Sunday, October 24

No explanation yet

June 3, 2021. Proud representatives of Flytoget participate in the celebration that the company has received four new trains. In total, Flytoget has ordered eight of these trains from the Spanish manufacturer CAF. None of them are in use today.

For three months, the new Flytoget train has been idle. The company has yet to receive any explanation as to how there could be cracks in the undercarriage of the trains.

It went unnoticed by most people in June. With strict coronary restrictions and train buses, Flytoget’s acquisition of four new trains received little attention.

The attention was just as small when the new Spanish trains were quickly sidelined. The skytrain had managed to put only one of them in normal traffic when it came time for a first routine check of the train.

Norwegian Mantena later discovered cracks in the train’s chassis. The skytrain immediately opted to take the set of trains out of service and put the other three new sets of trains to rest.

They have been doing it ever since.

Trade and Industry Minister Iselin Nybø (V) and Transport Minister Knut Arild Hareide (KrF) are testing the new aerial trains. The fact that Nybø was on the first trip in June is due to the fact that Flytoget is owned by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Train prices: NOK 1.3 billion

Three months after the cracks were discovered, Flytoget management has received no explanation as to why they are caused. The manufacturer CAF currently has eight employees in Norway who help find an explanation. Several are ready to travel to Norway if necessary.

There is no repair of the sets, only investigations under the auspices of CAF, informs Aftenposten the communications manager Ida Marie Fottland at Flytoget.

Until further notice, the plan is a full explanation before Christmas. Fottland says the company today does not know how dramatic the discovery of the chassis crack is.

In total, Flytoget has ordered eight new trains from CAF. In total, they cost about NOK 1.3 billion.

According to Fottland, only next summer the company may have problems with a lack of train sets. So traffic is supposed to have picked up again after the corona pandemic.

But this was not how Flytoget had envisioned it in the fall of 2021.

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– Passengers were not in danger

“We were looking forward to welcoming passengers on board. Unfortunately, it will take longer than planned,” the company wrote in a press release on June 24.

Flytoget emphasizes that train parking is done for safety reasons. According to the company, the error discovered is not of such a nature that it could endanger passengers or train personnel.

Flytoget describes the failure itself as “cracks in the beam connecting the bogie to the body (passenger compartment and cabin).

– Our first priority is always safety. As the type of train is new to us and we have only done a preliminary takeover, we opted to take the trains out of normal traffic. This is pending a response from CAF, says Ida Marie Fottland to Aftenposten.

– What can you say about when the trains can be used again?

– The answer is that now we don’t know.

– Have you received no explanation for the error?

– It’s not a tangible explanation.

– How did you react to the fact that a bug like this was discovered?

– Mistakes being discovered on new trains is not entirely uncommon.

– But now can half a year pass before you can use the new trains?

– Yes. It is a pity that there are not so many travelers yet. The important thing is that we can adequately delve into what is the cause of the error.

This is what the new aerial trains look like from the front.

– How do you interpret the message that no repairs are being carried out, but that it may take until Christmas before receiving a reply?

– We experience that CAF gets down to work. This is a large company that delivers trains to various countries. The new train sets are undergoing extensive testing.

– You say the case has no consequences now. But would you prefer the train sets to be put into service?

– If the traffic had been normal, it would have been problematic. Now our calculations show that capacity will not be an issue until next summer.

– Is this without a doubt a guarantee, a complaint?

– Flytoget perceives that this is CAF’s responsibility.

– Does CAF have to pay some kind of fine while the trains cannot be put into service?

– We cannot go into what the contract says about this.

Aftenposten contacted CAF on Tuesday to obtain its side of the case. They have not responded to our inquiry.

The cracks in the axles were broken.

Norway and several other countries have a long tradition of detecting faults in new trains.

In Norway, NSB’s purchase of new Signatur trains at the turn of the millennium is often very well remembered.

One of the trains broke one of the axles, when the train was traveling at around 40 km / h at Nelaug station on the Sørlandsbanen line.

The problems with the cracks in the axles turned out to include several sets of trains. Therefore, the axle change work began on both the Signature and the aerial trains, which were trains of the same type.

At the same time, the speed in Sørlandsbanen was reduced, after it had been installed as a result of the purchase of the Signature sets.

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