In Spain, queues of very large trains for subways lead to continuous resignations

GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP A train of the Spanish state-owned rail company Renfe is pictured at Principe Pio train station in Madrid on September 5, 2019. (Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)


In Spain, queues of very large trains for subways lead to continuous resignations (photo of a Renfe train taken in Madrid in 2019)

Spain – A size of dumpling. In Spain, the issue of trains too big to pass through some tunnels has left the boss of Spain’s railways and the transport ministry’s No. 2 in an embarrassing row with the executive after 15 days.

Isaias Taboas, President of the Renfe Railway Company since June 2018 “provided” Monday 20 February “His Resignation”A company spokesperson told AFP.

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The surprise resignation follows the resignation of Isabel Barto de Vera, former head of Spain’s rail network manager and Secretary of State for Transport, the Ministry of Transport confirmed in a short press release.

Transport Minister Rahul Sanchez “expressed his gratitude” For these two leaders “work accomplished in their operations”The ministry said.

The resignations come after more than two weeks of controversy over an order for 31 trains for the rail network in northern Spain, which some of the tunnels they had to pass through were too large.

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A delay of two years and possible additional costs

The order, worth 258 million euros, was awarded in June 2020 following a tender request to Spanish railway equipment manufacturer French Alstom and rival CAF of German Siemens, Renfe said.

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According to the train operator, it was the Basque Country (North)-headquartered company that realized in March 2021 that the dimensions provided during the tender call were incorrect. He alerted the authorities before the construction of trains started.

“There was never any risk of wrong size trains being built as the manufacturer had an obligation defined in the tender documents.”Renfe has committed to the AFP to carry out the tests.

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The error – in early February, nearly two years after the problem was detected – will however lead to a delay in the delivery of the trains, which should be put into circulation in 2026 and not in 2024 as initially planned, the railways said. group.

According to Spanish media, this could lead to additional costs due to rising material prices in recent months. A problem that Renfe rejected: “No financial problem, no wasted money”The team promises.

“Concealing Crime” And “Opacity”

The case has sparked heated controversy in Spain, where the right-wing opposition has blamed the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. “Concealing Crime” and D’“Opacity”Assembly elections scheduled for the end of 2023 are less than a year away.

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“You lead a government that orders trains that don’t go through tunnels”Thus ironically the number two of the Popular Party (PP, right) in Parliament recently, Guka Kamara “failure”.

The controversy has already led the transport ministry to fire the former head of Renfe’s equipment management and a senior official at Adif on February 6.

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It urged Adif and Renfe to open a joint investigation to determine the circumstances that led to this situation. “Bad Mistake” By the Minister of Transport.

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of” Haven’t seen it in 40 years »

Miguel Ángel Revilla, head of the Cantabria region of the regionalist party PRC, demanded in response to the resignation of Renfe’s boss and secretary of state for transport on Monday. “An Indemnity” For its territory, it was directly affected by this errant train order.

“We want to clarify” Circumstances and it “Solutions are on the table”Added Adrien Barbón, the Socialist leader of the Asturias region, and the victim, on Monday before a meeting called at the Ministry of Transport.

“I reiterate my apologies, but I emphasize that we are working and we are working to implement solutions”At the end of this meeting, the Transport Minister underlined.

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“This level of poor work, I have not seen in 40 years”For his part he slammed the president of the Cantabria region.

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