Trains with Flawed Electrical Systems Caused Caracas Subway Explosions

Wednesday, December 22, the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and the Minister of Transportation, Hipólito Abreu, reported that investigations by engineers from the Caracas Metro found the cause of explosions that affected several trains of the public company in previous weeks. They also responded to threats of a lawsuit from by the Spanish Export Credit Insurance Company (CESCE), which is claiming compensation for €138 million.

“A fault was discovered that caused explosions as a result of the electrical overload,” explained President Nicolás Maduro at a ceremony at the Teresa Carreño Theater on December 22 on the occasion of the 17th delivery of the National Awards for Science, Technology and Innovation. “I requested an investigation and the entire team of engineers were involved, and they hit the mark. Something that nobody knew!”

Abreu indicated that an investigation was initiated into failures that had been recurring in trains purchased with a CAF (Andean Development Corporation) loan. “In reading the plans… we were able to discover that at the input of high voltage energy to the friction pad, which is the one that powers the train, there was a high voltage cable placed there, when in the original design there were two cables that had to be placed.”

RELATED CONTENT: Caracas Metro Line 5 Restoration Works Continue: Bello Monte Station to be Completed Soon

“This failure generated a degradation of the cable,” said Abreu. “Although the train could work the first years, as it circulated the cable degraded very quickly. President Maduro indicated that the Metro workers began the replacement of the entire cable system and the necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that the amperage entering the system is correct,” and that the cables have the necessary resistance capacity.

Local media published reports of incidents in the Caracas Metro on September 25 and November 8 in which trains appeared to catch fire and fill with smoke after a power failure, forcing passengers and the station to be evacuated.

Demands from Spain
On the other hand, Maduro spoke out on Wednesday about the lawsuit filed by a Spanish company against the Venezuelan government for an alleged breach of contract involving the Caracas Metro.

“I was outraged when I saw that news yesterday (Tuesday) that a Spanish company was suing our Caracas Metro because a response was obtained to keep the engines useful, to maintain service for the people,” President Maduro said. “What did they want? That the Metro service stop while they arrive and give us the price they wanted?”

RELATED CONTENT: Smoke Incident in Caracas Metro on Sunday

This Tuesday, the Spanish Export Credit Insurance Company (CESCE) began procedures to formally demand compensation from the Venezuelan government for €138 million euros (about $155 million USD), allegedly for breaching a contract awarded to modernize Line 1 of the Caracas Metro.

Gonzalo García Andrés, Spanish Secretary of State for Economy and Business Support, reported that CESCE disbursed €138 million euros on November 30, which appeared as compensation for the policy signed by the national companies affected by the breach, and that had formed a Temporary Union of Companies for this case.

According to reports, in 2008 the Caracas Metro signed a contract for the comprehensive rehabilitation of Line 1 with the Unión Temporal de Empresas Consorcio Sistemas para Metro. This project included the acquisition of new trains, the technological modernization of the train control system, and maintenance of the rail system.

In this regard, President Maduro stressed that the workers of the Caracas Metro “have been performing miracles” to replace all the pieces and parts of the underground system. “So they scream and kick in Europe,” President Maduro said. “The Caracas Metro and the rail systems will produce everything they need to maintain service for the people.”

He reiterated that he remains indifferent to the threat. “They want to sue us in Spain because we are self-sufficient and independent at a technological level,” President Maduro said. “Let them demand whatever they want, because they want a colonial system where we depend on everything they sell us, and we don’t move a nut.”

 

Featured image: Caracas Metro users exiting Spanish-made trains. File photo.

(Alba Ciudad) by Luigino Bracci Roa

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/SL

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Luigino Bracci
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He is passionate about computer science since he was about 14 years old, at that age “a man gave me a small computer that he had bought in the eighties, of those that were connected to a television and had to be programmed to work (a Sinclair ZX81 ), and I really liked it.” On his political inclination, his parents were a great influence. “They were people of very humble origins, both emigrants, dissatisfied with injustice and inequality. But they were not militants of the left. I had many other influences, classmates in HS whose parents were on the left, as well as several teachers who were trained in the Pedagogical and gave us classes at a time as conflictive as it was the presidency of CAP and the military insurrection of Chávez ” He enrolled in the UCV and in 2006 he graduated in Computing, a career that he complements with popular communication in the digital field.

Luigino Bracci

He is passionate about computer science since he was about 14 years old, at that age “a man gave me a small computer that he had bought in the eighties, of those that were connected to a television and had to be programmed to work (a Sinclair ZX81 ), and I really liked it.” On his political inclination, his parents were a great influence. “They were people of very humble origins, both emigrants, dissatisfied with injustice and inequality. But they were not militants of the left. I had many other influences, classmates in HS whose parents were on the left, as well as several teachers who were trained in the Pedagogical and gave us classes at a time as conflictive as it was the presidency of CAP and the military insurrection of Chávez ” He enrolled in the UCV and in 2006 he graduated in Computing, a career that he complements with popular communication in the digital field.