With the recent news of Wisconsin approval of 2 new Talgo train sets with an option of 2 more and Oregon also looking at purchasing 2 additional train sets, Talgo USA has updated their website with information on what is available for the U.S. market.

Check it out! It’ll make you drool, I promise


23 Replies to “Talgo USA Revamped”

  1. Those are really cool.

    But maglev is even cooler… Doubt they’ll ever become available in the States though.

    1. PDS,

      Maglev is a huge energy hog. HUGE! Yes, they can go faster than steel wheel on steel rail, but at speeds over 180 to 200 mph people start to get motion sick unless there is no nearby vegetation along the right of way. The outside turns into a blur and the eye tries to follow it unsuccessfully.

      Let’s get 110 mph service between Portland and Olympia and 90 north of there, producing a two hour fifteen minute travel time including the five stops. That will be plenty quick to get people out of their cars and off the Horizon shuttle.

      1. I agree. A competent, 110mph service with 13 daily PDX-SEA trains (as outlined in WSDOT’s long-term plan) should be our utmost priority.

      2. Actually the French high-speed trains give maglev a good run for the money.

        But I agree let’s fully upgrade the existing Portland to Vancouver line per the plan drafted by WADOT before we even think of higher speeds in the corridor.

  2. 1. Despite the lack of service frequency, we’re really fortunate to have Talgo trainsets in the PNW. The Amtrak Cascades experience is quite superior to most other Amtrak corridors.

    2. Last Christmas I took the Talgo-made Renfe AVE from Madrid to Malaga. 320 miles, 1.75 hours nonstop, for €50 ($70). I’ve never experienced anything quite like it…impossibly smooth, silent, and comfortable. The cost…Spain’s investment in HSR is about 1.5% of GDP. Given our $14 trillion GDP, a similar investment on our part would require $210 Billion…only about 26 times the $8 Billion in ARRA. =) Hopefully at least some high-performance corridors will someday be built.

    1. I’m curious if you or anyone here have ridden the Shinkansen or European HSR as well. How do they compare? I tried to get info on how the maglev felt from a coworker who went to a conference in Shanghai, but he was just like, “I don’t know. It seemed pretty fast.”

      1. I’ve never taken the Shinkansen, and the only other high-speed (ish) train I’ve taken is the East Coast Main Line that runs between London and Leeds/Edinburgh. It tops out only at 110mph, but as an electrified traditional line it is a good preview of the type of routes that will eventually be built here. It’s a slightly rougher ride than the Spanish AVE, still quite a nice experience.

        I’d very much like to take ICE, Thalys, Eurostar, Shinkansen etc…so that I can compare…

      2. I took the TGV between Nice and Paris about 7 years ago and it was a great experience. I loved the feeling of the trains silently accelerate to what felt like impossible speeds, and shooting out of the sides of mountains onto viaducts 100 feet in the air (see the )

      3. That’s a cool picture. My favorite part of a TGV ride is when you are passing cars as if they were standing still and you know that some of them are going 80 or 90 mph! I love the acceleration of electric trains, it feels like they have enough power to keep accelerating forever.

      4. I’ve ridden on the maglev in Shanghai. I was escorted from the airport by well dressed attendants to the train (I guess they could use better sinage). The price was very cheap, and it left quickly. Acceleration was quick but comfortable. It went very fast (it is the fastest in the world), but didn’t seem as fast as I imagined. I didn’t notice any uncomfortable feeling, although there were no objects nearby. The highlight of the trip was passing the other maglev train going the other direction at full speed.

        The trip was over very quickly and this certainly didn’t need to be a high speed line (5 min. vs. 10 min. compared to the other legs of the trip? who cares). The end of the line was the beginning of the Metro. Although there was also a large grocery store named Metro that confused me and had me heading in the wrong direction (again, better signs would have fixed this).

      5. Isn’t the Shanghai Maglev the only one in the world still open to the public?

        The Berlin M-bahn was shutdown because the wall fell and the semi-abandoned ROW it used was once again used by the Berlin S-bahn Network

        The maglev people mover at Birmingham, UK’s airport was converted to a wheeled model due to problems with reliability.

        The Ems test track for Transrapid is being shut down after the terrible accident there and the canceling of both the Munich Downtown to Airport line as well as the earlier Hamburg to Berlin proposal.

      6. I’ve ridden the German ICE trains pretty much everywhere, as well as on the French TGV East line.

        The German trains frequently only go around 250 km/hr, but it’s a comprehensive poly-centric network (unlike France’s Paris-centric network). A few go up to 300 km/hr. Also, the trains frequently (and safely) share their high-speed tracks with regional trains that operate significantly slower. I’ve enjoyed the ride on these trains; it’s been extremely smooth and quiet, the tunnels are okay (since the trains are pressurized), and the interior is fantastic (automatic glass doors, modern wood paneling, location and speed displays, etc.). Also, unlike French trains, which require a reservation for some high-speed routes, ICE trains don’t require them, so no advanced planning is required, and trains are never sold-out (but they can be crowded). Also, on the newer ICE trains, you can walk up to the front car and look out the front window, over the operator’s shoulder.

        The TGV East line was nice because it operates faster (320 km/hr), but it didn’t stop in any city centers other than Paris and Strasburg, so access to the line I would imagine is a bit more difficult. Also, the ride was smooth, but it was the roughest of the dozens of high-speed trains I’ve ever ridden. Each line in France has difference trains, so the interiors vary greatly… I believe that they are more stylish, but less comfortable. However, I do feel a bit safer on the TGV vs. ICE because of the limitation of the tracks to only high-speed trains.

      7. I rode the Eurostar a few years ago from London to Paris. It was my first taste of fast trains and it got me interested in train transit.

        I was fortunate to ride the Shinkasen from Tokyo to Kyoto last October and it was nothing short of amazing. I thought I would get train sickness, but it was as smooth as silk. That was a trip I won’t forget. I was even able to take pictures comfortably from the coach.

        I will be taking the Shanghai train in October on a trip I’m taking to Beijing and Shanghai and I will report the experience to this group when I return.

    2. $210 Billion ain’t chump change even by D.C. standards. Our total military spending (which could be better prioritized) is between $500B and $550B. And if we threw $210B at it like we do DOD contracts we’d get back about 20 cents on the dollar :-( Of course the TARP funds (a “loan” to the poor folk in the banking and insurance industry) was $700B created out of thin air!

      OTOH, those wonderful Dems in Congress (change we can believe in… here’s proof) couldn’t wait until after summer recess to give away $3B to buy new cars. And the total auto bailout is in excess of $100B. Who wants a Talgo when you can have an F-150?

      1. Undoubtedly better of than if Congress had done nothing but we’ll never know how much of the TARP funds are repaid. What was earmarked for stabilizing the banking and insurance industry has been used for everything from new car rebates to alternative energy start-ups. It’s like Congress was just issued a new credit card with a $700B limit and no payments for four years. The shopping spree won’t end until the first statement comes due.

  3. I’ve ridden both the Shinkansen and the Eurostar, both of which are extremely smooth and well designed. However, with the exception of Link, I’ve never ridden trains here so I can’t do a comparison…

  4. I only hope Talgo keeps its North American corporate headquarters here in Seattle, rather than moving it all to…..Wisconsin or someplace else. As we all know, we have a sorry history of many of our companies’ headquarters moving away. Too bad the Wisconsin cars will not be assembled here.

  5. I’ve ridden the high speed trains in the UK (high speed-ish, anyway), Germany, Spain and Japan, and agree with the above posters — it’s an absolutely great way to travel in countries like these — i.e., relatively short distances between cities. The quality of the ride is excellent, and it’s really convenient being able to ride all the way into the center of the city. On the other hand, in Europe, at least, the costs are very high — it is cheaper to fly from Berlin to Dusseldorf than to take the train.

    I also have extensive experience with the Acela trains in the NE corridor in the U.S., which is more like what an electrified Cascades service would be. It’s a great service! It’s price comparable to flying, but at least between DC and NY, for time and convenience there is no comparison.

    OTOH, when I go to Vancouver or Portland, I generally drive…unless I am planning to spend a whole trip downtown, I find I generally will want my car at some point, and anyway, the train frequencies are really good enough.

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