This bullet train was launched on this day 40 years ago.
Each year, the European Tour Weekend (European Heritage Days) in September gives visitors the opportunity to see many historical monuments across Europe. Among the attractions of Paris this year is an orange electric train that has become synonymous with speed and technology: the TGV. Thousands of fans flocked to the Gare de Lyon to watch the opening of TGV (Train a Grande Vitésse), which launched 40 years ago in September 1981.
Built for speed
The first TGV, with a top speed of 260 km/h, travels between Paris and Lyon for up to an hour (from 3 hours 40 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes)). The current TGV, which has a maximum speed of 320 km / h, covers the same distance in less than two hours.
With the expansion of the TGV network throughout France in the following years, travel time between other cities has decreased significantly. "This resulted in a round trip between French cities on the same day (Paris-Marseille in three hours, Paris-Bordeaux in two hours, and Paris-Lille in one hour)," said François Villar of French Railways. SNCF). "TGV has reduced the size of France and many other European countries."
The success of the TGV in France has led to the development of high-speed lines in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, bringing Europe closer together. For example, the travel time between Paris and London is 2 hours and 15 minutes, from Paris to Zurich 4 hours, Paris-Brussels 1 hour and 30 minutes, and Paris-Frankfurt 3 hours and 45 minutes.Advertising
Another distinguishing aspect of the TGV is its cost-effectiveness, according to ENC Alexander, SNCF engineer and driver. "TGV was for everyone, not just the wealthy."
Deploy the speed, convenience and cost-effectiveness of trains in a short time. By the end of the 1980s, high-speed trains carried an average of 50,000 passengers per day, reaching 90,000 at peak times. Within 10 years, they've seen a 70% increase in passenger traffic, from 10 million to 17 million. As of today, TGVs have carried over 3 billion passengers. Currently, between 650 and 700 TGVs operate per day at about 230 destinations in France and Europe.
TGV has many speed records to its name. On February 26, 1981, his speed reached 380 kilometers per hour. A decade later, on May 18, 1990, the speed was 515.3 km / h. On April 3, 2007, it reached its highest speed of 574.8 km/h.
Past and Future
According to Willard, the TGV was a major breakthrough in its design. “The way the coupes are connected [the assemblies that hold the wheels of the train] make the train very aerodynamic and stable,” he said. This TGV, built in 1978, was supposed to last 20 years. But this went on for 40 years. “Although the first TGV train is no longer in service, it can still operate at a speed of 100 km/h. - Fast intercity connection” This was very important to SNCF because railways are an important part of the transport network. In the 1960s, the highway network and domestic aviation were developing. “So the high-speed rail network was essential to ensure rail connectivity for long journeys,” Willard says.
The TGV has come a long way in terms of speed over the past 40 years. , passenger carrying capacity and design. The next big change comes in 2024 with the launch of the TGV M, which features innovations such as improved aerodynamics and 20% lower power consumption.
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