In 2015, SNCF launched a program to select a supplier for a new generation of high speed trainsets, to be designed as a joint venture with the manufacturer. On 7 September 2016, SNCF and Alstom signed an agreement to design and build the trains, with the design phase scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017 and an entry into service in 2022. SNCF specified that the new trains be at least 20% cheaper to purchase than their predecessors, as well as have lower operating costs. To meet the goal, Alstom developed the trains as part of a broader family of high speed equipment offered for global sale, a change from previous TGV orders that were built specifically for the French market.
In July 2018, with the design complete and publicly dubbed Avelia Horizon, SNCF placed a €2.7 billion order for 100 trainsets, options for change in the number of orders during construction, and maintenance. The first trains are scheduled to enter revenue service in 2023, with deliveries continuing through 2033.
Avelia Horizon is a push–pull trainset, with power cars at both ends and seven to nine bilevel passenger cars in an articulated configuration. In the highest capacity interior layout, each trainset can carry up to 740 passengers. The total power output is 8 megawatts (11,000 hp), which gives the trains a top speed of 350 kilometres per hour (220 mph).
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- "SNCF confirms TGV of the Future order". Railway Gazette International. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
- "SNCF awards €3bn next-generation TGV contract". International Rail Journal. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.