Monday, 13 October 2008

France Facts: The TGV Experience

The TGV (train à grande vitesse, French for "high-speed train"), holds the record for the fastest wheeled train, having reached 574.8 km/h on 3 April 2007 using a specially modified 2 engine car with coaches removed.

This TGV narrowly missed beating the overall world train speed record of 581km/h (360.8mph), which was reached in 2003 by a Japanese maglev train. However the method used to achieve record-breaking speed, is impractical for commercial applications because of motor overcharging, empty train weight, rail and engine wear issues, elimination of all but two coaches, excessive vibration and noise and lack of emergency stopping methods.

The TGV also holds the world's highest average speed for a regular passenger service and travels up to 320 km/h in commercial use on high speed lines.

It is amazing when the rail lines run alongside the motorway, cars are travelling at 130km/h but just seem to be standing still. Here is a short video that Jack took during our trip home from Paris.

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