A project to construct 31 new trains for local rail services was halted last month after it was discovered that the height of the new units meant they would be unable to pass through tunnels on the Asturias and Cantabria commuter line.  The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has apologised and shared her “anger and indignation” with commuters across the country.

The president of the Cantabrian regional government, Miguel Ángel Revilla, described the “unspeakable botched job” as a “monumental error” which had also designed some trains to run on the incorrect gauge of track.  A number of senior officials involved in the project are reported to have been dismissed after CAF, the company manufacturing the new units, raised concerns at the design stage. 

The Transport Ministry noted that neither Adif or Renfe, the public companies which operate Spain’s railways’ infrastructure and operations respectively, were aware of the problems before then.  Renfe commissioned the new rolling stock in June 2020 and delivery has now been delayed by “two or three years.”