Attention is now focussing on one of the two drivers to the train, who's in hospital with slight injuries, guarded by the police. This is under the instructions of an investigating judge, who will determine - as is the Continental Civil Code fashion - whether the driver will face criminal charges. As I understand it, as soon as he's well enough, the driver will attend a court hearing, possibly with a lawyer alongside him, to answer questions from the judge. And possibly the police. This is very different from the Anglo-Saxon process, where a judge is only involved after police investigation and after the suspect has been charged with a specific offence.
I'm not sufficiently cynical to say it's a deliberate attempt - Prestige style - to shift the limelight from the government, but it's certainly interesting to see widespread media attention being given to Facebook comments of the driver of some months ago. The Times today reports that: "One contact on the social network told him: 'Man, you are going flat out, brake!!' Mr Garzón replied: 'I’m at the limit, I can’t run any faster, otherwise they’ll fine me.' When someone warned him he could face speeding points, Mr Garzón replied, writing in capitals: 'How good it would be to go as fast as the Guardia Civil and pass them and trigger off the speed camera. Ha, ha, it would be a fine for Renfe, ha, ha.'
Well, my first response is to say that much depends on which definition of 'speeding' you plump for - merely 'going fast' or 'exceeding the legal limit'. If you're a train driver legally doing 250kph, you are certainly going fast and, while it may be adolescent to confess to enjoying this and pretty dumb to express this enjoyment on Facebook, it's neither immoral nor criminal. As for breaking the legal speed limit, my reading of the driver's original text was that he was joking about doing 250kph legitimately on a track which went alongside a road with a Guardia Civil (i. e. Tráfico) radar trap on it. Again, he was expressing childish delight at the train triggering the radar and confusing the Guardia Civil. But perhaps I'm being too lenient. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the black box will surely confirm excess speed at the corner, which will surprise no one, but won't, I believe, help us in understanding why.
Given that it takes some time for a train to slow from 250 to 80kph, there should have been an automatic control system some way before this corner. Maybe even some kilometres before it. If, in fact, there was either no system or an inadequate system at that point - meaning negligence on the part of RENFE (i. e. the government) - expect a lot more shit to be thrown at the driver. While a cortina de humo is thrown up around the government's responsibility.