Avril: the new-age high-speed train for Spain. Thirty units of this recently designed model, featuring variable-gauge running gear and 300 km/h operating speed, will soon join the rail fleet of the Spanish operator Renfe. The aforementioned characteristics make this train especially versatile and capable of delivering high speed to almost every corner of the country, while, due to a 3+2 seat arrangement, a standard unit can carry over 600 passengers at a time. The new Avril is a synonym of maximized passenger capacity and environmental sustainability, the latter owed to its light weight.
In 2016, Renfe announced an international tender for the construction of 15 very high-speed trains to operate commercially at 330 km/h and their maintenance during 30 years. In this open, competitive bidding Talgo became undisputed winner. The initial scope was later extended to include another 15 trains, ending up with a total of 30 state-of-the-art units to deliver to Renfe.
Half of these trains are designed with automatic dual-gauge running gear and multi-voltage supply systems, which will allow them to run practically throughout the entire national railway network, improving the commercial offer available and reducing travel times. Also, another 10 trains will be prepared to operate in France.
Increased passenger capacity for maximum efficiency
One of the goals of the Avril project is to efficiently transport as many passengers as possible. Its 3+2 seating arrangement in Tourist class cars has become possible due to an optimum adjustment of the vehicles to the permissible loading gauge: the number of seats is increased without reducing the individual passenger space available in the wider trains of other manufacturers.
The inner layout of the new Avril can be modified to meet any potential need, since its cars´ modular design provides for a quick and easy configuration change.
Avril is versatility. For the first time, Talgo is implementing its automatic variable-gauge technology in trains with operational speed of over 300 km/h, so far available only on rolling stock of up to 250 km/h.
That way Talgos will be able to reach any part of Spain with electrified lines in a considerably shorter time, transporting more passengers than any other train. In terms of speed, the new technologically evolved model will take the most of the high-speed infrastructure (European standard tracks), something which the existing dual-gauge trains cannot do, and will bring these advantages further to the conventional lines (Iberian standard track). The resulting general travel time savings will be beneficial for both, passengers and railway operator.
The new rolling stock has been designed multi-voltage, for running on 1,5 and 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC electrified lines, and fitted with the most technologically advanced signaling and safety systems: ERTMS and ASFA for the national rail network, and TVM and KVB for France, to allow Renfe operate its Avrils on either side of the Pyrenees.
Clean Technology for a zero-emissions Today
Compared to analogues, Avril´s energy consumption is at least 30% lower, due to the extremely light weight. This feature also provides for faster acceleration and braking with the resultant shorter stopping distance and considerable increase of time operated at maximum speed.
Renfe´s technological challenge these days is to position railway in Spain as a clean, sustainable and low-emission transport system, and the best way to fast-track the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Fully accessible train.
Similarly to the rest of Talgo trains, the new development features a unique single-axle running gear with a yoke-shaped frame, allowing to design cars with the floor same height as platform and no internal barriers through the entire train. This provides enhanced autonomy to Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) who can access Talgo trains unaided, without having to go up and down the stairs.
Continuous low floor also provides for a 20% faster passenger boarding and disembarkation, if compared to similar trains. This considerably reduces stop times at stations and, as a result, operational costs.
High-speed and cost-efficient.
The new Avril for Renfe is expected to yield high returns thanks to a whole array of unique characteristics: increased passenger capacity obtained by a 3+2 seat arrangement will provide for a more efficient use of available space, while a high availability ratio of 99,09% will guarantee that the train remains operational during almost its entire service life.
Due to the absolutely track-friendly running gear design, Avril also contributes to the extension of the infrastructure service life. The train also maximizes power return to the electrification system, and its interoperability is the key for further expansion of very high speed to places out of reach of the new rail lines.