SNCF TGV La Poste
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. They were withdrawn in 2015.
|TGV La Poste|
TGV La Poste trainset
|Number built||2,5 (new) + 1 (converted)|
|Number preserved||3 + ½ spare set|
|Formation||10 cars |
(2 power cars, 8 postal cars)
|Operator(s)||SNCF for La Poste|
|Train length||200 m|
|Width||2.904 m (9 ft 6.3 in)|
|Maximum speed||270 km/h (168 mph)|
|Power output||6,800 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 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
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.
In 2009, La Poste reduced services from 8 to 6 daily round trips.
On 21 March 2012 a demonstration freight train ran to London-St Pancras, but there was no follow-up.
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. 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). La Poste originally was seeking a buyer for the fleet, however in December 2016 three trainsets were dismantled by SME (Société Métallurgique d'Épernay) leaving only a half spare trainset left.
|Class||Number in service||Year built||Operator||Current units||Notes|
|Series 923000||2.5 (5 half-sets)||1981||La Poste||P1-P5|
|1 (2 half-sets)||1984||P6-P7||Rebuilt from SNCF TGV Sud-Est passenger trainset no. 38|
- "Swap bodies to carry mail by rail". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "TGV: La Poste supprime un quart des TGV postaux" [Service reduction for the TGV postal train]. Passion - Trains (in French). 24 April 2009.
- "Demonstration high speed freight train links Lyon and London". Railway Gazette International. 21 March 2012.
- Barrow, Keith (29 June 2015). "Last post for French high-speed freight as postal TGVs bow out". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Rapport de présentation 'Prestations de démantèlement de rames Tgv postal'. G Chan Liat (in French). 3 September 2016