Civia is the general name given to the newest model of the 462, 463, 464 and 465 series Cercanías (Commuter) train. It was developed in 2000 due to transport requirements from increased demand, to mobility needs in large cities, to the construction of new railway infrastructures and to fleet renewal requirements. Although the most visible feature of the Civia is its modular nature, enabling it to run in sets of two to five carriages based on demand, the line it is covering, the schedule, etc. this train represents an entire technology platform in terms of its computerised power, control and auxiliary equipment, its design via the virtual Cave model and its digital communications system.



The train's interior design is defined by bright, open spaces that offer greater mobility inside, dedicated entirely to passengers. All the materials used are highly resistant to fire and release low emissions of smoke and toxic gases; there are no elements with sharp edges or parts that could harm the passengers. It is equipped with high levels of internal and external soundproofing, thanks to the installation of acoustic insulating materials and the use of "anti-noise" measures in all the equipment installed on the platform.

It features a wide connecting passageway between carriages that means passengers can consider the train as a single lounge, improving the distribution of passengers throughout the train.

The seats, positioned in a way that makes it easier to board the train and visibility through the windows, have been constructed using vandal-resistant materials and fireproof fabrics.

There is a platform-height door, facilitating access for people with reduced mobility.

The passenger information system features both acoustic and visual forms to offer service-related communications, broadcast entertainment videos; information with images of the journey and ambient music. To this end, it is equipped with video equipment, with 6 monitors per carriage; a public information system; and a system of external display monitors, located on the front and sides of the train. The public address system offering passenger information broadcasts ambient music and issues messages.

Furthermore, the intermediate carriage is equipped with a low-floor area adapted for people with reduced mobility, a space for bicycles and the toilet.

Civia replaces the concept of heating/cooling with climate control, with the climate control of the driver's cabs being separate from the climate control of the passenger lounges. The temperature in the passenger lounges is regulated automatically and is based on the outside temperature and pre-established and computer-controlled values.

It is also equipped with a video surveillance system consisting of a screen located at each driving desk and two cameras per carriage.


The 462, 463, 464 and 465 series trains, known as Civia, represent a new technological platform for Cercanias (commuter) trains, designed to meet the transport needs of large metropolitan areas, on account of their modularity, comfort, efficiency, reduction of energy and operating costs, as well as the important technological innovations they are equipped with. These electric train units have been designed for rapid and mass transport on urban and suburban commuter lines, with short distances between stations, large passenger transport capacity and frequent stops.

The Civia project was conceived in 2000 as a result of the new transport needs following an increase in demand; the construction of new railway infrastructures and the need to renew the Cercanías (commuter) fleet, with the 440 series units coming to the end of their useful life.

On 28 September 2002, Renfe acquired 14 trains with a view to providing services on its commuter lines, 11 of which consisted of 4 carriages and the remaining 3 consisting of 2 carriages, as was the case with the previous series. These first trains were designed by the consortium made up of CAF, Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom; the first commercial journey performed by one of these trains was on 1 July 2003 in the Madrid Cercanias (commuter) hub.

On 13 October 2003, the Board of Directors awarded the purchase of a further 80 units, 40 to be manufactured by the group made up of CAF and Siemens and the remaining 40 by Alstom. A further 3 units were purchased to replace the material affected by the explosion of the bombs during the attack on 11 March 2004. The first of these 83 trains came into service in 2006.

A third order was made on 4 March 2004, following the announcement of a tender for the purchase of another 80 units, with the award of two lots made on 16 January 2006. The first, for 40 trains of five carriages each, was awarded to CAF/Siemens, with the second, for the same number of trains, awarded to Alstom, although in this case, there was 1 train of five carriages, 28 trains of four carriages and 1 train of three carriages. The first delivery of these trains is expected to be made in April 2008.

Finally, on 30 October 2007, the Board of Directors awarded the contract for the manufacture and maintenance of 30 Civia trains to the CAF and Siemens consortium and the same number to Alstom. These 60 trains, dubbed Civia IV, will be constructed using more advanced technological features than the remainder of the series. Following this award, Renfe now has 237 Civia trains either in service or under construction.


Modularity is the main feature of Civia trains, since variable set ups can be achieved in terms of the number of carriages depending on demand, the line on which they are travelling, the time of day, etc.

Civia trains can consist of two, three, four or five carriages, with capacities ranging from 414 seats (126 seated and 288 standing) to 997 (277 seated and 720 standing). There are only three types of carriage: an end car with the driver's cab and raised floor; a raised-floor intermediate carriage; and an intermediate carriage with toilet and low floor at the height of the commuter platform, facilitating access for people with reduced mobility.

With these combinations of carriages, it is possible to create four types of train, depending on the technical characteristics and the demand on the lines they run on, thus giving rise to the series 462 (two carriages with cab), 463 (two carriages with cab and one low-floor trailer carriage), 464 (two carriages with cab, one low-floor trailer carriage and one raised-floor trailer carriage) and 465 (two carriages with cab, one low-floor trailer carriage and two high-floor trailer carriages).

All Civia trains, no matter the number of carriages, will boast identical functional, commercial and comfort features; the same power, control, auxiliary and passenger information systems; and identical traction and brake performance; with the only difference residing in their transport capacity. They can travel coupled, in multiple control with another Civia train of equal or different number of cars, without any technical, functional or commercial restrictions.


Civia trains optimise the passenger comfort and quality of transport; they maximise reliability and reduce maintenance and energy costs, applying important technological innovations such as the computerisation of power, control and auxiliary equipment to enhance their management, the train design applying the virtual "Cave" model and the digital communications system.


The bodies are made from large aluminium profiles welded together, with sheets of the same material, forming a self-supporting structure, which has significantly reduced the tare.

The inside of the body is lined with parts moulded in phenolic resins, aluminium and laminated to facilitate cleaning tasks.
The floor is made of lightweight wooden panels lined with aluminium and attached to the train structure using elastic supports.

The front end carriages are made from polyester fibre reinforced with glass and are equipped with anti-slip devices, with absorption of kinetic energy in case of collision.

The doors, two per carriage and side and with a free passage of 1,300 mm, are automatic, double nesting-sliding doors, driven pneumatically and electrically and controlled by a microprocessor. They have a folding footboard, opened pneumatically and electrically, combined with the doors. The footboard facilitates access for people with reduced mobility. The driver's cab is separated from the passenger lounge by a large, flat, permanently transparent glazed area.

Traction and auxiliary systems

The Civia series is equipped with an innovative power system consisting of two identical and independently operating equipment, consisting of direct inverters with 6.5 Kv IGBT, the first of the kind installed anywhere in the world. In normal service, these two devices are interconnected meaning that their operation is simultaneous and their traction or electric brake performance combine.

Each set of power equipment consists of power collection equipment; high-voltage switchgear equipment; an extra-fast circuit breaker; 1 inlet filter; 1 traction converter; and a number of engines and mechanical transmissions.

The traction converter, which electrically supplies the traction motors, consists of an electric traction inverter, with direct connection to the 3 kV DC catenary, using IGBTs of 6.5 kV reverse voltage for the first time in the world. The cooling system is made up of a closed water recirculation circuit. The converter includes a power system control unit, equipped with microprocessors, which governs this system and communicates with the train's computer control and command system. The traction motor is an asynchronous three-phase six-pole. self-ventilated and encapsulated traction motor, with short-circuit rotor. It was designed to operate connected to corrugators and generates a power of 320 kW, weighing 1,150 kg. This main technological innovation of this engine is that the cooling system uses air as a cooling medium.

Brake system

Civia trains are equipped with two brake systems:

  • Mixed brake for rheostatic and energy recovery, with preference of the second over the first;
  • Compressed air, automatic, direct analogue pneumatic brake disc.

Both systems are combined in such a way that the trains feature the following brake modes:

  • The service brake is the main brake and exclusively uses the electric recovery brake and/or rheostatic brake until the value of the total brake effort requested exceeds the capacity of the electric brake; from that moment on, the value of the electric brake is supplemented, instantaneously and automatically, by the efforts of the air brake of the bogie trailer carriages and engines, until the requested total brake effort is achieved.
  • Auxiliary brake, exclusively pneumatic, used to tow or be towed by another train.
  • Emergency brake, purely pneumatic, to be used exclusively in case of emergency, with its engagement linked to the direct action of the pneumatic brake in all bogies, and at its maximum power.
  • Parking brake, operated through a system based on energy storage springs and which act by deploying when the air in the brake cylinders disappears.

Bogies and suspension

Civia trains have both motor bogies and trailers. This means that the train's end carriages rest their free end on a trailer bogie and at the opposite end, on an engine shared with the adjacent carriage. Intermediate carriages rest at both ends on shared engines.

The bogies are two-axle bogies with superficially tempered solid wheels equipped with soundproofing rings to reduce the noise emissions caused by the wheels, especially on curves.

The motor bogies are equipped with two asynchronous traction motors, suspended from the frame, which drive each axle by means of a coupling and a single-stage reducer set on the axle. The main innovation of this engine is that it uses air as a cooling system.

The bogies' pneumatic brake is applied on discs attached to each wheel, with the brake cylinders included on an accumulator spring for the parking brake.

The primary suspension is made of conical rubber-steel springs, which elastically join the bogie frame to each grease box. In turn, the secondary suspension consists of two or four large-clearance pneumatic balls. The two end axles are equipped with flange greasers and railguards and all axles have tachogenerators.

Driving system

The trains are equipped with different driving systems. The driver can set the desired speed regardless of the profile of the line and the train's load.

They can also be driven manually, where the driver, having chosen the traction or brake position, continuously regulates the traction acceleration or brake deceleration of the train.

In the workshop driving system, the train runs at the speed requested by the driver, up to a maximum of 20 km/h; while coupled driving is automatically at a speed of 3 km/h.

Finally, it is possible to drive in emergency mode, travelling at a speed of 30 km/h in the event that all computer and control systems are damaged. Civia trains are equipped for the possible installation of level 1 Ertms equipment.

Control and communication system

The Civia series comes with a Built-in Train Control System, known as Cosmos, which receives controls commands from the driving staff and the train's automatic driving systems, as well as the different power, pneumatic, air conditioning, safety, etc. equipment.

It also manages the information received; creates the control orders for all systems and generates the information needed by driving and maintenance staff in relation to incidents and/or breakdowns involving the train and all its equipment, sending this information to the different workshops or to the command post. Cosmos also manages the energy saving system, which allows certain equipment to be disconnected when it is detected that the train is inactive.

Auxiliary equipment

The system for supplying electricity to the auxiliary equipment consists of two equal static converters of 160 kw each which, when connected in parallel, are operated independently. This system supplies electricity to all auxiliary equipment.

In turn, the air production equipment consists of a rotary air compressor, capable of producing 1,500 litres at 10 bars; a two-chamber dryer and an auxiliary compress.

The system for coupling trains consists of an automatic Scharfenberg-type coupling located at each front end of the train, responsible for the mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, electronic and computer coupling of two Civia trains, completed automatically.

The Central Communications System (SCC) is equipped with GSM technology and is compatible with GPSR technology. It is responsible for establishing and managing communications with the different earth terminals as well as internal communications with other on-board equipment. Its mission is to relay voice and data to control posts and workshops in relation to energy consumption, breakdowns and incidents affecting all systems and the train's main and auxiliary equipment, in addition to audio communication. It is also entrusted with data processing and storage functions, the geographical location of the train via GPS and the remote configuration of the contents of video information.

It is also equipped with Train-ground radio-communication equipment; Asfa; anti-slip and anti-block; a static safety control unit that records all parameters relating to train safety; energy consumption measurement system.