The milestone was reached as part of the homologation tests prior to its operation
A unit of Talgo Avril, the very high-speed train developed and manufactured by Talgo in Spain, has reached today a key milestone in its homologation process: it has exceeded 360 kilometres per hour (km/h), speed required for its subsequent operation in the upcoming months. The landmark was achieved by one of the 30 units whose manufacture and maintenance were awarded to Talgo by Renfe for their circulation in Spain and France for over three decades.
The top speed has been reached on a section of the new Madrid-Burgos railway line, between the town of Venta de Baños in Palencia and the city of Burgos, and with only a reduced team on board made up of Talgo driving staff and commissioning technicians. This infrastructure is still being tested and closed to passenger traffic.
The milestone achieved today is only one of the approval stages that will be required for the circulation of Talgo Avril, along more than 30,000 kilometres on both European standard gauge lines (high-speed) and Iberian gauge lines (both conventional and high-speed).
High speed in Spain and France
The tests will also serve to introduce and validate a revolutionary concept: automatic gauge change for very high-speed trains (those capable of exceeding 300 km/h). These tests record the highly satisfactory performance of all train elements, from rolling to traction, including energy collection, and signalling systems.
By equipping half of the series -15 units- with these systems, Talgo Avril resolves in the short term a necessarily complex enduring operating and investment horizon. This perspective is being considered for some destinations in Spain’s northern areas such as Asturias or the Basque Country, but particularly in Galicia, whose high-performance inland rail network will be kept for a long time on Iberian gauge, unlike the rest of Spain.
Along with this test programme, the homologation of the Avril train in French territory is being carried out for its commercial operation by Renfe in the neighbouring country. This work is mainly focused on the technical validation of the on-board control systems of 10 of the 30 trains that have been adapted to operate in France.