Posts Tagged ‘Talgo’

Talgos Sent to Beech Grove Shops

September 2, 2020

Two Talgo VI trainsets have been moved to Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops for storage.

Amtrak has not said what it plans to do with trainsets Mt. Hood and Mt. Olympus, which were removed from service following a December 2017 fatal derailment in DuPont, Washington.

The Talgos are owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation and were used for several years in Cascades Service between Vancouver, Washington, and Eugene Oregon.

The agency owns two other Talgo trainsets that remain in Washington State.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the 2017 derailment was critical of the design of the Talgos but manufacturer Talgo has disputed that portion of the conclusions of the NTSB report.

Orphan Wisconsin Talgos May Find Home in Pacific NW

December 11, 2019

The Talgo equipment built for but never used in Amtrak service in Wisconsin was moved last week to Milwaukee from the Beech Grove Shops near Indianapolis.

Trains magazine reported that the equipment might be poised to be sent west for use in the Pacific Northwest.

The magazine said a Talgo spokesman said the company is working with Amtrak to prepare the equipment for service in the Amtrak Cascades corridor.

This includes the installation of positive train control and “features to align with the service provided in the Amtrak Cascades Corridor.”

The Talgo Series 8 train sets were built in 2012 in Milwaukee for use in Wisconsin-funded service to Madison that never materialized.

Trains said Amtrak released a statement saying that the Talgo equipment in question is being considered by the carrier for use in the Pacific Northwest.

The Wisconsin-built Talgos have been sitting at Beech Grove since 2014.

They were moved to Chicago on Friday, Dec. 6 over the route of the Cardinal between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Trains reported that the ferry move was hindered by freight train interference.

The Wisconsin Talgo train sets include three cab cars, three bistro cafes, three baggage-coach end cars and 22 coaches.

Although Talgo equipment has been used in Cascades service for years, it became the subject of controversy after a Talgo Series VI trainset was involved in a Dec. 18, 2017, derailment in DuPont, Washington, that left three dead.

A National Transportation Safety Board report concluded, among other things, that the design of the Talgo equipment played a role in the consequences of the wreck.

Talgo has disputed that and asked the NTSB to reconsider that finding.

In the meantime the Washington State Department of Transportation has said it wants all Talgo VI equipment removed from service as soon as possible, citing the NTSB report.

Amtrak is responsible for providing replacement equipment for the service.

The Trains report noted that a contract between Amtrak and Talgo has yet to be finalized and that the “interim” nature of the equipment use might be a point of contention.

The equipment would also need a waiver of Federal Railroad Administration crashworthy rules.

The State of Oregon, which also funds Cascades Service, plans to keep in service its two Talgo Series 8 train sets that it purchased in 2013.

The Trains report speculated that the Wisconsin Talgos will be reconfigured into two train sets with some equipment being kept for backup service as needed.

Talgo Manager Takes Issue With NTSB Report

November 19, 2019

A Talgo manager said the National Transportation Safety Board that its report on the derailment of an Amtrak train in Washington State in December 2017 contains many errors and unsubstantiated statements.

The NTSB recommended that Amtrak and the Washington State Department of Transportation remove from service immediately the Talgo Series VI trainsets and replace them with equipment that meets current federal safety standards.

Talgo has asked the Board to reconsider its conclusions and recommendations in the case.

Talgo’s Director of Product Development and Compliance Joshua D. Coran told Railway Age that the recommendation to cease using Talgo equipment immediately was “unprecedented and nonsense.”

“I have researched every available NTSB report of passenger train derailments and collisions dating back to 1971,” he told the magazine. “I have found 33. None recommends the removal of an entire fleet of cars.”

The NTSB report concluded that because the Talgo Series VI equipment did not meet federal safety standards it poses an unnecessary risk to passenger safety.

Talgo Series VI equipment was being used on Cascades No. 501, which derailed due to going too fast on a curve.

The NTSB concluded that the Talgo equipment did not provide adequate passenger protection and was structurally vulnerable if involved in a high-energy derailment or collision due to its lack of crashworthiness protections.

The Talgo equipment, though, was in compliance with Federal Railroad Regulations having been “grandfathered” in on one FRA regulation.

In an editor’s note, Railway Age noted that Coran’s comments were his own and not necessarily reflective of the views of Talgo.

Coran said the NTSB’s recommendation “to replace compliant equipment with compliant equipment makes no sense, as it accomplishes nothing except negative commercial impact on the manufacturer of the criticized equipment, Talgo, and benefits manufacturers of potential replacements.

More of his comments can be found at

Talgo Challenging NTSB Cascades Derailment Report

November 2, 2019

Talgo is challenging a recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board that its equipment be removed from service by Amtrak.

The NTSB made that recommendation in its report on the December 2018 derailment of an Amtrak Cascades Service train that left three dead.

The safety agency concluded that the design of the Talgo equipment used in Cascades Service contributed to the fatalities and injuries in the crash.

The agency also said the Talgo equipment was not in compliance with Federal Railroad Administration crashworthiness regulations.

Talgo is asking the NTSB to reconsider its conclusions, saying that evidence presented by the company to the agency and the participation of its representatives was not seen by NTSB members before they voted on the likely cause of the derailment.

The Spanish railroad equipment maker also called unprecedented the NTSB recommendation to remove Talgo Series VI trainsets from service “instead of recommending improvements or modification to or further research on the Talgo railcars.”

Talgo’s petition to the NTSB said the agency erroneously pointed to the FRA “grandfathering” provisions allowing the Series VI trainsets to begin operating in 1999 without complying with an 800,000-pound buff strength requirement.

However, Talgo said it has a letter from the FRA noting that lack of carbody integrity was not an issue, which was confirmed “by new finite element stress and collision dynamics analyses performed by independent engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz, Heger.”

That report “establishes that the Talgo Series VI railcars meet the relevant federal safety standards and performed in the derailment as well or better than conventional cars would have under similar circumstances,” Talgo said.

Talgo wants the NTSB to review again its findings based on evidence either initially ignored or now submitted.

Citing the NTSB report, the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Rail Division, which funds Amtrak’s Cascades Service, has called for replacing all of the trainsets used in Cascades Service before service resumes on the Point Defiance Bypass.

Future of Amtrak Travel?

August 27, 2019

I was driving westbound on Interstate 70 back in August 2011 near the Ohio-Indiana border when I spotted what looked like a part of a Talgo train being toted on a flatbed truck.

I was able to get past the vehicle and determine that it was, indeed, part of a Talgo train.

I was able to get ahead of the truck, duck into a rest stop and grab a photograph as it went by.

Why it was out there I don’t know. Maybe it was headed for the Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Indiana.

But I don’t think Talgo equipment is serviced there.

At any rate, it occurred to me that some at Amtrak might think this would be one way to deal with the hassles of working with host railroads.

Put passenger cars on trucks and let them travel by road.

Talgo Set Repaired, to Return to Cascades Service

March 30, 2018

A set of Talgo equipment are slated to return to revenue service in the Pacific Northwest.

The Talgo train, which is owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation, was repaired in Milwaukee by Talgo after it was damaged last July in a derailment in Steilacoom, Washington.

The Series 8 Talgo Mount Jefferson will be ferried from Milwaukee as a special Amtrak train.

Trains magazine cited an unnamed source as saying the special is expected to leave on March 30 and follow the route of the Empire Builder. It will be pulled by Amtrak P42 No. 161.

Oregon owns two Series 8 Talgo sets, Mount Jefferson and Mount Bachelor, both of which are assigned to Amtrak Cascades service. The Talgos were built in Milwaukee in 2013.

Milwaukee Talgo Plant to Rebuild Transit Cars

July 18, 2017

A factory in Milwaukee built to manufacture Talgo trains has been converted into a shop to overhaul public transit cars.

The Spanish company Talgo created the facility to assemble its passive-tilt equipment that was to be used in high-speed service.

The high-speed rail program was killed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shortly after he was elected in November 2010.

The state had been granted $810 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for two Talgo trainsets and infrastructure development.

Walker pledged during his campaign to end the project, raising objections to the state’s obligation to cover ongoing maintenance and operating costs.

The Milwaukee Talgo plant built four trainsets before it closed. Two of them are in service on Amtrak’s Cascades Service route while two others are being stored in Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops near Indianapolis.

The stored Talgos were intended to be used in Wisconsin, but never turned a wheel there in revenue service.

The former Wisconsin Talgo trainsets might be sent to California for use between Los Angeles and San Diego if a service plan by the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency is implemented.

In the wake of Wisconsin’s refusal to accept the two Talgo trainsets, the manufacturer sued the state. That litigation was eventually settled out of court with Talgo receiving a $10 million settlement and the right to sell the completed trainsets.

Talgo’s Milwaukee plant is now being used to rebuild transit cars used on the Los Angeles Metro Red Line and built between 1992 and 2000 by Breda Costruzioni Ferroviasrie of Italy.

The car will receive updates to their propulsion equipment, braking, signaling, and other components under a contract worth nearly $73 million.
The Talgo plant is located on the city’s north side in a former A.O. Smith factory, which built automobile frames.

The Los Angeles rebuilding project is expected to create 18 to 20 new jobs.

Talgo, Wisconsin Settle Contract Lawsuit

August 20, 2015

Wisconsin and Talgo, Inc., have reached a $9.7 million settlement of the Spanish rail equipment builder’s lawsuit over a canceled contract.

The state has agreed to pay Talgo to end the dispute, which began when current Gov. Scott Walker voided a contract for two Talgo trainsets.

As part of the agreement, Talgo will retain title to the two train sets it built for Wisconsin, but which have yet to be used in revenue service.

The equipment was originally intended to be used on Amtrak’s Hiawatha route between Chicago and Milwaukee and on a never-developed route between Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.

“The state signed contracts with Talgo and then absolutely walked away from that,” said Lester Pines, an attorney for Talgo. “(Talgo) didn’t like this litigation and it’s happy it’s over. They’re not in the business of suing people.”

The Talgo trains were built under terms of a 2009 contract negotiated by former Gov. Jim Doyle.

After Walker voided the contract, Talgo filed suit in November 2012, naming Walker and Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.

In May 2014, a state arbitration board rejected Talgo’s financial claims against the state.

The two completed trains are now in storage at Amtrak’s Beech Grove, Indiana, heavy maintenance facility.

There have been reports that the state of Michigan has expressed interest in acquiring or leasing the Talgos for use on state-funded routes.

Embattled Talgos Moved to Indiana

June 1, 2014

Two idle Talgo trainsets that may wind up in service in Michigan have been moved from Milwaukee to the Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Ind.

The high-speed Talgo trainsets were built for service in Wisconsin but never turned a wheel in revenue service there.

Built in Milwaukee by a Spanish company, the trainsets had been sitting dormant at the Milwaukee facility. They left Wisconsin at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28 en route to Indiana.

The equipment was ordered in 2009 by former Governor Jim Doyle as part of a plan for high-speed rail service on routes linking Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

Talgo received $52 million in payments before current Gov. Scott Walker killed the project in early 2011.

A Talgo spokesperson said the company moved the train sets to the Beech Gove shops in Indianapolis in order to save storage costs.

The Talgo trainsets each have 14 cars and were moved along with three spare cars behind two Amtrak locomotives. Talgo also built in Milwaukee two trainsets for the State of Oregon that has since entered service.

Talgo is suing the state for failing to honor its purchase agreement and says Walker intentionally obstructed the project.

The Wisconsin Department of transportation has counter claimed that Talgo did not satisfy the contract’s requirements, did not complete manufacturing and testing, and never delivered the equipment.

If the builder prevails in court, the state will have to pay for the equipment and it will still belong to Talgo.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is seeking to acquire passenger equipment to use on the Wolverine Service route between Chicago and Detroit and is widely thought to be considering using the idled Talgo equipment.

Talgo Train Sets to be Moved to Beech Grove

May 19, 2014

No date has been set for the move of two Talgo trains from Milwaukee to the Amtrak shops at Beech Grove, Ind.

The Talgo equipment was built for the State of Wisconsin, but that state no longer wants the train sets.

The date of the move is still being worked out, Talgo spokeswoman Nora Friend said. Talgo will pay for the move and pay Amtrak a storage fee.

The two Talgo 14-car train sets were originally purchased by Wisconsin for Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison Hiawatha Service, but Gov. Scott Walker rejected $810 million of federal stimulus funds and canceled the project after he was elected in 2010.

Talgo has filed a breach of contract claim against the state. Talgo expects its $69.5 million claim against the state of Wisconsin filed with the state claims board to be rejected.

The company will then be free to pursue the damages in court, Friend said. The board has until early next week to issue a decision.

“The reason for the move is to mitigate Talgo’s damages in light of the state of Wisconsin’s breach of the purchase contract for the trains,” Friend said. The state has already paid $52 million for the trains.

Michigan’s Department of Transportation has issued two requests for proposals for 110 mph-capable passenger cars or complete train sets to replace two of the three Amtrak consists currently running on the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) route.

Michigan DOT has confirmed that Talgo has been the only respondent for its request for proposals and that the agency expects to make a decision about whether to go forward with the proposal in four to five weeks.