French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday unveiled a mock-up of the next generation of greener very high-speed trains, known in France as TGV – four decades after the launch of the first TGV.
During a presentation at the Gare de Lyon in Paris, Macron highlighted the ecological aspect of the new train.
“This decade for the TGV will be on innovation,” said Macron, adding that France must “meet the challenge of moving by emitting less and promoting new forms of energy”.
Macron spoke in front of a full-size mock-up of the new TGV M. It will carry more passengers – 740 compared to the 600 on the current train – and is expected to enter service in 2024. It will also consume a fifth less electricity than the train current. model, while maintaining its top speed of 320 kilometers per hour.
The ceremony took place 40 years after another French president, François Mitterrand, launched his bold new bet in technology at the same station – the first TGV, or “Train a Grande Vitesse” (Very Fast Train).
With a line speed of over 270 km / h, according to the French railway company SNCF, this train has changed the face of modern train travel. It has since been emulated around the world, including recently in the highly anticipated UK project HS2.
Macron’s government has pledged 6.5 billion euros ($ 10.5 billion) in new investments this year to expand high-speed train lines, and increasing train use is part of the his government’s strategy to reduce emissions.
The new train in France is the latest in a series of new developments in high-speed rail around the world.
In June, Spain’s national rail operator Renfe launched a new economy high-speed train between Madrid and Barcelona with tickets at just € 5 (A $ 7.80).
The train offers four daily round trips covering the 500 kilometers between the two Spanish cities. Traveling at speeds of 330 km / h, the 438-passenger train takes just 90 minutes to cover the distance during the fastest services. Most services have additional stops along the way and take around three hours.
China, already the world’s largest high-speed train operator, unveiled a new prototype in January that can travel at up to 620 kilometers per hour.
The train uses high-temperature superconducting maglev (HTS) technology on a 163-meter test track in Chengdu.
Also in January, China unveiled yet another new high-speed train, this time designed to cope with extremely cold temperatures.
The CR400AF-G can travel up to 350 km / h in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. The train, launched on January 6, connects Beijing to cities in the north of the country, prone to freezing temperatures in winter. One destination is the city of Harbin, famous for its annual ice festival and with an average temperature in January of minus 18 degrees.
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