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S-448 electric rail car

The trains that composed the 444.500 series constituted the third generation of Renfe's electric trains, and they introduced a major improvement with respect to the previous series (432 and 444), given that they could travel at 160 rail car and allowed extending a new, daily long-distance service product (the Intercity trains), characterised by various frequencies and higher speeds.

The 31 trains that originally composed the 444.500 series were subdivided into two sub-series. The first, consisting of 11 units, was built by CAF, and the second had CAF as the manufacturer of the power cars and Macosa and Ateinsa (now Alstom) as the manufacturers of the trailer cars. The electrical equipment was supplied by Cenemesa (currently Bombardier). Both series were built between 1987 and 1991. They are functionally identical and have minor differences internally (cafeteria) and externally (end walls). Starting in 1992, the trains of the 444.500 sub-series started to be called the 448 series.

As a result of the entry into service of the Euromed, Alaris and Talgo 7 branches, starting in 1999 the trains of this series of products were progressively moved from long- to medium-distance services, with their activity concentrated in the Cataluña area.

In May 2007, the 448 series had 27 units specialised in medium distance traffic, and the four remaining trains provided long-distance service.

From a technical point of view, the 448 is no different from the original 444.500, so the modernisation that begin in 2001 to definitively adapt it to medium distance traffic consisted in a new interior design, with new seats, upholstery, floors and wall panelling, in addition to the incorporation of spaces for persons with reduced mobility, bike racks and WC improvements.



The bodies of the 448 series are welded steel and self-supporting. The end walls are made of polyester, behind which the driver's cabs are located. The front windscreen is collision-resistant and non-fogging.

Two access doors from the exterior on each side provide entry to two small vestibules that connect to the passenger lounge. These doors have a sliding interior running board and are automatically activated, although they can also be activated manually in the event of any anomaly. The interior passageway doors between lounges are automatic.

Coupling is made by automatic Schafenberg couplers. On the cab side the coupling is mechanical, electrical and pneumatic, while between coaches the coupling is only mechanical and semi-permanent.

The minimum composition is two cars (Mc-Rc), although its usual composition is three cars: one power car (Mc), an intermediate trailer car (Ri) and trailer car with a cab (Rc). Up to nine cars can travel in a multiple composition, controlled from a single driver's desk. The traction equipment, the air compressor, the battery and the converter for auxiliary services are located on the undercarriage.

Traction and auxiliary systems

Propulsion is provided by four, direct-current electric motors (two traction motors for each motor bogie), type MB-3165-C, series wound, with 4 main poles, commutating poles and a cylindrical rolled steel frame, and they are self-ventilating.

The power of the motors is 290 kW each, thus developing a combined power of 1160 kW. The transmission is geared, with a flexible coupling and a simple reducer gear, type WN.

Traction is controlled by cam switches, which short circuit the starting or braking resistors by field weakening. Automatic start-up takes place by controlling the current from the motors. Current is generated for auxiliaries by a 150-kVA and 120-kW converter.

The pneumatic equipment is the Knorr type, with air production by a W230/180 type compressor that produces 1600 l/h, drive by an 18-kW electric motor.

The battery is nickel-cadmium, and it offers 72 VDC. It has 55 cells and 190 amperes/hour of capacity. The traction motors and the converter are protected against overvoltage and overcurrent through differential detection. Likewise, the main resistors are protected against over-temperature and a lack of air flow for ventilation.

It incorporates equipment that facilitates air renewal, cooling or heating, according to needs. Air diffusion takes place through the roof, while heating is provided at the floor. Finally, it has ASFA and train-ground safety equipment.

Bogies, brakes and suspension

Each car is supported on two bogies, with the frame and the bolster beam of welded steel. Each power bogie carries two traction motors, completely suspended, with their elastic couplings and reducer gears.

The primary suspension is provided by coiled springs and guide dampers, while the secondary suspension is provided by two pneumatic springs and a horizontal hydraulic damper.

It is equipped with a pneumatic brake (compressed air), combined with the rheostatic bake, and it has an electro-magnetic plate over the rail.

It has two disk brakes on each axle, mounted on the wheels of the motor bogies, while on the trailer bogies they are on the body of the axle. All axles incorporate an anti-slip system.

Technical Specifications

  • Base composition: M – Ri – Rc.
  • Multiple composition: Three compositions of three cars.
  • Track gauge: Iberian (1668 mm).
  • Doors per side: Two for passengers.
  • Body structure: Welded steel.
  • Maximum speed (rail car): 160 rail car, Type A.
  • Seating capacity per train unit: 238.
  • Traction engines: 4, type MB 3165 C.
  • Rated power per motor: 290 kW.
  • Total traction power: 1160 kW.
  • Power per motor: 2900 kW.
  • Gear ratio: 75/25 = 2.88.
  • Maximum starting tractive force: 76 kN.
  • Rated voltage: 3 kVDC.
  • Auxiliary motors: 1 converter.
  • Power for auxiliaries: 120 kW.
  • Bogie wheelbase on M: 2600 mm.
  • Bogie wheelbase on Ri and Rc: 2500 mm.
  • Diameter of new wheel on motor bogie (M): 1000 mm.
  • Diameter of new wheel on Ri and Rc: 940 mm.
  • Type of dynamic brake: Rheostatic.
  • Type of continuous: Compressed air.
  • Other brakes: Electro-magnetic plates.
  • Coupling: Schafenberg.
  • Multiple control: 3 trains.
  • Builder: CAF and Alstom.

Weights and Dimensions

  • Total train length: 78,530 mm.
  • Power car length: 25,945 mm.
  • Ri car length: 26,200 mm.
  • Rc car length: 26,385 mm.
  • Width of the body: 2950 mm.
  • Height: 4180 mm.
  • Height of the floor above the track: 1380 mm.
  • Unladen train weight: 151 tonnes.
  • Empty power car weight: 64 tonnes.
  • Unladen Ri car weight: 39 tonnes.
  • Unladen Rc car weight: 48 tonnes.
  • Weight of train at maximum load: 168.5 tonnes.
  • Weight of the motor bogie: 13.5 tonnes.

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