An error in the design of a new fleet for the Spanish metric gauge networks in Asturias and Cantabria is likely to delay the delivery of rolling stock for several years. The current design of the train does not allow passage through some of the tunnels on the routes. The Ministry of Transport has ordered an internal review, but two managers at Adif and Renfe have already been fired. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailTech.


Initially, the first trains were scheduled to be ready around October 2024, however a design failure will delay new train operations in the two regions. In June 2020, Renfe was awarded a €258 million contract for the supply of trains to the Spanish manufacturer CAF. 21 trains are assigned to the Cantabrian metric gauge network and 10 trains to Asturias.

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The Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Development clarified the situation in a statement this week. An error in the sizing of the train was discovered at the design stage, so the train had not yet been manufactured and no public expenditure was made or incurred as a result of this situation. The error means that the design needs to be changed, which delays the production process. The error is expected to delay the delivery of the train by two to three years.

Although the results of an inspection commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation have not yet been received, everyone points to Renfe as the alleged culprit. The error in the train design is due to Renfe’s misinterpretation of the Declaration on the Network prepared by Adif’s railway infrastructure manager. Currently, two people responsible for the situation have been fired.

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