THE closure of the Inca to Manacor rail link for six months while repair work is carried out following last month's derailment, which left a dozen passengers injured, has caused outrage amongst local residents and commuters. Friends of the Railway, the Association of Train Users and the environmental group GOB yesterday demanded that the railway, at least between Inca and Sineu, be re-opened immediately. Those calling for the service to be re-opened claim that the Minister for Public Works, Mabel Carer, has closed the line for political as opposed to technical reasons. An independent investigation carried out by two engineers and a geologist claim that the minor problems with the track between Inca and Petra can be resolved with the railway operating as usual. The private inquiry criticises the poor manner in which the Inca to Manacor track was put down, there are parts which are a real botched job, but geologist Damia Porello said it is not going to cost too much to solve the problems. GOB spokesperson, Miquel Angel March, claims that Cabrer is deliberately trying to alarm commuters, create a feeling that the railway is unsafe in order to justify the huge road investment programme her department has lined up. He wants the safe Inca to Sineu stretch of the line re-opened and demanded that work on repairing the rest of the line be started immediately so the service can resume full operations as soon as possible. Perello maintains that the Inca to Manacor service can start running again, providing the train operates slightly slower over the key problem areas of the track. At least this will be convenient and quicker than using the bus. Work can be carried out overnight and at weekends when the trains are operating less frequently, he added.
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