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TGV La Poste
TGV Sud-Est Postal - Bifurcation de Crisenoy.JPG
TGV La Poste trainset
In service1984-2015
Manufacturer GEC-Alsthom
Family name TGV
Number built2,5 (new) + 1 (converted)
Number preserved3 + ½ spare set
Formation10 cars
(2 power cars, 8 postal cars)
Operator(s) SNCF for La Poste
Train length200 m
Width2.904 m (9 ft 6.3 in)
Maximum speed270 km/h (168 mph)
Power output6,800 kW (9,100 hp) @ 25 kV
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC
1500 V DC
Current collection method Pantograph
Safety system(s) TVM 300/TVM 430
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The TGV La Poste were dedicated trainsets for high-speed freight and mail transportation by French railway company SNCF on behalf of the French postal carrier La Poste. The top speed of this TGV Sud-Est derivate was 270 km/h (168 mph), making them the fastest freight trains in the world.[ citation needed ] They were withdrawn in 2015. [1]

SNCF national state-owned railway company of France

The Société nationale des chemins de fer français is France's national state-owned railway company. Founded in 1938, it operates the country's national rail traffic along with Monaco, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network. Its functions include operation of railway services for passengers and freight, and maintenance and signalling of rail infrastructure. The railway network consists of about 32,000 km (20,000 mi) of route, of which 1,800 km (1,100 mi) are high-speed lines and 14,500 km (9,000 mi) electrified. About 14,000 trains are operated daily.

La Poste (France) SA founded in 2010 to replace La Poste (France)

La Poste is a postal service company in France, operating in Metropolitan France as well as in the five French overseas departments and the overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Because of bilateral agreements, La Poste also has the responsibility of mail services in Monaco through La Poste Monaco and in Andorra alongside the Spanish company Correos.

SNCF TGV Sud-Est high speed train used in France by the SNCF

The SNCF TGV Sud-Est or TGV-PSE is a French high speed TGV train built by Alstom and operated by SNCF, the French national railway company. It is a semi-permanently coupled electric multiple unit and was built for operation between Paris and the south-east of France.



The trainsets were built by Alstom between 1978–1986. These TGV units are essentially TGV Sud-Est trainsets that are modified for transporting mail. 5 half-trainsets were built, numbered 1-5. A further two, numbered 6 and 7, were converted from former TGV-SE trainset no. 38. Each half-trainset consisted of a power car and four intermediate-trailers.[ citation needed ]

Alstom French multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets

Alstom SA is a French multinational company operating worldwide in rail transport markets, active in the fields of passenger transportation, signalling and locomotives, with products including the AGV, TGV, Eurostar and Pendolino high-speed trains, in addition to suburban, regional and metro trains, as well as Citadis trams.

TGV Frances high-speed rail service

The TGV is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the state-owned national rail operator. The SNCF started working on a high-speed rail network in 1966 and later presented the project to President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who approved it. Originally designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas turbines, TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. In 1976 the SNCF ordered 87 high-speed trains from GEC-Alstom. Following the inaugural service between Paris and Lyon in 1981 on the LGV Sud-Est, the network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect major cities across France and in neighbouring countries on a combination of high-speed and conventional lines. The TGV network in France carries about 110 million passengers a year.

In 2009, La Poste reduced services from 8 to 6 daily round trips. [2]

On 21 March 2012 a demonstration freight train ran to London-St Pancras, [3] but there was no follow-up.

St Pancras railway station railway station terminus in London

St Pancras railway station, also known as London St Pancras and officially since 2007 as St Pancras International, is a central London railway terminus on Euston Road in the London Borough of Camden. It is the terminus for Eurostar continental services from London via High Speed 1 and the Channel Tunnel to Belgium, France and the Netherlands. It provides East Midlands Trains services to Corby, Sheffield and Nottingham on the Midland Main Line, Southeastern high-speed trains to Kent via Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International, and Thameslink cross-London services to Bedford, Peterborough, Brighton and Gatwick Airport. It stands between the British Library, the Regent's Canal and King's Cross railway station, with which it shares a London Underground station, King's Cross St. Pancras.

In mid-2015, La Poste ended TGV postal services, shifting mail services to swap bodies instead as part of a major logistics restructuring and expansion which the trainsets were not capable of handling. [4] [1] Additionally, the demand for fast overnight mail services has been decreasing in recent years. The final service was on 27 June 2015 between Cavaillon (Marseilles) and Charolais (Paris). [4] La Poste originally was seeking a buyer for the fleet, [4] however in December 2016 three trainsets were dismantled by SME (Société Métallurgique d'Épernay) [5] leaving only a half spare trainset left.

Fleet details

ClassNumber in serviceYear builtOperatorCurrent unitsNotes
Series 9230002.5 (5 half-sets)1981 La Poste P1-P5
1 (2 half-sets)1984P6-P7Rebuilt from SNCF TGV Sud-Est passenger trainset no. 38

See also

British Rail Class 325

The British Rail Class 325 is a 4-car dual-voltage 25 kV alternating current (AC) or 750 V direct current (DC) electric multiple unit (EMU) train used for postal train services. While the Class 325 bears a resemblance to the Networker series of DMUs and EMUs, they are based on the Class 319 EMU. The Class 325 was British Rail's newest unit to take over parcels workings on electrified lines.

Related Research Articles

High-speed rail type of rail transport

High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, new lines in excess of 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph) and existing lines in excess of 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph) are widely considered to be high-speed, with some extending the definition to include lower speeds in areas for which these speeds still represent significant improvements. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the first such system, began operations in Japan in 1964 and was widely known as the bullet train. High-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on grade-separated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design.

LGV Est French high-speed rail

The Ligne à Grande Vitesse Est européenne, typically shortened to LGV Est, is a French high-speed rail line that connects Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim. The line halved the travel time between Paris and Strasbourg and provides fast services between Paris and the principal cities of eastern France as well as Luxembourg, Germany, and Switzerland. The LGV Est is a segment of the Main line for Europe project to connect Paris with Budapest with high-speed rail service.

LGV Sud-Est

The LGV Sud-Est is a French high-speed rail line which links Paris's and Lyon's suburbs. It was France's first high-speed rail line. The inauguration of the first section between Saint-Florentin and Sathonay-Camp by President François Mitterrand on 22 September 1981 marked the beginning of the re-invigoration of French passenger rail service.

SNCF TGV POS French high-speed train

The TGV POS is a TGV train built by French manufacturer Alstom which is operated by the French national rail company, the SNCF, in France's high-speed rail lines. It was originally ordered by the SNCF for use on the new LGV Est, which was put into service in 2007. "POS" stands for Paris-Ostfrankreich-Süddeutschland.

SNCF TGV Duplex French high-speed train of the TGV family

The TGV Duplex is a French high-speed train of the TGV family, manufactured by Alstom, and operated by the French national railway company SNCF. It is unique among TGV trains in that it features bi-level carriages. The Duplex inaugurated the third generation of TGV trainsets. It was specially designed to increase capacity on high-speed lines with saturated traffic. With two seating levels and a seating capacity of 508 passengers, the Duplex increases the passenger capacity. While the TGV Duplex started as a small component of the TGV fleet, it has become one of the system's workhorses.

The TGV is France's high-speed rail service. The idea of a high-speed train in France was born about twenty years before the first TGVs entered service. At that time, about 1960, a radical new concept was thought up; combining very high speeds and steep grades would allow a railway to follow the contours of existing terrain, like a gentle roller coaster. Instead of one or two percent grades which would be considered steep in normal applications, grades up to four percent would be feasible, thus allowing more flexible routing of new lines. Over the next several years, this very general idea gave rise to a variety of high speed transportation concepts, which tended to move away from conventional "wheel on rail" vehicles. Indeed, the French government at the time favoured more "modern" air-cushioned or maglev trains, such as Bertin's Aérotrain; Steel wheel on rail was considered a dead-end technology. Simultaneously, SNCF was trying to raise the speeds of conventional trains into the range 180 to 200 km/h for non-electrified sections, by using gas turbines for propulsion. Energy was reasonably cheap in those years, and gas turbines were a compact and efficient way to fulfil requirements for more power. Following on the TGS prototype in 1967, SNCF introduced gas turbine propulsion with the ETG turbotrains in Paris - Cherbourg service, in March 1970.

The LGV Interconnexion Est is a short French high-speed rail line that connects the LGV Nord and LGV Sud-Est through suburbs of Paris. Opened in 1994, it consists of three branches, which begin at Coubert:

Perpignan–Barcelona high-speed rail line railway line

The Perpignan–Barcelona high-speed line is an international high-speed rail line between France and Spain. The line consists of a 175.5-kilometre (109.1 mi) railway, of which 24.6 km are in France and 150.8 km are in Spain. It crosses the French–Spanish border via the 8.3-kilometre (5.2 mi) Perthus Tunnel bored under the Perthus Pass, connecting two small cities on opposite sides of the border, Perpignan in Roussillon, France, and Figueres in Catalonia, Spain. The line extends to Barcelona, and this part is sometimes referenced as an extension of the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line. The Perpignan–Barcelona line is a part of the Mediterranean Corridor.

High-speed rail in Italy

High-speed rail in Italy consists of two lines connecting most of the country's major cities. The first line connects Turin to Salerno via Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples, the second runs from Turin to Venice via Milan, and is under construction in parts. Trains are operated with a top speed of 300 km/h (190 mph).

High-speed rail in Europe

High-speed rail in Europe is emerging as an increasingly popular and efficient means of transport. The first high-speed rail lines in Europe, built in the 1980s and 1990s, improved travel times on intra-national corridors. Since then, several countries have built extensive high-speed networks, and there are now several cross-border high-speed rail links. Railway operators frequently run international services, and tracks are continuously being built and upgraded to international standards on the emerging European high-speed rail network.

SNCF Class CC 7100 class of 58 French electric locomotives

SNCF's CC 7100 class are part of a series of electric locomotives built by Alsthom. The prototype 'CC 7000' were built in 1949 and the production series locomotives CC 7101-CC 7158 followed during 1952–1955. Two of the class are notable for setting world rail speed records: CC 7121 reaching 243 kilometres per hour (151 mph) on 21 February 1954, and CC 7107 reaching 331 kilometres per hour (206 mph) on 28/29 March 1955.

Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line railway line connecting Madrid and Barcelona, in Spain

The Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line is a 621-kilometre (386 mi) standard gauge railway line inaugurated on 20 February 2008. Designed for speeds of 350 km/h (217 mph) and compatibility with neighbouring countries' rail systems, it connects the cities of Madrid and Barcelona in 2 hours 30 minutes. In Barcelona the line is connected with the Perpignan–Barcelona high-speed rail line leading into France, and so to the European high speed network.

High-speed rail in France

The first French high-speed rail line opened in 1981, between Paris's and Lyon's suburbs. It was at that time the only high-speed rail line in Europe. As of July 2017, the French high-speed rail network comprises 2,647 km of Lignes à grande vitesse (LGV), and 670 km are under construction.


The Alstom Avelia Euroduplex, more commonly known as just Euroduplex, is a high-speed double decker electric multiple unit train manufactured by Alstom. It is primarily operated by the French national railway company SNCF, and also in operation with the Moroccan national railway company ONCF. It is the 3rd generation of the TGV Duplex.

Eckwersheim derailment train crash in Alsace, France on 14 November 2015

On 14 November 2015, a TGV train derailed in Eckwersheim, Alsace, France, while performing commissioning trials on the second phase of the LGV Est high-speed rail line, which was scheduled to open for commercial service five months later. The derailment resulted in 11 deaths among those aboard, while the 42 others aboard the train were injured. It was the first fatal derailment in the history of the TGV and the third derailment since the TGV entered commercial service in 1981.


  1. 1 2 "Swap bodies to carry mail by rail". Railway Gazette International . Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  2. "TGV: La Poste supprime un quart des TGV postaux" [Service reduction for the TGV postal train]. Passion - Trains (in French). 24 April 2009.
  3. "Demonstration high speed freight train links Lyon and London". Railway Gazette International . 21 March 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Barrow, Keith (29 June 2015). "Last post for French high-speed freight as postal TGVs bow out". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  5. Rapport de présentation 'Prestations de démantèlement de rames Tgv postal'. G Chan Liat (in French). 3 September 2016

Further reading