France unveils super-fast train

Quote Originally Posted by BBC
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has attended the launch of a new high-speed train made by engineering giant Alstom.

The AGV (Automotrice Grande Vitesse) train will travel at up to 360km/h (224mph), powered by engines placed under each carriage, the company says.

The absence of locomotives at either end allows it to carry more passengers.

Alstom compares the AGV - successor to the TGV - to the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, in terms of importance and innovation.
This train won't travel much faster than the present TGV, which has reached 574.8 km/h in test runs and normally reaches 320 km/h in commercial use.

The innovation is the lack of locomotive, but also the fact that this will be the first "double-decker" high-speed train. The trains will consequently be shorter and carry twice more passengers, which makes it more profitable. This is why it is being compared to the Airbus A380, also more energy-efiicient and built on two floors.

Italy will be one of the first countries to use it.