Spain: Transport officials resign over train design blunder

Feb 20, 2023, 10:13 AM | Updated: 10:24 am

MADRID (AP) — A major error in the designs of trains for two northern Spanish regions has led to the resignations of two top transport officials, bringing to four the number of people who have lost their jobs because of the controversy this month.

A total of 31 narrow-gauge commuter and medium distance trains were ordered in 2020 for the regions of Asturias and Cantabria but it emerged just weeks ago that under the original designs the trains would not have fitted in tunnels in the regions.

The trains will be redesigned to fit the tunnels, but this will lead to substantial delays in their delivery.

The revelations angered both regions and led to demands for resignations.

On Monday, the Secretary of State for Transport, Isabel Pardo de Vera — the minister´s right-hand colleague — handed in her resignation, as did the president of the state rail company RENFE, Isaías Taboas.

When the error became public early February, RENFE and the state-owned rail infrastructure company Adif fired two senior officials.

The Transport Ministry says the errors were spotted early on and no money has been wasted. However, both regions will now have to wait for another two or three years before they get their new trains.

The resignations came hours before Transport Minister Raquel Sánchez was due to meet the regional presidents of Asturias and Cantabria to explain the blunder in the design measurements.

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Spain: Transport officials resign over train design blunder