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TGV France sets rail speed record


GRDadof3

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I rode the Eurostar from Paris (Gare du Nord) to London (Waterloo Station), and it gets pretty fast, too. I assume the Eurostar line is also a TGV line? Does anyone know the top speed the Eurostar hits on the trip, and what type of train is used?
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The Acela barely makes it to 100mph and only on very short stretches. Part of the problem with Acela is we tried to retro-fit an existing line to handle high speed trains, TGV runs on straight tracks with very gentle curves and minimal grades specially designed for it. Even at it's relatively slower speeds, the Acela creates quite a vortex when it goes by. The section between Boston and Providence has some of the highest speeds on the line. If you're on an MBTA Commuter Train between Boston and Providence and an Acela goes by the entire commuter train leans into the passing Acela. It's kind of neat and kind of scary. It just rockets by and people who aren't used to it are like, "what the hell was that!?"

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Also, the problem in America if the FRA certifies trains based on how they survive impacts...this means the faster trains have to be heavier to survive high-speed impacts. This is almost counter-intuitive as the heavier trains take longer to stop, slower to accelerate and are generally stress the components more. Europeans on the other hand, focus on accident avoidance. The trains may not do well in a high-speed impact, but if there are no accidents then it's not an issue....again we are so behind.

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Also, the problem in America if the FRA certifies trains based on how they survive impacts...this means the faster trains have to be heavier to survive high-speed impacts. This is almost counter-intuitive as the heavier trains take longer to stop, slower to accelerate and are generally stress the components more. Europeans on the other hand, focus on accident avoidance. The trains may not do well in a high-speed impact, but if there are no accidents then it's not an issue....again we are so behind.
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I guess they have impact requirements because as Metro.M pointed out, there are no dedicated rails for passenger trains. It's so embarassing that a country that leads the world on all kinds of technologies, has such antiquated train technology. This is one of the items where the government needs to suck it up, make the investment, and step into the 21st centurty....hell, step into the second half of the 20th century. Certainly if Croatia, a country that until 1995 had seen tremendous war and ethnic cleansing, can be starting construction on a train line exceeding 150 mph this year, the US can do the same.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's an article today in CNN about the TGV setting a new record at 574 kph (357 mph), which is faster than a jetliner goes at takeoff.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/03...=rss_topstories

Watch the CNN video too. The idiot commentator at CNN says some pretty amazingly dumb things like "Why go so fast? What's the hurry?", and then "Who are they trying to market this to?".

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