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European Railroad Discussion > Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse

Date: 12/03/19 19:32
Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse
Author: F7sForever

While in Paris last week, I made a quick stop by Gare Montparnasse, the railway station that serves SNCF's LGV Atlantique lines to the southwest of France. (The LGVs, or Lignes a Grandes Vitesses, or High Speed Lines, are the rail corridors that the TGVs, or Trains a Grandes Vitesses, High Speed Trains, travel on.) While I was there, I was able to photograph representatives of the three types of TGV Duplex in station, along with several of the single level TGV Atlantique train sets that will likely be out of a job sometime soon as more Duplex trains come online.

The first generation of Duplex TGV started to come online in 1995. They've made a pretty dramatic difference for the TGV business model, as the eight car trains seat 45% more people than the eight car Reseau sets that were the backbone of the system. They've gone through three generational changes since then, and two of the three are also divided up into two classes, with one group powered by motors capable of handling multiple voltage systems to allow them to leave the country.

Photo 1 - 876 represents the most recent version of the TGV Duplex, dubbed the EuroDuplex. The biggest difference in the EuroDuplex and its predecessors is improved upper level headroom, better accessibility, and an improved interior passenger information system. The train is in SNCF's newest livery, dubbed "Carmillion", and carries the controversial new TGV inOui branding. Next to it, DuplexNeo number 269 was one of the original TGV Duplex models, and wears the blue and silver that was common at the time. A number of the Neos have also been repainted into Carmillion. In truth, I was surprised at how much has gotten the new paint since I was in France in 2017 - 269 was the first older paint I'd seen during the two week trip. And finally, wearing the colors of SNCF's low-cost carrier OuiGo, Dasye Duplex number 764.

Photo 2 - DuplexNeo 269 and single level TGV Atlantique 354, which shows the older sloped, two windshield cab configuration of the 10 car Atlantique and 8 car Reseau sets. The Atlantiques were the second generation of TGV, entering serivce in 1989. They have four first class cars, a bar car, and five second class cars, seating 459 passengers, and they weigh 444 tons. By comparison, the DuplexNeo weighs 380 tons, consisting of three first-class cars, a bar, and four second-class cars. They seat 508 passengers.

Photo 3 - Looking the other direction, at OuiGo Dasye 764, Neo 269, and EuroDuplex 876.

A couple more photos will follow.


Date: 12/03/19 19:55
Re: Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse
Author: F7sForever

Photo 4 - SNCF DuplexNeo 269 shows the more bulbous shape of the power cars that were introduced with the duplex train sets. With the improved aerodynamics of the power cars, and careful shaping of the cars, the increases in drag between the duplex trains compared to their single level counterparts was so negligible that the operating costs per passenger was driven way down. As such, since the construction of the initial Neos, SNCF hasn't ordered any additional single level train sets. The future of the fleet will be the fourth generation Avelia Horizon Duplex, the first of which is expected to enter service in 2022.

Photo 5 - SNCF OuiGo Dasye Duplex 764. As built, the Dasye Duplex has three first-class cars, four second-class cars, and a bar, with a total seating of 508. The OuiGo service uses the same cars, but converts the bar car and the first class cars into additional second-class seats, increasing the seating capacity to 600. My first TGV ride was on a OuiGo, so I have a soft spot for them despite the somewhat garish paint and decoration. Ticket costs onboard the OuiGo trains is as low as 15 euro for most journeys, and the service has been extremely well received. At launch in 2013, Dasye sets 760-766 were used in the service. When I visited France in 2017, I saw 770, and on this trip, I photographed 777 and 791, meaning that a good portion of the last of the Dasye Duplex trains built were configured new for OuiGo operations. The biggest difference between the Dasye and the earlier Neos was the introduction of asynchronous motors on the power cars. The name is a play on words and a nod to the duplex configuration and the asynchronous motors. 

Photo 6 - SNCF EuroDuplex (also sometimes referred to as a 2N2 Duplex) 876 carries the inOui badges, representing a rebranding of the TGV service that was announced shortly after I left in 2017. The branding has been a controversial one, in part because the French are proud of the TGV name, and in part because the new brand sounds too much like ennui, which means dissatisfaction or boredom. I am unsure about the interiors of this train set, as a number of the EuroDuplexes operating out of Gare Montparnasse are being built in the L'Océane interior configuration to replace the single level Atlantique trains on the runs to the Atlantic coast.

I took a lot of rail photos all over Europe, which I will be striving to share over the next few weeks. I hope they are enjoyable!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/19 19:57 by F7sForever.

Date: 12/04/19 03:39
Re: Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse
Author: cricketer8for9

Do keep them coming.

Date: 12/04/19 05:00
Re: Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse
Author: GPutz

Thanks for posting these interesting pictures and the explanations.  Gerry

Date: 12/04/19 12:49
Re: Three faces of TGV Duplex - Gare Montparnasse
Author: nm2320

Thank you for the pictures, explanations, and updates on TGV service. Been awhile since I rode TGV: 1991.

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