GPS Coordinates: as needed
Access by train/transit:
All over the place! :-)
When Americans think of High Speed Train Service, we "usually" think of the
Acela service on the Northeast Corridor. When Americans mention "our" high
speed service to friends that have access to real high speed service, the friends usually laugh
:-) The fastest I have seen trains go on the NEC is about 125mph, in a
very short section of tracks in northern New Jersey.
PS: You'll notice at the top of the page I have "introduction
to", instead of my usual "railfan guide to". This is because no one
page can do either the SNCF or the TGV justice, there are just too many
locations, specifics and details to be covered with only one page. For
more detail, I suggest starting out with some of the pages I have come
across below in my "for more info section".
SNCF's High-Speed Service: The TGV
The SNCF operates a system of high speed intercity trains, called the TGV,
or Train à Grande Vitesse (high-speed train). The TGV opened to the public
between Paris and Lyon on 27SEP1981. The TGV was the world's third
commercial standard gauge high-speed train service, after Japan's Shinkansen,
which connected Tokyo and Osaka on 1OCT1964, and Britain's InterCity 125
on main lines such as the East Coast Main Line, which entered service in 1976.
The TGV system itself extends to neighbouring countries, either directly
(Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany) or through TGV-derivative
networks linking France to Switzerland (Lyria), to Belgium, Germany and
the Netherlands (Thalys), as well as to the United Kingdom (Eurostar).
Several future lines are planned, including extensions within France
and to surrounding countries. Cities such as Tours and Le Mans have
become part of a "TGV commuter belt" around Paris; the TGV also
serves Charles de Gaulle Airport and Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport.
A visitor attraction in itself, it stops at Disneyland Paris and
in tourist cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence as well.
Brest, Chambéry, Nice, Toulouse and Biarritz are reachable by
TGVs running on a mix of LGVs and modernized lines.
Rebranding: Since July 2017, TGV services are gradually being rebranded as
TGV inOui and Ouigo
in preparation for the opening of the French HSR market to competition.
TGV inOui is SNCF's premium high-speed rail service. The name inOui was chosen
because it sounds like the French word inouï meaning “extraordinary” (or more
literally, “unheard of”). Ouigo is SNCF's low-cost high-speed rail service.
Trains have a high-density one-class configuration and reduced on-board
services. The services traditionally operate from less busy secondary
stations, sometimes outside of the city centre. The literal translation
of the brand name is “yes go,” but the name is also a play on the English
homonym, “we go.”
A modified TGV test train holds the world speed record for conventional
trains. On 3 April 2007 a modified TGV POS train reached 574.8 km/h
(357.2 mph) under test conditions on the LGV Est between Paris and
Strasbourg. The line voltage was boosted to 31 kV, and extra ballast
was tamped onto the track bed. The train beat the 1990 world
speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.2 mph), set by a similarly shortened
train (two power cars and three passenger cars), along with unofficial
records set during weeks preceding the official record run. The test
was part of an extensive research program by Alstom.
Back in 2002, I had the opportunity to go to France on business for three
weeks. One of my most memorable moments, was as I was traveling "up"
the A7 on a return trip from Aix en Provence to Grenoble. One of the
SNCF's lines ran just off to my right. I'm cruising along about 70
(mph) or so, and noticed a bright headlight in my rear view mirror.
I'm on a slight upgrade going over one of the many hills south of Lyon.
The headlight was from a TGV train. The train whooshes past me.
By the time I got to the crest of the hill, which was only 20 seconds or so,
I couldn't see the train anymore - that thing was humpin and left me in the dust!!!
Back then, Aix did not have TGV service, today it does - I also remember
passing by a construction site for the high-speed line heading to Marseilles.
Open Railway Map
TGV Sud-Est (left), the first equipment used on the service and TGV 2N2 (right), the
newest equipment used on the service, at Gare de Lyon station.
209, photo by S23725, via Wikipedia
26OCT15, photo by Kabelleger / David Gubler
SNCF TGV Duplex 6841 Strasbourg - Montpellier has just accelerated to about 300 km/h on
the new LGV Rhin-Rhône between Belfort and Dijon, pictured here near Héricourt, France.
from Wikipedia: The SNCF TGV Sud-Est was a French high speed TGV train built by Alsthom and
Francorail-MTE and operated by SNCF, the French national railway company. A total of 111 trainsets were built between 1978 and 1988 for the first
TGV service in France between Paris and Lyon which opened in 1981. The trainsets were semi-permanently coupled, consisting of two power cars
(locomotives) and eight articulated passenger carriages, ten in the
case of the tri-voltage sets.
The first TGV train on the Paris-Geneva itinerary was commissioned in 1981. It had a seating
capacity of 360 seats, and had a top speed of 270 km/h.
The trains were named after the Ligne
à Grande Vitesse Sud-Est (literally: Southeast high-speed line) that they
first operated on. They were also referred to as TGV-PSE, an abbreviation
of Paris Sud-Est.
The TGV Sud-Est fleet was built between 1978 and 1988 and operated the first
TGV service from Paris to Lyon in 1981. Formerly there were 107 passenger sets
operating, of which nine were tri-current (25 kV 50-60 Hz AC - French lignes à
grande vitesse, 1500 V DC - French lignes classiques, 15 kV 16⅔ Hz AC -
Switzerland) and the rest bi-current (25 kV 50–60 Hz AC, 1500 V DC). There
were also five, later seven, bi-current half-sets - TGV La Poste - without
seats which carried mail for La Poste between Paris, Lyon and Avignon. These
were painted in a distinctive yellow livery until they were phased out in 2015.
Each set was made up of two power cars and eight carriages (capacity 345
seats), including a powered bogie in each of the carriages adjacent to the
power cars. They were 200 m (656 ft) long and 2.904 m (9 ft 6.3 in) wide. They weighed 385 tonnes (379 long tons; 424 short tons) with a power output
of 6,450 kW (8,650 hp) under 25 kV.
When the trains were delivered they wore a distinctive orange, grey, and
white livery. The last set to wear this livery was repainted in the
silver livery similar to the TGV Atlantique sets in 2001. From 2012
trains were repainted in the new SNCF Carmillon livery. The TGV Sud-Est
sets can be easily distinguished from the TGV-Atlantique and TGV-Reseau
versions by the break in the roof just above the cabin windows.
Originally the sets were built to run at 270 km/h (168 mph) but most were
upgraded to 300 km/h (186 mph) during their mid-life refurbishment in
preparation for the opening of the LGV Méditerranée. The few sets which
still have a maximum speed of 270 km/h (168 mph) operate on routes which
have a comparatively short distance on the lignes à grande vitesse, such
as those to Switzerland via Dijon. SNCF did not consider it financially
worthwhile to upgrade their speed for a marginal reduction in journey time.
Nine sets were originally delivered as all first class. Set 88 was used
as a test train for synchronous traction motors then subsequently rebuilt
as a tri-voltage set and renumbered 118. Set 114 was sold to SBB. In 1995,
Set 38, one of the all first class sets, was converted to an extra postal
set in addition to the existing 5 half-sets
The TGV La Poste were dedicated trainsets for high-speed freight and mail
transportation by French railway company SNCF on behalf of the French postal
carrier La Poste. The top speed of this TGV Sud-Est derivate was 270 km/h
(168 mph), making them the fastest freight trains in the world. They were taken out of service in 2015.
The trainsets were built by Alstom between 1978–1986. These TGV units are
essentially TGV Sud-Est trainsets that are modified for transporting mail.
Five half-trainsets were built, numbered 1-5. A further two, numbered 6 and 7,
were converted from former TGV-SE trainset #38. Each half-trainset consisted
of a power car and four intermediate-trailers.
In 2009, La Poste reduced services from 8 to 6 daily round trips. On 21 March
2012 a demonstration freight train ran to London-St Pancras, but there was no follow-up.
In mid-2015, La Poste ended TGV postal services, shifting mail services to
swap bodies instead as part of a major logistics restructuring and expansion
which the trainsets were not capable of handling. Additionally, the
demand for fast overnight mail services has been decreasing in recent years. The final service was on 27 June 2015 between Cavaillon (Marseilles) and
Charolais (Paris). La Poste originally was seeking a buyer for the fleet,
however in December 2016 three trainsets were dismantled by SME (Société
Métallurgique d'Épernay) leaving only a half spare trainset left.
May 21, 2015, photo by Florian Fèvre via Wikipedia
Generation 2 - Atlantique
The 105-strong bi-current Atlantique fleet was built between 1988 and 1992 for
the opening of the LGV Atlantique and entry into service began in 1989. They
are 237.5 m (779 ft) long and 2.9 m (9.5 ft) wide. They weigh 444 tonnes, and
are made up of two power cars and ten carriages with a capacity of 485 seats.
They were built with a maximum speed of 300 km/h (190 mph) and 8,800 kW of
power under 25 kV. The efficiency of the Atlantique with all seats filled
has been calculated at 767 PMPG, though with a typical occupancy of 60% it
is about 460 PMPG (a Toyota Prius with three passengers is 144 PMPG).
Modified unit 325 set the world speed record in 1990 on the LGV before its
opening. Modifications such as improved aerodynamics, larger wheels and
improved braking were made to enable speeds of over 500 km/h (310 mph).
The set was reduced to two power cars and three carriages to improve the
power-to-weight ratio, weighing 250 tonnes. Three carriages, including
the bar carriage in the centre, is the minimum possible configuration
because of the articulation.
20JUN13, at La Rochelle, photo by Aviator12
The TGV Duplex is an electric TGV train operated by SNCF, commissioned in
2012. As its name implies, it features cars with two levels. Passengers
circulate inside the train via the upper level, which also means travellers
in the lower level can enjoy a more peaceful journey. This train meets the
current international standards with regard to comfort, safety and access
for people with reduced mobility. The train has 509 seats, and can
reach a speed of 320 km/h.
The TGV POS was designed and built by Alstom for the French national rail company
(SNCF) in the 2000s, originally ordered for the opening of the East European LGV,
in order to provide new train services beyond Strasbourg towardsGermany and
Switzerland. The POS 4402 train set the world speed record on 3 April 2007,
reaching 574.8 km/h.
Future TGV Generations
SNCF and Alstom are investigating new technology that could be used for high-speed
transport. The development of TGV trains is being pursued in the form of the
Automotrice à grande vitesse (AGV) high-speed multiple unit with motors under
each carriage. Investigations are being carried out with the aim of producing
trains at the same cost as TGVs with the same safety standards. AGVs of the same
length as TGVs could have up to 450 seats. The target speed is 360 kilometres per
hour (220 mph). The prototype AGV was unveiled by Alstom on 5 February 2008.
Italian operator NTV is the first customer for the AGV, and became the first
open-access high-speed rail operator in Europe, starting operation in 2011.
The design process of the next generation of TGVs began in 2016 when SNCF and
Alstom signed an agreement to jointly develop the trainsets, with goals of
reducing purchase and operating costs, as well as improved interior design.
The Avelia Horizon:
The design that emerged from the process was named Avelia Horizon, and in
July 2018 SNCF ordered 100 trainsets with deliveries expected to begin in
2023. They are expected to cost €25 million per 8-car set.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.