RENFE Talgo Avril (Photo Mike Bent)

SPAIN: The first 10 Talgo S106 Avril high speed trainsets entered passenger service with national operator RENFE on May 21.

The Alta Velocidad, Rueda Independiente, Ligero (High Speed, Independent Wheels, Lightweight) is the latest evolution of the Talgo family. The 330 km/h Series 106 sets have two driving power cars and 12 articulated coaches. The configuration is similar to that of previous Talgo trainsets, with four motored bogies under the power cars and 13 of Talgo’s ‘rodals’ to support the coaches.

RENFE Talgo Avril interior (Photo RENFE)

The wide 3 200 mm bodies aim to make maximum use of the loading gauge, and the saloons have 3+2 and 2+2 seating.

Gauge-changing sets are being deployed on AVE-branded services from Madrid to Galicia and Asturias, and the 1 435 mm fixed-gauge variant on low-cost Avlo services from the capital to Barcelona, València, Alacant and Murcia.

Delayed delivery

RENFE Talgo Avril (Photo RENFE)

In November 2016 and May 2017 RENFE awarded Talgo contracts totalling €1·3bn to supply 15 fixed-gauge and 15 gauge-changing trains. Deliveries should have started in January 2021, but were delayed by the pandemic, then by shortages of components and finally by software problems.

In February RENFE said it would impose a fine of €167m on Talgo, and a further €60 000 per day from April 1 until the first trains were officially handed over.

Each set completed 25 000 km of problem-free test running before entering service.

The Avril fleet will replace S130/730 Alvia, S112 Avlo and S120 high speed trains which will be cascaded to other routes.