THE Inca to Manacor railway will not open again until September 15, the Balearic Transport Minister announced yesterday.
Mabel Cabrer said that the Inca to Sineu stretch of track will be back in operation by the end of June, but it is going to take until the middle of September to secure the track which buckled under a train on March 13 near Petra.
Ten people were hurt as the train came off the tracks.
Cabrer said that railway engineers will be working round the clock, weekends and bank holidays to make sure that the Inca to Manacor railway is back in operation as soon as possible, but she was keen to stress that, in order to ensure maximum safety, engineers will take as long as they need to complete the job.
The delay has not been welcomed by commuters.
Before the service was shut down for repairs, an average of 13'000 passengers were using the railway per day.
All have been offered the use of special subsidised coaches laid on to substitute the train, at a cost of 65'000 euros per month to the local government, but a good half have opted to use their own vehicles.
Cabrer has laid the blame for the accident on the previous Balearic government and intends to use the repair operation to also improve environmental protection along the track. The Minister for Transport does not want any more set backs once the Inca to Manacor service is running again.
It appears that the Inca to Alcudia rail link is about to be given the green light by the local government as is the link from the centre of Palma to the university. However the latter will involve major engineering as part of the line will run underground from the centre to the outskirts of Palma.
What is more, there are plans to completely sink Palma's central rail and coach station.
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