A quick tgv primer
the tgv train grande vitesse is the french high speed train. of course, there is no such thing as the tgv there are many significant differences among the 350-odd trainsets in service today, and the name tgv refers to much more than just the trains. indeed, the tgv is a system which comprises train, track, and signalling technologies that when combined make high speeds typically 300 kmh, or 186 mph possible. the tgv system is owned and operated by sncf, the french national railways, and is an integral part of french rail travel.
the tgv program was launched in the late 1960s. in its early stages, the program was considered a technological dead end. conventional wisdom at the time held that steel wheel on steel rail technology had been explored and understood to its fullest, and it was time to move on to more innovative technologies like magnetic levitation and jet-powered hovertrains. as a result, the project did not orig...
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