TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") is
France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the
national rail operator. It was developed in the 1970s by GEC-Alsthom
and the SNCF. Originally designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas
TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973
oil crisis. Following the inaugural service between
1981 on the
LGV Sud-Est (LGV for Ligne à Grande Vitesse; "high-speed
line"), the network, centred on Paris, has expanded to connect main
France (Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Rennes)
and in adjacent countries on combinations of high-speed and
TGV test train set the record for the fastest wheeled train,
reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on 3 April 2007. In
TGV trains operated at the highest speeds in
conventional train service in the world, regularly reaching
320 km/h (200 mph) on the LGV Est, LGV Rhin-Rhône, and LGV
Méditerranée. Trains running from
Marseille and Strasbourg
can also reach 350 km/h (220 mph). According to Railway
Gazette International reports in 2007, the world's fastest scheduled
rail journey was a start-to-stop average speed of 279.4 km/h
(173.6 mph) between the Gare de Champagne-Ardenne and Gare de
Lorraine on the LGV Est, not surpassed until Railway Gazette
International's 2013 reported average of 283.7 km/h
(176.3 mph) express service on the
Shijiazhuang to Zhengzhou
segment of China's Shijiazhuang–Wuhan high-speed railway.
The commercial success of the first LGV, the LGV Sud-Est, led to an
expansion of the network to the south (LGV Rhône-Alpes, LGV
Méditerranée, Contournement Nîmes – Montpellier), and new lines
in the west (LGV Atlantique,
LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire
LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire and LGV Sud
Europe Atlantique), north (
LGV Nord and LGV Interconnexion Est), and
east (LGV Est). Eager to emulate the TGV's success, neighbouring
countries Italy, Spain, and Germany developed their own high-speed
rail services. The
TGV system itself extends to neighbouring
countries, either directly (Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany and
Switzerland) or through TGV-derivative networks linking
Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands (Thalys), as well as
Belgium to the
United Kingdom (Eurostar). Several future lines are
planned, including extensions within
France and to surrounding
countries. Cities such as
Tours have become part of a "
belt" around Paris. In 2007, the
SNCF generated profits of €1.1
billion (approximately US$1.75 billion, £875 million) driven largely
by higher margins on the
1.4 Passenger usage
2 Rolling stock
TGV technology outside France
4 Future TGVs
5.1 On LGVs
5.2 On normal tracks
6 Protests against the TGV
9 See also
10 Notes and references
11 Further reading
12 External links
Europe's high-speed rail system
The idea of the
TGV was first proposed in the 1960s, after Japan had
begun construction of the
Shinkansen (also known as the "bullet
train") in 1959. At the time the Government of
France favoured new
technology, exploring the production of hovercraft and the Aérotrain
air-cushion vehicle. Simultaneously, the
SNCF began researching
high-speed trains on conventional tracks. In 1976, the administration
agreed to fund the first line. By the mid-1990s, the trains were so
Louis Gallois declared that the
"the train that saved French railways".
Main article: Development of the TGV
It was originally planned that the TGV, then standing for très grande
vitesse ("very high speed") or turbine grande vitesse ("high-speed
turbine"), would be propelled by gas turbines, selected for their
small size, good power-to-weight ratio and ability to deliver high
power over an extended period. The first prototype,
TGV 001, was the
only gas-turbine TGV: following the increase in the price of oil
during the 1973 energy crisis, gas turbines were deemed uneconomic and
the project turned to electricity from overhead lines, generated by
new nuclear power stations.
TGV 001 was not a wasted prototype: its gas turbine was only one of
its many new technologies for high-speed rail travel. It also tested
high-speed brakes, needed to dissipate the large amount of kinetic
energy of a train at high speed, high-speed aerodynamics, and
signalling. It was articulated, comprising two adjacent carriages
sharing a bogie, allowing free yet controlled motion with respect to
one another. It reached 318 km/h (198 mph), which remains
the world speed record for a non-electric train. Its interior and
exterior were styled by British-born designer Jack Cooper, whose work
formed the basis of early
TGV designs, including the distinctive nose
shape of the first power cars.
TGV to electric traction required a significant design
overhaul. The first electric prototype, nicknamed Zébulon, was
completed in 1974, testing features such as innovative body mounting
of motors, pantographs, suspension and braking. Body mounting of
motors allowed over 3 tonnes to be eliminated from the power cars
and greatly reduced the unsprung weight. The prototype travelled
almost 1,000,000 km (620,000 mi) during testing.
In 1976 the French administration funded the
TGV project, and
construction of the LGV Sud-Est, the first high-speed line (French:
ligne à grande vitesse), began shortly afterwards. The line was given
the designation LN1, Ligne Nouvelle 1 ("New Line 1"). After two
pre-production trainsets (nicknamed Patrick and Sophie) had been
tested and substantially modified, the first production version was
delivered on 25 April 1980.
Main article: List of
TGV Duplex in
Héricourt, Haute-Saône on the LGV Rhin-Rhône
TGV opened to the public between
Lyon on 27 September
1981. Contrary to its earlier fast services,
for all types of passengers, with the same initial ticket price as
trains on the parallel conventional line. To counteract the popular
misconception that the
TGV would be a premium service for business
SNCF started a major publicity campaign focusing on the
speed, frequency, reservation policy, normal price, and broad
accessibility of the service. This commitment to a democratised
TGV service was enhanced in the Mitterrand era with the promotional
slogan "Progress means nothing unless it is shared by all". The
TGV was considerably faster (in terms of door to door travel time)
than normal trains, cars, or aeroplanes. The trains became widely
popular, the public welcoming fast and practical travel.
Eurostar service began operation in 1994, connecting continental
Europe to London via the
Channel Tunnel and the LGV Nord-Europe with a
version of the
TGV designed for use in the tunnel and the United
Kingdom. The first phase of the British
High Speed 1
High Speed 1 line, or Channel
Tunnel Rail Link, was completed in 2003, the second phase in November
2007. The fastest trains take 2 hours 15 minutes
Paris and 1 hour 51 minutes London–Brussels. The
first twice-daily London-Amsterdam service ran April 3, and took
3 hours 47 minutes.
Record runs of the TGV
TGV was the world's fourth commercial and third standard gauge
high-speed train service, after Japan's Shinkansen, which
connected Tokyo and
Osaka from 1 October 1964, the Russian ER200
around 1974 (full service in 1984), and Britain's
InterCity 125 on
main lines such as the East Coast Main Line, which entered service in
TGV 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 permanent way. 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 programme by
In 2007 the
TGV was the world's fastest conventional scheduled train:
one journey's average start-to-stop speed from Champagne-Ardenne
Station to Lorraine Station is 279.3 km/h (173.5 mph).
This record was surpassed on 26 December 2009 by the new
Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway in China where the fastest
scheduled train covered 922 km (573 mi) at an average speed
of 312.54 km/h (194.20 mph). However, on 1 July 2011 in
order to save energy and reduce operating costs the maximum speed of
Chinese high-speed trains was reduced to 300 km/h, and the
average speed of the fastest trains on the Wuhan–Guangzhou
high-speed railway was reduced to 272.68 km/h (169 mph),
slower than the TGV.
Eurostar (TGV) train broke the record for the longest non-stop
high-speed international journey on 17 May 2006 carrying the cast and
filmmakers of The Da Vinci Code from London to
Cannes for the Cannes
Film Festival. The 1,421-kilometre (883 mi) journey took
7 hours 25 minutes on an average speed of 191.6 km/h
The fastest long distance run was by a
TGV Réseau train from
Marseille (1067.2 km, 663 mi) in
3 hours 29 minutes at a speed of 306 km/h
(190 mph) for the inauguration of the
LGV Méditerranée on 26
TGV passengers in millions from 1981 to 2010
On 28 November 2003 the
TGV network carried its one billionth
passenger, a distant second only to the Shinkansen's five billionth
passenger in 2000.
Excluding international traffic, the
TGV system carried 98 million
passengers during 2008, an increase of 8 million (9.1%) on the
[t 1][t 2]
^ from 1994 including Eurostar
^ from 1997 including Thalys
TGVs have semi-permanently coupled articulated un-powered coaches,
with Jacobs bogies between the coaches supporting both of them. Power
cars at each end of the trains have their own bogies. Trains can be
lengthened by coupling two TGVs, using couplers hidden in the noses of
the power cars. The articulated design is advantageous during a
derailment, as the passenger carriages are more likely to stay upright
and in line with the track. Normal trains could split at couplings and
jackknife, as seen in the Eschede train disaster. A disadvantage is
that it is difficult to split sets of carriages. While power cars can
be removed from trains by standard uncoupling procedures, specialised
depot equipment is needed to split carriages, by lifting the entire
train at once. Once uncoupled, one of the carriage ends is left
without a bogie at the split, so a bogie frame is required to support
There are about 550 TGVs, of nine types:
TGV Sud-Est (8 carriages)
TGV Atlantique (10 carriages)
TGV Réseau (similar to Atlantique, but 8 carriages)
TGV Duplex (two floors for greater passenger capacity)
TGV 2N2 (upgrade of the
TGV POS (originally for routes to Germany, now used to
Eurostar (for routes to the
United Kingdom and Belgium)
Thalys (for routes to the Benelux countries and Germany, derived from
Réseau and Duplex respectively)
TGV La Poste (freight trainsets, phased-out in 2015)
TGV types have broken records, including the V150 and
V150 was a specially modified five-car double-deck trainset that
reached 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) under controlled conditions
on a test run. It narrowly missed beating the world train speed record
of 581 km/h (361 mph). The record-breaking speed is
impractical for commercial trains due to motor overcharging, empty
train weight, rail and engine wear issues, elimination of all but
three coaches, excessive vibration, noise and lack of emergency
TGVs travel at up to 320 km/h (200 mph) in commercial use.
All are at least bi-current, which means that they can operate at
25 kV, 50 Hz AC (including LGVs) and at
1.5 kV DC (such as the 1.5 kV lignes classiques south
of Paris). Trains to Germany, Switzerland,
Belgium and the Netherlands
must accommodate other voltages, requiring tri-current and
quadri-current TGVs. TGVs have two pairs of pantographs, two for AC
use and two for DC. When passing between areas of different supply
voltage, marker boards remind the driver to turn off power, lower the
pantograph(s), adjust a switch to select the appropriate system, and
raise the pantograph(s). Pantographs and pantograph height control are
selected automatically based on the voltage system chosen by the
driver. Once the train detects the correct supply, a dashboard
indicator illuminates and the driver can switch on the traction
motors. The train coasts across the boundary between sections.
at 25 kV (kW)
270, 300 (rebuilt)
170, 190 (rebuilt)
485, 459 (rebuilt)
377, 361 (rebuilt)
TGV TMST Three Capitals
TGV TMST North of London
377, 374 (rebuilt)
TGV Sud-Est set in the original orange livery, since superseded by
silver and blue
TGV Réseau on an enhanced ordinary track
TGV Réseau second-generation train at
The Sud-Est fleet was built between 1978 and 1988 and operated the
TGV service, from
Lyon in 1981. There are 107 passenger
sets, of which nine are tri-current (including 15 kV,
16⅔ Hz AC for use in Switzerland) and the rest bi-current.
There were seven bi-current half-sets without seats that carried mail
for La Poste between Paris,
Lyon and Provence, in a distinctive yellow
livery until they were phased out in 2015.
Each set is made up of two power cars and eight carriages (capacity
345 seats), including a powered bogie in the carriages adjacent to the
power cars. They are 200 m (660 ft) long and 2.81 m
(9.2 ft) wide. They weigh 385 tonnes with a power output of
6,450 kW under 25 kV.
The sets were built to run at 270 km/h (170 mph) but most
were upgraded to 300 km/h (190 mph) during mid-life
refurbishment in preparation for the opening of the LGV
Méditerranée. The few sets that still have a maximum speed of
270 km/h operate on those routes that include a comparatively
short distance on LGV, such as to Switzerland via Dijon;
SNCF did not
consider it financially worthwhile to upgrade their speed for a
marginal reduction in journey time.
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.
The first Réseau (Network) sets entered service in 1993. Fifty
bi-current sets were ordered in 1990, supplemented by 40 tri-current
sets in 1992/1993. Ten tri-current sets carry the
Thalys livery and
are known as
Thalys PBA (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam) sets. As well as
using standard French voltages, the tri-current sets can operate under
the Netherlands' 1.5 kV and Italian and Belgian 3 kV DC supplies.
They are formed of two power cars (8,800 kW under 25 kV –
TGV Atlantique) and eight carriages, giving a capacity of 377
seats. They have a top speed of 320 km/h. They are 200 m
(660 ft) long and are 2.90 m (9.5 ft) wide. The
bi-current sets weigh 383 tonnes: owing to axle-load restrictions in
Belgium the tri-current sets have a series of modifications, such as
the replacement of steel with aluminium and hollow axles, to reduce
the weight to under 17 t per axle.
Owing to early complaints of uncomfortable pressure changes when
entering tunnels at high speed on the LGV Atlantique, the Réseau sets
are now pressure-sealed. They can be coupled to a Duplex set.
British Rail Class 373
Eurostar at London St Pancras. These long trains connect London with
Paris and Brussels, are narrower to fit the British loading gauge
(this was required when operating out of Waterloo), and have extensive
Eurostar train is essentially a long TGV, modified for use in
United Kingdom and in the Channel Tunnel. Differences include a
smaller cross-section to fit within the constrictive British loading
High Speed 1
High Speed 1 can accommodate Berne gauge traffic, this
feature was required when
Eurostar trains operated on existing tracks
between London Waterloo and the Channel Tunnel), British-designed
asynchronous traction motors, and extensive fireproofing in case of
fire in the Channel Tunnel. They also have yellow front panels, which
are required for all trains operating on track owned by Network Rail
High Speed 1
High Speed 1 in the UK.
In the UK they are called Class 373. In the planning stages they were
called TransManche Super Train (Cross-channel Super Train). They were
built by GEC-Alsthom (now Alstom) in
La Rochelle (France), Belfort
Washwood Heath (England), entering service in 1993.
Two types were built: Three Capitals sets, consisting of two power
cars and 18 carriages, including two with one powered bogie each; and
North of London sets, with 14 carriages. They consist of two identical
half-sets that are not articulated in the middle, so that in case of
emergency in the
Channel Tunnel one half can be uncoupled and leave
the tunnel. Each half-set is numbered separately.
Thirty-eight full sets, plus one spare power car, were ordered: 16 by
SNCF, four by SNCB/NMBS, and 18 by British Rail, of which seven were
North of London sets. Upon the privatisation of British Rail, the BR
sets were bought by London & Continental Railways (LCR), whose
Eurostar (UK) Limited was managed by a consortium of
National Express (40%),
SNCB/NMBS (15%) and British
Airways (10%) from 1998 to 2010. Following the merger of the separate
Eurostar operators on 1 September 2010, ownership of all jointly owned
sets transferred to the parent company,
The sets operate at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), with the
power cars supplying 12,240 kW of power. The Three Capitals sets
are 394 m (1,293 ft) long and have 766 seats, weighing 752
tonnes. The North of London sets have 558 seats. All are at least
tri-current and are able to operate on 25 kV, 50 Hz AC (on
LGVs, including High Speed 1, and on UK overhead electrified lines),
3 kV DC on lignes classiques in
Belgium and 750 V DC on
the UK former Southern Region third rail network. The third-rail
equipment became obsolete in 2007 when the second phase of High Speed
1 was brought into use between London and the Channel Tunnel, which
uses 25 kV, 50 Hz AC. Five of the Three Capitals sets owned
SNCF are quadri-current and are able to operate on French lignes
classiques at 1500 V DC.
TGV Duplex power cars use a more streamlined nose than previous
TGV Duplex power car in profile
TGV Duplex trains have bi-level carriages
Thalys PBKA at Köln Hauptbahnhof
TGV PSE No 81 at
Paris Gare du Nord
Three of the Three Capitals sets owned by
SNCF are in French domestic
use and carry the silver and blue
TGV livery. The North of London
sets, intended to provide Regional
Eurostar services from continental
Europe to UK cities north of London using the West Coast and East
Coast Main Lines, have never seen regular international use: budget
airlines in the UK offered lower fares. A few of the sets were leased
to GNER for use on some services from London King's Cross to York and
Leeds, with two carrying its dark blue livery. The lease ended in
December 2005 and a year later the same sets were working SNCF
services to Calais in
Eurostar livery, albeit with the Eurostar
branding and yellow front panels removed.
The chief executive of Eurostar, Richard Brown, suggested that the
trains could be replaced by double-deck trains similar to the TGV
Duplex when they are withdrawn. A double-deck fleet could carry
40 million passengers per year from Britain to Continental
Europe, equivalent to adding an extra runway at a London airport.
Eurostar has higher security measures than other TGVs. Luggage is
screened and passengers are required to check in 30 minutes
before departure. Because the UK is not part of the Schengen Area, and
Belgium are not part of the Common Travel Area,
passengers are subject to immigration checks. These take place before
passengers board the train, so officials from the UK
Border Force are
France and Belgium, with their French counterparts
stationed in the UK.
The Duplex was built to increase
TGV capacity without increasing train
length or the number of trains. Each carriage has two levels, with
access doors at the lower level taking advantage of low French
platforms. A staircase gives access to the upper level, where the
gangway between carriages is located. There are 512 seats per set. On
busy routes such as Paris-
Marseille they are operated in pairs,
providing 1,024 seats in two Duplex sets or 800 in a Duplex set plus a
Reseau set. Each set has a wheelchair accessible compartment.
After a lengthy development process starting in 1988 (during which
they were known as the TGV-2N) the original batch of 30 was built
between 1995 and 1998. Further deliveries started in 2000 with the
Duplex fleet now totalling 160 units, making it the backbone of the
SNCF TGV-fleet. They weigh 380 tonnes and are 200 m (660 ft)
long, made up of two power cars and eight carriages. Extensive use of
aluminium means that they weigh not much more than the
sets they supplement. The bi-current power cars provide 8,800 kW,
and they have a slightly increased speed of 320 km/h
Duplex TGVs are now operating on all of the French high speed
Thalys PBA sets, the PBKA (Paris-Brussels-Cologne-Amsterdam)
sets were built exclusively for Thalys. They are technologically
TGV Duplex sets, but single deck. They are quadri-current,
operating under 25 kV, 50 Hz AC (LGVs), 15 kV
16⅔ Hz AC (Germany, Switzerland), 3 kV DC
(Belgium) and 1.5 kV DC (Dutch and French lignes
classiques). Their top speed is 300 km/h (186 mph) under
25 kV, with two power cars supplying 8,800 kW. When
operating under 15 kV power output drops to 3,680 kW,
resulting in a very poor power-to-weight-ratio on German high-speed
lines. They have eight carriages and are 200 m (660 ft)
long, weighing a total of 385 tonnes. They have 377 seats.
Seventeen trains were ordered: nine by SNCB/NMBS, six by
SNCF and two
Deutsche Bahn contributed to financing two of the SNCB/NMBS
TGV POS have the newer power cars unlike a
TGV POS (Paris-Ostfrankreich-Süddeutschland or Paris-Eastern
France-Southern Germany) are used on the LGV Est.
They consist of two Duplex power cars with eight
carriages, with a power output of 9,600 kW and a top speed of
320 km/h (200 mph). Unlike TGV-A, TGV-R and TGV-D, they have
asynchronous motors, and isolation of an individual motor is possible
in case of failure.
The bi-current 2N2 can be regarded as the fourth generation of Duplex.
The series was commissioned from December 2011 for links to Germany
and Switzerland (tri-current trains) and to cope with the increased
traffic due to the opening of the LGV Rhine-Rhone.
They are numbered from 800, and are limited to 320 km/h
(200 mph). ERTMS makes them compatible to allow access to Spain
in support Dasye.
TGV technology outside France
TGV technology has been adopted in a number of other countries:
AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), in Spain.
Thalys in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Korea Train Express
Korea Train Express (KTX), in South Korea.
British Rail Class 373
British Rail Class 373 operates
Eurostar services between the United
France and Belgium.
Acela Express, a high-speed tilting train built by
Bombardier for the United States. The Acela uses several TGV
technologies including the motors, electrical/drivetrain system
(rectifiers, inverters, regenerative braking technology), truck
structure and disc brakes, and crash energy management technology to
control structural deformations in accidents. However, the Acela's
tilting, non-articulated carriages are derived from the Bombardier's
Canadian LRC trains and are custom built for U.S. Federal Railroad
Administration crash standards.
Moroccan government agreed to a €2 billion contract for
Alstom to build an LGV between
Tangier and Casablanca, to be
operational in 2018.
Italian open-access high-speed operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori
has signed up with
Alstom to purchase 25 AGV 11-car sets (
generation, running at 350 km/h (220 mph)) for delivery
starting in 2009.
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
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
Alstom on 5 February 2008.
Italian operator NTV is the first customer for the AGV, and intends to
become the first open-access high-speed rail operator in Europe,
starting operation in 2011.
The next generation of TGVs are being considered with specifications
for the new train is due to be finalized by the end of 2017. A
detailed design concept will be completed within four years with the
aim of introducing the trains into commercial service by mid-2022 with
the aim to increase the capacity of TGVs by 10% by replacing the
central two power cars of a double
TGV with passenger carriages. These
carriages would have motorized bogies, as do the first and last
carriage of the train, to make up for the lost power. The aim is also
to develop a train which reduces the cost of acquisition and operation
by 20% and cuts energy consumption by at least 25% with recyclability
of more than 90%. Another focus will be improving the passenger
environment with modular interiors and improved comfort and
connectivity. Due to a change in the French law in 2014, French
state-owned companies can now work in collaboration with private
sector partners during the design phase of a project in order to
minimise costs and a guarantee that it will be awarded a contract when
the joint development phase has been completed.
In almost three decades of high-speed operation, the
TGV has not
recorded a single passenger fatality due to accidents while running at
high speed on normal passenger service. There have been several
accidents, including three derailments at or above 270 km/h
(170 mph), but in only one of these—a test run on a new
line—did carriages overturn. This is credited in part to the
stiffness that the articulated design lends to the train. There have
been fatal accidents involving TGVs on lignes classiques, where the
trains are exposed to the same dangers as normal trains, such as level
crossings. These include one terrorist bombing, which could as well
have occurred at high speed as not.
14 December 1992:
TGV 920 from Annecy to Paris, operated by set 56,
derailed at 270 km/h (170 mph) at Mâcon-Loché
(Saône-et-Loire). A previous emergency stop had caused a wheel flat;
the bogie concerned derailed while crossing the points at the entrance
to the station. No one on the train was injured, but 25 passengers
waiting on the platform for another
TGV were slightly injured by
ballast that was thrown up from the trackbed.
21 December 1993:
TGV 7150 from Valenciennes to Paris, operated by set
511, derailed at 300 km/h (190 mph) at the site of Haute
TGV station, before it was built. Rain had caused a hole to
open up under the track; the hole dated from the
First World War
First World War but
had not been detected during construction. The front power car and
four carriages derailed but remained aligned with the track. Of the
200 passengers, one was slightly injured.
5 June 2000:
Eurostar 9073 from
Paris to London, operated by sets
3101/2 owned by SNCB/NMBS, derailed at 250 km/h (155 mph) in
Nord-Pas de Calais
Nord-Pas de Calais region near Croisilles. The transmission
assembly on the rear bogie of the front power car failed, with parts
falling onto the track. Four bogies out of 24 derailed. Out of 501
passengers, seven were bruised and others treated for shock.
14 November 2015:
TGV 2369 was involved in the Eckwersheim derailment,
near Strasbourg, while being tested on the then-unopened second phase
of the LGV Est. The derailment resulted in 11 deaths among those
aboard, while the 11 others aboard the train were seriously
injured. Excessive speed has been cited as the cause.
On normal tracks
31 December 1983: A bomb allegedly planted by the terrorist
Carlos the Jackal
Carlos the Jackal exploded on board a
Marseille to Paris; two people were killed.
28 September 1988:
TGV 736, operated by set 70 "Melun", collided with
a lorry carrying an electric transformer weighing 100 tonnes that had
become stuck on a level crossing in Voiron, Isère. The vehicle had
not obtained the required crossing permit from the French Direction
départementale de l'équipement. The weight of the lorry caused a
very violent collision; the train driver and a passenger died, and 25
passengers were slightly injured.
4 January 1991: after a brake failure,
TGV 360 ran away from
Châtillon depot. The train was directed onto an unoccupied track and
collided with the car loading ramp at Paris-Vaugirard station at
60 km/h (37 mph). No one was injured. The leading power car
and the first two carriages were severely damaged, and were rebuilt.
25 September 1997:
TGV 7119 from
Paris to Dunkerque, operated by set
502, collided at 130 km/h (81 mph) with a 70 tonne asphalt
paving machine on a level crossing at Bierne, near Dunkerque. The
power car spun round and fell down an embankment. The front two
carriages left the track and came to a stop in woods beside the track.
Seven people were injured.
31 October 2001:
TGV 8515 from
Paris to Irun derailed at 130 km/h
(81 mph) near Dax in southwest France. All ten carriages derailed
and the rear power unit fell over. The cause was a broken rail.
30 January 2003: a
Paris collided at
106 km/h (66 mph) with a heavy goods vehicle stuck on the
level crossing at Esquelbecq in northern France. The front power car
was severely damaged, but only one bogie derailed. Only the driver was
19 December 2007: a
Paris to Geneva collided at about
100 km/h (62 mph) with a truck on a level crossing near
Tossiat in eastern France, near the Swiss border. The driver of the
truck died; on the train, one person was seriously injured and 24 were
17 July 2014: a
TER train ran into the rear of a
TGV at Denguin,
Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Forty people were injured.
Following the number of accidents at level crossings, an effort has
been made to remove all level crossings on lignes classiques used by
TGVs. The ligne classique from
Bordeaux at the end of the LGV
Atlantique has no level crossings as a result.
Protests against the TGV
The first environmental protests against the building of an LGV
occurred in May 1990 during the planning stages of the LGV
Méditerranée. Protesters blocked a railway viaduct to protest
against the planned route, arguing that it was unnecessary, and that
trains could keep using existing lines to reach
Turin Ferroviaire (Lyon-Chambéry-Turin), which would connect the
TGV network to the Italian TAV network, has been the subject of
demonstrations in Italy. While most Italian political parties agree on
the construction of this line, some inhabitants of the towns where
construction would take place oppose it vehemently.
The concerns put forward by the protesters centre on storage of
dangerous materials mined during tunnel boring, like asbestos and
perhaps uranium, in the open air.. This health danger
could be avoided by using more expensive techniques for handling
radioactive materials. A six-month delay in the start
of construction has been decided in order to study solutions. In
addition to the concerns of the residents, RFB – a ten-year-old
national movement – opposes the development of Italy's TAV
high-speed rail network as a whole.
General complaints about the noise of TGVs passing near towns and
villages have led the
SNCF to build acoustic fencing along large
sections of LGV to reduce the disturbance to residents, but protests
still take place where
SNCF has not addressed the issue.
In addition to its standard services,
TGV also provides mail and "low
cost" travel services
For many years, a service termed
TGV La Poste has been
transporting mail for the French mail service, La Poste. It uses
windowless but otherwise standard
TGV rolling stock, painted in the
yellow and blue livery of La Poste
In 2013 a new "low cost"
TGV service was created by the SNCF. It was
Ouigo and was designed to mimic and challenge low cost airline
From July 2017,
TGV services will gradually be rebranded
InOui so that
high-speed rails and the railway industry in
France can start
competition in 2020.
High-speed rail in France
TER-GV – TGVs operating on relatively short distances along the LGV
TGV track construction
TGV world speed record
TGV world speed record – overview and chronology of speed record
Train categories in Europe
Notes and references
^ "French Train Hits 357 mph Breaking World Speed Record".
foxnews.com. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
TGV ruler bientôt à 360 km/h, Le Figaro (in French), 17
^ a b ,"World Speed Survey: New lines boost rail's high speed
performance". Railway Gazette International. 4 September 2007.
Retrieved 1 May 2009.
^ a b
Railway Gazette International 2007 World Speed Survey Tables
Railway Gazette International (September 2007)
^ "World Speed Survey 2013: China sprints out in front". Railway
Gazette International. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
^ David Gow (9 July 2008). "Europe's rail renaissance on track".
guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
^ Ben Fried (15 July 2008). "French Trains Turn $1.75B Profit, Leave
American Rail in the Dust". Streetsblog New York City.
streetsblog.org. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
^ Fender, Keith (August 2010). "TGV: High Speed Hero". Trains
Magazine. Kalmbach. 70 (8).
TGV history". TGVWeb. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
^ Meunier, Jacob. On The Fast Track: French Railway Modernisation and
the Origins of the TGV, 1944–1983. pp. 209–210.
^ Meunier, Jacob. On The Fast Track: French Railway Modernisation and
the Origins of the TGV, 1944–1983. p. 7.
^ "General definitions of highspeed". UIC. 28 November 2006. Archived
from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
Alstom commits itself to the French very high speed rail
programme". Alstom. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-04. [dead
^ "French high-speed
TGV breaks world conventional rail-speed record".
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (reprinted by Monsters and Critics). 14
February 2007. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007.
^ Wuhan-Guangzhou line opens at 380 km/h, "Archived copy". Archived
from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
Eurostar sets new Guinness World Record with cast and filmmakers of
Columbia Pictures' The Da Vinci Code". Eurostar. 17 May 2006.
^ "French train breaks speed record". BBC News. 27 May 2001. Retrieved
^ "Bilan de l'année 2008 : Perspectives 2009" (PDF) (in French).
SNCF. 12 February 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March
2009. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
^ Pepy, G.: 25 Years of the TGV. Modern Railways 10/2006, p. 67 – 74
^ "French Train Sets New World Speed Record". London. Archived from
the original on 7 May 2008.
^ Energy Efficiency of different modes of transportation, accessed
March 21, 2009 Archived 1 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Martin Wilckens & Gunther Ellewanger. "High speed for Europe"
(PDF). Japan Railway & Transport Review. Retrieved
^ "Class 91s to replace GNER's Eurostars"
Rail Magazine issue 527 23
November 2005 pages 14/15
^ Webster, Ben (6 July 2007). "Trains for high-speed link handed over
to the French". London: The Times. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
^ RAIL (page 11, issue 529, 21 December 2005 – 3 January 2006),
Double decked trains could be replacement for Eurostars
Eurostar boosts passenger security at ashford international".
Eurostar. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
^ The Electric Railway Society (March 2015). "The History of the
French High Speed Rail Network and TGV". Retrieved 2016-10-19.
^ Alain Jeunesse and Michel Rollin (March 2004). "La motorisation du
TGV POS" (in French). Retrieved 2007-07-04.
^ "French Railway Industry: The paths of excellence" (PDF).
DGE/UBIFRANCE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2008.
^ Ryo Takagi. "High-speed Railways:The last ten years" (PDF). Japan
Railway & Transport Review. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
^ "Korea develops high-speed ambitions: a thorough programme of
research and development will soon deliver results for Korea's rail
industry in the form of the indigenous KTX II high-speed train. Dr
Kihwan Kim of the Korea Railroad Research Institute explains the
development of the new train". BNET (International Railway Journal).
May 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved
^ a b "TGVweb
Acela Express page". TGVweb. May 2009. Retrieved
^ "Engineers begin work on Moroccan high-speed rail link". BNET
(International Railway Journal). May 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
^ a b "
Alstom awarded Italian AGV contract". Railway Gazette
International. 17 January 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April
Alstom unveils AGV prototype train". Railway Gazette International.
5 February 2008.
France unveils super-fast train". BBC News. 5 February 2008.
^ Barrow, Keith. "Next-generation
TGV to enter service in 2022".
TGV Accidents". trainweb.org. 1 May 2009.
Eurostar derails; seven passengers bruised
Associated Press (5 June
2000), Retrieved 24 November 2005
Eurostar train derails in France". BBC News. 5 June 2000. Retrieved
^ "At least 11 killed in rail crash in France". BBC News. Retrieved
^ Bach, Christian; Poivret, Aurélien (14 November 2015). "Une rame
TGV se renverse et prend feu à Eckwersheim, près de
Strasbourg : cinq morts". Dernieres Nouvelles D'Alsace (in
TGV train hits lorry and kills one
Reuters UK (December 2007)
^ New Scientist (issue 1719, 2 June 1990), High-Speed Protest.
Retrieved 15 November 2005.
^ Planet Ark (reprinted from Reuters 1 November 2005), Environmental
Protesters Block French-Italian Railway. Retrieved 1 November 2005.
^ Environmental Science and Engineering (November 2001), Train à
grande vitesse causes distress Archived 16 January 2010 at the Wayback
Machine.. Retrieved 24 November 2005.
SNCF to rebrand
TGV services as inOui Railway Gazette International
27 May 2017
International Railway Journal 30 May 2017
SNCF confirms new
InOui name for
TGV Business Traveller 31 May 2017
Allen, Geoffrey Freeman (December 1981 – January 1982). "It's a
knockout". Rail Enthusiast. EMAP National Publications.
pp. 34–37. ISSN 0262-561X. OCLC 49957965.
Cooper, Basil (January 1983). "What's in a TGV?". Rail Enthusiast.
EMAP National Publications. pp. 18–20. ISSN 0262-561X.
Perren, Brian (October 1983). "TGV: the completion of a dream". Rail
Enthusiast. EMAP National Publications. pp. 32–40.
ISSN 0262-561X. OCLC 49957965.
Cinotti, Eric and Tréboul, Jean-Baptiste (2000) Les TGV
européens : Eurostar, Thalys, Paris : Presses
universitaires de France, ISBN 2-13-050565-1 (in French)
Perren, Brian (2000)
TGV handbook, 2nd ed., Harrow Weald :
Capital Transport, ISBN 1-85414-195-3
Malaspina, Jean-Pierre (2005). Des TEE aux
TGV [TEE to TGV]. Trains
d'Europe (in French). 1. Paris: La Vie du Rail.
Soulié, Claude and Tricoire, Jean (2002). Le grand livre du TGV,
Paris: La Vie du Rail, ISBN 2-915034-01-X (in French)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to TGV.
SNCF Website (in English)
TGV Website (in English)
Train à Grande Vitesse
Lines in service
LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire
LGV Interconnexion Est
LGV Rhin-Rhône (Eastern branch)
LGV Sud Europe Atlantique
Line under construction
Planned or projected lines
LGV Interconnexion Sud
LGV Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
LGV Rhin-Rhône (Western and Southern branches)
LGV des Titans
Associated high-speed lines
High Speed 1
AVE Class 100
Development of the TGV
TGV track construction
Part of rail transport
AVE Class 100, 102, 103
China Railways CRH 2C, 3C, 380A, 380B, 380C, 380D, CR400AF, 400BF; MTR
Eurostar e300; e320
KTX-I, II (Sancheon)
Shinkansen Series 500, N700, E5, E6, H5, L0
TGV Sud-Est (refurbished), Atlantique, Réseau, Duplex, POS, 2N2
Thalys PBA, PBKA
China Railways CRH 1A, 1B, 1E, 2A, 2B, 2E, 5
ICE 1, 2
RENFE Class 120, 121, 130
SBB RABe 501, RABe 503
Shinkansen Series 200, 300, 700, 800, E2, E3, E7, W7
TGV Sud-Est (original), La Poste
AVE Class 101/Euromed
GMB Class 71
GMB Class 71 (Flytoget)
ICE T, TD
ICE 4 (ICx)
NSB Class 73
NSB Class 74
Shinkansen series 0, 100, 400, E1, E4
SBB RABDe 500, RABDe 502, RABe 502, Re 460
SJ 2000, SJ X40
TER (Z 21500)
Class 800, Class 801, Class 802
Experimental and prototype high-speed trains (category)
High-speed railway line
List of high-speed railway lines
planned networks in italics
Malaysia and Singapore
Planned high-speed rail by country
Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori
Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (1%)