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The Velaro is the most successful high-speed train in the world. More than 160 trains based on this platform are operating all over the world, including the Velaro E in Spain, the Velaro CN in China, the Velaro RUS in Russia and the Velaro D (and ICE 3) in Germany. Not only does the Velaro minimize operating and maintenance costs, but emissions are also extremely low in relation to the high transport capacity. In addition, low energy consumption and the use of environmentally friendly materials help save valuable natural resources.
Siemens has delivered a total of 26 Velaro trains to the Spanish National Railways (RENFE), starting with a first order for 16 in 2001 to link the cities of Barcelona and Madrid and a second order for 10 more trains in 2005. With a maximum speed of 220 mph, the Velaro E has enabled RENFE to reduce the travel time between the Catalan capital and national capital to 2.5 hours.
Since its first run in 2008, the Velaro E has completed more than 12 million miles and carried more than 2.3 million passengers between Barcelona and Madrid. It has enabled RENFE to capture nearly half (48 percent) of the market share in competition with air travel on that route. Velaro E is proud of its 99-plus percent punctuality on that route.
Siemens has delivered a total of 60 Velaro CN trains to the Chinese Ministry of Railroads since the contract was signed in Nov. 2005. They went into service on the Beijing-Tianjin line in time for the 2008 Olympics and have a maximum speed of 186 mph. The Velaro CN has been adapted to the Chinese market, with its extra-wide car body providing a total of 601 seats per train.
In March 2009, Siemens signed a contract to deliver 100 more high-speed trains to connect Beijing with Shanghai. The trains would run at 220 mph and make the 825- mile run from Beijing to Shanghai in four hours. The Chinese trains will comprise 16 cars and carry around 1060 passengers each, with an anticipated debut at the end of 2010.
Siemens signed a deal in 2006 with Russian Railways (RZD) to deliver eight “Sapsan” high-speed trains. This was followed by a 30-year maintenance contract in April 2007. Sapsan, which is Russian for peregrine falcon, is the Russian model of the Velaro train, adapted to withstand the harsh winter temperatures in Russia.
The Sapsan made its maiden voyage on Dec. 17, 2009, and has been providing high-speed passenger service since then between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Sapsan travels at 155 mph and connects the two cities in 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Siemens has also been contracted to deliver up to 54 regional trains for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
In December 2008, the German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) placed an order for 15 eight-car high-speed trains with Siemens. The first updated Velaro D train for Germany will be delivered in the third quarter of 2011. Siemens has been providing comprehensive expertise in project management for projects like this for 160 years.
Velaro D is aerodynamically optimized: a fully elevated roof section reduces sonic boom in tunnels. Roof-mounted equipment is fully encased and the spoiler, nose, and front section have been aerodynamically refined. Energy efficiency is also enhanced by the feeding of surplus braking energy back into the power grid. The overall result is equivalent to a gasoline consumption of 11 oz. per person and 62 miles – reduced energy consumption and reduced CO2 emissions that also benefit our environment.