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Meet a daily world-record holder: Velaro is the fastest series production trainset in the world, having reached a speed of 250 mph without modifications. Whether it’s used as a high-class solution with outstanding riding comfort for businesspeople or a highly economical transportation system for large numbers of passengers, Velaro has long since moved beyond the concept stage. Spain’s Velaro E, for example, has been providing passengers with reliable service from Madrid to Barcelona for years. It covers the 388 mile route in less than 2½ hours. The 8-car, 656 ft long standard train configuration has a traction output rating of 8.8 MW. With punctuality exceeding 99% and traveling well over 310,000 miles a year, every train worldwide is delivering top performance.
Minimum service and maintenance costs were a key part of the Velaro platform from the very beginning. That’s why Velaros are designed using virtual reality. The state-of-the-art engineering process ensures excellent component accessibility and ease of maintenance right from the start. Based on a spatial 3D display of the original development data, any interface problems can be located and corrected in the development phase, and ease of installation and maintenance as well as ergonomics can be realistically assessed. The subsequent production process is based directly on the knowledge mapped in the data, thus ensuring quality and reducing development time.
Cutting-edge technology comes from creativity and expertise. At our factory in Krefeld-Uerdingen, over 2,000 highly skilled and experienced employees work on Velaro’s design, development and production. The latest production methods using innovative technologies and efficient processes guarantee the basic requirement for reliable trains – consistently high quality. For example, the geometry of unfinished car bodies is precisely measured by laser. Welding systems connect profiles quickly and with absolute precision. Such precision is also used for final assembly, for example when several kilometers of cable are carefully laid. All electrical equipment and components undergo several days of automated, software-controlled final testing. Only then is a Velaro allowed to leave Krefeld-Uerdingen – systematically designed, passionately crafted, and thoroughly impressive down to the last detail.
Experience shows that a state-of-the-art train must to cater to different passenger and baggage loadings and provide different levels of comfort. The Velaro family meets all these requirements, making it the most versatile and comfortable high-speed platform of its kind. The multiple-unit concept with two bogies per car offers maximum useful space in the interior of all train configurations. The interior is structured according to the "empty shell" principle with a modular design. The result is clear advantages in terms of capacity and a great deal of flexibility to change with the seasons. To make more room for stowing baggage – for example, during vacation season – cars can be upgraded to shallower seat pitches or easily changed from first to second class.
An integral approach is essential for ensuring that modern rail systems remain viable into the future. In addition to next-generation technology and comfort, Velaro’s top qualities also include efficiency and environmental compatibility. Eight cars with two bogies each offer maximum transport efficiency over a 657 ft length. Up to 510 seats are possible with classic seating, and additional configurations provide space for up to 1,243 passengers, for the most energy-efficient transportation possible. Velaro 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 1 gallon for 720 miles per person – reduced energy consumption and reduced CO2 emissions that also benefit our environment.
In December 2008, the German Railway placed an order for 15 eight-car high-speed trains with Siemens. The first updated Velaro D train for Germany (BR 407) 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. The company’s knowledge, acquired and refined over all those years, benefits the Velaro D as well. The proven SF 500 bogies of the Velaro family provide perfect guidance, maximum stability, and outstanding riding comfort. They’ve been thoroughly tested at speeds exceeding 250 mph and are therefore suitable for controlled running speeds up to 138 mph – all of which has been verified on routes in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands and China. Deployed throughout Europe, Velaro D easily handles low adhesive coefficients and can take gradients as steep as 4 % in its stride.