• Morgan Fagg

Faulty Trains

I arrived at Atocha and the first four platforms’ monitors were blank. Not very unusual for Atocha so I continued to my platform and saw a minute later that they had changed to a different platform that said “Pio/Las Rozas15” which I guessed meant the train was in 15 minutes even though their monitors usually stay blank until about 9 before the train is due.

For some reason the monitors in Atocha rarely count in double digits although you often have to wait up to ten minutes before any digits appear, other stations give more realistic countdowns.


I went up the escalator and a woman asked me if the train was in 15 minutes and I said, I think so but I didn’t know. I went down the escalators and asked a very hostile security guard who didn’t know anything.

I pointed out that there was only one working monitor and it wasn’t clear if the train was in 15 minutes or not. He told me to listen to him, he was only security and he didn’t know anything and I should go to the customer service office and I pointed out that I have been there enough and they have never acknowledged any of my complaints and that all I wanted to know was when the train that I was standing beside, actually leaving?


With the monitor still reading "Pio/Rosas15", the train started to beep, I got on and it left the station.


As useless as the know-nothing, good for nothing security guard was at least the train worked that day which was quite an achievement considering two trains I have been on recently didn't.


It was raining that day and I was lucky to have been able to get a Metro to Atocha as it was the Metro's 100th anniversary which was celebrated with song and dance and a Metro strike.


Trains in Spain don’t work well in the rain but don't ask the staff there, they know nothing.

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