SPANISH National Railways announced on May 25 that its Administrative Board had approved an order for 1435mm gauge regional high-speed trains from a consortium of Alstom and CAF. Designated I-250, the 20 trains will run at 250 to 270 km/h on routes up to 250 km long, such as Madrid - Puertollano, Madrid - Guadalajara, Zaragoza - Lleida and Barcelona - Lleida.

The four-car non-tilting EMUs will be a variant of the Pendolino family, derived from the broad-gauge Alaris tilting trainsets supplied to Renfe by Alstom and Fiat Ferroviaria in 1998. Each car will have two asynchronous three-phase motors driving one axle on each bogie, giving a total rating of 4000 kW per train. There will be 31 Preferente and 205 Turista seats per unit, and full provision for mobility-impaired passengers.

Total contract value is €440m, of which €228m is the capital cost and the rest covers maintenance of the fleet for 15 years. Alstom will supply the traction equipment and 50% of the mechanical elements from Italy and its plant in Barcelona, where final assembly is planned.

H From June 10, Renfe has put into operation Talgo VII trainsets designated Altaria on the Madrid - Alicante route. Replacing older Talgo III sets, the new nine-coach trains are designed to run at 220 km/h. Each will carry 63 passengers in Preferente and 164 in Turista.