PCP argues that CP should be a “single operator” at the railway level to avoid accidents such as Soure's

The communists ask the Government to reinforce investment in the railroad and proceed to the “reunification” of the CP so that the public company starts to integrate all the railway infrastructures at national level.

António Pedro Santos / Lusa

The Communist Party (PCP) defends the integration of all railway infrastructures in Comboios de Portugal (CP) to avoid new accidents like the one last Friday in Soure, in the district of Coimbra. The communists ask the Government to reinforce investment in the railroad and proceed with the “reunification” of the CP so that the public company becomes “the only operator” in the railroad throughout the national territory.

"The serious accident on the country's main railway axis, involving a vehicle for the inspection and maintenance of IP's infrastructure and a train of the most qualified passenger service of CP [Alfa Pendular], requires the investigation of its causes and the framing of the facts and responsibilities associated with it ”, defends the party led by Jerónimo de Sousa, in a statement.

The PCP considers that the accident in Soure, “not involving strangers to the railway system and having central elements of this system as intervening parties”, raises “just concerns” about “the general quality of service and the safety conditions of all system components in the national scope ”and reveals“ the consequences of the pulverization of the rail system that the unified CP represented ”.

The communists note that the vehicle for inspection and maintenance of the infrastructure with which the Alfa Pendular hit was a railway infrastructure of the “unified CP”, which was separated in 1997 with the creation of the National Railway Network - REFER, having been integrated into 2015 on the road system (at IP). "A path imposed by successive options that, contrary to the national interest, have been progressively getting worse", they indicate.

The PCP also states that, in 2017, “the State body dedicated to the prevention and investigation of railway accidents became part of the same body with similar duties for aircraft accidents”. The party says that this "mirrors the diminishing of the railway system with inevitable repercussions in the field of safety, where the commercialization of training itself stands out with the reduction of quality standards and IP's lack of responsibility".

The party argues, therefore, that Portugal should not submit to "what the major economic groups in this sector call the railway market" and should bet on "modernization, quality and safety" of the railway system.

“The bet on the railway system requires, as the PCP has repeatedly proposed, public investment, human resources and the reunification of CP, with the integration of the railway infrastructure currently in IP, as a fundamental element with scale to aggregate and develop railway engineering and technology, exercising infrastructure management and as a single operator throughout the national territory ”, underlines the PCP.

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