Project Case Study

LGV-Est High Speed European Rail Link

Customer

Rèseau Ferrè de France (RFF)

Date

2007

Sector

High Speed

Track Length
mph

Customer Challenge

The proposed LGV-Est (Ligne à Grande Vitesse) had been under discussion since the mid-1980s, with regards to the best route and financial viability of construction.

In 1999, the French Infrastructure owner RFF received permission to construct 187.5 miles of line running from Vaires, on the Eastern suburbs of Paris to Baudrecourt near Metz and Nancy.

The ambitious project involved laying new lines so that the high-spec French TGV trains could achieve their maximum speed – something they were unable to do on existing mainline tracks. The aim was to drastically reduce journey times, for example halving the Paris to Reims time from 1h:33mins to 45mins.

Pandrol Solution

Pandrol’s Fastclip system was chosen for the full length of the new 187.5 miles of mainline because its innovative design and slight elasticity ensures perfect contact between rail and ties.

In addition to allowing greater speeds to be achieved, the use of Fastclip means that coupling torque can be regularly inspected by video, cutting the costs of maintenance in the long term without additional risk.

Fastclip also enables the line to use grease-free points and switches, installed CCTV or intelligent sensors and to carry out ad hoc testing of track assemblies on single block ties or concrete platform.

Results

Thanks to the 40-plus years of expertise behind the development of Pandrol fastenings, a TGV train on the LGV-Est was able to smash the world speed record for a train on conventional rails.

In April 2007, during the commissioning of the route between Paris and Strasbourg, the V150 trainset clocked a top speed of 575kmph (357mph).