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Alstom Aims for Rail-Speed Record With Upgraded TGV

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) --

Alstom SA's TGV train will attempt to set a new rail-speed record of 550 kilometers an hour (342 mph) in coming months using upgraded technology and a faster, straighter line in eastern France.

Alstom and state rail operator Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer, or SNCF, will seek to extend the TGV's existing record of 515.3 kph on a newly built stretch of track, Philippe Mellier, head of Alstom's transport unit, said in an interview.

``All the elements are in place and we're ready for the challenge,'' Mellier said. ``The line is ready and we have the technology.'' The bid, to be made in February or March, will be announced Monday by French Transport Minister Dominique Perben.

Alstom, the world's second-biggest train maker, has been building the TGV, or Train a Grande Vitesse, for 25 years and set the existing record in 1990. Merrier said that the upgraded train may even reach 570 kph with the help of technology developed for the company's new AGV regional train fleet.

Alstom, which also builds power stations, recorded its first annual profit since 2001 in the 12 months through March after railway operators and utilities placed orders to refurbish older equipment and install new gear.

Next year's record attempt will feature a five-carriage TGV set assembled at Alstom's plant in La Rochelle. The train will draw on 24,000 horsepower from two motorized cars and run on track built by rail-network owner Reseau Ferre de France.

The company has about 450 TGV trains in service in France and overseas markets including Spain and South Korea. The train also runs on the Thalys network operating between France and Belgium, Holland and Germany and is used in modified form for the Eurostar between London, Paris and Brussels.

Shares of Alstom rose 1.8 percent to 98.65 euros today. The stock has surged 103 percent this year, giving a market value of 13.6 billion euros ($18 billion).



Some people speak of 550kph, some other hope 600kph. But rail fans in France (just like me :p) all hope that the targeted speed is 600kph. Alstom and SNCF said that 550kph will be enough but we all think that will try to make better just like in 1990!
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I would agree with that - but also Japan trains on top for energy efficiency,
Japan railways also plan to upgrade their speed up to 360kph in a few years. Spain will open quickly a new line madrid-Barcelona with a section at 350kph.


No i wouldn't say that France is on the top. I think german ICE, japanese Shinkansen and French TGV are all fantastic trains, all have their avantages. ICE for its luxury 1st class and comfort, TGV and Shinkansen for their fiability (no fatalities on high speed lines since their launch). Shinkansen wins for its punctuality, TGV for its low prices (actually u can run from Paris to Marseille -800km- in 3 hours for 19€!)
15 minutes walk from Oxford Street.
Where is this located in London?
The TGV sud-est, the first French HSL, had no stations. As with any major infrastructure project it is dependent on local realities. However, one thing to remember about HSLs is that the relationship between stops and stations isn't normally like local services. HSTs rarely are timetabled to stop at all itermediatestations for HSLs, some Japanese shinkansen being the exception. For example, between London and Paris there are stations at Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Calais and Lille, but no services stop at more than two of these stations, and the stopping patterns seems quite random.
On the UK 'high speed lines' ;) occasionally trains stop once in the suburbs of London, such as Watford on the WCML or Stevanage on the ECML, but most trains don't, and this is on 200km/h. At higher speeds it really starts defeating the point of a high speed line to have the train stop. I'm not sure what the stopping patterns are like in Europe, but often if high speed trains stop lots it's usually at one end of the line after the train has left the high speed route for good. Normally on high speed lines, regardless of how many stations there are each train only stops once or twice or thrice on the whole high speed section of it's journey.
oh yeah oops!!!
You forgot Le Creusot-TGV station and Macon - TGV....
Not really, especially on French ones that are nearing saturation point. Every train can only stop maximum once or twice and mostly not at all while on the HSR, so any train is effectively the same type of train whilst on the line. Once they leave the HSR the services can do whatever, but then that's not what the threads about.
On HSR lines you have direct trains (no stops), trains with intermediate stops and regional express service, just like you have on non HSR.
The link you have provided (that I haven't even looked at because I know very well how the shinkansen works) shows intermdiate stopping services passed by express ones. However there are no non-express services on the line.

Japan is also unique in this kind of service. Nowhere else on earth has built HSR in a similar way, apart from Taiwan which could have similarities.
A stop at 300km/h costs 6-7 minutes. Add the 3 minute headway that's 10 minutes against a train that doesn't stop at the station.

A stop at 130km/h costs 2 minutes.

Hence stops on HSRs don't feature that much as the severity of the capacity reduction increases exponentially with the service speed of the line.

Non-express services would generally mean slow services on 160km/h trundling high capacity trains - that definitely isn't what's going on on Shinkansen.
I've just reread myself over the last few days and imo I have been rude. My apologies everyone!!!
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