THE FIRST OF 20 trainsets for high-speed regional services in Spain is due to begin dynamic trials in September, with deliveries of two series trains each month expected to start in February 2004. Ordered at a cost of €227·8m, the Class 104 will operate at up to 250 km/h on 1435mm gauge routes, each four-car set carrying up to 237 passengers.

Aluminium bodyshells for the Class 104, a non-tilting member of the Pendolino family, are being built by Alstom at its Santa Perpètua de Mogoda plant outside Barcelona, where 10 sets are also being assembled. Driving power cars for the remaining 10 units are being assembled by CAF in Zaragoza, with Renfe’s Valladolid workshops producing trailer cars. Drawing power at 25 kV AC, up to three Class 104s will be able to operate in multiple.

Under a €6·6m contract, Valladolid will also assemble 32 cafeteria and Tourist class cars for the 16 Velaro E trainsets ordered from Siemens (RG 10.02 p641) for the Madrid - Barcelona high speed line. The first bodyshell is due to arrive from CAF in Zaragoza later this summer, with fitting-out of the first car expected to take 100 days to complete.