This is a Driver’s eye view of the LGV Est, the high speed line from Eastern France. Filmed in 2011 before the final section was built, we benefit from seeing the scenic classic main line for about half the length of this production. Our journey begins in the capital of the Alsace wine-growing region of France. Our train is a classic TGV Réseau, the original and iconic high speed train. This is the 1203 to Paris Gare de l’est.
For the first half of our journey we travel over the traditional main line towards Nancy. Our TGV has just one intermediate stop at Saverne. Maximum line speed is 160 kmh or 100 mph. We travel through an exceptionally scenic part of France running alongside the Marne-Rhine canal and through a number of tunnels. After approximately 115 kms, we join the LGV Est. Now our speed doubles to 320 kmh or 200 mph as we leave the control of lineside signals and come under the control of the TVM 430 in-cab signalling system. This is overseen by the control centre at Pagny sur Moselle where we partly follow the progress of our train number 2424.
Now we experience the unique sensation of travelling at this very high speed, uninterrupted other than the usual shots of the driver and those taken from the trackside. Eventually, the TVM 430 tells driver Peter to begin to slow down before joining the classic main line at Chenay-Gagny, 16 kms from Paris. Finally, down to 30 kmh we enter the 26 platform Gare de l’est running about 30 seconds late! (Yes, seconds).