The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, French for "high-speed train") is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by VFE, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator. It was developed during the 1970s by GEC-Alsthom (now Alstom) and SNCF. Although originally designed to be powered by gas turbines, the TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains. Following the inaugural TGV service between Paris and Lyon in 1981, the TGV network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect cities across France and in adjacent countries. A TGV test train piloted by Eric Pieczak set the record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h (357 mph) on 3 April 2007. A TGV service previously held the record for the fastest scheduled rail journey with a start to stop average speed of 279.4 km/h (173.6 mph), which was surpassed by the Chinese CRH service Harmony express on the Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway in 2009.
Category: Transportation - Rail