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Triebkopf original colors (TGV Sud-Est) of Vorserienzugs 01 and TGV Duplex in color Lyria in Paris terminus station Gare de Lyon (2020)

TGV [ teʒe've ] ( acronym from French train à grande vitesse , ' high-speed train ' ) is the name for various series of trains from the manufacturer Alstom , which are used for high-speed services by the French state railway SNCF . The TGV word mark was also used by the SNCF as a train type until 2017 . In order to differentiate between the trains and the service, connections with the TGV have since been 'unheard of' under the brand name "inOui" , 'Unparalleled', marketed; In addition, services with TGV trains are offered by the SNCF under the low-priced “ Ouigo ” brand . Various series of the TGV and sibling trains from Thalys and Eurostar International operate in France and its neighboring countries as well as the Netherlands and Great Britain. Trains based on the TGV operate in South Korea ( KTX ) and Spain (Renfe series 100, see below).

TGV trains set world speed records several times . The maximum speed in regular operation is up to 320 km / h, depending on the route and series. As a rule, speeds of this magnitude can only be achieved on specially built high-speed routes. The total length of these lignes à grande vitesse (LGV) is around 2,734 kilometers. The first opened between Paris and Lyon in 1981 and immediately proved to be a huge commercial success. Traveling by TGV between the connected cities has largely replaced air travel due to the time saved.

TGV Duplex on the Cize-Bolozon Viaduct over the Ain


year Passengers
(in millions)
1981 1.26
1982 6.08
1983 9.20
1984 13.77
1985 15.38
1986 15.57
1987 16.97
1988 18.10
1989 19.16
1990 29.93
1991 37.00
1992 39.30
1993 40.12
1994 * 43.91
1995 46.59
1996 55.73
1997 ** 62.60
1998 71.00
1999 74.00
2000 79.70
2001 83.50
2002 87.90
2003 86.70
2004 90.80
2005 94.00
2007 100.00
2013 125.00
(* from 1994 including Eurostar;
** from 1997 including Thalys)


From early on, France was considered the country of fast trains. In 1955, on the occasion of test drives in south-west France , the SNCF set the world record of 331 km / h for rail vehicles. From 1967 the maximum speed of 200 km / h was introduced in commercial operation, initially between Paris and Toulouse ( "Le Capitole" ) and a little later between Paris and Bordeaux ("L'Aquitaine" and "L'Etendard"). On the latter connection, travel speeds of up to 145 km / h were achieved, which in turn meant world records for conventional routes. A further increase in the top speed to 220 km / h was envisaged for the high-speed sections of the route to Toulouse. This seemed to have exhausted the possibilities offered by conventional trains and routes.

From the end of the 1950s, in addition to other prestige technical projects, the development of various high-speed transport systems based on new, mostly contact-free locomotion technologies became more concrete. In France, the Aérotrain air-cushion track was in the foreground until 1974 . At the same time, the state-owned railway company SNCF was working on the conception of high-speed transport on conventional steel rails, but with partially new routes and new types of vehicles.

Five-part RTG gas turbine train

It was originally intended that these “TGV” trains - at that time the abbreviation for très grande vitesse stood for “ very high speed” , or turbine grande vitesse “ high-speed turbine - should be equipped with gas turbines . The reason for this was, on the one hand, that the line should be designed to be as cost-effective as possible, and on the other hand, the feasibility of a reliable energy supply via the overhead contact line and pantographs at speeds of over 200 km / h was not ensured at the time. Gas turbines with a relatively small size promised a favorable power-to-weight ratio and the maintenance of a high output over a longer period of time. The technology was developed to readiness for use in the test vehicle TGS ( Turbine à Gaz Spéciale ) and exposed to the stresses of everyday operation in the multiple unit series ETG ( Elément à Turbine à Gaz ) and RTG ( Rame à Turbine à Gaz ). Similar to French nuclear technology , the tidal power station in Saint-Malo , the Concorde or the passenger ship “France” , gas turbine technology was also given great symbolic importance as a figurehead of French engineering.

The first TGV prototype TGV 001 , tested from 1972, was designed as a gas turbine train. The external appearance (including the distinctive pull tab), like the interior, was designed by the designer Jacques Cooper . In 5227 test runs, the SNCF used this train to test the new brakes that were necessary to reduce the high kinetic energy in the high-speed range, as well as aspects of air resistance and the signaling system. It also became clear that Jakobs bogies (placed between two cars) run more smoothly than classic bogies at the two ends of the car.

Due to the oil crisis of 1973, the gas turbine drive no longer appeared to be a promising solution, especially since electrical traction had become cheaper due to the construction of numerous nuclear power plants . In 1974, the electric test vehicle Zébulon was refurbished at relatively short notice , with the help of which a satisfactory solution to the power consumption problem could be worked out.

In 1974, President Georges Pompidou gave the green light to the implementation of the TGV concept, and Prime Minister Pierre Messmer ordered the necessary funds to be made available for the construction of the first TGV route between Paris and Lyon, called LN1 - Ligne Nouvelle 1 (new line 1 ) received (today it is called LGV Sud-Est ). As early as December 1976, construction of this high-speed line, designed only for the TGV, began at Écuisses in the Saône-et-Loire department . In 1978 the first two pre-series trains were put into service and tested. After further modifications, the first series unit was delivered on April 25, 1980.

Start of operation in 1981

A TGV Sud-Est in classic orange (1987)
TGV logo used from the end of 2000 to July 2012

On September 22, 1981, President François Mitterrand inaugurated the first section of the new line, with the timetable change on February 27, 1982, commercial operations began. The original customer area was suspected to be in business travel. The TGV soon established itself with a wider audience.

In the first year of operation there were thirteen hourly connections on weekdays and eight on Sundays. After the route was fully opened, the travel time between Paris and Lyon was reduced to 2 hours. This meant that the TGV were almost twice as fast as the fastest locomotive-hauled train to date, the famous TEE Mistral , which took 3 hours and 55 minutes. The reduction in the length of the route between Paris and Lyon from 512 to 429 kilometers also played a major role in this reduction in travel time. With the shortening of travel times, the number of passengers also increased, and this trend has continued to this day. In the first five years of operation, 60 million passengers were carried between 37 cities, with an average market share on the corresponding routes of 57 percent.

Inspired by the great success of the first high-speed route and the optimism of the beginning Mitterrand era , it was decided in a short time to implement further projects that were put into operation between 1989 and 1994:

Further development

Eurotrain , a combination of ICE 2 power cars and TGV duplex intermediate car, in April 1998 in Munich

The LGV Méditerranée to Marseille and the LGV Est européenne to Strasbourg followed later at somewhat longer intervals . The TGV has a market share of around 70 percent on the Paris – Marseille and Paris – London routes.

In February 1990, Bombardier launched the TGV Canada project . Based on the results of a preliminary study, the TGV was to be used in Canada, between Quebec City and Windsor . At least 300 km / h should be achieved on a double-track high-speed line. According to the manufacturer, TGV projects were also being considered at that time in Australia (Melbourne – Sydney), the USSR (Moscow – Leningrad), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo) and the United States (Dallas – Houston – San Antonio) . Attempts by GEC-Alsthom and Siemens in the second half of the 1990s to market mixtures of ICE and TGV components as part of the Eurotrain joint venture in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China failed.

From May 28, 2000, TGV trains ran as scheduled on non-electrified routes for the first time. Two pairs of trains per day drove the 112-kilometer route from Nantes to Les Sables-d'Olonne . Diesel locomotives were harnessed to the multiple units on this section of the route. Traffic was stopped in December 2004 due to excessive operating costs. In September 2003, the SNCF celebrated the billionth passenger on the TGV, Thalys and Eurostar networks.

From the beginning of 2004, Internet access between Paris, Bordeaux and Pau was tested with 15 multiple units under the name Clic TGV .

Route network

The TGV route network covers around 7,000 kilometers. Of these, 2,734 kilometers are new high-speed lines (as of February 2020). Long-term plans exist for a further 1735 km.

Routes in France

TGV route network
blue: new lines in France, red: new lines in neighboring countries, black: existing lines with TGV traffic, dotted: planned line
New lines in France

The French state railway SNCF runs the TGV in regular high-speed traffic on eight domestic Lignes à grande vitesse (LGV) .

The first TGV route to be built is the LGV Sud-Est , which connects Paris with Lyon . The 409-kilometer route begins in Combs-la-Ville and ends at Sathonay-Camp . The full opening took place on September 25, 1983. The 273-kilometer southern section from Saint-Florentin to Sathonay-Camp was inaugurated on September 22, 1981 . Apart from the main highway Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean this line also creates connections to Dijon - Dole (and further to Besancon after Bern and after Lausanne (- Brig )) to Geneva , after Annecy , according to Chambery - Mont Cenis - Milan after Grenoble and to Saint-Etienne .

TGV Atlantique before entering the Villejust tunnel

The opening of the LGV Atlantique connects to Paris with the west of the country, took place on 24 September 1989. On that day, walked the 124 km long main line between Paris-Montparnasse train station and Courtalain and the 53 km long branch line between Courtalain and Connerré at Le Mans in operation. On September 30, 1990, the 102-kilometer branch from Courtalain to Monts near Tours followed .

The 333 kilometer long LGV Nord runs from Paris via Lille to the portal of the Eurotunnel near Calais and provides the connection to Brussels and London . The southern section between Arnouville and Arras was opened on May 23, 1993, the northern section on September 26 of the same year.

LGV Est at kilometer 217, near the train station in the Meuse department
TGV Réseau in Strasbourg-Ville station

The LGV Interconnexion Est , which opened on May 29, 1994, is just 57 kilometers long . It circumnavigates the metropolitan area of ​​Paris in the east, connects the LGV Nord with the LGV Sud-Est and thus enables connections without changing trains. The route begins in Vémars , connects Charles de Gaulle Airport and Disneyland Paris and ends at Coubert . Conventional routes can also be used to connect to the LGV Atlantique at the Massy TGV train station .

The LGV Rhône-Alpes is the continuation of the LGV Sud-Est, which circumnavigates the Lyon conurbation to the east. The 115-kilometer route begins in Montanay , connects to Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport and ends at Valence . The first section from Montanay to Saint-Quentin-Fallavier was opened on December 13, 1992, and the remainder of the route followed on July 3, 1994.

South of Valence, the LGV Méditerranée directly follows the LGV Rhône-Alpes . The line, which went into operation on June 1, 2001, is 250 kilometers long. It begins at Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence and leads to a junction triangle west of Avignon . The western branch ends at Redessan near Nîmes , the eastern branch in the outskirts of Marseille .

The 450-kilometer LGV Est européenne has been connecting Paris with eastern France since it opened in June 2007. At that time, the 300-kilometer section from Vaires-sur-Marne to Baudrecourt went into operation, while the structural expansion of the new line to Strasbourg began in 2010 and opened in July 2016. Other TGV trains serve Sedan in Champagne and Saint-Dié in the Vosges .

The LGV Rhin-Rhône is the first LGV that is not geared towards Paris. It is a diagonal connection between eastern and southern France; the first section of the eastern branch went into operation in December 2011. Construction work on the 140-kilometer route between Villers-les-Pots (near Dijon ) and Petit-Croix (near Belfort ) lasted from July 2006 to September 8, 2011. This shortens travel times between Paris and Alsace or Switzerland. The east branch is to be completed later, a south branch and a west branch are also planned.

As a continuation of the LGV Atlantique , two routes were built: the LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire between Le Mans and Rennes and the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique between Tours and Bordeaux . Commissioning was scheduled for 2016 and 2017, respectively. Both routes opened on July 2, 2017. In this context, it was proposed to upgrade the old line from Rennes to Brest and Quimper to a maximum speed of 220 km / h, which, in combination with the use of tilting technology trains, shortens the travel time between Paris and the two cities mentioned on the Atlantic coast to three hours could.

Routes outside of France

Several high-speed lines were built in neighboring countries, on which TGV trains and the trains of the Eurostar and Thalys companies run. This created an international high-speed transport network between Marseille and Paris and on via Lille to London / Brussels-Cologne, as had already been considered in the early 1970s - at that time under the name Europolitain .

Eurostar: Great Britain and Belgium

The Eurostar trains have been connecting mainland Europe with the British capital London since 1994 . A 74-kilometer section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link has been in operation since September 2003 as the first high-speed line in Great Britain . This starts at the portal of the Eurotunnel near Folkestone and leads to the Fawkham Junction junction near Gravesend . The second leg to London's St Pancras Station is 34 kilometers long and opened on November 14, 2007. The travel time between Paris and London was reduced to 2 hours 15 minutes and from London to Brussels to 1 hour 51 minutes.

The Belgian part of the Paris – Brussels connection is called HSL 1 . It branches off from LGV 3 at Fretin south of Lille and ends southwest of the EU metropolis in Halle . The route, opened on December 14, 1997, measures 84 kilometers, of which 71 kilometers are on Belgian territory.

Thalys: Belgium and Germany

As a continuation towards Germany , the new building projects HSL 2 and HSL 3 were designed. 63 kilometer HSL 2 Leuven - Bierset opened of 2004. The trains run on existing tracks between Brussels and Leuven and between Bierset and Liège . East of Liège, the existing Liège – Aachen railway line will be expanded in the end sections (14 kilometers) and replaced in the 42-kilometer middle section by the HSL 3, which was completed in 2007. Since the latter was exclusively equipped with train control (Level 2) , its commissioning was delayed until 2009. Before Aachen , the Buschtunnel was extended by a second, single-track tunnel tube. After this was put into operation, the old tunnel, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century, was renovated. The originally double-track tunnel was only put back into operation on a single track after the renovation was completed. A large part of the route between Aachen and Cologne has already been expanded (as of April 2012), but the expansion in the Aachen area has not yet been completed. Be used Thalys trains and the German ICE 3 .

TGV POS: Luxembourg, Germany

Since June 9, 2007, the TGV has been running on the trans-European high - speed rail link Paris – Eastern France – Southwest Germany (POS) between Paris and Luxembourg via Metz at a top speed of 320 km / h. The following day, the Paris – Stuttgart route via Strasbourg and Karlsruhe was inaugurated. This reduced the travel time between Stuttgart and Paris to 3 hours and 39 minutes. From December 9, 2007, the connection from Stuttgart to Munich via Ulm and Augsburg was extended once a day . Since November 24, 2010, the second phase of the LGV Est européenne between Baudrecourt and Vendenheim near Strasbourg has been under construction. The line went into operation on July 3, 2016.

On the ICE route Paris – Saarbrücken – Frankfurt am Main, TGV trains run twice a day in each direction. Since March 2012, a continuous TGV has been running once a day from Frankfurt am Main to Marseille and in the opposite direction via the Rhin-Rhône TGV route .

From August 26, 2013 to December 8, 2018, a pair of TGV trains ran from Freiburg im Breisgau via Mulhouse ( Mulhouse ), Belfort , Besançon and Dijon to Paris' Gare de Lyon in around 3 hours and 40 minutes. This operated on the LGV Rhin-Rhône and the LGV Sud-Est . Since December 9, 2018, a route via Emmendingen , Lahr , Offenburg and Strasbourg ( LGV Est européenne ) to the Gare de l'Est has been selected instead. This connection is about 30 minutes faster.

TGV Lyria: Switzerland

TGV logo of the subsidiary
Lyria operated jointly with the Swiss Federal Railways

The Paris – Basel – Zurich route via Strasbourg was in operation from June 10, 2007. The travel time from Basel and Zurich to Paris was reduced to 3 and 4 hours 34 minutes, respectively. The Rhin-Rhône TGV line has been in operation since December 2011 , and that means for the route via Basel: in three hours from Basel and in four hours from Zurich; all trains from Switzerland have been using the Gare de Lyon since the start of the TGV Rhin-Rhône route in Paris .

All connections to Switzerland are now offered by TGV Lyria , a joint subsidiary of SNCF and SBB .

Elipsos: Spain

Renfe-SNCF en cooperación / en coopération logo

In December 2010, LGV Perpignan – Figueres , a 44-kilometer direct connection between Perpignan and the northeast Catalan city of Figueres, went into operation. It complements the winding route via Port Bou along the Mediterranean coast and is also used by freight trains.

The high-speed line between Figueres and Barcelona has been in operation since January 2013 . This means that regular high-speed traffic has become possible on the Paris – Barcelona – Madrid axis. The cross-border Spanish-French high-speed network was reorganized with the timetable change on December 15, 2013. Since then, Elipsos , a joint venture between Renfe and SNCF, has been responsible for these connections. The trains operate under the name Renfe-SNCF en cooperación / en coopération . The connection between Paris and Barcelona is served three times a day with TGV duplex trains , for the other lines of this network Renfe series 100 multiple units , which are derived from the "TGV Atlantique" type and are therefore the easiest to operate in France were used to adapt.

Planned routes

As a continuation of the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique on the one hand and as a connection between the Atlantic coast and Nice on the other hand, there are far-reaching plans for a LGV Bordeaux – Toulouse . The route, which is estimated to cost four billion euros, is not due to open until 2030 at the earliest. Originally it was supposed to be driven at speeds of up to 360 km / h for the first time, whereby the travel time between Paris and Toulouse would have been reduced to 3 hours and 7 minutes. According to the planning status from 2021, the vehicle will be driven at 320 km / h, which means 3 hours 15 minutes of driving time.

As a branch of the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique, the LGV Poitiers- Limoges was also projected from Poitiers to Limoges from 2007 . However, this project was abandoned in the summer of 2017. A connection from Bordeaux to Vitoria in northern Spain is also planned . On the French side, the line from Bordeaux to Dax is to be opened around 2027 and from there to the border around 2032. In Spain, the new Basque Y line between Vitoria and San Sebastian should be accessible before 2020, but the planned opening date has been gradually postponed to 2023.

The route of a planned LGV PACA , short for LGV Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur , was highly controversial, especially among environmental associations . According to considerations from the 1990s, it should run from LGV Méditerranée to Nice and open after 2020. The envisaged travel times between Marseille and Genoa were 3 hours 15 minutes. In 2013, however, a variant was chosen that provides for the expansion of the existing line in two stages and the addition of new lines in sections.

There are also plans for a further reduction in travel times for traffic to London using the LGV Picardie , a direct connection between Paris and Calais via Amiens , without a detour via Lille . Local politicians from Amiens in particular are campaigning for the 3.3 to 4.4 billion euro project, which would reduce the travel time between Paris and London to less than two hours, as their city has not yet been connected to the TGV network. A plan from 1991 already contained the LGV Normandie , which should lead from the Paris suburbs to Mantes-la-Jolie and split up there into a branch to Rouen and one to Évreux . This project was postponed due to a poor cost-benefit ratio. According to the changed plans, the route should now lead from Paris via Rouen to Le Havre and Caen . Commissioning should take place in 2025 at the latest. The most complex new TGV building project is undoubtedly the LGV Lyon – Turin , the heart of which will be the 54-kilometer-long Mont-Cenis base tunnel .

Train stations

Gare de Lyon in Paris
Gare de l'Est in Paris

Among the main advantages of the TGV over competing rail technologies such as B. Magnetic levitation trains include the possibility of using existing infrastructure away from the high-speed routes. This allows the TGV trains to run to the terminus in the city centers. But it also eliminates the need to build expensive independent routes in densely populated areas, which can noticeably reduce construction costs.

For the development of medium-sized cities, the choice often fell on the construction of train stations a few kilometers from the city centers directly on the high-speed lines. The stop of TGV trains at such stations is associated with far less loss of time than if the trains first had to unwind on the old building routes and drive to the stations in the city center (which in some cases are designed in the form of a terminus ).

Station Avignon TGV

In some cases, train stations have been set up halfway between two cities that can be reached by road but not by rail. An example of this is the train station between Montceau-les-Mines and Le Creusot on the LGV Sud-Est. The Haute Picardie train station on LGV Nord between Amiens and Saint-Quentin is highly controversial to this day . It has been criticized by the media and local authorities for being too far from the cities it was supposed to develop and too far from other rail lines that would provide better connections. The station is mockingly referred to as la gare des betteraves 'station of the beet ' , because it is surrounded by beet fields. This name is now used as a synonym for similar TGV stations located in “no man's land”.

While the first of these TGV stations are purely functional buildings, the newer ones are considered architectural masterpieces. These include, in particular, the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry TGV train station at Lyon Airport, the Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle 2 TGV train station at the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport of the same name and the Avignon TGV train station , which is popular among experts due to its spectacular 340-meter-long glass roof modern cathedral is called.

Signal system

Block marking on TGV high-speed routes

Since a reliable detection of external signals by the human eye can no longer be guaranteed at the speeds driven on high-speed routes, a driver's cab signaling called TVM ( Transmission Voie-Machine ) was introduced. Information such as speed, target speed or stop / drive commands are transmitted via electrical impulses through the rails to the train and displayed on instruments in the driver's cab.

The high-speed route is divided into block sections ( repère ) of around 1500 meters, the borders are marked by blue signs with a yellow triangle (instead of the block signals, comparable to the German block signs). Similar to the German linear train control (LZB), the train driver is shown the permissible speed in the current section and the target speed at the beginning of the next block section. The maximum speed is determined by factors such as the distance to the trains in front (with steadily decreasing speed with decreasing number of free block sections to the train in front), junctions, normal speed limits and the distance to the end of the LGV. Since the standard braking distance of the trains is usually longer than a block section, the train drivers are instructed to reduce the speed step by step from section to section.

The two TVM versions TVM-430 and TVM-300 are used on the TGV high-speed routes. TVM-430, the newer system, was first introduced on LGV Nord to the Channel Tunnel as well as to Belgium and provides trains with more information than TVM-300. Among other things, the minimum train sequence has been reduced from four minutes to three minutes.

As has always been the case with the French signal system, pure block signals are considered franchissable , i.e. H. Trains are allowed to enter an occupied block section at a limited speed (30 km / h). An emergency brake is only triggered when the speed of such a train exceeds 35 km / h. Signals that must not be driven over in the stop position are marked with a sign with the sign “Nf” (for non-franchissable ). If such a signal remains in a stop position due to a disturbance, the train driver can obtain permission to continue driving from the Poste d'Aiguillage et de Régulation (PAR - Signal and Control Center). Similar to the German substitute signal, this is given by a white light. The engine driver then confirms the approval by pressing a button, thereby deactivating the emergency braking that would otherwise be triggered if the signal was passed over.

When TGV trains reach LGV routes from lignes classiques or vice versa, the control elements of the train control devices in the driver's cab are automatically switched to the respective system. For example, if a TGV leaves the LGV and reaches a ligne classique, the TVM system is switched off and the KVB system ( Contrôle Vitesse par Balise , light signal speed control) is activated.



Driver's cab of a TGV Duplex

The original TGVs were continuously developed by the SNCF and the manufacturer Alstom (formerly GEC-Alsthom, Alsthom Atlantique) and now operate internationally in different variations. What all series have in common is that the trains consist of two power cars, between which the train of eight or ten firmly coupled intermediate cars is set. The power cars are electric locomotives in a special design and adapted box shape. This principle has been adopted in many high-speed trains in other countries, for example the Italian ETR 500 and the German ICE series 401 . The advantage is that the traction equipment is concentrated on only a few vehicles, a disadvantage that the power cars have high axle loads. In order not to overload the superstructure at high speeds, the axle load of the power cars was limited to 18 tons.

First class in the TGV Duplex

The Jakobs bogies are a special feature , they are weight-saving, cause particularly smooth running and reduce the likelihood of derailment. A disadvantage of this design is that the trains can only be separated with great effort. While the power cars can be uncoupled as standard and, in some cases, changed across series, special lifting devices are required in the depots to separate intermediate car units.

The power cars have automatic Scharfenberg couplings at the outer ends , which enable use in multiple traction and are covered by flaps when not in use. The power cars and intermediate cars are connected by a screw coupling. The TGV power cars have electrical resistance brakes for wear-free speed reduction . In regenerative braking has been omitted; primarily because feedback in direct current operation is only possible if there are vehicles in the same feed section that can absorb the power. The rectifier substations are not equipped for feeding back into the national grid. For this reason, you cannot do without braking resistors anyway. In contrast to the ICE, the TGV also did without pressure-tight car bodies to avoid sudden pressure changes at tunnel entrances; However, the French high-speed routes run through tunnels much less often.

In art, the further development of the drive technology reflects: During the TGV Sud-Est DC motors has that of controlled rectifiers in thyristor to be supplied, possess all other versions AC motors . In the versions TGV Atlantique, TGV Réseau and TGV Duplex these are designed as synchronous motors , in the versions Eurostar and POS as asynchronous motors . The three-phase motors are supplied with GTO thyristors by converters , except for the POS trains, where IGBT technology is being used for the first time .

Train type Top speed Seats Number of sets length broad weight power
25 kV ~ 15 kV ~ 3 kV = 1.5 kV = 750 V =
TGV Sud-Est 270 km / h or 300 km / h 1 345 107 200.20 m 2.81 m 385 t 06450 kW - - 4400 kW -
TGV Atlantique 300 km / h or 320 km / h 2 485 105 237.59 m 2.90 m 444 t 08800 kW - - 3880 kW -
TGV Réseau 300 km / h or 320 km / h 3 377 80 200 m 2.90 m 383 t 08800 kW - (?) 3680 kW -
Class 373 (Eurostar) 300 km / h 794 41 393.70 m 2.81 m 752 t 12 240 kW - - 5700 kW 3400 kW
TGV duplex 320 km / h 512 160 200 m 2.90 m 380 t 08800 kW - - 3680 kW -
Thalys PBKA 320 km / h 4 377 17th 200 m 2.90 m 385 t 08800 kW 4460 kW 3680 kW 3680 kW -
TGV POS 320 km / h 377 19th 200 m 2.90 m 383 t 09280 kW 6280 kW - - -
TGV 2N2 (Duplex 4th generation) 320 km / h 509 55 + 40 5 200.19 m 2.90 m 383 t 09280 kW 6800 kW - 3680 kW -

1 before or after conversion
2 since 2004
4 since 2003
5 number of sets ordered

With the TGV Iris 320 , a ten-part TGV measuring train has also been available since 2006.


TGV Sud-Est

TGV 82 at
Gare de Lyon station in Paris

The vehicles of the type TGV Sud-Est (PSE or TGV SE) with the original, distinctive orange paint are the oldest TGV and were mainly used on the Paris – Lyon route. They are designed for the existing power systems in the French railway network (25 kV, 50 Hz alternating and 1.5 kV direct voltage). Nine of the total of 107 sets (TGV 110–118) had equipment for three systems (additional 15 kV, 16.7 Hz AC voltage) and were used by the Lyria company in traffic between Switzerland and France. However, they were replaced by TGV POS by February 2013 and taken out of service.

Due to the participation of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in Lyria, two of these sets (TGV 112 and 114) belonged to the SBB, the remaining seven to the SNCF. The Lyria trains reached a top speed of 160 km / h on the Swiss rail network. Each train consists of two power cars and eight intermediate cars, has a total mass of 385 tons, is 200 meters long and 2.81 meters wide. The bogies of the first car following the power cars are also powered. They belong to the traction equipment of the respective neighboring power car. The traction motors are direct current series motors .

Because of the iron cross-section of the main transformers designed for operation with 50 Hz, the drive power of the drive heads was significantly lower at a frequency of 16.7 Hz than at 50 Hz. This restriction also applies to most of the subsequent types.

The seat divider in the row seats in the second class was 850 millimeters when it was commissioned, and there was space for 386 passengers in the eight cars. 111 seats were in the first class and 275 seats in the second class.

From 1997 the trains were renovated. The equivalent of more than three million Swiss francs and around 12,000 working hours were spent on each train. The exterior design was changed from orange to silver-gray. Compartments in first class and for families as well as face-to-face areas in first class were newly set up. Among other things, telephone booths were removed and sockets were newly installed.

Two variants resulted from the conversion:

  • In one variant (65 multiple units, including nine trains from Switzerland), the seat spacing was increased by 40 mm (among other measures), and the backrests of the second class were designed to be movable. After the redesign, the trains will have 110 seats in first and 240 in second class. Their maximum speed is sometimes 270 (18 trains, TVM 300 train control), and sometimes 300 km / h (47 trains, TVM 430). Initially, 245 seats were planned in the second class.
  • A second variant (42 multiple units) was prepared for long-haul traffic between Paris and the Côte d'Azur (via LGV Méditerranée). On these trains, the first-class area was reduced to 69 seats and increased in second class. The seat spacing of the 276 second-class seats has been increased by 80 millimeters and luggage racks and sockets have been installed. The trains were equipped with TVM 430 and upgraded for a top speed of 300 km / h.
TGV 01 on a farewell tour in three paintwork variants

The work was carried out at the SNCF plant in Bischheim (near Strasbourg ). Changes to the braking and cooling system were necessary to increase the top speed from 270 to 300 km / h. The conversion was completed before the LGV Méditerranée went into operation (2001).

In 1984, four pairs of TGV trains ran to Switzerland (Lausanne) for the first time. Seven units had been converted for operation in the Alpine republic under 15 kilovolts and 16 23  Hertz alternating voltage.

Several multiple units were used for the TGV postal service until mid-2015 . A multiple unit had been used as a tilting technology test vehicle and was rebuilt by mid-2001.

The scheduled use of the multiple units ended in December 2019. At the end of February 2020, nine multiple units were still in operation. No more routing plans should be drawn up for these trains. For a short time, the two power cars of the TGV 01, which had covered around 13.5 million kilometers since its commissioning, were painted in the original orange design for a farewell tour. The intermediate cars also got a retro design, which means that the train wore all three paintwork variants of its active time.

TGV Atlantique

TGV Atlantique at Paris-Montparnasse station

The TGV Atlantique (short: TGV A) were built for the routes to west and south-west France, especially on the high-speed line LGV Atlantique , between 1988 and 1992.

The train was first presented to the public in Belfort on April 14, 1988. At the price level in 1988, each multiple unit cost 73 million francs , about eleven million euros . On January 23, 1989, a classic pair of trains between Paris and Nantes or Rennes was replaced by a TGV Atlantique to test the effect of the trains on passengers.

The trains are a further development of the TGV Sud-Est and, unlike all other versions of the TGV, consist of ten intermediate cars (three of the first, six of the second class, with a bar car in between). For start-up, there were two family compartments, a play area for children, a changing room, a wheelchair space, a toilet for the disabled and three telephone booths available in each train. Service niches in the car crossings enable the preparation of prepared meals. There were no transition doors between the air-sprung cars.

The first two trains (301 and 302) were painted white and blue, all others were painted silver and blue. A total of 105 units with two power systems (1.5 kV direct and 25 kV alternating voltage with 50 Hz) were built. They are 237.5 meters long and 2.9 meters wide. They have a total mass of 444 tons and 485 seats in ten cars.

Due to the three-phase drive technology with synchronous motors used , the drive technology could be concentrated on four (previously six) traction motors in each of the drive heads, the output increased from 6.4 to 8.8 MW and the top speed from 270 to 300 km / h. The rapid braking distance from top speed using dynamic and disc brakes is 3300 meters.

The seat pitch in the first class was 950 millimeters in the early 1990s and 850 millimeters in the second class. The second class seats were 450 millimeters wide.

In 2005 the modernization of the 105 sets built between 1988 and 1992 began. Together with the modernization of 76 Réseau sets, the SNCF planned to invest 350 million euros in the project.

The TGV unit 325 set a world record for wheel-rail vehicles at 515.3 km / h on May 18, 1990 , surpassing the old world record of May 1, 1988 for the InterCityExperimental (ICE V). For the test, the multiple unit was reduced to three intermediate cars and thus around 250 tons of mass. The world record of the TGV Atlantique lasted almost 17 years until April 3, 2007, when it was exceeded by a modified TGV POS with 574.8 km / h.

TGV Réseau

TGV Réseau 4510 in Marseille-Saint-Charles

The TGV Réseau are a further development of the TGV Atlantique and, as they can also serve shorter platforms due to their length of 200 meters (with eight intermediate wagons), they are used on the entire network. The term Réseau (French for network ) reflects this universal applicability. These trains are silver-blue, 2.90 meters wide and have a total mass of 383 tons. They were used for the first time with the opening of LGV Nord. The TGV Réseau is also available in different versions. 50 two-system units (bicourant) are used for intra-French traffic. In addition, 30 three-system units ( tricourant , additionally for 3 kilovolts DC voltage) were built, which are used on the one hand for traffic to Belgium and the Netherlands , and on the other hand can also be used for trips to Milan .

The Réseau unit 531 set a long-distance world record on May 26, 2001 at the so-called Opération Sardine .

After various studies, the SNCF decided at the beginning of 2003 to equip 15 sets with two new power cars each for operation on the LGV Est européenne . The corresponding order to Alstom was valued at 188 million euros and included an option for 31 more power cars. The existing power cars should therefore be used with new double-deck cars in inner-French traffic. In 2005, the modernization of the 78 sets procured between 1993 and 1996 began. The first revised train was presented to the press on September 8, 2005. In the second class, the seat spacing has been increased by 70 millimeters. After 22 years of operation, the first two units (539 and 551) were permanently shut down in 2015.

TGV duplex

TGV Duplex on the premiere trip from Frankfurt to Marseille near Mörfelden-Walldorf

Two-story TGVs were developed with the TGV Duplex for routes with high occupancy. The first units entered service in 1996. The trains proved so successful that there have already been several reorders. Today the TGV Duplex are mostly used on the chronically congested route from Paris to Lyon and Marseille. One of the future deliveries will include the 15 sets, which consist only of wagons and are to be coupled with the Réseau power cars that will be released. A train of this type has a mass of 386 tons and is 200 meters long. Eight double-deck cars are lined up between the two power cars . The trains, which are suitable for both French electricity systems, achieve an output of 8800 kilowatts and have a top speed of 320 km / h, which is slightly higher than that of their predecessors. During the development of the trains projected under the project name TGV 2 N , various problems had to be solved. The wagons had to be fundamentally redesigned, especially in the area of ​​the bogies , in order to be able to lower the passenger compartment deep enough. Using new construction methods, the mass of the wagons also had to be reduced to the maximum axle load of 17 tonnes per axle applicable on French high-speed routes  . Among other things, compared to previous TGV generations, aluminum and composite materials were used instead of steel . The SNCF hoped that the concept would cut costs per seat by 18 percent as well as lower relative operating costs.

Different power cars are used within the TGV duplex types, which leads to a distinction between several duplex series or generations . A distinction is made between the Duplex Réseau , Duplex Dasye and Euroduplex (also referred to as TGV 2N2 ) , which were developed after the first series . A variant for the Moroccan state railway ONCF was derived from the Euroduplex , which is used on the LGV Tanger – Kenitra high-speed line .


The first class in the TGV POS
TGV POS No. 4404 in Frankfurt Central Station

The TGV POS (Paris – Eastern France – Southern Germany) were technically derived from the TGV Réseau and TGV Duplex trains. They operated since June 10, 2007 on the Paris - Strasbourg - Karlsruhe - Stuttgart line , which was extended to Munich on December 9, 2007 , as well as Paris - Strasbourg - Mulhouse  - Basel  - Zurich . Since 2009, the Paris - Saarbrücken  - Mannheim  - Frankfurt route has also been served once a day . Since December 2012, the trains have belonged to TGV Lyria and run to Switzerland, while Euroduplex-TGV has taken over traffic to Germany and, in some cases, Basel / Zurich as well.

The first two power cars were completed in 2004 and used for test drives from June of the same year. In the middle of the month, the two power cars were coupled with an eight-part Réseau car set. At the end of July 2004, a POS unit made up of two power cars and eight cars was transferred to the Velim railway test ring in the Czech Republic for test drives . The TGV approval drives in Germany began on December 5, 2005 and were completed in mid-2006. On the high-speed line from Nuremberg to Ingolstadt , high-speed drives up to 330 km / h took place in July 2006 . In order to achieve the braking capacity prescribed for the German rail network, one bogie for each of the two power cars and one of the two end cars was equipped with a magnetic rail brake. These additional brakes are only effective when braking quickly in the range between 50 and 160 km / h. The 4401 set was used for this. The water carried must also be of drinking water quality . On May 31, 2007, the Federal Railway Authority approved the TGV POS for commercial operation in Germany; On the same day, the ICE 3MF was approved by the French approval authority EPSF . The SNCF commissioned DB Systemtechnik with the approval runs.

When LGV Est started operating in June 2007, ten units with 360 seats each were available. The fleet should grow to 19 sets by 2008 (as of May 2007). Each train has mounts for four bicycles. The trains are run internally by Deutsche Bahn as the 475 series .

The two power cars are electrically connected to one another by a 25 kV roof line. The multiple units can run in double traction and can also be coupled with units of the TGV Réseau and TGV Duplex. The approval process for operation in double traction in Germany began in March 2009 and was completed in 2010. When the Kehler Rheinbrücke could not be used due to construction work between August 28th and October 10th 2010, TGV POS of the lines to Frankfurt and Munich ran together in double traction from Paris via Saarbrücken to Mannheim and were divided (winged) there .

In February 2011, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and the SNCF decided to hand over the TGV-POS trains to TGV Lyria . SBB acquired the TGV-POS unit 4406 back in 2007 and named it Basel . Since August 2012, the first TGV-POS trains have been running in a new livery on the Paris – Lausanne line. All 19 TGV POS had been owned by TGV Lyria since December 2012 and operated in Switzerland until the end of 2019. For the 2019 timetable change, the TGV-POS sets with 355 seats each were replaced by 15 TGV Euroduplexes with 507 seats each, thus significantly expanding the space available. No information was given about the future use of the 19 POS sets.


In 2018, the SNCF ordered 100 new generation multiple units, which were presented to the public in July 2020 under the name TGV M (originally also known as “ TGV du futur ” or “ Avelia Horizon ” at Alstom ). These are a further development of the TGV Duplex, the one with greater adaptability (with trains of 7, 8 or 9 carriages, or the possibility of changing the seating from first to second class without great effort), as well as using new materials and a broader one Equipped with sensors to increase the capacity of the trains by up to 20% and reduce operating costs. An originally planned deployment from 2023 onwards was postponed to the beginning of the Olympic Games in Paris in June 2024.

TGV variants

Eurostar TMST / Class 373

Eurostar TMST and Thalys PBA in Paris-Nord station

Eurostar trains with the names TMST (French) and Class 373 (British) are descendants of the TGV for operation in the Eurotunnel . The biggest difference is the half-train concept - for safety reasons, the train must be able to leave the Eurotunnel in two separately driven halves. As with the TGV PSE, the bogies of the end cars facing the end cars are also motorized bogies to increase the friction mass. Due to the smaller British clearance profile , the trains are narrower, drawn in in the lower area and designed somewhat more streamlined and in yellow-white-silver. In addition, they are equipped with lateral pantographs for the busbars coated by the above in the route network of the English south-east and folding steps for the profile compensation on the continental European platforms. In contrast to most European trains, the interior is divided into three instead of the usual two car classes (Business / Premier, Leisure, Standard).

After the conversion started in 2015, these vehicles are known as the Eurostar e300 , while the vehicles that have not yet been converted were marketed as Eurostar Original until they were withdrawn from operation. With the use of the new Eurostar 320 from Siemens from 2016, many of the 28 TMST sets were parked, but at times they were also used in a new paint scheme for the low-cost brand Izy between Paris and Brussels operated by Thalys . A total of eight trains were modernized.


The Thalys brand stands for international connections between France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. For these, the railway companies SNCF, SNCB, NS and DB ordered slightly modified TGV Réseau, which can run under different power systems and train control devices. There are two types of Thalys: The TGV Thalys PBA (Paris – Brussels – Amsterdam) can be used on the French, Belgian and Dutch networks. The TGV Thalys PBKA (Paris – Brussels – Cologne – Amsterdam) has additional equipment for the German network.

RENFE series 100

AVE series 100

The Spanish AVE units of the 100 series are based on the technology of the TGV Atlantique. However, the Spanish railways RENFE wanted the trains to have their own character and had the exterior and interior design revised by a Spanish office.

RENFE initially ordered 24 Iberian broad-gauge multiple units (1668 mm) and later converted this order into 18 regular and 6 broad-gauge units. The broad gauge units classified under the series designation 101 were used as the Euromed train type until November 2009 and ran at a maximum speed of 220 km / h mainly between Barcelona and Alicante . The regular-gauge units run at a maximum speed of 300 km / h on the high-speed line Madrid – Seville . In the course of the further expansion of the Spanish high-speed network, the Euromed units were converted to standard gauge by 2010 and incorporated into the 100 series. For the use of the trains to France, adjustments had to be made to the pantographs, the traction equipment for DC voltage and the train control. Seat numbers according to the Spanish (derived from aviation with a number for the row and letter for the seat) and the European system are an addition that is visible to travelers. Since December 15, 2013, three pairs of trains have been running daily to Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. Because of the easier integration into the existing systems, the end sections of the high-speed line Madrid – Seville were operated with 3 kilovolts DC voltage for several years. Therefore, the multiple units were designed as two-system vehicles. The units that have been upgraded for operation in France can also be used under 1.5 kV DC voltage and are therefore capable of three systems.

Non-European variants

The US Acela Express , Amtrak's high-speed tilting trains, look similar to the TGV, but are based on a Canadian tilting train from Bombardier . The propulsion equipment was taken over from the French trains. The Acela were built in the United States. 20 trains run on the Washington, DC  - New York City  - Boston route at a maximum speed of 240 km / h (in sections).

For the first Korean high-speed line Seoul  - Cheonan  - Daegu  - Busan , the KTX (Korea Train eXpress) were also developed from the TGV Atlantique. 46 units of this type have been driving the 412-kilometer route since December 2003.

Unrealized and discontinued special forms

Nine TGV trains with eight cars each were planned for the high-speed line planned in Australia as part of the Speedrail project. They were supposed to cover the 300-kilometer route between Sydney and Canberra at 320 km / h without stopping in 81 minutes. The project was abandoned in mid-December 2000.

In the spring of 2000, Virgin Rail announced that it would purchase 55 to 60 high-speed trains on a TGV basis for its application for the train service on the East Coast Main Line . The trains known as Virgins à grande vitesse (VGV) and with speeds of up to 330 km / h were supposed to run beyond London to Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne.

TGV La Poste

TGV La Poste

The yellow Post-TGV, which were in operation from October 1, 1984 to June 27, 2015, took a special position. Technically, they were identical to the TGV Sud-Est, but the intermediate wagons were converted into post coaches instead of passenger coaches. Most recently there were three and a half Post-TGVs, which were organized as seven half-trains. Three full moves (consisting of six half-moves) were in use, the seventh half-move served as a reserve. With this, the French Post implemented a fast transport of the consignments between Paris, Lyon and Marseille. For this purpose, a distribution center with a siding was available at Mâcon in Burgundy and at Cavaillon in Provence, where mail and letters were delivered by truck and reloaded in small trolleys onto the waiting TGV. Their high speed and large payloads (almost 90 tons compared to around 15 tons for a Transall C-160 transport aircraft ) had contributed to a reduction in freight traffic in the air and on the road, similar to the tourist traffic. So were z. For example, since 1984 the French Post has not used any Transall machines on the Paris – Lyon route, as the Post-TGV served this route faster, more economically and in a more environmentally friendly manner. The use of the TGV postaux was discontinued in 2015.

TGV Pendulaire

There was a prototype of a TGV with tilting technology , the TGV Pendulaire. It was created in 1998 by converting a conventional TGV Sud-Est. After numerous test drives, however, the project was discontinued and the prototype was dismantled. At the end of 2000, the SNCF had considered converting TGV Atlantique to TGV Pendulaire. Original plans to procure a new generation of TGVs with tilting technology had already been rejected.

Speed ​​records

On December 8, 1972, the TGV 001 gas turbine train reached a speed of 318 km / h, setting a world record for thermally powered railway vehicles.

On February 26, 1981, the PSE 16 TGV unit reached 380 km / h on the Paris – Lyon high-speed line , breaking the French world record of 331 km / h that had existed since 1955. The 400 km / h limit was then exceeded for the first time by a German ICE , but on December 5, 1989 the "TGV-Atlantique" multiple unit No. 325 took over the lead at 482.4 km / h. May 1990 expand to 515.3 km / h.

On the “LGV Est européenne”, unofficial (non-homologated) record runs on February 13, 2007 reached 554.2 km / h and on February 20, 557.4 km / h.

World record run on April 3, 2007

The train during the record run, traveling at around 574 km / h

On April 3, 2007, a world record run took place on the northern track of LGV Est européenne with the V150 between the Meuse TGV and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations . The train, which was specially put together for the record run, reached a speed of 574.79 km / h.

Long distance record

In a record run on May 26, 2001 , the Réseau unit 531 covered the 1067.2 kilometers between Calais and Marseille in 3 hours and 29 minutes at an average speed of 306.37 km / h.


The TGV are considered to be an extremely safe means of transport. From the start of operations in 1981 to October 2015, there was not a single fatal accident that can be traced back to operation on high-speed routes. In three cases, however, individual wagons derailed, which resulted in some minor injuries. Up until then, the more serious accidents had all happened on existing lines of old buildings, caused by collisions with vehicles at level crossings and, in one case, by a broken rail. As a result of these accidents, all level crossings on the Tours - Bordeaux line were canceled, and other old lines, on which TGV trains run, are to follow.

New lines

  • On December 14, 1992, a TGV from Annecy to Paris derailed at Mâcon-Loché TGV station at a speed of 270 km / h. After a previous emergency stop, one set of wheels remained blocked and the affected bogie derailed when driving over a switch in the train station. Passengers on the train were not injured, but 25 people waiting on the platform for another TGV suffered minor injuries from flying gravel .
  • On December 21, 1993, a TGV traveling from Valenciennes to Paris derailed at a speed of 294 km / h near Ablaincourt-Pressoir . The last four cars and the powered end car derailed, injuring a passenger. Due to the rain, a cavity from the time of the First World War had opened under the tracks, which had remained undiscovered during the construction of the line.
  • On June 5, 2000, a TGV Eurostar derailed at 250 km / h near Arras . Four of 24 bogies jumped off the tracks, seven of the 501 passengers suffered injuries.
  • On November 14, 2015, the Eckwersheim railway accident occurred, the first accident involving the fatalities of a TGV on a new high-speed line, but during a measurement run and therefore not in regular operation. During this test drive, the usual safety systems were partially switched off.
  • On March 5, 2020, a TGV on its way from Colmar via Strasbourg to Paris derailed near the Alsatian municipality of Ingenheim . He was traveling at a speed of 270 km / h when he hit a sloped embankment around 7.45 a.m. According to the SNCF, the leading powered end car and the first four wagons derailed. Of 348 passengers, 22 were injured, of which 4 were taken to hospitals. Among them was the train driver who was injured in the back and had made an emergency stop.

Old routes

  • On December 31, 1983, a bomb exploded near Tain-l'Hermitage on the TGV from Marseille to Paris. This attack , for which the terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez ("Carlos") took responsibility, resulted in two deaths.
  • On September 28, 1988, a TGV from Grenoble to Paris near Voiron ( Isère ) collided with an 80-ton truck that got stuck on a level crossing. The competent authority had not given permission for the heavy truck to use the level crossing. The train driver and a passenger died and 25 other people were injured.
  • Due to a brake defect, a driverless train rolled out of the depot in Châtillon on January 4, 1991 , it was directed onto an unused track and collided with a car loading ramp at Paris-Vaugirard station at 60 km / h. There were no casualties, but there was considerable damage to the front powered end car and the two following wagons.
  • On September 25, 1997, a TGV from Paris to Dunkirk , traveling at a speed of 130 km / h, collided with a roller that had been left on a railroad crossing near Bergues . The powered end spun and slid down the embankment, derailing the two foremost cars. The accident left seven injured.
  • On October 31, 2001, a TGV derailed after leaving the Dax station near Biarritz. The rear powered end car overturned and ten cars tilted. Five out of 422 passengers were injured. It was the first TGV accident in which a power car overturned.
  • In mid-November 2002 a TGV Sud-Est derailed between Lyon and Grenoble after tracks had been buried in a mudslide ; nobody got hurt.
  • On January 30, 2003, a 106 km / h fast TGV from Dunkirk to Paris near Esquelbecq ran into a truck that had gotten stuck on a level crossing. The driver was slightly injured.
  • On December 19, 2007, a TGV traveling at around 100 km / h from Paris to Geneva near the city of Tossiat collided with a truck that had stopped at a level crossing. The truck driver was killed and 35 passengers in the TGV were injured, including the train driver.
  • On July 17, 2014, a regional express ran onto a TGV near Denguin, 15 km west of Pau , in southwest France. 25 travelers were injured, four of them seriously.
  • On August 2, 2015, a Renfe power car burned out at Lunel .

TGV as an object of transport policy

Protests against the TGV

The first protests against a French high-speed line for environmental reasons took place in May 1990 during the planning phase of the LGV Méditerranée. Protesters called the route unnecessary; Instead, one could use the existing routes that connect Lyon and Marseille.

The LGV Lyon – Turin , which is to connect the TGV to the Italian high-speed network, has been the subject of protests in Italy since 2005. While most of the Italian parties are in agreement on the construction of the line (as of 2005), the residents of the neighboring communities are vehemently against it. Their concerns relate to the fact that asbestos or uranium-containing excavated material could be extracted during the construction of the line . These health risks could be avoided by using more expensive techniques.

Price competition against air traffic

TGV Duplex in the "Ouigo" color scheme

After low-cost airlines on the connection to southern France with prices under 100 euros often undercut the variable offers in the TGV trains and the number of passengers on the corresponding TGV routes declined, the SNCF designed new offers. Since 2004 through the subsidiary iDTGV, which sells special tariffs over the Internet, and since April 2013 with the low-cost TGV " Ouigo " with ticket prices from ten euros for adults and five euros for children under the age of twelve. It connects the Marne-la-Vallée - Chessy train station in the municipality of Chessy (east of Paris) via Lyon with southern France . The endpoints are the TGV train stations in Marseille and Montpellier .

Opinion of the French Court of Auditors 2014

The French Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes) published an extensive critical opinion on October 23, 2014. Because of the politically desired connection of a total of 230 cities to the TGV network, high investments of around 30 million euros per rail kilometer were required. At the same time, too many compromises were made in the routing: Either the modern stations were built far away from the regional centers with negative consequences for capacity utilization, or the TGV was diverted to the classic rail network (like most of the German ICE). After all, according to the Court of Auditors, 40 percent of trains do not travel at the maximum speed of 320 km / h. So the competition from airplanes, buses and ridesharing increased. Due to the low occupancy rate, the rate of return fell significantly.


TGV power car on the A36, exit Belfort - Glacis du Château


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Web links

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Individual evidence

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