The Siemens-built Velaro E, approved for service this week, is the first German high-speed train to operate on a railway line in Spain.
The multiple-unit train reaches a normal operating speed of 217.5 mph. With a length of 656 feet, the AVE S 103 has space for 404 passengers in three different classes. The Velaro is based on the ICE 3 trainset designed for German rail (Deutsche Bahn AG). In 2006, the Velaro E — called the "AVE S 103" by Spanish National Railways Renfe — set a world speed record of 250.8 mph for series-production trains during a test run between Madrid and Barcelona. The previous world record speed for series-production trains was 228.6 mph and was set by an ICE 3 in 2000.
The 26 high-speed Velaro E trains for Spanish National Railways Renfe were the first order for the Velaro platform from Siemens. In July 2005, Siemens Transportation Systems presented the first Velaro E to the customer in Spain. Of the 26 trains ordered, 18 have been delivered. The overall order, including service for 14 years, was worth more than $1.3 billion.