After the huge train case, Renfe’s boss resigned

After the huge train case, Renfe’s boss resigned

The controversy lasted for 15 days. in SpainIssue trains Too big for some tunnels brought down the head of the Spanish Railways, Renfe. A spokeswoman for the company, at the helm of the rail company since June 2018, announced that Isaias Tapuas “submitted” on Monday his “resignation”.

This sudden departure came on top of the resignation of the Secretary of State for Transport, Isabel Pardo de Vera, who is also the former head of the Director of the Spanish Rail Network, Adive, as confirmed by the Ministry of Transport in a short press release. The ministry said Transportation Secretary Raquel Sanchez “expressed her gratitude” to these two leaders for “the work done in their respective roles”.

The request is 258 million euros

These resignations come after more than two weeks of controversy related to the arrangement of 31 trains for the railway network in northern Spain, It turned out to be too big for some of the tunnels they had to go through. This order, valued at €258 million, was awarded following an invitation to bid in June 2020 to Spanish railway equipment manufacturer CAF.

It was this company, headquartered in the Basque Country, that realized in March 2021 that the dimensions given during the call for tenders were incorrect. Then I alerted the authorities before even starting to build the trains. “There was absolutely no risk that wrong-sized trains were built because the manufacturer was obligated, as specified in the tender documents,” to carry out the checks, Renfe asserted.

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delivery delay

But this error – which was announced in early February, almost two years after the problem was discovered – will nevertheless lead to a delay in the delivery of the trains, which should be rolled out in 2026 and not in 2024 as initially planned.

And according to the Spanish media, this may also lead to additional costs due to the increase in material prices in recent months. A problem denied by Renfe: “There is no financial problem, no money was wasted,” the group asserts.

A “guilty cover-up” for the opposition

The case sparked intense controversy in Spain, where the right-wing opposition accused the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of “concealing the blame” and “ambiguity”, less than a year before the legislative elections scheduled for the end of 2023.

On February 6, the Ministry of Transport has already fired the former head of equipment management at Renfe and a senior official at Adif. The two companies also opened a joint investigation to find out the circumstances that led to this situation, which the Minister of Transport described as a “grave mistake”.

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