The French AGV

Imagine getting to New Delhi from Mumbai by train in less than 4 hours instead of the 18 hours it currently takes?

France unveiled the successor to the TGV, the AGV — Automotrice Grande Vitesse, or “self-propelled high-speed” train. It’s top cruise speed will be 360 km/hr. The TGV has two engines, one at each end of the train. The AGV has motors under each carriage and is lighter and more energy efficient. The TGV holds the speed record for conventional rail when it touched 575 km/hr last year in April. The current batch of TGV have a top cruising speed of 320 km/hr.

I love trains and particularly like the TGV. Years ago when I was traveling around in Europe, I traveled quite a bit on the TGV and it was far more exciting than flying. There is something romantic about trains.

All this is very exciting for me. I look forward to boarding the AGV one of these days. But it is also a bit sad. India will never have anything that exciting. India just does not have the imagination. We are quite happy with our trains that do an average of 25 km/hr and our top speed trains average around 80 km/hr. It’s strange that passenger train service began in India over 150 years ago. We are a slow moving people.

[Related post: An Integrated Rail Transportation System.]