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Author Topic: The trains in Spain change gauges on the plain.  (Read 1753 times)
Hamish K

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« on: May 22, 2007, 07:23:41 PM »

I have just returned from Spain, where I travelled around by train. Went on the AVE (high speed train similar to the French TGV), various sorts of Talgos and others. All impressive, comfortable and often fast.  Perhaps the most interesting was the Altaria. These are a type of locomotive hauled tilting Talgo train. They are used for journeys that are part on the high speed lines and part on normal lines. The high speed lines are standard gauge whereas the normal lines are Iberian gauge (5 foot 5 1/2 inches).  At the connection points the locomotive comes off and the train is pushed through an adjusting station. This unlocks the wheels from the axles, moves them to the new gauge and locks them again. Then a locomotive of the new gauge is attached, and off you go. The process took about 10-15 minutes (I didn't time it). The passengers stay on board during the gauge change.

There are also unit trains (with attached power cars) that change gauges, but I didn't travel on one of those.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to experience Spanish narrow gauge or preserved steam, maybe on another trip.

Steve Magee

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 08:35:59 PM »

Groooan - you just had to use that dreadful pun, didn't you.  Smiley

Seriously though it sounds an interesting thing to see - pit my upcoming trip is limited to Northern Europe and the UK, there is so much (train stuff) to see down south, as you say, maybe next time.

Newcastle NSW Aust


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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 08:07:37 AM »

Dear Steve,

Would you have preferred Hamish to say, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy?"

My favorite: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Another: Radioactive cats have eighteen half-lives.

All from OMNI magazine, many moons ago.

Best Wishes!

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