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Very Important update: Storage lockers - bus and train stations!

Very Important update: Storage lockers - bus and train stations!

Oct 1st, 2007, 05:25 PM
  #1  
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Very Important update: Storage lockers - bus and train stations!

I just returned from a 2.5 week trip to Spain late last night. I'm still recovering but wanted to write a quick post about the storage locker situation in Spain - basically they are no longer in use at bus or train stations.

I had a 30 minute window to connect buses in Girona 2 weeks ago. Buses are generally very reliable and this has never been an issue for me in the past. However, the travel gods were not smiling on me this particular day and my first bus was over 40 minutes late and I missed my connection. The next bus was not due for another 5 hours. So, I put on a smile and decided to make the best of it - I'd just put my luggage in a storage locker and visit Girona (again). The woman at the ticket counter in the bus station told me there were no luggage lockers. The train station is just next door to the bus station and one of my travel books referenced lockers in the train station. As I crossed the street I was happy to see the sign indicating the storage lockers. To my surprise they were covered over and obviously not in use. The Renfe agent would only say "no lockers" so I went to the tourist information booth at the station. The woman informed me that about 2 months ago all of the lockers at both the bus and train station were closed due to security issues. The only exception were the largest cities (ie. Madrid/Barcelona) where they could afford private agencies to run the lockers. I'm not sure about Cordoba as I know this is a popular day trip.

Ugh - how unfortunate for those of us who depend on public transporation during our trips. This will definately have an impact on my future itineraries as I often weave day trips to cities in between as I travel. I can't fault the government for this decision - it's just unfortunate.

Hope this helps others who may be planning their trips.
CathyM is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Thanks for the update re Spain and lockers.
This issue is adding complexity in many areas.
The first on my horizon was London in the '70s due to the IRA.

Damn these terriers, if only we could neuter them all.
icithecat is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 10:39 PM
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I think the lockers were removed at La Guardia in the late 60s or early 70s - it was after a bombing by FALN, a radical Puerto Rican group.

Some folks depend on finding a nearby hotel that will check bags at the desk - when it's avaiable, great. Though not always possible.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:37 AM
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Closing luggage lockers is a petty and futile gesture to give the appearance of "doing something" about terrorism. Is any terrorist going to give up their campaign because luggage lockers are closed? If they want to bomb a railway station, they'll find a way to leave a bomb somewhere. Car bombs are a much greater threat so banning cars from the vicinity of railway stations would make more sense.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:53 AM
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I used the locker in Barcelona Sants which had a guy using a security scanner. The cost was 4.50 Euro's. I think the high cost covered his wages. Ew....what a job as he probably had no baggage traffic for hours on end.
johnthedorf is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
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GeoffHamer. The appearance of "doing something" is better than not to do anything. I'm sorry if people are inconvienced but it's better than an attack. years ago we were sitting outside at a cafe in Paris when a teargas bomb went off next door. People were scattering and choking. Though it was only teargas.
aeiger is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Lockers disappeared in Spanish train stations in the 80's due to an ETA bombing in Madrid Chamartin station lockers. Some years later, they let the lockers been opened again.
So the "no lockers" situation is not new. Cordoba has an AVE station, I believe it is not the same situation.
kenderina is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:40 AM
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Aeiger, how do you think closing luggage lockers might prevent a teargas attack on a café?
If bombs are likely to be placed in railway stations, they'll do less damage in a luggage locker than anywhere else.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:18 AM
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I'm just trying to show that an incident can occur anywhere and anytime. Closing the lockers, maybe temporarily reduces the chance of an incident occuring. The gov't may have security information we are not aware of. Spain did suffer a terrible tragedy on the trains.
aeiger is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:57 AM
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The terrible tragedy was on the trains, not in a luggage locker. If the terrorists had left bombs in luggage lockers, far far fewer people would have died.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:16 AM
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kenderina-
The Girona station HAD luggage lockers. They were usable up to 2 months ago when (per my source at the tourist information booth) Spain terminated the use of luggage lockers in both bus and train terminals in all but the largest stations that could afford private security firms.

I'm actually going to email Renfe to get the confirmation from the source. However, I can tell you from personal experience that the luggage lockers in the Girona station are closed off and cannot be used.
CathyM is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:28 AM
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It's not a Spanish phenomenon as in France and the U.K. most lockers have similarly been closed, except in the largest stations where special security screening is done.

So far i think however most European countries continue to have rafts of luggage lockers in even smaller stations.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Cathy, I think you misunderstood me. I know there were fully operating lockers, I was saying that long time ago they were closed as they have been closed now in every station in Spain (including Madrid and Barcelona). I meant it is not the first time that something like that happens here. I was not doubting at all what you were saying
kenderina is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:06 AM
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Thanks so much for the tip. I have been counting on using a luggage locker in Paris at Montparnasse later this month. Any news on this facility?
SKIDDY is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:11 AM
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Very few French stations have left luggage. A few major stations, including Paris Montparnasse have supervised luggage lockers. The staff scan all luggage.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:08 PM
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That's the one I need - that's a relief. It's too bad they are closing. They are so convenient. I suspect that there are many other places a terrorist would prefer to plant an explosive device. Montparnasse is so big - can you describe where the lockers or storage area is located? Thank you GeoffHamer.
SKIDDY is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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At Montparnasse just follow the signs with a pictogram of a suitcase on them - and the word "consigne" (luggage storage)
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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I just got back from Spain yesterday. I don't know about lockers in Girona, but I did find lockers throughout spain - we used the lockers in el escorial and granada. Rick Steves' spain book is pretty good at stating which cities have lockers...and I would imagine that he does so in his other tour books.
spidey is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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spidey-

Rick Steve's books (in addition to most guidebooks) do state if there are lockers. The issue is are they available for use.

What I found in Girona was lockers but they were covered over and not in use. They were closed very recently and I doubt any guidebook would be published with this information. Perhaps you were lucky with El Escorial and Granada or perhaps they have reopened the lockers in Spain. I do know that a fellow traveler on another spain bulletin board noticed most lockers in Spain were closed - and this was just posted in October 2007.
CathyM is offline  
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