History of TGV

The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, French for 'high-speed train') is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator. It was developed during the 1970s by GEC-Alsthom (now Alstom) and SNCF.

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 like Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (Thalys network), Switzerland (Lyria network)and the United Kingdom (Eurostar network).

The idea of the TGV was first proposed in the 1960s, after Japan had begun construction of the Shinkansen in 1959. At the time the French government favored new technologies, exploring the production of hovercraft and Maglev trains such as Aérotrain. Simultaneously, SNCF began researching high speed trains that would operate on conventional track.