The TGV entered service on 22 September 1981, when it travelled for the primary time from Paris to Lyon in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Renamed by newspapers all over the world as a “Concorde-style prepare”, the TGV – the acronym for Practice à Grande Vitesse (high-speed prepare) – has turn into an emblem of France all over the world.
Virtually forty years later to the day, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the subsequent technology of TGV trains at Paris’s Gare de Lyon, the identical station the place then-President Francois Mitterand first launched the service.
In his speech, Macron outlined the high-speed prepare as a “technological miracle” that may allow France to determine a “new railway pact to perpetuate our nation’s railway system”. Coming into into service in 2024, the brand new technology of high-speed trains will focus particularly on decreasing the environmental impression, providing a lower-cost, environmentally pleasant various to short-to-medium-haul air journey.
“This decade would be the decade of the brand new TGV, innovation and new methods of travelling for our constituents,” continued Macron.
The TGV: an emblem of France all over the world
Taking inspiration from Japan’s Shinkansen high-speed prepare from Tokyo to Hokkaido, the TGV was born out of the necessity to lower railway journey instances, whereas connecting extra the completely different components of the nation to Paris. When launched in 1981, the high-speed community – a part of a wider set of operations carried out by French nationwide railway firm SNCF – targeted on linking Paris to the southeast through Lyon.
Within the following years, different strains had been added: in 1990 it was the flip of the Paris–Le Mans/Excursions line whereas between 1992 and 2007, the Lyon–Valence, Paris–Lille, Valence–Marseille and Paris–Baudrecourt strains had been launched.
“The TGV is an indication for the entire world that France is a good and modern nation, well-placed to compete within the expertise race,” stated then-President Mitterand throughout his inauguration speech in 1981.
TGV trains had been initially going at a pace of 180km/h – 30km/h sooner than their Japanese counterpart – however within the subsequent 40 years, they turned sooner, reaching in the present day’s pace of 320km/h.
Due to the way it revolutionised the idea of prepare journey, within the final 40 years, TGV has turn into an emblem of the French railway, inspiring related trains all over the world.
In Italy, high-speed trains began to enter the market within the early 2000s to mid-2000s, firstly with Frecciarossa in 2008 and the with Italo in 2012. Within the UK, Eurostar has linked London to European cities akin to Paris and Brussels, whereas domestically HS2 will supply sooner journey instances.
Unveiling the TGV-M
“Completely happy 40th anniversary to the TGV and lengthy dwell the TGV of the longer term!”. With these phrases on 17 September, President Macron unveiled the brand new TGV mannequin, TGV-M.
Named ‘M’ for contemporary and modular, TGV-M trains will make modularity their benchmark, permitting the variety of vehicles to be adjusted in accordance with completely different market wants, reconfiguring the within area by eradicating or including seats.
The fleet’s design may also take sustainability into better consideration, focusing particularly on lowering the environmental footprint. To take action, TGV-M trains may have a 97% recyclable construction in addition to an aerodynamic form that enables for higher air penetration and 20% power financial savings.
In accordance with prepare producer Alstom – which unveiled TGV-M’s driving unit for the primary time in Might 2021 however acquired the primary order in 2018 – upkeep prices may also lower by 30%.
The trains are anticipated to supply the perfect service attainable additionally in relation to connectivity and accessibility onboard, that includes real-time data and Wi-Fi. The TGV-M can be the primary TGV to be designed in collaboration with wheelchair consumer associations.
A brand new French Railway revolution
The brand new TGV-M fleet is the newest of a sequence of tasks that – each on the authorities and the trade stage – give attention to innovating the nation’s railway system with sustainability and net-zero the benchmark.
On the trade’s aspect, SNCF not too long ago launched its Planet Voyage programme for long-distance trains, which focuses on lowering trains’ power consumption by 20% by 2025. The corporate has additionally pledged to go zero-waste by 2030, by lowering waste from the vehicles, recovering the remaining waste, and eliminating single-use plastic.
On the authorities stage, the Elysée has been massively funding the railway trade, investing €61bn within the final 5 years and pledging to take a position an additional €6.5bn. A part of the allotted funds has gone to the resurgence of evening trains routes such because the Paris–Good, with a number of extra to return by the top of the last decade.
“My ambition [is for] ten evening trains in 2030 organised round 4 main corridors: Bordeaux to Marseille, Dijon to Marseille, Excursions to Lyon through Ile-de-France and Paris to Toulouse,” Future Rail reported Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari as saying.