RailPictures.Net Photo: TDu 002 SNCF TGV 001 at Paris, France by Jean-Marc Frybourg
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


SNCF (more..)
TGV 001 (more..)
Gare d'Austerlitz (more..)
Paris, France (more..)
1973
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
TDu 002 (more..)
(more..)
Jean-Marc Frybourg (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
It was a time when - even in France - the future of railroads was full of uncertainties. The bulk of standard passenger trains looked like the train standing on the right of the picture. Despite the success of the Japanese bullet trains that had been operating since 1964, high speed trains could not be taken for granted in France or Europe. Public interest and public investment were almost exclusively directed at highways and airways. During a speech given in Annonay (Ardeche) a public officer had gone as far as celebrating the closure of the last passenger train service in his region, promising a future full of cars and roads - and as a result Ardeche is an area that does not get any TGV service today.

It was before the first energy crisis and turbotrains had the preference of decision-makers against electrification for whatever future high speed passenger trains would be, hence this gas-turbine propelled high speed prototype.

And it was a time when a 15 year old teenager - fully amazed by this "train of tomorrow" - tried to picture it in a "tomorrow way", i.e. with a wide angle lens right in front of the nose.

Built in 1971 by Alsthom and others, the TGV 001 was the very first European prototype of all high speed trains. Made up of the most advanced technology of the time, every bit of it was an innovation. It was an articulated train and today's TGVs are all built with a similar - albeit updated - system. Top speed reached: 318 km/h on Dec 8, 1972. Making this train happen in 1971 had required a lot of resilience from some far-sighted engineers and SNCF executives so as to get it funded and built. SNCF kept things relatively quiet, experimenting it without much fanfare, away from the media buzz. Ten years later - by the early 1980's - things had become an entirely different matter...

A suggestion: compare with picture 181190
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