Spain’s Public Works Minister, Inigo de la Serna, has announced that Talgo has won a €786.5 million contract to supply and maintain 15 new Avril high-speed trains for national rail operator Renfe.
The deal includes an option for 15 more trains and a 10-year extension to the existing 30-year maintenance agreement, which could potentially take the total contract value to around €1.5 billion.
The new fleet will be fitted with three different electrification systems and various signalling and protection systems, including ERTMS, ASFA Digital, TVM and KVB, which will allow Renfe to use the new units for high-speed services on the Mediterranean corridor between Spain and France.
Renfe and Talgo have released various artist impressions of the interior options. Each train will have 521 seats, of which 105 will be in business class. The seats will have LED screens in the headrests and can be adjusted to match the direction of travel.
The images also appear to show options for creche carriages and even an onboard art gallery.
They will also use Talgo’s automatic variable-gauge system enabling them to run both on the standard-gauge AVE routes and Spain’s Iberian broad-gauge network.
The construction of the trains, which will reach speeds of 330 km/h in passenger service, will create around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. A further 100 jobs will be create each year throughout the life of the contract to fulfil the maintenance requirement.
Talgo’s president, Carlos Palacio, said: “With the liberalisation of the European market, rail operators will be forced to reduce their operating costs and the ratio of investment cost per passenger.
“It is due to this, that we wanted to anticipate the future of the rail industry by making Avril available throughout our country: a faster, lighter, more efficient and sustainable train that not only saves energy and maintenance costs for operators, but also further preserves the ecological spirit that governs our time and that of our future generations.”
The first train will be delivered within 36 months.