AVE Class 103


A very well made video by YouTube user Mikhail@Novgorod showing various types equipment on the Córdoba to Málaga High-Speed Line

I have already written about some of the Siemens Velaro family of high-speed trains in earlier posts, but I wanted to dedicate this one to the Velaro E (for España), or more commonly known as the AVE (Alta Velocidad Española or Spanish High Speed) Class 103.


A Class 103 towards Barcelona on the outskirts of Madrid

On the outside, the Velaro E looks almost identical to the ICE 3, which is a product jointly developed by a number of companies in Germany. However, due to licensing issues, Siemens re-developed components on the ICE 3 it did not make, thus completing the Velaro platform of high-speed trains. The Velaro E also received an upgrade in the traction department, in order to cope with the demand for higher acceleration and maximum speed by Renfe (the Spanish national railway company). As a result, the AVE Class 103 is authorized for service at 350 km/h (217 mph), making it one of the fastest trains in the world (however, the current top speed in revenue service in Spain is capped at 310 km/h or 193 mph).

Velaro E bogie.jpg
De bigbug21 - Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0, Enlace

Renfe currently has a fleet of 26 sets of the Velaro E.

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