Renfe cancels eight trains on the Malaga-Fuengirola line due to staff problems

A train on the Malaga-Fuengirola line on Tuesday morning.
A train on the Malaga-Fuengirola line on Tuesday morning. / FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ
  • The company admits that there is no cover for unexpected staff absences

Passengers on the C-1 Cercanías train line between Fuengirola and Malaga found their plans disrupted on Tuesday morning when eight trains were cancelled.

The company has maintained that the cancellations, four in each direction, were due to technical problems caused by staff adjustments. However this is not the first time this has happened recently and it nearly always affects rush-hour trains.

Tuesday's chaos follows disruptions to the same service last Friday when 18 trains were cancelled. This time trains between 6.50am and 1.20pm were affected, and the company announced that the rest of the service (with a volume of 104 trains a day) would resume as usual after that.

Renfe explained that the cancellations could not be foreseen as they are not caused by one specific issue but by an accumulation of unexpected circumstances. They admit that the workforce is tight, with some staff already on holiday, and so any absence due to illness or other reasons can cause cancellations. "This situation would not occur if there were extra staff," said sources.

Users have complained that the cancellations are not announced with enough time for passengers to plan alternative transport, which means that people have arrived late for work or later than planned at the airport.

María Castro, one of the passengers affected on Tuesday, said, "This happens every week; the Cercanías [service] is getting worse."