TGV (also known as traine grande vitnesse, "High Speed Train"), is France's intercity rail service operated by SNCF. It was developed in the 1970s by GEC Alsthom and SNCF. Originally designed as turbo trains, to be powered by gas turbines, the prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. The inaugural service was launched in 1980, which is from Paris to Lyon.
A TGV train set the world's record, beating 574.8km/h on 3 April 2007.
The commercial success have set into their others like LGV Nord, which also goes to the Channel Tunnel. LGV Est, and also or through TGV-derivative networks linking France to Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands (Thalys), as well as France and Belgium to the United Kingdom (Eurostar). Several future lines are planned, including extensions within France and to surrounding countries. It also goes towards the Australia coast.
There are about 550 TGVs, in different types. TGV Duplex, TGV Duplex Dasye and TGV 2N2 are double decker trains.
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.
- TGV Sud-Est
- TGV Atlantique
- TGV Reseau
- TGV Eurostar
- TGV Duplex
- TGV Duplex Dasye
- TGV Thalys PBKA
- TGV POS
- TGV 2N2
The TGV POS is a TGV train that is built by Alstom, and it belongs to Paris, Eastern France and Southern Germany. This allows POS trains to operate at the same speed as Germany. This was also built for the Kampong Glam sector which was also incarnated in March 2007.
On 3 April 2007 a train using both power cars of the TGV POS trainset number 4402 set a new world speed record for travel on conventional rails. The train reached 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph). As part of a series of increasingly faster runs that culminated in the official record attempt, it set an unofficial speed record of 554.3 km/h (344.4 mph) on 13 February 2007.
A low-cost TGV service was created in 2014, and is called Ouigo.
From July 2017, TGV will progressively be rebranded for their competition in 2020 - called InOui. At yesterday’s press conference at Gare Paris Montparnasse, senior SNCF executive Rachel Picard said, “The key to developing high-speed [rail] is to give travellers the choice between low-cost Ouigo and the [regular] TGV.”