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Alvia Series 130

S-130 electric rail car

The trains of the 130 series, which are known as the Talgo 250 or "Patitos", are composed of 11 Talgo cars of series 7 and two power cars with the mechanical part manufactured by Talgo and the electrical part by Bombardier. They are versatile vehicles that can run, including the power cars, either on international gauge lines or on national gauge lines, using the axle changeover stations installed at connections between both infrastructures. These trains reach a speed of 250 km/h on high-speed lines and 200 km/h on conventional lines.

At the end of the 20th century, Renfe took on the need to renovate its fleet of daily long-distance trains as a result of the need to replace Talgo III rolling stock, which was close to the end of its service life, and as a result of the progress on building high-speed lines equipped with 1435-mm gauge track. Renfe endeavoured that this renovation should take place with self-propelled trains.

At the time of purchase of the new material (1998), Talgo proposed a new range of trains to Renfe, based on the cars of series 7 and the incorporation of two power cars, which it had already developed in the diesel version (BT) and which were capable of automatically changing between track gauges. In 1999, Renfe signed a contract with Talgo for the purchase of cars to form 17 compositions of 9 cars each (1 end car of First class, 1 First class car, 1 First class suitable for PRMs, 1 cafeteria car, 4 Standard class cars and one Standard class end car), which was subsequently expanded by two orders of 13 cars in June 2000 and 27 cars in April 2001, with which another five compositions could be formed to make a total of 22. Renfe reserved the possibility of adding power cars in the future that were capable of changing between track gauges.

These trains, whose first commercial composition provided service on 3 August 2003 on the Madrid-Barcelona line, with the commercial name of Altaria, were pulled by rail cars of the two track gauges. Meanwhile, Talgo had signed an agreement with the companies Team and IDD to develop an electric, dual-voltage rail car equipped with automatic track gauge change bogies (powered at 25 kV on high-speed lines and at 3 kV on conventional lines), which would reach 250 km/h. This rail car, called the L-9202, is the direct predecessor of the power cars of the 130 series, from which it has inherited the motor bogies that automatically change between track gauges.

In June 2002, Renfe decided that the Talgo 7 compositions should have their own traction, as it had been planned in the 1999 contract, wherefore it issued a request for tenders to manufacture 44, dual-voltage power cars equipped with variable gauge wheel sets that could reach a speed of 250 km/h, in order to thereby form 22 self-propelled trains consisting of two power cars and nine intermediate cars. This contract was awarded to Patentes Talgo in October 2003. In 2004, Renfe placed another order of 48 cars from Talgo to increase the capacity of each train, which would include two end cars and one cafeteria car in order to have a small reserve in the event of possible incidents.

On 24 February 2004, the Board of Directors of Renfe awarded the manufacture and maintenance of 26 self-propelled, high-speed trains of 9 cars each for long-distance, variable gauge track services to the consortium formed by Talgo and Bombardier, which represented a total supply of 52 power cars and 234 trailer cars. In June 2005, the Board of Directors of Renfe resolved to revise this contract, whereby 18 complete trains of 11 cars each would be manufactured, plus 10 power cars and 54 trailer cars, which would mean a total of 46 power cars (six less than in the preceding contract award) and 252 trailer cars (18 more).

This acquisition allowed adding two more cars to each one of the 22, seventh-generation compositions that were already in service at the time and for which 44 power cars were being manufactured, and to the five compositions subsequently manufactured, which were also equipped with power cars (those awarded in June 2005). Thus, the 130 series includes 45 trains (22+5+18) totalling 90 power cars and 495 trailer cars, which should all be delivered prior to August 2009.

The 130 series provided its first commercial service between Madrid and Alicante on 29 October 2007, exceptionally due to a delay in the arrival of the train coming from Gijón that was supposed to run on the line. Officially, it began to provide service on 6 November between Madrid and Gijón, with the commercial name of Alvia. All the bodies of the 495 cars that are comprised in the 130 series would be manufactured by Talgo at its Rivabellosa factory (in Álava). Likewise, the painting, interior design, electrical installation work, mechanical assembly and testing, including the coupling of the power cars, would take place at Renfe's Prados Shop (in Málaga) on 77 cars (7 compositions). The power cars would be built at Talgo's Las Matas II factory (in Madrid), with the electrical racks, the driver's desk cabling and the cabinet installation incorporated at Bombardier's factory in Kassel (Germany). Assembly of the train unit would take place at Las Matas.



The entire train is built of a light-weight aluminium alloy that allows reducing the vehicle's tare, thereby giving it a low weight per seat and at the same time facilitating energy savings. The bodies have a double, air-tight wall that is resistant to the pressure variation of up to 6000 pascals that can occur in tunnels and when passing other trains on high-speed lines. The front of the power car is aerodynamic and is optimised for pressure waves and side winds. The exterior look is similar to that of the power cars of the 102 series trains, although with a somewhat shorter nose. It includes an automatic coupler and an energy absorption system.

Each power car has a single, air-tight driver's cab with a centred driver's desk for a single driver, with air conditioning and heating. The driver's seat is ergonomic, rotating and can be adjusted by height and distance from the driver's desk, with adjustable shock absorption according to body weight. It also includes a fold-down armrest. There is a window on each side of the cab, plus a door for an emergency exit. All the cab's doors are outfitted with a double air-tight seal.

The machine room is accessed from the cab through a door centred in the rear wall, equipped with a panic bar. To prevent water, snow or any contaminate from entering the interior of the equipment, the machine room is kept at adequate over-pressure. Likewise, the machine room is equipped with a fire detection and warning system. The rear end wall of the power car has a gangway enclosed with a bellows that leads to the car composition, plus a semi-permanent coupler and tail lights in order to run detached from the composition. All the electrical equipment for traction, braking, safety, cooling, etc. is installed on the sides of the machine room, on either side of the central aisle. The transformer, the battery box and the antennas of the safety equipment are installed on the undercarriage. The train has 16 access doors, eight per side, which are sliding and recessing and locked above 5 km/h. Only the First class car, the end car of Standard class and the cafeteria car do not have exterior access doors.

The height of the floor above the rail is 760 mm, and the floor is continuous throughout the entire train. This allows flush access from the new high-speed train station platforms (760 mm), and access with a single step from station platforms of conventional lines or from the Madrid-Seville high-speed line (550 mm). Given the low floor, the train has no steps, rather just a recessing running board positioned at 550 mm above the rail.

Passage between cars is at the same level as the rest of the train, with a clearance width of 810 mm and a minimum of 610 mm.

The cars have a length of 13.140 metres, except for the end cars (12.2 metres). Each car has five panoramic windows on each side.

Traction and auxiliary systems

The trains of the 130 series have two power cars that are identical and interchangeable. With the power cars in pairs, one at the head end and one at the tail, they are designed to pull Talgo Pendular compositions of series 7, up to a maximum of 11 cars. Each head has two bogies (type B'B'), with two, three-phase asynchronous traction motors per bogie. The power system is based on power groups that use water-cooled IGBT inverters, each powering one bogie, so that a composition has a total of 8 motors that generate a total power of 4800 kW at 25 kVAC and 4000 kW of power at 3 kVDC. The maximum service speed is 250 km/h on UIC gauge track and 220 km/h on Iberian gauge track. The mass of the power car is 72 tonnes, which means a weight of 18 tonnes per motor axle, and the train can run, under normal conditions, with exterior temperatures of between +50º C and -20º C. The maximum traction force of the train is 220 kN, while the continuous traction force is 160 kN at 120 km/h in alternating current and at 80 km/h in direct current. The force at the train's maximum speed is 70 kN. With all the motors operating and running under the 25-kV catenary, a train at full load and on a horizontal track takes 137 seconds (4.1 km) to reach 200 km/h and 201 seconds (8.1 km) to reach 250 km/h.

Each power car includes two pantographs, one for direct current and another for alternating current. They are connected to each other by the roof line, which is 680 A at 25 kVAC and 2000 A at 3 kVDC. The purpose of this roof line is to transport energy so that the current collected by a single pantograph can feed the two power cars. Each cab is equipped with multiple control, which allows travelling with two train units coupled. The train has two driving systems, manual and pre-set speed, with the former prevailing over the latter, plus a microprocessor-based control and diagnostics system of all traction and auxiliary brake equipment.

The train's auxiliary services are powered by the electric energy they receive from the power car, which is converted to the necessary voltage and frequency (380 V, 50 Hz) by two static converters located on the end cars of First class and Standard class. The power of each static converter unit is 250 kVA, with each car consuming approximately 30 kVah/h. The air conditioning units are located underneath the floor of the cars, which allows having more useful space for passengers.

Bogies and brakes

On the variable gauge motor bogies, the axles and the motors are mounted on a rectangular piece that is subsequently attached to the bogie frame. The bogies are assembled inverted with respect to their normal position, and they are subsequently turned over under the power car. The wheel sets are located between the cars, with a single axle and independent wheels, and they are equipped with the Talgo RD gauge change system. Gauge changeover takes place with the train running at a speed of 15 km/h through a special installation set up between tracks of different gauges. The wheels have a diameter of 1010 mm on the power cars and 880 mm on the trailer cars. The wheel sets are permanently guided on the track, thereby keeping the wheels parallel to the rail, on both straight sections and curves. As with the trains of the 102 series and unlike the cars of the Talgo III, 4, 5 and 6 series, all the cars have one wheel set, except for the cafeteria, which has two. Each wheel is equipped with hot journal detectors, with automatic activation of the emergency brake in the event that the maximum permitted temperature is exceeded.

The main suspension is pneumatic pendular, with inclination of the bodies towards the interior of curves and a maximum lateral acceleration of 1.2 m/s2 on a curve, with the possibility of travelling at up to 1.5 m/s2. The weight per axle at full load is approximately 17 tonnes on single-axle cars and 16.25 tonnes on double-axle cars. The unladen mass per axle is 14.4 tonnes. All axles of each power car have an electric brake system (rheostatic or recovery) and pneumatic brake system, which acts on two disk brakes per axle equipped with the ABS system. The electric brake is the main system, which takes priority in order to reduce the application of the pneumatic brake as much as possible. The electric brake is combined with the pneumatic brake when the former is not capable of providing the requested braking capacity. The power of the electric brake is 2400 kW at 25 kV and 2000 kW at 3 kV, and its maximum traction force is 160 kN. The electro-pneumatic brake allows travelling at 200 km/h in France. The braking distance with the service brake is 2300 metres (61 seconds) at 250 km/h and 1406 metres at 200 km/h.


Each power car has an automatic Scharfenberg coupler at the ends, located at a height of 1060 mm above the rail. The cars have been equipped with a new, stronger coupler bar between cars, and they have a semi-permanent coupler on the end cars for coupling to the power car.

Control systems

The train of the 130 series is equipped with the ETCS/ERTMS train protection and cab signalling system, levels 1 and 2. It also has the STM interface of LZB and the ATP Edicab interface, as well as dual ASFA (Asfa 200 and Asfa 200 AVE). For communications, it has the conventional analogue train-ground system and the GSMR system. It also incorporates a monitoring device (deadman).

Technical Specifications

  • Traction: Electric.
  • Track gauge: 1.668/1.435 metres.
  • Power cars: 2.
  • Maximum composition: M + 11 R + M.
  • Voltage: 25 kVAC, 50 Hz and 3 kVDC.
  • Power: 4800 kW AC/4000 kW DC.
  • Motors: 8 asynchronous.
  • Bogie distribution on the power car: Bo-Bo.
  • Motor bogies: 4.
  • Bogie wheelbase: 2.800 metres.
  • Number of motor axles: 8.
  • Talgo wheel sets: 12.
  • Maximum number of train axles: 20.
  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h on UIC gauge and 220 km/h on Iberian gauge.
  • Maximum tractive force: 220 kN.
  • Maximum lateral acceleration on a curve: 1.2 m/s2.
  • Pneumatic brake: On motor axles; 2 disks per axle. Carrying axles: 2 disks on the wheel and 2 on the axle.
  • Electric brake: 2400 kW at 25 kV and 2000 kW at 3 kV.
  • Signalling: ERTMS, levels 1 and 2; STM of LZB, ATP Edicab and ASFA.
  • Total seating capacity: 299.
  • First class seats: 63 (includes one seat for PRM).
  • Standard class seats: 236.
  • Builder: Talgo/Bombardier.

Weights and Dimensions

  • Train mass: 312 t.
  • Train mass at full load: 343 t.
  • Power car mass: 72 t.
  • Car mass: Between 12.2 t for the intermediate First class car and 28.8 t for the cafeteria car.
  • Weight per motor axle: 18 t.
  • Train length: 184.158 m.
  • Power car length: 20.749 m.
  • Power car width: 2.960 m.
  • Power car height: 4.030 m.
  • Length of intermediate cars: 13.140 m.
  • Length of end cars: 12.140 m.
  • Car height: 3.365 m.
  • Height of the floor above the rail: 0.760 m.
  • Car width: 2.942 m.

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