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Timken Bearings Used on Talgo High-Speed Trains

COLMAR, France, April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Capable of reaching speeds up to 350 km/h (218 mph), the new Talgo 350 Spanish high-speed train uses Timken® AP-2™ tapered roller bearings in the wheels of both the power cars and passenger coaches.

With a modern, aerodynamic design, the Talgo 350 has up to twelve airtight, pressurized coaches pulled by twin, electric power cars on either train end. The consortium of Talgo-Bombardier, both rail equipment builders, recently delivered to RENFE (Spain's major railway operator) the first four of sixteen trains that will significantly cut transit time on the densely traveled 650km (406 mile) Madrid-Barcelona air shuttle route. Developed by Bombardier and Talgo, the advanced power cars use Timken AP-2 tapered roller bearings featuring low torque HDL™ seals that reduce heat generation. This assembly is encased in a lightweight aluminum housing. The innovative coaches built by Talgo use the same bearing module in a naturally tilting design that allows two coaches to share a single bogie (wheel assembly).

"We are proud to be the wheel bearing supplier for this magnificent train," said Mathew W. Happach, president - rail - Timken. "The orders from Bombardier and Talgo demonstrate the high level of confidence that our customers have in Timken's capabilities and confirm our leadership in the high-speed rail sector."

Timken AP-2 self-contained bearing assemblies consist of two inner races, a counter-bored double outer race, and two Timken HDL hydrodynamic labyrinth seals directly installed on the extended back face. This bearing is an advanced version of the Timken AP(TM) tapered roller bearing family that has found widespread use in passenger and freight train applications throughout the world, and has become an industry standard. With a shorter journal to reduce axle bending and fewer rotating parts, AP-2 wheel bearing assemblies offer low temperature service under high rotational speeds combined with high load-carrying capacity. The bearing package is designed to be maintenance- free for up to 1,200,000 kilometers (750,000 miles).

"Safety is the top priority in a high-speed application such as this," said Marcus Pauels, manager - European rail sales - Timken. "Prior to the initial dynamic track testing now in progress, these units underwent a demanding series of tests on our high-speed rail test rig in Colmar, France. Fail-safe temperature sensors in the bearing assemblies provide additional security for these trains - Timken supplies these for the power cars, Talgo sensors are used in the coaches."

The coaches, manufactured by Spain's Talgo, are equipped with bogies fitting independent axles that feature permanently steered wheels and a Talgo- patented, pneumatic suspension which allows for the coaches' natural tilting in curves. These mechanical elements are all mounted between the comfortable, three-class coaches - with two coaches sharing one articulating bogie.

The two independent power cars developed by Bombardier and Talgo are aerodynamically sculptured to better cope with pressure waves and lateral winds. With a striking profile, each lightweight traction unit rolls on twin bogies and delivers 4000 kW of power.

"When evaluating the alternative wheel bearing designs for the new Talgo 350, design engineers at Bombardier and Talgo demanded a compact wheel-bearing configuration that could provide a high degree of operational reliability and passenger safety at speeds up to 330 km/h (206 mph)," said Mr. Happach. "They also wanted extended maintenance periods. Current on-track testing indicates that the AP-2 bearing is meeting these requirements."

The Talgo Group, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, specializes in the design, manufacture and maintenance of trains and railway equipment. With subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Finland, Talgo is also represented around the world by a wide network of sales agents.

A member of Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company based in Canada, Bombardier Transportation is the global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its wide range of products includes passenger rail cars and total transit systems. It also manufactures locomotives, freight cars, propulsion & controls and provides rail control solutions.


The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR, is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered bearings and alloy steels and a provider of related products and services with operations in 29 countries. The company recorded 2003 sales of $3.8 billion and employed approximately 26,000 at year-end.

    ® - Timken is a registered trademark of The Timken Company
    ™ - AP, AP-2 and HDL are trademarks of The Timken Company

    For Additional Information:

Ray Devries, Senior Communications Representative, +33 3 89 21 4417 (France), or +1 330-471-7101 (U.S.)

Investor Contact: Kevin R. Beck, (330) 471-7181


SOURCE The Timken Company