DHL to Introduce CNG Vans in UAE; Targeting 50% of Fleet by 2009
Nissan And Mitsubishi Expand OEM Business

French TGV Sets New World Rail Speed Record of 357 MPH

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).



Vive la France!

Shows what you can do with cheese and soggy French Fries eh?

While Europe developed and has adopted the high speed train, the US public have been stabbed in the back by their corporate masters who have destroyed the once mighty railroad. Crime against humanity. There should have been a Boston - NY - DC TGV years ago. Years. Why not?

Next stop - Professor Laithwaite's MagLev system, recently sabotaged in Germany.


Wow! Pretty cool achievement.

Unfortunately speeds over 250mph are unlikely to be achieved on rail in routine service because the TGV dumps much of its braking energy into the rails by induction. If two trains pass the same section in quick succession, the rails can overheat and melt.


Here is the video:


Wow, congrats France and Europe!
Mitterand's ghost was on board. We need a guy like him, not the corporate emperors who killed the railroad.


I'm not so sure high-speed rail needs to reach even 150mph. Does the cost pencil out? This new train requires more electricity and transports fewer passengers. Is it a Lexus Lane Train, or a Concorde of the Rails?

California's high speed train proposal is on the back burner now, mostly because of its costs. How much would those costs be cut if instead of the (legally mandated) electrified 200mph Bombardier Acela-type train, the train of choice were the 150mph Talgo? Well, I've heard electrification is 25% of the cost. Figure conservatively another 5-10% cost reduction for other grade-separation infrastructure and savings on the trains themselves. Figure some economic advantage that Talgo-type rail systems have because they are more compatible with freight rail operations.

The 'go faster' mentality ends up making us go slower. Orwell was right: faster is slower.


the Bugatti Veyron uses it entire 1000 hp to drag itself up to 340 kmh
this monster must weigh in at more than 300 tonnes yet only needs
26000 hp ( not much if you say it quick ) to lick the Bugatti by over
200kmh , I know there are many differences between road and rail, friction
etc , but its a remarkable achivement , just shows what can be done with
the electric motor!


Wells , it was reported over here on Euronews that there was a delegation
from California over here today watching the trials, so maybe America is
still intrested in this amazing train .
You mention the Talgo , this train is being superseeded
by the TGV in its home country Spain , a country which by 2010 will have more
kilometres of high speed line than any other country in europe , pretty
impressive if you consider that in 1990 they had not a single km operational!



Spare me the conspiracy theories. The United States is not Europe. Our geography and population distribution is quite different, making high speed rail travel like this not practical for most cross-country travel.

Harvey D.

This is real achievement and another step forward into efficient high speed electric passenger train technology.

How many thousand Km of dedicated TGV electric lines will China have by 2020? With 1400 million people, spread out over wide territories, it would be the ideal place.

Alstom and Bombardier (+ assocated local cos) will be busy in the area for a few decades.

Meanwhile, USA and Canada will further slow down cross border and internal passenger traffic with security restrictions, one hundred year old passenger train technology, more highway traffic jams, 3+ hour airport ckeck-in times etc.

Will mass produced PHEVs (with extended electric range) and BEVs follow the same path and come from Europe?


I would have thought lines up and down the two coasts would have been practical here in the US. That a consortium including GM and Oil companies helped in the demise of public transport here in LA seems to be accepted fact although other factors were at work as well.


The US is at least 25 years behind Europe and Japan when it come to high speed electric transportation. What a joke. We fly gas guzzling planes everywhere when we could just be taking a simple train.



If they were really that practical--and more importantly, profitable--then we would have seen private investment in them long ago. Instead we get badly-run Amtrak that sucks up over a billion dollars in taxpayer money per year. Ridership it so low in some markets it'd be cheaper to buy every passenger a Mercedes.

According to Wikipedia, it was the arrival of jetliners and increased car use in the 50s and 60s that resulted in huge declines in passenger rail.


High speed rail (150-200mph) makes eminent sense for USA on East Coast, West Coast, Chicago-to-NE corridors. Portal-to-portal travel times could easily beat air travel on trips up to, say, 500 miles when you consider the amount of time you spend from the moment you leave your front door to the moment your plane leaves the ground. Our priorities are so screwed up.


Ironically Cervus, it is from Wikipedia that I got my info from.

"The end of the Red Cars has been tied by some to the alleged General Motors streetcar conspiracy, in which a consortium of General Motors, Standard Oil, and others formed a front company, National City Lines, in order to buy streetcar lines, shut them down, and replace them with buses. The plot of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit is loosely based on this theory. While the overwhelming body of evidence shows that National City Lines did perform such actions, many other factors also contributed to the decline of electric traction in the United States, including rising real estate values, federal regulations that power utilities could not own trolley systems, and the inability of traction lines to modernize their aging equipment and rolling stock due to low revenues."


I guess the point is that perhaps air services and private cars for long trips may not be so affordable in the near future. So because we've thrown out the other alternatives here on the West Coast, we may end up in quite a pickle. Perhaps the question should be why didn't Europe do the same as here? There were airplanes and cars there as well of course. In fact right now, airfares between cities in Europe seem cheaper than between cities in the US which means that rail travel should be even more disadvantaged there than here. And yet rail is doing well?



I think there are population density and geographical considerations at work. If you're going from London to Paris, it's just a couple hours on the train. But from LA to San Francisco is 450 miles. Driving is often more convenient.

We do have the Acela on the east coast. But the tracks there are all very old and the train can't hit its top speed for much of its run. It would cost billions to rebuild the system.

In addition, there are no dedicated passenger rail lines in the United States. Having to make way or avoid slow-moving freight trains is a major obstacle.


Well, from reading a little about the California high speed rail project (, it still seems a possibility.

Amigo van Helical

What if we took a different approach to rail travel in the US? It would take advantage of the flexibility and independence that most folks here find so important. Do you think it would be practical to create some sort of train car that could accommodate private automobiles? You'd drive your vehicle onto a lift and have it locked into place on the rail car. A power outlet could let you have A/C, music, vid, etc. The rail car would need bathrooms that are safely & easily accessed, and there would need to be some sort of food service and of course refuse collection.

So you'd have your private personal space while you roll along for long distance journeys. Upon arrival, you have your own vehicle. Air travel can't compete with that.


Yeah great... This super high-speed train takes more electricity to transport fewer people the same distance, only faster. I don't call that progress. I call that a Lexus Lane Train for the wealthy.

California won't build a high speed train system because the big wigs wrote into the enabling legislation that it must reach 200mph, which increased the price beyond it being affordable. "Oh wow, like sorry, duude."

bruno cipolla

re: Veyron... it's a 400Km/h car, not 340..
re: 574Km/h for the French TGV
it's marketing... show how fast it could run in order to sell "normal" trains


The east corridor was built at a time when high speed rail want even conceived.The lines curve and bend around cities and varios impediments that they just went around at the time.This makes true high speed virtually impossible.
The south shore of Boston is getting a new commuter rail line.It also has crossings and bending,curving, circuitous routes.Commuter rail has expanded to many areas in metro Boston.Rail in general{especially freight} is in a fairly robust growth period right now.
If you read the last paragraph closely you see this was souped up to set the record.These wont be normal operating is nonetheless cool.
The U.S went another route; air travel,interstate highway system after ww2 and it was the envy of the world for a time.Global warming projections werent availlable at the time.
China can leapfrog to the latest tech in many cases because there is no existing infrastructure to replace {Phone,internet,roads,cars}.
I dont think Im ready to get an inferiority complex over French and Euro superiority.They have their problems and we have ours.Hopefully we can all work together and learn from each other.


Cipolla, these are records "pour la gallerie", but the reality is also amazing, I remember a 2 hours(exactly) travel in the TGV from Paris to Lyon (512 km , 256 km/h average) in 1980.
You have to consider that you have to cross "toutes les quartiers de Paris " before leaving it and there are another cities and curves requiring slow speed.
I suppose that the normal maximum speed was near 320 km/h. Now for me is also enough.


Damn those cheese eating surrender monkeys!!!


Now the French can surrender even quicker :)

On a serious note, it'd be nice to see some of those here in the US. I would def. chose one of these over flying.


It interesting to see how since the end of WWII Big Oil and Big Auto moved us away from mass transportation on to stop and go freeways. Up until now, Big Rail was not interested in transporting passengers because they make more money on freight. Perhaps now that oil is expensive, it makes sense to develop medium distance high speed rail and take advantage of large scale economics. But, it will take a state or the federal government to jump start the idea. California is going ahead with innovating while the Bush administration still sucks up to Big Oil.

The comments to this entry are closed.