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Optimizing Investment: Different Perspectives between Madrid and Catalonia

un tren está en las vías en un área de la ciudad con gente parada en la acera y en la acera, Antonie Palamedesz, hdr, una foto de cambio de inclinación, accionismo vienés

A Controversial Decision of the Spanish Government

The Spanish government has finalized plans to improve the Cercanías train network. The Ministry of Transport, under the direction of socialist Óscar Puente, is preparing an investment of 6.4 billion euros for the Catalan train network, an amount slightly lower than the 7.1 billion it plans to invest in Madrid.

Puente has detailed, in an appearance in Congress, that Madrid will receive twice as many new trains as Catalonia, with 203 compared to the 101 in the Catalan region.

Justification and Differences in Needs

Amid criticism of the operation of Rodalies and its transfer to the Generalitat, Puente has justified the disparity in investment by stating that “the amount pending execution in the case of Madrid is higher than the plan in Barcelona”. He also pointed out that both territories have “different needs”, since the Rodalies network in Catalonia is “more developed” than that of Madrid.

Regarding the difference in trains, with Madrid receiving 203 new ones and Catalonia 101, the minister argues that “the [Madrid] network is more deteriorated” and that in the Community of Madrid they are “more in need of renewal”.

Dilemmas at El Prat Airport

In the same appearance, Puente mentioned the debate on the expansion of El Prat. The head of Transport of the Spanish government sees it as “compatible” to expand the runway closest to the sea with “maximum environmental respect”.

Puente defends that he will dialogue with the Generalitat de Catalunya on the important decisions of El Prat and maintains that the expansion of the third track can be done without “causing inconvenience” to the nearest neighbors.

“El Prat Airport needs to increase its operations because it is a candidate to become a hub”, he insisted, following the line of the government in recent years. However, he is inclined to implement one of these two options: “Either change the operation of one of the runways causing inconvenience to citizens or increase the operational capacity of the other runway”.

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