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PALMA'S new Plaza de España grand central public transport station began operating yesterday and handled a huge number of travellers using the new services for the first time.

Four large escalators, just twenty metres from the main road that runs through Plaza de España, lead down to the first floor of the station. This is where travellers will find the ticket boothes, and information desks, and yesterday the floor was swamped by curious members of the public who simply wanted to have a look at the new station. The spacious hall was a buzz with its first travelling customers, all of whom seemed to be fairly taken aback by the size of the infrastructure which at first does appear to be a little out of place in the heart of Palma. The information desks were extremely busy, which is certain to continue while travellers become adjusted this new system. The attendents were extremely helpful, explaining how the timetable worked and which of the 5 platforms to go to.

The security guards on duty also seemed to be getting their fair share of questions but they appeared to be enjoying their first day in their new state-of-the-art environment.

The next floor down contains the ten tracks and five platforms, for the trains and as of yet unfinished metro service to the University. As trains arrived, masses of people poured out of them onto the platform. The Balearic Government and Palma city council will be very relieved that the 18 months of construction and 63.5 million euros spent on the station has so far been successful. This success will only grow it seems when the bus station, which is currently being constructed next to the train platforms is finished in September, and the metro service to the University gets underway in early April. Pamphlets being given out were describing it as, “the beginning of a new era in public transport for the Balearic Islands”. From the huge turn out of travellers yesterday, its first day, it seems like this may be the case and that the new station will be a huge success story for the island.

The station is clearly signposted in Plaza España and the trains run roughly every 20 minutes. They stop in Marratxi, Inca, Sa Pobla and Manacor, and take under an hour to reach Manacor, the last stop on the line.