AVE Class 100

I slacked off last week again, didn’t I. Anyhow, let’s continue with the Paella theme and check out the AVE Class 100. As you may recall, AVE stands for Alta Velocidad Española, the service name used by the Spanish national passenger operator, Renfe, on its high-speed trains.

A Class 100 on the Madrid to Barcelona high-speed line

The story here sounds similar to some of the other countries that got into the high-speed rail business by importing in the later parts of the 20th century. The Class 100, like the first KTX (Korea Train eXpress), are derived from the iconic TGV Atlantique. Like the KTX, the styling of the AVE Class 100 has been modified slightly, resulting in a more rounded nose. Nonetheless, it does not require any effort to spot the family resemblance.

TGV Gare Montparnasse.jpg
By SeeSchloss - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

The trains went into service in 1992, after the first standard gauge high-speed line was completed in Spain from Madrid to Seville (it was almost going to be Iberian gauge, like the rest of the Spanish network, wise choice at the end, perhaps). The maximum speed, the usual 186 mph or 300 km/h.

The fleet of Class 100 was refurbished in 2007, and some were converted/upgraded later to be used on the Paris to Madrid service. Hopefully, these classic looking high-speed trains will still be with us for many years to come.


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