Trainhotel Viejo | Kisses, Toys, and Bottles: Stories on the Lost Night Train

What will he have Train hotel That a lot of users miss? The service was canceled by Renfe when the covid pandemic broke out, Connect Vigo with Madrid and Barcelona On separate flights of several hours, between 11 and 15 approx. The magic of the night train there is no AVE in it”, Jose Miguel Varas says, railway lover, Worker Adif and the former traveler in “The Darkness”.

For more than two years, the night train that connected, among other points, Vigo with the Spanish capital and with Ciudad Condal has been stopped. While various European countries are trying to revive the service, Spain has buried it Because of its economic profitability. On the other side of the scale, its environmental character stands out in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, with railways polluting “between 5 and 7 times less” than road transport and “between 7 and 10 times less” From the plane, according to data from Renfe itself. The truth is that there are currently many viable alternatives to rail for the journey from Galicia to Madrid and vice versa, despite the lack of great connectivity with Catalonia.

“I must admit that now I travel less to Madrid This is due in part to the fact that they removed this train; It was very comfortable and practical, and was always full, even during the week,” Maria Luisa Mazera, a resident of Bayona and one of the night owls who used the Train Hotel for “leisure” reasons, told Faro de Vigo, the Prensa Ibérica group. “Above all, I was going to visit Art Triangle: Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia; I went to the theatre. to the National Library; Royal palace. to buy books at moyano cost; To see exhibitions. to get around the Retiro, etc. I also loved walking the streets of Madrid, I covered almost the entire center on foot, it abounds.

Sometimes alone, other times with a friend, she would take the train at Guixar station around 10:00 p.m. “I’d have some dinner, read and go to bed early. If she’d been with her, she’d talk a little earlier. Sometimes, in the department, he’d meet interesting people, with curious lives, and we’d tell each other anecdotes and stories, we even chatted.” Talk until the wee hours,” he adds. on a trip to remember, He spent the night awake: “In my section there were players from a women’s handball team that won a match and were partying until the morning; they spent all their time inviting me for kava, chips and olives …”.

The Night rail service Possibility to have an armchair or a bunk bed served. Only in the latter, there was a “sink and towels”. “I cleaned myself before arriving at Chamartin station, then left the suitcase in the baggage room until the evening, when I got back, and it wasn’t very expensive,” he recalls. To say goodbye, Maria Luisa now laments, “Whatever choice she makes, she is always forced to ‘stay overnight in Madrid'”.

José Miguel Varas, present again, has made the Zaragoza-Galicia crossing by moonlight four times. In this case, it was family: her partner’s father was from A Guarda. In addition to this line, he was also a user of the line that brought him closer to Cantabria. In his tales, he sets fire to parties among groups of friends who are cooped up inside a car. “In the past, Renfe could sell more tickets than seats, so a lot of us would stand in the aisles and become a bottle, it was fun.”

On a more technical level, As an employee of Adif, he admitted that the night service was “not profitable.”. He concludes, “In Europe these railways stop at fewer stations than those in Spain, which is why they were so expensive here, in addition to having to attend to the brawls that might happen.”

Mormons and fire

Cristina Martínez from Vigo also stayed “usually” on a caravan to return home on a visit from Madrid, where he was studying. “It was very relaxing for me to sleep and then make the most of the day,” he says. He spent some evenings “reading in the cafeteria, because it is the only place with permanent lighting.”

From those trips he recalls “people fighting over seats and complaining about the temperature”, as well as episodes in “Mormon” groups; They took advantage of the depression to “try to preach.”

For now, Christina continues to use the train, but takes the “first in the morning or the last” of the day to enjoy the daylight hours.

People from Vigo headed to Barcelona Saints They stop, among other stops, in Embalme, in Ourense. In the capital of As Burgas, people like Guillermo de Andrés, a man from Ourense who has been using the Trenhotel frequently since moving to the Catalan city in 2016, have continued.

“I went to the diner car to hang out. There were two crew members there and it was a quiet night, so I pulled out one of my board games and we played.”

“It dampened the train noise a lot and the bed was comfortable; I rarely slept well ” He recollects between the moments when he allowed himself to buy the ticket that gave him access to a room with a bunk bed and a bathroom. The other alternative, the “Big Comfort” seat, is very different from the above, he admits.

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Guillermo essentially “killed the clocks with the toys he had on his laptop or pulling out the prints” in the section where the lights remained on. When a movie showing Renfe seemed appealing to him, he focused his attention on the common screens.

On one occasion, in the middle of a sleepless night, he experienced one of his best stories: “I went to the dining car to hang out. There, two of the crew were up, I pulled out one of my board games and we were playing ”. At the opposite end a fire broke out in the middle of the road: “I got up at full speed and they passed us to the seating area, and we went there more or less until we got to Zaragoza, where they made us disembark & ​​rdquor;. The breakdowns and accidents I had occasionally were from.” Shades of this railway service.

After night service was abolished, Guillermo opted for the long-distance train, “sometimes with transfers” because “it’s the cheapest option”. “I avoid high speed as there is no direct line with Ourense And it has an exorbitant cost & rdquor; notice.

kiss in the cafeteria

Along with other unknowns from Galicia, Bibiana Fernández, a Ponferradina who crossed the country to and from Barcelona, ​​where she studied and now works, also traveled. “It was a great time on the night train”, law Project. “At the beginning of the 2000s, there were only six-berth women’s cabins… We talked, made friends, and then slept really well,” he highlights. After the fleet was replenished, Berciana moved in her “private cabin with TV”: “It was a luxury.”

“I met a classmate who also lived in Barcelona and on the drive home for Christmas, and after several hours of talking in the cafeteria, we ended up kissing!”

He will never forget what happened to him on one of those flights. “I met a classmate who was also living in Barcelona and on the trip home at Christmas, W After many hours of chatting in the cafeteria we ended up kissing! It was a very special night and no one slept. We stayed in the corridors…”, she recalls excitedly.

“Without the night train, I’m restless. I take Alfia, but I lose the whole day.” For it to work for me, I must spend at least five days in Ponferrada: three for staying and two for traveling. I’m looking forward to bringing it up again. They isolated us in the Birzu areaHe finally pleaded.

The strange appearance of Marisa R. in one of the renovated night caravans to Galicia did not deprive her of her fondness for them, with departure and arrival, for the most part, in Logroño, whether to book their holidays or for business reasons. She was robbed as a ‘little girl’: ‘I shared the place with an army non-commissioned officer who was going to Lyon, also a very nice young lady, with whom I was talking. Then he came down and I slept like a dormouse.’ I woke up near O Barco de Valdeorras And I saw that my suitcase was somewhere else and without the 5,000 pesetas (about 30 euros) I had inside. The worst of it was feeling so weak and scared, that first night I would wake up starting off,” she expressed years later.

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Other Trenhotel itineraries have ended in A Coruña with a start in Catalonia as well. He was the one chosen by Lara María Alvarez, who has been working in Tarragona for 20 years, to return to Ferrol and reunite with her family. His story is a true anniversary, since it was his first trip home in 2002 in conjunction with Prestige. “I remember a huge long train with wagons full of people volunteering to clean the beaches ”.

In the area where the restaurant is located, “an atmosphere of festivity and solidarity” prevailed, with “beer through”: “It was magical. I will never forget that trip and I can never thank that spirit.” by the Catalan people & rdquor; She remembers excitedly.

“I remember a huge long train with wagons full of people who volunteered to clean up the beaches”

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This year I went by plane (to Galicia); by train, the only way is to go via Madrid to take the AVE to Ourense & mldr; madness and nonsense. There are no other options for this wonderful train. There is nothing more comfortable, ecological, sustainable and sane; I hope and hope he comes back & rdquor; finish.

More nostalgic wishes for a railway under the stars seem to fall on deaf ears. In an interview with FARO last year, the head of Renfe, Isaias Tapuas, explained that “the Trenhotel Madrid-Galicia does not currently need a & rdquor; after the arrival of AVE in Galician: “Non-nonsense night service & rdquor;. Regarding the second in question, he was also frank: “In principle, we do not plan (to recover) Galicia Catalunya because it is a commercial service and, as such, should be profitable. It was not. Its annual losses in 2019 amounted to 11 million euros. Even Present day Spain lacks any overnight route, neither domestic nor international, and is therefore one of the exceptions on the European rail map.

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