Spanish government apologises to Cantabria for wrong-sized trains

by Lorraine Williamson
government apologises for mistake on train sizes

MADRID – The government of Spain apologises to Cantabria for the error in the dimensions of the Cercanías trains. The trains do not fit through the Cantabrian tunnels. Regional president Revilla demands that “this drama” finds someone responsible. 

The President of Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla, said on Saturday that the Spanish government Transport Minister, Raquel Sánchez, apologises for the mistake. As a result, there will be a considerable delay in the delivery of the new trains. 

See also: Blunder: Spanish Renfe makes trains that do not fit through tunnels 

El Mundo writes that Revilla has demanded a search be made for the “responsible”, because it is “inexplicable that something will be put out to tender in 2019 and we will find out in 2023 that the width of the trains did not coincide with that of the tunnels”. 

Revilla explained to the press that he had been trying to call the minister since Thursday, “but she didn’t call back” and that he was “quite angry”. Eventually there was a conversation and an apology. The minister also promised Revilla that the manufacture of the trains with the correct dimensions would be resumed as soon as possible and that an explanation would follow about the error. 

How can “an error of this calibre” appear in Spain? 

Revilla hopes that the minister will be clear and firm and tell us how it is possible that in a country like Spain, a world pioneer in the construction of infrastructures, an error of this calibre appears”. In addition, the president indicated it is still not known where to look for those responsible. “But the minister is the head of those bodies and she will have to clarify.” Furthermore, Revilla has demanded that the national government of Cantabria give reasonable deadlines so that the necessary new trains can start running quickly. 

Transport Minister Raquel Sánchez has announced “imminent layoffs” at Renfe and Adif over the mistake. The ministry will set up a working group to monitor the entire process. In addition, she has already commissioned an internal audit at Renfe and Adif to “determine in more detail how that error occurred.” 

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