Software glitch disrupts major rail network

Passengers across Madrid were urged to use alternative forms of transportSoftware glitch disrupts major rail network

Software glitch disrupts major rail network

Cercanias station in Madrid, Spain. © Alejandro Martinez Velez / Europa Press / Getty Images

Spanish state-owned rail operator Renfe confirmed that an Alstom software malfunction had disrupted services around Madrid on Monday, as well as on a number of medium- and long-distance routes.

The main area impacted was the Chamartin signaling system, according to a press release from the company, causing issues with the “control, command and signaling subsystems.”

Renfe did not state what they believe caused the malfunction or how long it could take to resolve, although they confirmed that the source of the issue had been identified.

The Alstom service provides software to Renfe that allows the company to manage rail traffic, and the glitch has resulted in “very restricted flows” on the route to guarantee safety conditions.

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Renfe urged passengers to seek alternative forms of transport, including the bus and metro, which runs on a different technology system and is unaffected, until workers could resolve the incident and restore full services.

With thousands of commuters relying on Madrid rail services to get to and from work on Monday, the situation has caused significant disruption and delays, with Renfe increasing customer service facilities while the situation is ongoing.

Similar technological issues in Alstom traffic controls systems were reported in Poland, India and Singapore on Friday. It’s not yet clear how widespread these software malfunctions are or whether they are related.


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