

The minimum services for its high-speed AVE and AVLO trains will be of up to 72 percent frequency, 65 percent frequency for mid-distance trains, and for local Cercanías trains there will be 75 percent frequency in peak hours and 50 percent for the rest of the strike day.

Overall, there will be fewer trains on the tracks due to trip cancellations. For mid-distance, of the 3,160 trains affected, 2,063 will operate under minimum service regulations. For long distance and high-speed trains, there will be 1,185 minimum service links of a total of 1,636 trains affected.

Renfe is attempting to offer affected passengers alternative train tickets as close in time as possible to the cancelled service. 

A total of 990 freight trains have also been cancelled for the strike days.

As workers for Adif (Spain's railway infrastructure operator) are also set to strike, newer private rail operators Iryo and Ouigo could also experience delays.

The initial strike decision came on November 7th, several days after PM Pedro Sánchez and Catalan separatist party ERC agreed to fully transfer control of Rodalies - Catalonia's delay-prone commuter rail service - to the regional Generalitat government.


READ MORE: Catalonia takes full control of Rodalies trains from Spain in win for separatists

Unions have criticised the lack of information provided to them before the decision was made, and fear that the transfer will result in worse labour conditions for Renfe workers and that Renfe will essentially cease to exist in Catalonia. 

"We can't give details on the extent of the rail interruptions, but we stress the unanimity and firmness of calling the strike," CGT unionist Miguel Montenegro told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

"We are witnessing the progressive process of dismantlement of Renfe and Adif."

On Friday November 17th, talks between the Spanish government and works council representing staff from Renfe and Adif did not lead to an agreement, which means that for now the strike is due to go ahead.  

Spain’s Transport Ministry has so far assured the unions that the Rodalies transfer remains a political decision for the time being, whilst for their part Catalan authorities have told Renfe and Adif workers in the region that they will keep the same working rights they enjoy currently.  


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also