EUROPE: Cargo version of TGV to court air traffic

The company that designed and built France’s high-speed TGV trains is developing a cargo version that could see short-haul air cargo shifted to Europe’s growing high-speed rail network, according to a report in the Financial Times. President of Paris-based Alstom Transport, Philippe Mellier said the plan was to win over cargo from air the express […]


The company that designed and built France’s high-speed TGV trains is developing a cargo version that could see short-haul air cargo shifted to Europe’s growing high-speed rail network, according to a report in the Financial Times.

President of Paris-based Alstom Transport, Philippe Mellier said the plan was to win over cargo from air the express parcel business of companies such as UPS and FedEx.

“I think that very high-speed trains in the future could be a good alternative to the UPS and FedEx fleet of planes today,” he said.

The area is one of several which Alstom aims to capture for rail business created by the rising cost of other, more fuel-intensive means of transport. A single-deck version of the new train could be based on the 360kph AGV model unveiled earlier this year. A double-deck variant could be based on the 320kph TGV Duplex used on France’s busiest high-speed routes.

FedEx said it continued to support the Carex group, which is examining the viability of high-speed rail freight, which it helped to found two years ago. UPS, which currently avoids using European rail because of the priority given to passenger trains, said it would monitor developments in the area.