The Minister of Transport announces imminent redundancies in Renfe and Adif

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The Minister of Transport announces imminent redundancies in Renfe and Adif

The Cercanías trains designed for Asturias and Cantabria do not enter the tunnels due to an error in calculating the dimensions

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, announced this Saturday “imminent stoppages” in both Renfe and Adif to “take responsibility” for the error in the dimensions of the Cercanías trains in several autonomous communities, especially in Cantabria. and Asturias, which prevented the convoys from fitting into the tunnels. The minister has been blunt: “My hand is not going to shake and there will be redundancies in the next few hours, both in Renfe and Adif and we will give the explanation at that time.” Sánchez commissioned an internal audit at both Renfe and Adif to “know in detail and know what happened” and “see where and who made the mistake”, resulting in a total of 31 machines failing be used for the purpose for which they were commissioned. The railway convoys were destined for Asturias and Cantabria (a total of 21 should have been commissioned in this community this year) and it was in Asturias where it was learned this week that bad bids had been made for the construction of the trains and that the wagons would not be suitable because of the tunnels (some of them very old) that run through the rail network of both Autonomous Communities. When the news broke, Revilla described the management as a “crook” and demanded “heads roll”, a demand to which the minister has now responded with equal emphaticity.

The minister has apologized for the error in the design of the trains and has announced that she will set up a work team that will travel to Cantabria and Asturias to supervise the project: “My commitment is that the new designs will be ready this summer, so that construction of the wagons as soon as possible.

Cantabria has been waiting for these new trains for years, as the fleet is very old. According to Renfe’s works council, they are even repaired with obsolete parts if they break, hence the seriousness of the delay that this ruling will bring from Adif, the entity that has acknowledged that it was wrong in the tender.

The person in charge of the Transport and Mobility portfolio was accompanied this Saturday in Castro Urdiales by the Regional Vice President Pablo Zuloaga, the Government Representative Ainoa Quiñones and the Mayor of the City Susana Herrán.

The source of the problem lies in the gauges published in the Adif network statement, which Renfe used to describe the technical characteristics of the new trains in a contract it published in 2019 for the purchase of 31 metric gauge trains, intended to commuter and medium-duty trains to renew the one-distance network fleet, mainly in the north of the country.

In June 2020, Renfe awarded this contract for 258 million euros to CAF, a manufacturer of trains and buses in the Basque Country. In preparing the project, CAF realized that there was an error in the gauges and that the tracks would not support the trains ordered, and they transferred this to their customer, Renfe.

In the contract awarded in 2020, the performance period of the contract is set at 220 months, approximately 18 years and four months. As it included 15 years of maintenance on some units, the remaining three years and four months would be the term for the trains to be manufactured, although they are normally delivered gradually. The first trains should therefore be ready by October 2024 at the latest.

While neither side has confirmed how long it will take to resolve this issue, it is estimated that the construction of the not yet produced trains will take approximately three years and some procedures still need to be arranged to find the solution. agreed upon can be carried out.

In addition to the Cercanías trains in Cantabria and Asturias, the Basque Country, Galicia, Castilla y León and Murcia are also affected.

For his part, the President of Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla, assured this Saturday that the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, has apologized for the malfunction in the dimensions of the Cercanías trains that prevented the arrival of the compromised fleet for the region will slow down, but the president has asked that this “crook” has “a responsible person” because “it is not presentable that anything is being put out to tender in 2019 and we are now finding out that the width of the trains did not match that of the tunnels ».

Revilla explained to the press that he had been calling the minister since Thursday “but she didn’t call” and that he was “quite angry”. “He called me, apologized, told me that indeed someone had to pay for the consequences of this mistake, and that he promised to speed up the start of production of the trains as soon as possible and that today he would give an explanation in Castro “, where he will be heading this Saturday for an institutional and campaign visit.

In this sense, Revilla hopes that the minister “will be clear and firm and tell us how it is possible that in a country like Spain, a pioneer in the world of infrastructure construction, an error of this caliber appears, where we are still always don’t know if the responsible person is Adif, Renfe… but the minister is the head of those organizations and she will have to clarify.

Source: La Verdad

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