-Talgo offers twice the volume of air per traveler as a standard aircraft;
-Distribute passengers in 12 spaces with their own ventilation and access systems, instead of just one;
-The Spanish company works on the development and implementation of a series of technologies to combat COVID-19
Talgo, the leading Spanish company in the design and manufacture of high-speed trains, is aware that there is the mode of public transport that best adapts to the operating conditions necessary to combat the extension of the COVID-19 is the railway. This is what the company concludes in several internal studies that confirm that the railway, unlike other modes of transport, allows us to guarantee not only the maximum social distance, but also the best hygienic air conditions, both conditions that according to all health authorities are the best to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
In the words of Emilio García, Director of Innovation of Talgo: “If we talk about protection against COVID-19, we can affirm that the train offers a series of characteristics and protection measures to guarantee it, because it combines several factors that are not present, or only in part, in other transport systems “.
Better distribution than in air mode
The key factor is, according to Emilio García, the number of spaces in which passengers are distributed in each mode, since the anti-COVID-19 technologies that can be implemented are within the reach of almost any means of transport. Therefore, the differentiating element is the characteristic architecture of the train and the interior space available for each passenger.
Regarding this differentiating architecture: “By definition, the planes have one or two accesses (compared to the eleven offered by the Talgo trains), which does not allow the accesses of the passengers to be uniformly distributed or the volume to be adequately compartmentalized. of air that they breathe and exhale “, explains the head of Innovation of the train manufacturer.
This means, according to García, that air travel travelers must share a few accesses – often only one at one end – for loading, boarding and disembarking operations or the transit to toilets and, perhaps more importantly, , “a single travel space for about 150 people” if a type plane used in the Madrid-Barcelona corridor is taken as a reference.
“On the railroad, on the other hand, the different wagons (‘cars’ in technical slang) that make up any modern train distribute the accesses more uniformly” and -which is crucial for this Doctor of Engineering and Executive MBA from IE- “These are air-conditioned and ventilated independently, with their own ventilation systems.”
Talgo trains: less density, more clean air
This is especially relevant in Talgo trains which, due to their unique technology, are the shortest and widest on the market. Returning to the example of the Madrid-Barcelona corridor, a 200-meter-long ‘classic’ type high-speed train divides its passengers into eight carriages. In the case of the Talgo train, that number of compartments increases by 50% for the same length: up to 12 wagons.
Each of these wagons has an individual air treatment and renewal equipment, minimizing the risks of massive exposure for passengers, thus guaranteeing health and non-exposure conditions.
Under these conditions, each Talgo train is capable of transporting 365 passengers in 12 blocks with independent access and ventilation, compared to the 150 passengers who share access and a single space on the plane.
Furthermore, in terms of air volume per traveler, a Talgo train can offer each customer up to approximately twice as many cubic meters of space compared to an airplane. In the case of the Avril train that Talgo is currently manufacturing for Renfe, and which is the widest in its category in European standard gauge, the interior volumes and the possibilities of interpersonal separation are the highest on the market.
The result is clear to the Director of Innovation of the Spanish company: “The Talgo train divides travelers into 12 spaces compared to just one on the plane, all of them with independent entrance and filtering, with multiple accesses throughout its length, and it also reduces exposure by offering twice as much outdoors. “
The train, the immediate response
Even before the current pandemic was declared, and as a result of greater awareness of the scientific certainty that the climate emergency is, numerous studies already indicated a growing preference of travelers for the railway mode in Europe.
Those studies, carried out once the impact of COVID-19 had already been felt, have come to point out that the current pandemic is not only not going to stop this process of transferring passengers to the train – by far the most sustainable means in long distance – but it will accelerate it where the railway can offer better conditions, not only commercial but also security, in radii of distance in the range that goes from 600 to 800 km in the case of day trips
These new consumer preferences, more belligerent in the face of climate change, more concerned with personal health and more responsible with public health, will undoubtedly be reflected in the short and medium term in our railway systems, which must meet greater demand, but especially more demanding.
It is in this key that Talgo has been developing a series of technologies for a few months so that those railway operators who wish to do so can offer reinforced health and safety conditions. These technologies cover all areas of exposure and take into account both the total disinfection needs of the vehicle on any surface and the optimal quality of the air inside.
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