Alstom has launched a high-speed train designed to reach speeds of up to 220mph.
Dubbed AGV, the single-deck, prototype is claimed to be the first in the world to feature an articulated architecture with bogies located between the carriages — a solution its designers say will increase safety.
The aerodynamically designed train also incorporates a distributed drive system with motors located on the bogies under the train.
This elimination of locomotives means the potential number of seats has been increased. Operators will be able to vary the length of their trains from seven to 14 carriages and from 250 and 650 seats, depending on demand.
The designers of the AGV are also promoting the train’s environmental credentials, claiming it consumes up to 15 per cent less energy than its main competitors.
AGV incorporates the latest European Railway Traffic Management System signalling standards, so it can run on all European lines.
Alstom said the AGV’s traction system has been tested under extreme conditions — it was used on the train that set the world rail speed record last April at almost 360mph.
The AGV features more seats and the designers say it is energy-efficient
Italy’s new rail operator, NTV, has placed orders for 25 trains (with options for 10 more) and has also signed a maintenance contract with Alstom.
Production of the first trains will begin this year at Alstom Transport sites in France and Italy. Deliveries are expected from 2010.