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AVE Class 102: Wikis


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AVE Class 102
AVE Tarragona-Madrid.jpg
AVE Class 102 on the North East corridor
In service 2005 - present
Manufacturer Talgo, Bombardier
Formation 2 driving cars and 12 passenger cars per train set
Capacity 318
Operator RENFE
Line(s) served Madrid - Málaga

Madrid - Valladolid

Madrid - Huesca
Car length 200 m (660 ft)
Width 2.94 m (9.6 ft)
Height 3.36 m (11.0 ft)
Maximum speed 330 km/h (210 mph)
Weight 322 t
Power output 8000 kW
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

The AVE Class 102 or S-102[note 1] (whose nickname is Pato: Duck in Spanish)is a series of AVE high-speed trains for the Spanish state-run railway company RENFE. Outside of AVE service, Talgo markets this train as Talgo 350.[1]

The AVE Class 102 was constructed by Talgo with the help from Adtranz (later acquired by Bombardier) providing the engines based on the TRAXX series. The prototype engine was built by Krauss-Maffei, a company that had been providing Talgo with engines since the 1950s. It was principally designed for the Madrid-Barcelona line.

It is basically a standard Talgo train, with axles modified in order to allow speeds of up to 350 km/h (220 mph) and dedicated power cars at each end. However, its certified maximum operating speed is 330 km/h (210 mph) due to the limits of its 8,000 kW engines.

In trials with the prototype unit (later used by track authority ADIF as test train Class 330), on 11 October 2002, 362 km/h was achieved.[2]

RENFE's original order in 2004 was for 16 series units, delivery of which began in 2004. A follow-up order was for 30 trains, to be delivered 2008-2010 as S-112.

Although this class can pull up to 12 series 7 Talgo coaches, this number can be reduced as per the demand of the line served.

The train is nicknamed Pato, Spanish for duck, due to the aerodynamic design of the power cars resembling a beak. The beak design reduces noise created by air resistance at top speeds.

Power unit with a 'beak'

The series trains were intended for a top speed of 330 km/h.[3] This top speed was supposed to be enough to fulfill the tender condition of a two-and-a-half hour travel time between Madrid and Barcelona. Experts ascribe this reduction compared to original plans to budgetary reasons, which derive from the strongly increased power requirements at even higher speeds.[4]

Type approval tests began in 2004. Type approval requires test runs at speeds 10% above the desired permitted top speed. During the approval tests, a new record of 365 km/h was achieved in the early hours of 26 June 2004.[5]

After the successful completion of the tests, the first eight series units commenced operation on the Madrid-Zaragoza-Lleida line on 26 February 2005.[6] Initially, maximum service speed was restricted to 200 km/h, due to problems with the train control and signalling system on the line.

After the commissioning of the train control system ETCS Level 1, the top speed was increased in steps.[7] Since 7 May 2007,[8] the trains travel with the top speed targeted for the time being[6] 300 km/h.

After the stabilisation of the train control system ETCS Level 2, the trains may cover the distance of 621 km between Madrid and Barcelona in about 2 hours 30 minutes, with a top speed of 330 km/h.[9] However, presently, non stop runs are carried by the AVE S-103, while the S-102 are deployed for runs with intermediate stops, with travel times between 2 hours 57 minutes and 3 hours 23 minutes.[7]


  1. ^ S-102 denotes 'Serie 102 de RENFE', the 1xx series is used for fixed passenger conists, such as electrical multiple units


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