MAYORS and Socialist representatives from various outlying districts of the Island met up in Inca yesterday to discuss measures to dissuade the regional government from closing the final section of railway track into Palma, whilst underground construction work is in progress.
Local authority attendees were representing areas of Majorca which are affected by the planned works on putting a section of the railway track in Palma underground.
Those present included the mayor of Binissalem, Miquel Nadal; the ex mayor of Marratxi, Miquel Coll; Environment secretary and Socialist representative for Manacor, Mercè Amer; as well as other representatives of the Spanish Socialist Workers party and its Balearic counterpart from different districts of the Island.
Support for their cause was given at the Inca meeting by regional Socialist leaders, Francesc Antich, Francina Armengol and Aina Rado, who will spearhead a demand that the regional ministry for Public Works keeps the train line open right into the centre of Palma during the planned construction works which will put a section of the track underground.
The Socialists analysed the negative repercussions which train users will have to suffer if they have to get off the train at Son Fuster to be ferried by buses into the centre of Palma.
Rado suggested that contrary to the viewpoint of the ministry of Public Works, some specialist technical studies affirm that the train can indeed run right into the centre of Palma whilst the underground construction work is in progress if a series of alternative measures are applied. One possibility is to start the works on one section of the track and leave the other free so the service can continue, albeit with small delays. She added that a tunnelling machine could also be used to drill into the ground, without interfering with the train service. Rado explained that the ministry had said that a large tunnelling machine would significantly increase the cost of a project but the Socialist solution would be to excavate two tunnels using a smaller machine.
Another alternative was the construction of a provisional track.
As a separate issue, those present at the meeting said that the construction of four tracks at Palma station isn't necessary. Such installations would allow for trains to depart every three minutes and there are not sufficient people on the Island to warrant such a service said Rado.
During the meeting, a motion was also tabled that the new Socialist government in Madrid under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, should make further investment in the railway service on the Island.