The AGV, the new fast train by Alstom

Alstom unveiled yesterday its AGV, which is the successor of the TGV (train à grande vitesse, fast speed train) a huge success for the company.

The AGV brings several improvements compared to the previous model as it goes faster – 360 kilometers per hour compared to 320 – and consumes less energy.

This will make trains an even better alternative to cars and planes for long distance travels and this will thus contribute to the mitigation of climate change.

Below is the official press release by Alstom :

On Tuesday 5 February, Alstom unveiled the prototype of the AGV*, its latest, new generation very high speed train. This single deck, state-of-the-art train incorporates articulated carriages, a technology which contributed to the success of France’s TGV** train, and a new distributed drive system.

The AGV has been designed to reach a commercial speed of 360 kph. The AGV already has its first customer: Italy’s new railway operator, NTV***.

Patrick Kron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom and Philippe Mellier, President of Alstom Transport, unveiled the prototype of the AGV on Tuesday 5 February 2008 at Alstom Transport’s plant in La Rochelle, France, in the presence of Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France and numerous dignitaries.

During the unveiling ceremony, the futuristic and aerodynamic design of the AGV and its technological innovations were particularly highlighted.

(…) The AGV is particularly environmentally friendly, with a 15% lower energy consumption than its main competitors. It also incorporates the latest ERTMS signalling standards so can run on all European lines.

(…) The AGV’s novel traction system has already been tested under extreme conditions, since it was used in the train which set the world rail speed record on 3 April 2007: 574.8 kph.

Patrick Kron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom, said: “We have developed this train using our own funds, a very unusual approach in the railway industry, because we understood that the market for very high speed rail travel was about to diversify. In order to maintain our leadership, we needed to broaden and update our range of products.

The AGV has arrived on the market just at the time when very high speed rail travel is undergoing a new expansion phase, not only in its traditional markets, but also in many developing countries”.

Over the past 25 years, Alstom has sold more than 650 TGV trains, becoming the world leader in this high technology field. Its trains have carried, in complete safety, nearly one and a half billion passengers over 2 billion km – or 6,500 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Alstom has just won two major export orders from Argentina and Morocco for its TGV Duplex trains.

Philippe Mellier, President of Alstom Transport, said of the AGV that it was “both the outcome of Alstom’s unparalleled experience in the field of very high speed trains, backed by a successful track record of 25 years, and also the result of the company’s capacity to innovate which has enabled it to remain at the forefront of railway technology.

* Automotrice Grande Vitesse. AGV is a registered trademark of Alstom
** TGV is a registered trademark of France’s national railway company, SNCF
*** Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori

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