Many successful projects have been accomplished by Talgo since its foundation more than 75 years ago, due to which the company has gained national and international recognition, having positioned itself as a Spanish leader in design, manufacture and maintenance of the long-distance rolling stock.
Talgo trains are sustainable, safe, competitive, innovative and prime quality. Evidence of this are the numerous projects, successfully carried out not only in Spain, but also in a variety of countries, among them the USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Canada.
A unique, project-focused approach has allowed Talgo to address the specific needs and particularities of each country where its trains currently operate, as well as to optimally adapt to the local climatic and cultural conditions and technical requirements. The technological diversity of Talgo products has contributed to the successful accomplishment of the most complex and diverse projects, such as the construction of the first trains in the history of rail transport capable to drive through the desert at 300 km/h, of the loco-hauled trains currently running on one of the Europe’s most important international routes between Moscow and Berlin and provided with automatically variable gauge running gear designed by Talgo for international services, as well as trains operated on one of the most important internal Russia´s lines connecting Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod, providing excellent results under extreme weather conditions with temperatures in winter sometimes dropping to -45º.
At present, Talgo is working on the development of a new high-speed train , which will travel across Spain in a few years. AVRIL is the train chosen by Renfe during the 2016 bid process, open and accessible to all train builders worldwide. Under the contract awarded, Talgo will manufacture and supply to the Spanish railway operator 15 high-speed trains plus 15 extra units, which were added to the contract scope later, as well as 30 years of maintenance services.
High-speed train of the future…is already here
AVRIL, featuring high operational speed, increased passenger capacity and automatically variable gauge running gear, can be rightly regarded as the High-speed train of the future, available at a price under 25 million Euros per unit, which is 20% below the average market value. Its maintenance costs are 25% less and energy consumption 25% lower, if compared to the rolling stock, offered by competitors. The train´s maximum passenger capacity reaches 521 passengers in a total of 12 cars, each car characterized by a modular design and adaptability to the specific needs of each service. Tourist class cars feature a 3+2 seat arrangement, which allows for increased transporting capacity without degrading passenger comfort level. The inner space of Avril´s vehicles has been maximized by building bodyshells wider than those of the manufacturers of the conventional rolling stock, totally compliant with the current loading gauge standards due to their advantageously short length. Avril speeds up to 330 km/h, operates at three voltage levels and on networks with different track gauges. The uniqueness of Avril´s concept lies in its versatility, allowing to efficiently operate Talgo trains under completely different and sometimes challenging conditions.
Another contract, Talgo was recently awarded in Spain, consists in the remodeling of 156 cars of 13 Train-hotel units of Series 7 into high-speed vehicles. This comprehensive transformation includes, apart from the technological upgrade and modifications needed to increase the operational speed from 250 km/h to 330 km/h, the replacement of the current running gear with dual-gauge axles, a series of structural changes, such as redistribution of doors and windows in the cars, modifications in the end cars, improvement of interior design and on-board systems. This project will definitely mark a new milestone in the global railway history and make Talgo a pioneer in the transformation of conventional trains into high-speed rolling stock, never before attempted by other train builders. Additionally to these 13 trainsets, the contract may be expanded further to include 6 more units. This approach is based on the Circular Economy principles, aimed to minimize the consumption of materials, recycle and reduce the environmental footprint.
At the international arena, Mecca-Medina high-speed train built for Saudi Arabia has become a reference project with many challenges, which were efficiently dealt with by Talgo. In summer 2017, Talgo trains successfully completed field testing, reaching 330km/h on the road section between KAEC and Medina, challenged by sand and high temperatures. By the end of the year, the construction of the first HS railway line between Jeddah and Mecca was finished and system tests carried out during the two runs in each direction performed between Mecca and Medina. The launch of commercial operation is planned in the next few months.
Along with the rolling stock supply, Talgo was also awarded the contract for comprehensive maintenance to be delivered at the company´s maintenance centers in Mecca and Medina during the period of 12 years. Workshops of the recently-built facilities are equipped with all the necessary machinery, guaranteeing complete autonomy of the services provided, both during routine and heavy maintenance operations. For this purpose, Talgo has supplied auxiliary equipment, mostly of its own design. The main advantage of this equipment is its operational versatility, since it can be used for different tasks and is compatible with different rolling stock, including freight trains and trams.
Facilities in Medina have become the largest maintenance site worldwide, built and owned by Talgo to date. Maintenance services will be provided by 200 professionals, most of them local staff trained by Talgo personnel involved in the project.
Today Talgo continues to expand its international presence and add new products to the existing portfolio. Evidence of this is the train developed for Commuter and Regional passenger transportation. This new development has used all the company´s Know-how, result of many years´ experience in the manufacture and maintenance of the rolling stock. The basic concepts of this new train include accessibility, energy efficiency, comfort and low operational costs. All these have been focused on the customer needs and optimized to provide high-quality services to passengers. The use of the independent rotating wheel technology has allowed Talgo to build a low-floor train, without steps for entrance or uneven floors inside the vehicles. This new Talgo product will run at 200 km/h when in regional service and offer its operators many attractive options, such as running at different voltages or diesel traction, depending on the client´s needs. The new train will be characterized by sustainability, innovation and its environmentally friendly concept.
Talgo was born 75 years ago from an innovative idea and since that moment all the solutions engineered by the company´s professionals have been focused on delivering an efficient response to the current global demands of the railway industry at all stages of project development, that is manufacture, design and maintenance. From now forth, Talgo will continue using this approach, highly oriented towards innovation, client needs and global rail market trends.