Rolling stock: State-of-the-art trains for a XXI century network

Terminal de Llegadas de P. Atocha vías
Terminal de Llegadas de P. Atocha vías

On the Spanish network run high-speed trains belonging to different manufacturers, while all being equipped with state- of-the-art technology.

This diversity has resulted in a train fleet that stands out for its comfort, convenience and punctuality, aspects that are highly appreciated by the users. The high-speed rolling stock belonging to Renfe Operadora was used for the first time in 1992, alongside with the Madrid-Sevilla line opening. The well-known AVE 100R Series started to operate on this section.

After 15 years of activity, in 2009, it completed its technical remodeling so as to meet the passengers’ new requirements. In 2001, the Talgo-Bombardier Consortium was awar- ded the construction and mainte- nance of 16 high-speed trains, the S102.In 2005, 30 more units were entrusted. In 2008, the first “Alvia” self-propelled train of the 120 Series enters into commercial operation for Madrid-Barcelona.

One of its novelties is that it has been equipped with a mobile rolling system based on the Brava (Self-Propelled Variable  Gauge Rolling Bogie) bogies developed by CAF. Since they adapt to any track gauge, and in only 3 seconds, they allow providing services on the high-speed lines. The 103 Series train appeared later for these networks. It involved a fleet of 26 units, with distributed traction, awarded to Siemens after two tenders. This fleet is completed with 130 Series trains. There are 45 compositions of 11 7 Series Talgo carriages and two tractor trucks manufactured by Talgo in terms of mechanics and by Bombardier in terms of electrics. It is able to run through the high-speed international gauge lines at 250 km/h and at 200 km/h on the conventional ones. In 2012, the first hybrid train, Alvia 730 Series, is integrated in the Madrid-Galicia service. With the traction technology, both diesel and electrical, the benefits of high-speed also reach the sections without the need to electrify.

It consists of a mobile rolling system, through which they can run on UIC (AVE gauge) gauge tracks and on conventional gauges. Spain also has the first rolling stock of the world designed and built particularly for providing services on high-speed medium distances. The- se are the S104 trains based on the Pendolino technology. Special men- tion is made to the recent rolling stock developments.On one hand, the Oaris platform belonging to the CAF Company. A very high-speed train family able to reach 350 kilo- meters per hour. It has been designed with own maximum reliability technology, as a result of the constant commitment of the Company towards I+D. Therefore, it includes the most modern breakthroughs in terms of design, accessibility, safety and comfort. On the other hand, the Talgo AVRIL also stands out, an advanced train designed for the operators with the most demanding capacity requirements.

The most modern fleet from Europe

Precisely, at the end of 2016, the Talgo Company was awarded the manufacture of 15 trains belonging to this family and their maintenan- ce for a period of 30 years. A con- tract in the amount of 786.5 M€. In addition, another extra 15 trains are intended to be procured and the maintenance period will be extended for another 10 years. With this new demand, Spain will have the most modern high-speed train fleet from Europe. This rolling stock will be equipped with the most modern technology (including WiFi), of a great versatile capacity, while being accessible and reliable. Other advantages would be its design that aims to reduce the power consumption and to multiply efficiency.