TGV 001

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TGV 001 (Très Grande Vitesse 001) was a high-speed railway train built in France. It was the first TGV prototype and was commissioned in 1969, to begin testing in 1972. The TGV 001 was an experimental gas turbine-electric locomotive-powered trainset built by Alstom to break speed records between 250–300 kilometre per hour.

The experimental train was part of a vast research program on high rail speeds. This program covered all technical aspects, principally traction, the behaviour of the vehicles, braking, aerodynamics and signalling. Originally, two trains were to be built, but only one was produced. The second was to be a tilting train equipped with an active tilting system, but was abandoned owing to technical difficulties.


This turbotrain was built in a radically different fashion than its predecessors (the ETG and the RTG); it was composed of two locomotives and three carriages, all with driving wheels. This concept as well as the shape of the TGV 001 was kept when designing the future TGV.

Each axle was equipped with electric motors with the advantage of small weight per axle but maximum power. Electric traction permitted dynamic braking, particularly effective at high speeds. Each locomotive was equipped with two turbines (TURMO III G then TURMO X), also used in the Super Frelon helicopters. As well as having direct control of the turbines, the locomotives were equipped with traction, braking and signalling controls.

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