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File image of a Renfe Feve Cercanías train in Cantabria EP
Heads roll over northern Spain's 'trains too big for tunnels' scandal

Heads roll over northern Spain's 'trains too big for tunnels' scandal

There will be a delay of "two or three years" in the arrival of 31 new local train units to the Cantabria and Asturias regions, following the catalogue of errors

DANIEL MARTÍNEZ / CANDELA GORDOVIL

Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 17:00

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Spain's Minister of Transport Raquel Sánchez has apologised to the regional presidents of Cantabria and the Asturias for the delay of "two or three years" in the arrival of 31 new local trains to the regions due to an error in the design of the units, which were incompatible with the size of the network's tunnels.

Sánchez did so during her visit to Castro Urdiales as she announced the dismissals of the Renfe employee who led the material management division of train operator Renfe Viajeros when the tender was designed, and infrastructure company Adif’s head of inspection and track technology.

Miguel Ángel Revilla, the president of the Cantabrian regional government, described the catalogue of errors which saw trains ordered which were too big to fit through tunnels and of the incorrect type for the local gauge railways as an "unspeakable botched job".

The Ministry of Transport noted that the public companies Adif and Renfe were unaware of the gauge problems until the CAF company in charge of manufacturing the trains raised the alarm during the design phase.

Both Renfe and Adif said, following the results of the internal audits commissioned by the minister, they will proceed to carry out the recommended organisational adjustments.

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