AVE [Talgo vs Siemens]

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GiantsFan

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Nov 30, 2010
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I recently went on a trip to Barcelona, and took the AVE to and from Madrid.

On the ride from Barcelona to Madrid, I was on a Siemens trainset. It was smooth, comfortable, quiet, and fast. (Top speed I saw was 300 kph). We made 4 stops and made the journey in a little over 3 hours.

The return ride was on a Talgo trainset, and the ride was much bumpier and noticeably noisier. (Top speed was again, 300 kph). The train ran non-stop and we made the trip in exactly 2.5 hours.

The interior was also a bit more comfortable on the Siemens trainset...

Was wondering in anyone had any thought on why the Talgo ride quality was so much worse than the Siemens? Both trains came out around the same time ... The only thing I can think of is the nature of the talgo coaches (Lightweight/low slung/less dampening). Looks like Renfe went with Talgo again for their next order (Talgo Avril).

On a side note, I rode another variant of the Siemens Valero when I took the Eurostar between London and Paris, it also had a great ride quality. Having ridden on various Alstom TGVs, Shinkansens, and Siemens trains, it seems Talgo is noticeably different (worse) in ride quality and isolation of noise.
 
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cirdan

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I think one of the main drawbacks of the Talgo design is the absence of trucks meaning there is a more direct transmission of vibrations into the passenger compartment. Also the low floor puts you closer to the track so you may perceive things like nosie more, even if objectively there isn' more of it.

Personally I find the gentle low-frequency sideways roll of the talgo to be more relaxing than the occasional figure-of-eight that Velaro does, especially if you are stitting at the end of one of the intermediate cars.

That said, the Velaro ride is far from perfect . One of the best riding high-speed trains in my opinion is the first generation ICE.
 

GiantsFan

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Nov 30, 2010
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110
I think one of the main drawbacks of the Talgo design is the absence of trucks meaning there is a more direct transmission of vibrations into the passenger compartment. Also the low floor puts you closer to the track so you may perceive things like nosie more, even if objectively there isn' more of it.

Personally I find the gentle low-frequency sideways roll of the talgo to be more relaxing than the occasional figure-of-eight that Velaro does, especially if you are stitting at the end of one of the intermediate cars.

That said, the Velaro ride is far from perfect . One of the best riding high-speed trains in my opinion is the first generation ICE.
Must be it ...

Although for me ... it was very rough. Was not relaxing at all. Lots of jerking, lots of noise ... it sounded as if you were driving down the highway and a window was left slightly open.

The rest of my party I was traveling with (Non-rail fans) all commented how terrible the ride was compared to the first train we took ...
 
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jis

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I hate the Talgo ride quality too. It has a go-cart like feel to it. But that may just be me and a dozen or two others that feel that way though

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Long Train Runnin'

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I mean regardless of train set I think the amazing part of the Barcelona-Madrid service is the fact that was a 10 air route for trips per day between two places, and now its not. Cutting the 300 miles between the two cities to 2.5 hours on the express trains was a pretty amazing feat. FWIW I did both my trips on that route on Talgos in Jan 2017. Although as far as cities go I enjoyed my time and train ride between Lisbon and Porto 1000x more then the time I spent in Spain FWIW.
 

cirdan

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I mean regardless of train set I think the amazing part of the Barcelona-Madrid service is the fact that was a 10 air route for trips per day between two places, and now its not. Cutting the 300 miles between the two cities to 2.5 hours on the express trains was a pretty amazing feat. FWIW I did both my trips on that route on Talgos in Jan 2017. Although as far as cities go I enjoyed my time and train ride between Lisbon and Porto 1000x more then the time I spent in Spain FWIW.
I agree, Madrid to Barcelona was a stroke of genius.

Unfortunately much of wjhat followed less so. Spain is a very political country and if one region gets a big investment, the others want one too. The result is that high speed lines have been built to places where the traffic doesn't justify the investment and a huge amount of debt has been clocked up. The cannibalisation of the classic network is also problematic. Because the high speed lines are standrad gauge and the classic lines broad gauge, it requires expensive gauge changing trains to connect the two. Had all the planned lines been completed, this would be less of a problem. But with further development put on ice, Spain is now frozen in what was really only intended as a temporary intermediate phase.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
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I mean regardless of train set I think the amazing part of the Barcelona-Madrid service is the fact that was a 10 air route for trips per day between two places, and now its not. Cutting the 300 miles between the two cities to 2.5 hours on the express trains was a pretty amazing feat. FWIW I did both my trips on that route on Talgos in Jan 2017. Although as far as cities go I enjoyed my time and train ride between Lisbon and Porto 1000x more then the time I spent in Spain FWIW.
Any tips on that journey? I'll be doing Lisbon and Porto in about six weeks and Porto to Lisbon in eight weeks.
 

Long Train Runnin'

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Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
3,242
Location
Central Jersey
I mean regardless of train set I think the amazing part of the Barcelona-Madrid service is the fact that was a 10 air route for trips per day between two places, and now its not. Cutting the 300 miles between the two cities to 2.5 hours on the express trains was a pretty amazing feat. FWIW I did both my trips on that route on Talgos in Jan 2017. Although as far as cities go I enjoyed my time and train ride between Lisbon and Porto 1000x more then the time I spent in Spain FWIW.
Any tips on that journey? I'll be doing Lisbon and Porto in about six weeks and Porto to Lisbon in eight weeks.
I took the journey both ways in First as the up charge was very very low, and since I was travelling alone getting a single seat made it a much nicer ride. The seat side meals don't happen on the weekends so you have to be careful when you are booking. The lounge at the station in Lisbon is a JOKE at best. A water cooler and wifi are all you should expect. Below a Club Acela for sure and way behind a long like OBB in Austria. There are only power points at certain seats, but there wasn't an extra charge to reserve a seat with one. The ride was very pleasant. The bridge you take in Porto is breathtaking. The Porto train station has an easy connection with the light rail. The Lisbon station interfaces easily with the subway and to the airport. Its a nice easy 3 or so hours. All I can think of as far as tips. I think you'll have a great time.
 
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