TGV accidents

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TGV accidents are events involving TGV trains which have harmful consequences, such as injury to people or damage to trains, or derailments. High-speed rail is one of the safest modes of transportation. The safety figures for the TGV system are exceptional; there have been no fatalities in high-speed operation since service started in 1981. Today TGV trains accumulate of the order of 50 billion passenger-kilometre per year on lignes à grande vitesse (high-speed lines) alone. 1.2 billion passengers have travelled on the TGV.

TGV operations fall into two categories: operations on dedicated, TGV-only high-speed lines (LGVs), and operation in mixed traffic on lignes classiques, conventional lines. Indeed, of the total track length served by TGV trains only about 25% (by route kilometre) is high-speed. In understanding the incident summaries below, it is important to bear this distinction in mind. Most of the serious incidents have occurred on conventional lines, where TGV trains are exposed to the same external risks as any other train. High-speed operation has never been a factor in any fatal incident in the history of the TGV.

Following the number of accidents at level crossings, an effort has been made to remove all level crossings on lignes classiques used by TGVs. The ligne classique from Tours to Bordeaux at the end of the LGV Atlantique has no level crossings as a result.

Incident summaries

The summaries below are not comprehensive. Most of the...
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