INTRODUCTION: Rail travellers in France will benefit from the development of new high-technology trains that will have existing travelling times.
GV & SV French express train before departure (2 shots)
SV Cameraman on railway bridge prepares to film train's departure
TV & PAN Trains run down track
CU Train's speedometer (reading 340)
TV Train approaches on return run
SV Man watches through binoculars as train draws to a halt (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Rail travellers in France will benefit from the development of new high-technology trains that will have existing travelling times. The train of the future will whisk travellers from city to city at speeds of up to 380 kilometres an hour (236 miles per hour). For the first time in recent years, trains will compete with air travel in offering fast journeys. Regular services are still a few years away, but development is at an advanced stage, and new standards are already being set.
SYNOPSIS: As trains go, the TGV, or Train Grande Vitesse, certainly looks futuristic. Its aerodynamic shape has aroused comparison with Japan's famous Bullet Train. It's long, and low, and sleek, and is a far cry from the steam locomotives that began the railway age. After years of experimenting, the train was brought out for tests on Thursday (26 February). The aim: to break the rail speed record.
The speedometer climbed to 340 kilometres an hour (210 miles per hour) and finally to 380 kilometres an h our (235 miles per hour), coming close to the world record set by the Americans.
There are plans to run trains like this on regular intercity routes in the future. The French already intend to run the TGV between Paris and Lyons. A special track will enable the train to complete the 560-kilometre (350-mile) journey in less than two hours. It's planned to start services in 1983. In the meantime, the TGV will run on existing tracks at a slower but still impressive speed.