null Talgo trains connect Moscow and Berlin reducing journey time by 4.5 hours


17 Dec 2016

Talgo trains connect Moscow and Berlin reducing journey time by 4.5 hours

The Russian railway company, RZD, inaugurated the Talgo train service between the cities of Moscow and Berlin, reducing journey time by 4.5 hours thanks to its variable gauge system.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by, among others, Maxim Sokolov, Russia's Minister of Transport; Oleg Beloziorov, President of the Russian Railways RZD; Piotr Ivanov, FPK Director General; Íñigo de la Serna, Spain's Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport; Julio Gómez-Pomar, Spain's Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Transport; Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner of the Spain Brand; Carlos Palacio Oriol, President of Talgo; and Segundo Vallejo, General Director of Talgo.

Talgo's President conveyed his "satisfaction for the continuous internationalization efforts which the company has been making in recent years to continue to export our innovative technology. This milestone is an example of how technology sometimes serves to bring people closer. Russia is one of our main customers and Talgo is proud to be able to connect two of the most important capitals of the world while making the journey more comfortable, faster and safer for travelers."

Total passenger capacity of these Talgo trains is 216 along 18 passenger coaches, which can operate at a maximum speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). The distance from Moscow to Berlin will now be served in 20h14’, as compared to the 24h49’ made by non-Talgo trains. The service has been branded "Swift" by RZD (“Strizh” in Russian), in reference to two of the main features of the service: as the bird, it is fast and it is agile.

After this milestone, Talgo culminates a year of business success stories showcasing the effectiveness of its internationalization, diversification and portfolio expansion strategy including innovative products such as the newly designed Avril train, after the company was awarded one of the most important high-speed tenders in Europe as a result of which Talgo is to provide up to 30 "Avril" Very High Speed trains for Spanish operator RENFE.

Automatic variable-gauge system for a cross-border service

Talgo variable-gauge system enables a train to adapt its wheel gauge in just a few seconds and without stopping, saving time for travelers who are not required to either transfer not wait long hours at the border. As Talgo’s variable gauge system allows its trains to circulate across four countries (Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany) it makes the route more rapid and comfortable for passengers. As the route uses four different rail networks (German, Polish, Belarusian, Russian) the vehicles have been certified by  each of the corresponding railway administrations and thus have been homologated according to two different technical standards (EU and GOST).

The system works thanks to three basic mechanisms: a set of lateral guides lifts each of the coaches slightly so that the wheels no longer hold the weight of the coach; a set of vertical rails acts on the wheels, to passively unblock them; and a set of horizontal rails acts on the wheels, to passively adapt their gauge to the new track.

Those three processes act in sequence. First, the train’s wheels are freed from holding up its weight after which locks are opened/unblocked and wheels gauge is adapted. Then locks are closed/blocked again and the train rests anew on the wheels.

In Spain the Talgo variable-gauge system is currently used more than a thousand times per day without glitches, and allows trains fitted with it to indistinctly use the high-speed (standard track-gauge) and conventional (Iberian track-gauge) networks.

Antifreeze system

Talgo trains operating the Moscow-Berlin route have been fitted with a system designed to avoid ice formation on wheels and rodals during the harsh Eurasian continental weather.

The system recycles the wasted air used in the passenger cabins, and therefore its energy consumption is minimal.


Notes to editors

TALGO S.A. is a leading specialized rolling stock engineering company mainly focused on designing, manufacturing and servicing technologically differentiated, fast, lightweight trains with industrial presence in seven countries: Spain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and United States. The Company is renowned worldwide for its innovation capacity, its unique technology and reliability. TALGO is the rolling stock provider for the Haramain high speed railway line between La Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.


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