SEVILLA is among dozens of Spanish cities and towns that will stage simultaneous rallies this Saturday(November 4) calling for the reopening of the Ruta de la Plata train line.
The route linking Gijon in the north with Sevilla in the south closed its passenger service in 1985, with freight trains stopping 11 years later as the Plascencia-Astorga section ceased to operate.
The Ruta de la Plata from the end of the nineteenth century crossed Spain without going through Madrid and was regarded as an important line for both goods and passengers.
Citizen groups and public institutions have been gathering support over recent years to demand that the Central Government pumps in money to restore the route.
Saturday’s rallies will be held in centres in the Asturias, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura and Andalucia regions.
The list includes Gijon, Astorga, Zamora, Salamanca, Bejar, Hervas, Plasencia, Navalmoral, Caceres, Merida, Almendralejo, Zafra, Llerena, Huelva, Cadiz and Sevilla.
Campaigners believes they are striking at the right time as the Spanish Government has to produce a report to the European Union over its rail infrastructure priorities and have called for the line to reopen before 2040.
A lot of work will need to be done, like in Sevilla province where the disused section between Los Rosales and Merida is just a single track that was not electrified.
One of the groups supporting the line restoration is Ecologists in Action.
They said in a statement: “Structuring rail services in the west of Spain has been a pressing issue that cannot be delayed any longer.”
“Reconnecting the inhabitants of regions and cities that previously had trains and ensuring that goods circulate with agility will guarantee the economic, social and environmental improvement of a forgotten corridor.”