Next Generation Supertrain

Next Generation Supertrain

A little more than a quarter of a century after the launch of France’s first TGV high speed train in 1981, the engineering conglomerate Alstom has unveiled a prototype of the next generation of top-speed train, to be called the AGV—for Automotrice à Grande Vitesse—and at the moment code named Pegasus. With a futuristic curved nose reminiscent of Darth Vader’s helmet, the powerful new train is constructed of aluminum and composite materials similar to the latest aircraft, promising a quieter, smoother ride than the current TGV, and a commercial speed of 360 km (223 mi) per hour, whizzing past the current 300-320 km/h (186-199 mph) for the TGVs now in service but, the company insists, without increasing the amount of energy consumption at all. The AGV’s competition, the Siemens Velaro train, is scheduled to start service between Madrid and Barcelona later this year, running at 350 km/h.

Originally published in the April 2008 issue of France Today.

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