|The V150 trainset.|
A modified French high-speed train (TGV) has set a new world speed record for a train on conventional rails of 574.8 kph (357 mph).
The V150 trainset consisted of two power cars, three double-decker coaches and two latest-generation very high-speed train motorized bogies developed by Alstom: the AGV. In total, this system develops an output of 19.6MW (26,000 hp). A conventional TGV develops 9.3 MW (12,000 hp).
V150 is the code name for the event organized by Alstom and its partners, the SNCF (the French National Railway Company) and Réseau Ferré de France (RFF). It refers to the targeted speed of 150 meters/second.
The V150 includes two types of motors: asynchronous motors used for the power cars (the “engines” on either end of the trainset) and permanent magnet synchronous motors used in the AGV bogies. The V150 had 6 motor bogies in all—two for each of the power cars and 2 AGV bogies for the coaches. The power of the power car motors was raised by 68% to 1,950 kW and that of the AGV motors by 40% to 1,000 kW.
This trainset is shorter than the TGV sets used in regular service (100 meters long instead of 200 meters, and the wheels have a larger diameter (1,092 mm instead of 902 mm). Preparation for the trial included preventative grinding of the track, a boost in the overhead line voltage to 31,000 volts from 25,000 volts, and efforts to reduce rolling resistance.
The previous record had been held since 18 May 1990 by SNCF with a TGV that reached a speed of 515.3 kph (320 mph).