Relief today as the weather changed, but didn’t: the previous two days’ conditions, with a high nudging 30 Celsius, have gone, but if anything the sun is even more intense. The latter fact has not been lost on the more exposed parts of my head (we’re talking beetroot territory) although there can be no complaints about conditions for taking photos.
None of this news will have brought any cheer to the commuters who waited patiently at Entroncamento this morning for a train – any train – to get them to Lisbon, and work, because here was yet more strike action, if only for the morning. As services slowly began to return to normal from 1000 hours, only those peak services not showing solidarity with the strike call were running.
Fortunately for those travelling overnight from France, the Sud Express ran, and almost on time, not always an easy thing for a one off service that traverses the north of Spain and a lot of Portugal’s single track network before reaching the main north-south trunk at Pampilhosa. Whether the overnight from Madrid was also spared I don’t know – that would mean getting out of bed far too early.But, as economic reality dawns, maybe the strikers will think again: too much of the railway’s prime income (that’s InterCity travel) is vulnerable to coach competition. One other part of that income liable to be picked off by competitors, freight, was not surprisingly running fine this morning. The thought occurred that this was not entirely coincidental.