Industry: José Luis López Gómez
Winner of the Popular Prize
Making train travel safe and comfortable
José Luis López Gómez
The latest in a series of inventions enabling Spanish railroad company Patentes Talgo to use a unique ‘independent guided' wheel design rather than a standard axle on their high-speed passenger trains. This design makes the trains some of the most comfortable and safe in the industry.
The invention in a nutshell
The technology uses an electronic system to calculate precisely the position of a train's wheels on the track and a mechanical system to place these wheels in their optimal position when the train rounds a curve. The electronic system monitors the speed at which the wheels are rotating. Due to the wheels' slightly conical shape and the difference in length between the inner and outer tracks on a curved section of track, the system can determine the wheels' exact contact point. Pneumatic struts attached to the wheels then move the wheels to the best position.
The technology is part of a long list of enhancements - many developed by José Luis López Gómez - that make traveling aboard Talgo trains conformable and safe. The invention is particularly important during the moments when trains exit and enter turns and is a significant advance over competing technologies.
Innovations developed by José Luis López Gómez among the key factors that have enabled Patentes Talgo to become one of the top manufacturers of high-speed trains worldwide, with an extensive network In Spain and projects in several other countries.