Talgo 250

Fast train talk again this week. The Talgo 250 (comes under 2 classes under Spanish national passenger train operator Renfe, S130 and S730), as the name suggests, is a push-pull tilting trainset capable of 250 km/h or 155 mph in service. The special thing about this high-speed trainset though, is that she has an integrated gage changing system that works on the move at slow speed. Although we never need such a system, this is big in countries that traditionally have a different track gage until they adopt the standard gage high-speed rail (56.5 inches or 1 435 mm for the record). Spain’s existing rail network uses what’s called the Iberian gage, 65-21/32 inches or 1 668 mm.

Being a push-pull, the Talgo 250 has locomotives of course. They are 4-axle units with AC traction motors pumping out 3 200 hp on high-speed lines and 2 700 hp on existing lines (in this case, speed is reduced to a max of 135 mph in service). The locomotives are made in Germany by Bombardier. Some trainset have their locomotives paired up with generator cars with 2 400 hp MTU diesel engines on board. These trainsets are called the S730. They are hybrid trainset that can be used on non-electrified lines and operate at up to 110 mph. One ill-fated S730 trainset has been the victim of the high-speed derailment earlier this year in Spain.

Cars on the Talgo 250 are the usual, Talgo Pendular. These are short articulated cars sharing the relatively simple (compared to active tilting trains, of course) passive tilting single axle trucks. My post on the Amtrak Talgo Pendular also talks about these cars.


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