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S-449 electric rail car

On 27 July 2006, Renfe Operadora awarded CAF with the construction of 107 trains designed to provide conventional medium distance services. Of these trains, 50 are diesel rail cars and make up the 599 series (evolution of the previous 598 series), and the remaining 57 trains are electric rail cars and are comprised in the 449 series. Both series, the 449 and the 599, will have a majority of elements in common, including a single Tourist class, high-comfort sliding seats, 17-inch monitors and luggage racks, among other features. These common elements have notably contributed to cost reduction at the time of purchase, and they will also lead to a lower price for subsequent maintenance work.

The original contract for the 57 electric trains consisted of two batches of vehicles: one of 23 trains that would travel only on Iberian gauge track and another consisting of 34 vehicles that would be prepared for UIC gauge tracks. The delivery period was from July 2008 to February 2011.

Planning was for the batch of 23 units to travel on Iberian gauge. The remaining 34 units were also expected to run on Iberian gauge track, but they also have pre-installation for travelling on international gauge infrastructures (UIC), so they incorporate the necessary elements for installing the safety equipment and "Brava" bogies that are adaptable to the UIC gauge. These bogies automatically perform the gauge change while the train is moving, without requiring prior preparation or stops, making the change at approximately 30 km/h. The final number of 57 manufactured vehicles corresponds to Renfe's 449 series, thus completing the gap in series numbering between the 448 series electric trains and the double-deck units of the 450 series.

Renfe participated in the interior design of this rolling stock through the Department of Trains and Technological Innovation, of the Directorate General of Suburban and Medium Distance Services, which opted for the digital model formula as the design tool, a tool that Renfe already used for the first time with the Civia, with good results.

The 449 series is an adaptation of the Civia suburban train to medium distance services, with which the 449 series shares some design and power elements. This new version of the Civia constitutes an electric rail car adapted to passenger transport on medium distance routes. A maximum of up to 3 units can be coupled (15 cars) using automatic couplers, and the minimum composition consists of five cars, two end cars (A1 and A2) and three intermediate cars (A4, A5 and A3).

Its exterior image is dominated by curved lines, including a front end with an aerodynamic profile, a strip window along the length of the train, fairing on the roof and skirting to cover the undercarriage.

The structure is made of aluminium and incorporates an anti-collision system by energy absorption, which improves the vehicle's passive safety.

Intermediate car A3 has a low floor and is adapted for persons with reduced mobility. It now has an access ramp, signalling and specific furniture.

Almost all the equipment, such as the power equipment or the converters, are redundant and are optimised so that a failure of any of the systems does not mean that the vehicle will be immobilised. It incorporates the Cosmos system, which is a control and supervision element based on the railway communications standard (TCN IEC 6135-1). It is a modular system that brings together all the on-board electronic and electro-mechanical elements into the same telecommunications system.

The train is designed to travel on Iberian gauge track (1668 mm), and it can reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h, or 200 km/h if the vehicles are adapted to travel on UIC gauge track (powered at 25 kV).



The structure is constructed of a light-weight aluminium alloy and is made based on extruded aluminium profiles of large dimensions, thereby forming a self-supporting structure. The design has been optimised with anti-overriding devices and deformable structures that minimise the consequences of a head-on impact, while at the same time responding to safety requirements.

The front, aerodynamically-shaped ends are manufactured out of fibreglass-reinforced polyester.

The couplers are concealed in the end walls by a fairing with an automatic opening and closing mechanism.

Traction and auxiliary systems

The traction system is composed of six electric motors distributed between cars A1 and A2, one motor on each, and two motors on each of intermediate cars A4 and A5, with a total power of 2400 kW. The motors are asynchronous, with a squirrel-cage rotor.

The motors are sealed and self-ventilating, and they are mounted on the body. The motor power is transferred to the axle by means of a mechanical joint that transmits the rotation movement (Cardan-type joint) to the reducer gear installed on the axle.

Two inverters control the traction power to be applied by the motors (each converter controls three motors). The traction inverter is powered directly with 6.5-kV IPMs (Intelligent Power Modules). Each inverter is connected to two brake resistors installed on the roof for applying rheostatic braking when the regenerative brake is not available.

Electricity is generated by two static converters of 297 kVA each. Each converter generates sufficient voltage to supply power to the various pieces of auxiliary equipment. The converter also generates an added 72 volts of direct current for charging the battery and powering direct-current equipment.

The train has two 72-VDC batteries (nickel-cadmium) with 230 Ah of capacity, located on the undercarriage of car A3.

Two air conditioning units are installed on the undercarriage of cars A4 and A5, although only one of them is operating in normal operation.

Bogies and brakes

Safety and communications

The train incorporates the ASFA Digital system, which provides a basic set of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) functions, whereby the system processes information coming from the track while simultaneously supervising the driver's actions.

Another safety element is the fire detection equipment, consisting of various detection sensors located within the body (lounges, cabinets, etc.) and on the undercarriage. These sensors are connected to the central unit of this equipment, which in turn is connected to the diagnostics unit that informs the driver.

The driver's cab has mobile radio telephony equipment for Train-Ground communications and radio equipment that operates on the GSM-R network.

The operating parameters of the entire train are recorded in a black box system through a recorder included on the train. This same equipment performs the deadman function for assuring that the driver is in condition to drive the train while it is running.

Technical Specifications

  • Builder: CAF.
  • Minimum composition: A1-A4-A3-A5-A2.
  • Multiple composition: 3 units (15 cars).
  • Pump supply voltage: 3000 VDC
  • Track gauge: 1668 mm.
  • Doors per side: 5 with a clearance of 1200 mm.
  • Body structure: Aluminium.
  • Maximum speed (km/h): 160 km/h.
  • Seats per A1 car: 60.
  • Seats per A4 car: 56.
  • Seats per A3 car: 28 + 1 PRM.
  • Seats per A5 car: 56.
  • Seats per A2 car: 60.
  • Seating capacity per train unit: 260 seated + 1 PRM.
  • Traction motors: 6.
  • Total installed traction power: 2400 kW.
  • Maximum power per motor: 400 kW.
  • Auxiliary converters: 2.
  • Converter power for auxiliaries: 297 kVA.
  • Acceleration at start-up: 0.85/s2.
  • Average acceleration between 0 and 160 km/h: 0.30 m/s2.
  • Average service deceleration: 1.00 m/s2.
  • Average deceleration, emergency brake: 1.00 m/s2.
  • Redundant equipment: Traction equipment, converter for auxiliaries, compressor, brake control, PA system, train control system, double cooling circuit in the passenger air conditioning system.
  • Tare train weight: 172 tonnes.

Weights and Dimensions

  • Total train length: 98,970 mm.
  • Length between A1 and A2 couplings: 22,700 mm.
  • Length between A3, A4 and A5 swivel joints: 17,750 mm.
  • Length between bogie centres of cars A1 and A2: 17,400 mm.
  • Length between bogie centres of cars A3, A4 and A5: 17,750 mm.
  • Wheelbase of the end bogie: 2500 mm.
  • Wheelbase of the shared bogie: 2700 mm.
  • Width of the body: 2940 mm.
  • Train height: 4300 mm.
  • Height of the floor on cars A1, A2, A4 and A5: 1270 mm.
  • Height of the floor on car A3: 790 mm.
  • New wheel diameter: 890 mm.

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