New commuter trains for northern Spain too big for tunnels

Renfe CAF

Renfe is delaying by up to three years the construction of 31 commuter trains for 258 million euros, to be used on ‘Cercanías’ lines mainly in Cantabria, but also in Asturias, Euskadi, Galicia, Castilla y León and Murcia. The thirty or so trains that Renfe promised in 2020 will be delayed by at least three years due to a miscalculation in the dimensions of the convoys, which means that they will not fit into the tunnels.

The delay mainly affects the north of Spain, mostly Cantabria, where 21 of the 31 units promised will go. The president of Cantabria, Miguel Angel Revilla, has called for the dismissal of those responsible for the “botched job” and for the new delivery deadlines to be announced.

Yesterday, two middle management dismissals were announced in Renfe – to try to stop the controversy – and the ridicule – from escalating – while a new agreement was announced with the company that was awarded the contract, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), to find a solution to the problem. This solution involves applying the so-called ‘comparative method’ which consists of manufacturing the new units using as a model a train that is already running on the line.

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