Renfe has suffered the biggest fiasco in recent years, ordering trains too big for the tunnels, El País reports.
In 2020, 31 trains were ordered – they were planned to be launched by Asturias and Cantabria in the north of the country. These are mountainous regions with an old narrow track and many tunnels.
The manufacturer, the CAF company, warned that there was an error in the calculations of the height of the cars. But it happened only two years after the tender was held. The wagons were never manufactured, they remained on paper. According to the contract, they managed to pay 190 million euros for the wagons, but the losses are not limited to this: because the delay in the manufacture of trains implies an increase in the cost of materials.
The Ministry of Transport only acknowledged the problem when the story gained media coverage. At the same time, some officials in the Ministry of Transport have been making deliberate mistakes for months. Several managers of the Renfe and Adif companies were suspended.
By the end of summer, they plan to develop a project with the right dimensions and create the first prototype.
And, although the order for the trains for Asturias and Cantabria constitutes a notable error, it is still far from the case experienced by France in 2014. Then, the state company SNCF received 2,000 new wagons from the manufacturing companies Alstom and Bombardier to renew its fleet of TER regional trains. But they were too wide to run on thousands of platforms at the older stations. As they had already been built, the State had to reform the platforms, with an estimated cost of 300 million.