Alstom’s TGV M tested on the French rail network
During the night of 21 to 22 June, dynamic tests began in France with the TGV M, the fifth-generation TGV built by Alstom. The high-speed train is due to enter commercial service with SNCF in 2025.
Also known as the Avelia Horizon, this TGV, designed and produced by Alstom, has double-deck carriages, a push-pull configuration and a locomotive at each end. During these tests, the calibration and correct operation of all the measurement sensors installed by the Agence d’Essais Ferroviaire (AEF) were checked. The tests were successful, and the PS2 train set is now ready for the next phase of the test campaign, which will take it across France, starting with Brittany. More specifically, shunting tests will take place this week in Brittany, at Plouaret Trégor in Côtes-d’Armor (22).
Plouaret-Trégor station is located on the Paris–Brest railway line and the branch line to Lannion. This station is “a compulsory passage to validate the shunting of a train”, says David Goeres, Director of TGV M projects at SNCF, on LinkedIn. This next phase will take place in collaboration with experts from SNCF Voyageurs, SNCF Réseau and the train’s manufacturer Alstom. The next phase of testing will also see the train travelling at 320 kilometres per hour on the French national network, in order to validate the benefits of the new, more aerodynamic shape of the TGV M’s nose.
Prior to this test phase in France, an intensive six-month test phase was carried out for Alstom’s new TGV M in Velim, Czech Republic. The tests included pre-validation tests, acceptance tests and endurance tests. The first phases were successfully completed, including running, braking and signalling tests. SNCF Voyageurs drivers were also involved to ensure that the workspace met their needs. Climate tests were also carried out in Vienna to assess the train’s energy efficiency.
M for Modular
The “M” in TGV M stands for modular. From passenger areas to services and technology, “everything is configurable”, says David Goeres, TGV-M project director, in an interview with Clubic media at the VivaTech 2023 trade show. This model also has greater passenger capacity. In its INOUI or ‘premium’ version, the TGV M will be able to accommodate up to 600 passengers. When SNCF attaches two TGVs together, as it often does on certain routes, the capacity increases to 1,200 passengers, compared with 1,000 on current trains. This represents a significant increase, while preserving or even improving passenger comfort thanks to more space between seats, For the OUIGO, the capacity will be 740 seats and 1,480 seats when two trains are coupled, compared with 1,200 to 1,300 at present.
“It’s the tool we need to deal with global warming”, explains Goeres. Indeed, this model is more energy-efficient and offers lower operating costs, thanks to eco-driving that adapts energy consumption to the number of passengers on board, a more aerodynamic nose, and a regenerative braking system that returns energy to the catenary. As a result, the TGV M consumes 20 per cent less energy than current models, and its carbon footprint will be reduced by 32 to 37 per cent compared with older TGVs, with 97 per cent recyclability, according to the SNCF.