THE first Avril high-speed trains built by Talgo for Spanish national operator Renfe entered service on May 21, operating from Madrid to Barcelona and on routes from the capital to the regions of Asturias and Galicia in northern Spain.

Talgo has so far delivered 10 of the new high-speed trains from Renfe’s order for 30, comprising 15 1435mm-gauge trains and 15 capable of operating on both 1435mm and Iberian 1668mm gauge.

Formed of two power cars and 12 passenger cars, the series 106 Avril has a total of 581 seats in its single-class version for low-cost Avlo services, offering the highest capacity of any high-speed train operating in Spain, according to Renfe.

All seats on Avlo services are in 2+2 configuration. The version of the series 106 that operates standard AVE services has a total of 507 seats, in 3+2 configuration in Turista or standard class and 2+2 in Preferente or first class.

Taking advantage of this increased train capacity, Renfe has deployed the series 106 to replace series 112 trains on Avlo services in the Madrid - Zaragoza - Barcelona - corridor, where it competes with low-cost operator Ouigo and fellow new entrant Iryo.

Second class on AVE services features 3+2 seating. Photo Credit: Renfe

The new fleet will enable a substantial increase in both the capacity and frequency of Avlo services in this corridor, with the total number of seats available increasing by 17%. There will also be more Avlo services calling at the intermediate stations of Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida and Camp de Tarragona.

The series 106 will also be deployed on Avlo services to Valencia and Murcia. May 21 saw the new train operate AVE services for the first time from Madrid to destinations in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain that include Vigo, Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña. The series 106 also entered service on the line from Madrid to Oviedo and Gijón in the Asturias region.

The introduction of the series 106 will increase the total number of seats available between Madrid and Galicia by 20.3% to over 39,000 each week, while capacity between Madrid and Asturias will rise by 35% to over 21,500 seats a week.

There are currently two services a day operating each way with the series 106 between Madrid and Galicia, complementing seven Alvia and AVE services. The two services a day between Madrid and Asturias join two Alvia services in each direction.

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