Tue Apr 3rd, 2007 at 10:33:41 AM EST
SNCF just announced (pdf, in French!) that today at 13:16 CEST, its test train achieved 574.8 km/h on the new LGV Est Européenne [high-speed line East European], which will see regular traffic from 10 June this year.
Some background about the test train, and about record speeds, below the fold.
The test train consisted of two new TGV POS (=Paris–Ostfrankreich–Süddeutschland, = Paris–East France–South Germany in German!) tractor heads, which are up-rated versions of the standard third-generation TGV tractor head (used in the double-deck Duplex and the border-crossing Thalys units) and will go 320 km/h in regular traffic, and three double-deck middle cars. The latter rode on two normal and two between-the-cars (so-called Jacobs) bogies, the latter two were also driven (test for the future fourth-generation TGV): a sum total of 19,600 MW! Other special provisions included larger wheels.
The records beaten: the official steel-wheel-on-steel-rail record of 515.3 km/h, held by a (second-generation) TGV Atlantique from 18 May 1990; and the inofficial records of 553 km/h to 568 km/h, set by the present test train with no notary onboard from 13 February this year:
The record NOT beaten: they won't mention this, but they barely missed what I believe was the real target: the Japanese maglev MLX01's record of 581 km/h, set on 2 December 2003.
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