The resignation of the Spanish government and Renfe to request trains that are not suitable for the tunnels
31 trains were ordered in 2020 from a Spanish company. The scale in order does not correspond to the ancient tracks in the regions of Cantabria and Asturias.
Spain’s Minister of State for Transport and the head of the public train company Renfe resigned on Monday after ordering trains larger than the tunnels they were supposed to pass through.
The dismissals were confirmed by the Ministry of Transport and are the culmination of weeks of controversy over this issue, which dates back to 2020, when 31 trains were ordered from a Spanish company, from the Basque Country, with the aim of making suburban and short-distance connections in the northern regions of the country.
It was known at the end of January of this year that the delivery of the first trains would not take place in 2024 as initially announced, but in 2026, due to an error in the arrangement, discovered by the company that was on its way to building the compositions.
The trains were not built and the Spanish government guarantees that there are no extraordinary expenses, because the fault was discovered before production began.
The controversy in recent weeks was mainly due to the fact that the error and the subsequent delay had been hidden for about two years by those in charge of the public train companies Renfe and Adif, the latter’s chief being the current foreign minister. Transport who resigned today.
The Minister of Transport, Raquel Sanchez, confirmed that she herself discovered the problem at the same time as public opinion, when the first reports of delays in handing over the order appeared in the regional press.
The error appears to be due to the gauge (track widths) present in the arrangement, which does not correspond to the older tracks in the Cantabria and Asturias regions where the trains would cycle, making the required fixtures larger than the tunnels through which they would have to pass.
The Spanish government announced an investigation to establish responsibilities, but Renfe’s president, Isaiah Tapuas, and Foreign Minister Isabel Pardo de Vera left their posts today, before the results of that investigation were out and amid criticism from regional governments in Cantabria. and Asturias.
The head of the regional government in Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Rivela (Partido Regionalista de Cantabria), criticized an order made “without measuring trains or tunnels” and that “for two years and the climax it was known and said nothing”.
The head of the government of Asturias, the socialist Adrien Barbón, considered the case “a scandal that can only be described as an embarrassment and a disgrace”.
Both Revilla and Barbón asked for all responsibilities in this case to be clarified.
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