The rear power-car of a Sud-Est.


A fantastic shot of the Sud-Est in its original orange livery.

TGV la poste 3

Postman Pat has got an up-grade: This is the TGV La Poste, which has no seats, and transports only mail.

The Sud-Est is a French TGV high-speed EMU built by Alstom, and operated by SNCF. The trains are semi-permanently coupled electric multiple units, and their primary service is from Paris to the south-east of France.


The Sud-Est was the first TGV model to enter service, on the 27 of September 1981, on the line between Paris and Lyon. These trains were built between 1978 and 1988; 107 are still operational, of which nine are tri-current trains. This means that they can run on 25 kV AC, 1500 V DC, and 15 kV AC. This helps with running the train into other near-by countries. All the other Sud-Est TGVs are Bi-current trains, they can run on either 25 kV AC or 1500 V DC.

Seven of these are half-sets, meaning they don't have seats. These are called "TGV La Poste" trains, and they work for the company La Poste. Which moves mail between Paris and Lyon using these trains which are painted in a unmistakable yellow livery (color).


Each Sud-Est set is made up of two power cars and eight carriages. These carriages have a capacity of 345 seats, and have a powered bogie in each of the carriages next to the power cars. The whole set (train-set) is 200 meters or 656 feet long. They are also nearly 3 meters or 9 feet 6.3 inches wide. The whole train-set weighs 385 tonnes (379 long tons or 424 short tons). The Sud-Est was originally designed to run at a speed of 270 km/h (168 mph), but now most have been upgraded to a 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed. The few who still have the 'lower' top speed run the shorter distance lines. This was SNCF saving itself some money.

TGV Train à Grande Vitesse SNCF TGV Sud-Est

Another shot of the original Sud-Est's orange livery!

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