On 26 February 2005, the Ave S102 trains, built by the Talgo-Bombardier consortium, began to circulate on the Madrid-Zaragoza-Lleida line. Renfe's complete Ave S102 series of trains consists of a total of 16 vehicles. Later we ordered another 30 units with certain changes that configured the s-112 series.
In these 30 units the capacity of standard class seats was increased, the manoeuvrability for people with reduced mobility was increased and the total weight of the convoy was reduced.
The design and manufacture of these trains, reaching 330 km/hour, was carried out according to both technical and commercial guidelines that Renfe defined for the new generation of trains that will be used to provide commercial service on high-speed lines: higher levels of comfort and energy efficiency.
Comfort is one of the characteristic features of the 102 series trains. The train has twelve carriages, although it could accommodate up to a maximum of 23, which have Clase Preferente (First Class) and Clase Turista (Standard class) carriages and one carriage conditioned as a Buffet Car. The 102 series AVE has a capacity for 316 travellers. The 112 series AVE has a capacity for 353 travellers.
The seats are very comfortable, folding, with footrests and swivels so that they can be faced in the direction of travel (with the exception of those in the ends of each carriage and those of the meeting room).
Each carriage has video monitors where, in addition to the usual entertainment programmes, information about the route and the location of the train is provided using GPS technology. Wi-Fi is also available.
There are electronic information panels with automatic warning activations on the outside and inside.
Each seat has individual light, a folding table and electrical connection for computers or mobile phones. Air conditioning equipment is mounted under the chassis.
Seats for people with reduced mobility allow access from the wheelchair and, if not used, increase the capacity of the train because they can be sold to people with normal mobility.
Each train from the 102 series consists of two tractor heads framing 12 Talgo trailers similar to those of the 7 series, but improved, especially in the wheelsets (they have primary suspension, and because they do not have a variable width, they take advantage of the space for brake discs), and with a different interior design. Likewise, having independent wheels reduces the risk of an axle raising up if it passes over an object on the track, and in addition, each wheelset has an exterior and interior temperature meter, as well as an instability detector. The train can reach a speed of 330 km/h, with an empty mass of 332 t and a loaded mass of 357 t.
The maximum weight per axle is 17 tonnes, and the total length of the train is 200 meters. The length of the intermediate carriages is 13.14 meters and the height of the floor above the rail of 756 millimetres, allowing the base of the doors to be flush at the same height as the platform. The width of each carriage is 2,942 mm and its height is 3,365.
Meanwhile, the tractor head has a length of 20 meters, a maximum width of 2.96 and a height of 4 meters. The characteristic shape of the tractor head of the 102 series trains (with a peculiar aerodynamically shape reminiscent of a duck's head) was developed in a wind tunnel. Its special design decreases the pressure waves that occur when a train passes through tunnels and reduces the effect of the side wind.
The bodies are built with lightweight materials with welded aluminium alloy extrusions, so the weight per seat is very low, allowing an energy consumption saving of up to 15 percent. In addition, the fairing incorporates a new treatment that reduces resistance to forward movement and eliminates noise.
The joints between carriages are articulated with anti-roll and anti-slip systems. The train is pressurised and has an innovative external communication system of air conditioning and sealing equipment, with special joints for external doors and connecting doors between carriages.
By positioning the centre of gravity of each composition very low, smooth running is favoured.
The ease of access to the train is also noteworthy, because on the 55 cm platforms, the footboard coincides with the height of the platform, and on the 76 cm platforms the floor of the train coincides with the height of the platform.
The train does not have the classic side mirrors, which are replaced by four cameras located on the either side of the motors to see the sides of the train on-screen. In addition, these screens can be switched with other displays in the cab so that if the ETCS/ERTMS breaks down, the information can be viewed from here.
Traction and auxiliary systems
Each drivehead has a power output of 4,000 kW, which is a continuous joint power of 8,000 kW and the specific power is 24.7 kW/t. The supply voltage is 25 kV 50 Hz, traction force at start-up of 200 kN, maximum speed of 330 kilometres per hour and maximum side acceleration on a bend of 1.2 m/sg2. Each head has two Bo' Bo' bogies, with independent traction on each axle.
The traction equipment is single voltage, with a bogie converter equipped with IGBT technology and eight motors - one per axle- three-phase asynchronous with 1MW of power. It has a pantograph for current uptake.
The cab is pressurised, which improves the comfort of the driver, whose driving position is centred. The layout of the control and monitoring elements is ergonomic, highlighting the possibility of information on the location of the train that can be interchangeably monitored on the two side screens. The engine room, in the motors, has a higher pressure than the outside so that dust does not enter the machines, which prevents breakdowns and increases reliability, while reducing maintenance costs.
It also has a GSM-R communications system, Asfa 200 and carries ETCS/ERTMS in-cab signalling equipment at levels 1 and 2, as well as LZB.
The motors have meters for energy consumed and returned to the grid; as well as detectors that allow the closure of air entry traps when going through tunnels and when crossing with other trains to avoid the inconvenience of pressure waves.
Finally, electronic equipment is water-cooled, which prevents the use of polluting liquids.
The vehicle incorporates a control and safety system that monitors incidents and performs the diagnosis of breakdowns based on records obtained while driving and with instantaneous transmission to the maintenance workshop.
Bogies and brake
The train has 21 axles of which eight are motorised, distributed in four motor bogies with two on each drivehead and a Bo'Bo' distribution. The carriages' rolling sets have independent wheels with primary suspension located between the carriages, guided on the track and with minimum aggression on the rail.
The main suspension is pneumatic, pendular, with a natural inclination of the bodies towards the inside of the bends. All carriages have one wheelset, except for the buffet car that has two.
The train has a regenerative brake, so when the electric brake is used, instead of dissipating energy in resistors (rheostatic brake) it uses it to feed the auxiliary services and return the surplus to the catenary so that it can be used by another train, or by the auxiliary services of the infrastructure or, ultimately, be returned to the public network.
It also has the advantage that in "neutral zones", since there is no external power, it feeds the auxiliary services with the regenerative brake, which prevents the interruption of these services, improving the quality of service and the life of the systems, although on steep gradients the brake to feed the auxiliaries can produce an excessive reduction of speed.
The tractor heads have a pneumatic brake with three discs per axle, two of which are located on the wheels. The electric brake is recovery (4,200 kW) and rheostatic (3,200 kW).
It also has a pneumatic brake system on the four discs per axle, with ABS system.