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TGV La Poste - The high speed postal service (R.I.P)

JR East

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JR East

Let me share with you some of the picture I shot on Dec, 29th, 2014 from a bridge over the Bercy yard / Charolais depot


Here is it on Google Maps




My son, as 'engineer' started his training at this depot, moving TGV from Gare de Lyon to the depot once they are ready for the daily service. He was aware that the TGV La Poste service was close to be discontinued. Indeed it was discontinued on June 25th, 2015 after more than 30 years. 


These TGV  were running every day, carrying letters and small parcels at 270 km/h. The serice started on October 1st, 1984 from Paris to Lyon-Montrochet with a stop at Mâcon-Loché (2 return journeys per day). On November 7th, 1994, two additional return journeys were added, from Paris to Cavaillon with a stop at Mâcon-Loché. 


They were branded "La Poste", the French postal service. They were also the property of La Poste. The trainset is not a simple TGV without seats in ... it has been designed to serve this freight needs, meaning with large doors to load and unload the postal services containers. 


Here are some shots of these incredible TGVs















Lots of different generations of TGV together under the same roof at the depot






















With a commuter train passing by











Edited by JR East
Correction of info.
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JR East
2 minutes ago, roadstar_na6 said:

I wonder what happened to it after it was retired



La Poste tried to sell them if I don"t mind but those sets were so specific with their dedicated fittings I'm not sure they had a second life as "trains d’équilibre du territoire" replacing the "Corail cars" on regional lines (max 160 km/h).Quite difficult to find information on that. According to a French forum, they were scrapped (https://www.cheminots.net/topic/35558-tgv-postal/page/8/

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Meanwhile in China a new freight EMU for 350km/h operation just rolled out (at the end of last year, actually). News and photo here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/2020-12/24/c_1126900141.htm

There are also large doors, and it even have windows, unlike TGV.

It's not the first time that highspeed EMUs are used for cargo in China. If I remember correctly, during the testing stage of some high speed lines, loads of rice have been used to simulate passenger weight on the trains. Line inspection trains each morning carried express parcels, and during the low ridership pandemic era, some passenger service also have parcels placed on designated coaches. these parcels tend to go on the seats and the large baggage racks at the end of the coaches.

That being said, loading and unloading is still a major problem. I don't know how TGVs are loaded, but there's no special facilities for loading cargo onto EMUs in China now, and the new high speed designated passenger stations are all designed without the ability to load even baggage.

The Chinese freight EMU is still in the early testing and probably haven't received an official classification. Work in progress at least.

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