Photo courtesy Gert van der Pijl © copyright Trains of Europe
The Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (RENFE) commissioned a German/Swiss/Spanish consortium under the guidance of Seimens & Kraus Maffei, to design and build an advanced technology general purpose locomotive. Pre-requisites included an ability to work both heavy freight and fast passenger services; a dual voltage electrical system, and variable gauge bogies to suit Spain's mixed gauge network.
The successful design became the basis for the ubiquitous "Euro Sprinter" family of locomotives, which can be seen operating under various identities, e.g. the 5600 of Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (CP); the 560 of the Greek Railways (OSE); the Austrian 1016/1116; and the later 152 class of the German railways (DB), which are more suited to regional and freight traffic.
Rated at 5600 KW, traction is supplied by 4 asynchronous tri-phase GTO thyristor-driven 1400kW AC motors. Maximum speed is 220 km/h and the class is equipped with ASFA-200 safety systems; differing from the ASFA-160 equipment ususally found in Renfe locos and mulitple units, in that it includes special 200 km/h signals.
Assigned to Barcelona - Can Tunis, Madrid - Fuencarral and Atocha - AVE the 252s assume almost all loco-hauled long distance trains on electrified lines.
Written by Josep Oriol de la Vega
Class 252 Details - by Bertram Wlasak
Class 252 Gallery - European Railway Server
Many thanks to Josep Oriol de la Vega
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