AGVs on fast track

Your article on the new Alstom AGV trains (The Big Picture, 11 February) was correct — they are a first — but Stephen Mosley (Letters, 25 February) was not wrong either.

The AGVs will be the first multiple unit articulated trains with the power motors located on the inter-carriage bogies.

The current ‘Pendolino’ multiple units are not articulated, and the French TGV, British HST 125s and Spanish Talgo trains have a locomotive at each end.

Not only does the elimination of power cars increase passenger capacity but the new trains will have single or twin-deck versions and it is the two-deck version that will have longer upper decks due to the elimination of one bogie per carriage.

Another first for France is that the manufacture was carried out by a now private company, Alstom, and is not subsidised by the state.

Alstom should now develop the trains further and compete with the gauge-changing abilities of the Spanish Talgo trains.

And the company would be well advised to take the recent accidents on our windy West Coast Main Line very seriously indeed.

I hope it ensures that the new lightweight ultra-fast trains remain stable at over 200mph in side winds.

The UK accidents may have been ‘rough and tumble’, but the laws of physics are universal.

P H Field

St Albans, Herts