Spanish train conductor clocks out mid-trip, strands passengers

MADRID, Sept. 15 (UPI) — A train conductor in Spain left more than 100 passengers stranded as he abandoned the train because his shift had ended.

According to The Local, 109 passengers were briefly stranded on the train bound for Madrid when the conductor shut down the engine and left the controls of the train at a stop in Osorno even though no other conductor was available.

Passengers were told the trip was delayed due to “technical issues,” as the conductor had exceeded his maximum hours of work for the day.

“They said the engineer had decided to stop because he had finished his workday and did not want to risk having an accident by excessive hours,” a passenger said, according to 9 News Australia.

The conductor left the train in Osorno at about 9:30 p.m. and the train was scheduled to reach Madrid at 11:15 p.m. but did not arrive until 2:30 a.m.

Disgruntled passengeres were issued a refund due to the delay, but a spokesman for train diver union Semaf said the conductor’s actions were “in keeping with the legal requirements.”

“Drivers are not allowed at the controls for longer than 5 and a half hours straight,” he said. “He repeatedly told headquarters that he was coming to the end of his shift and would go into overtime but received no answer, so he had to stop.”

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