Thursday, January 5, 2017

Barcelona to Cologne

Today I'm going back to Stockholm and it will be a much faster way back, with high speed trains and a night train. First I'm taking TGV Barcelona-Paris, then Thalys Paris-Cologne where I'll stop over night.
 TGV Duplex is ready for departure in the morning.

 It is TGV Duplex 2N2 3UH dual voltage train with French and Spanish automatic control systems. There are totally 10 units of this type of train.
 They are manufactured 2013

 Second floor is used for passage through the entire train.
 8 stops
 The service is operated by Renfe-SNCF en Coopération - a joint venture company with 50% ownership by the two rail companies.

 More space for bags
 Passing over Maçanet-Massanes station
 Highway to France

 Today is a good weather and the windows are clean in this train

 Arriving to Figueres Vilafant
 AVE S100 from Toulouse to Barcelona.

 This part of the line is equipped with ERTMS. Due to the new signalling system, the freight trains are avoiding this line and using the one through Cerbere. Let's see how things will develop.
 Approaching Perthus tunnel, which is passing through the French/Spanish border. It's 8,3km long.
 After the tunnel we are in France
 Due to the difference in track side operations in Spain in France, there is a flying junction located on the French town of Tresserre that allows trains to switch traffic side, from right to left.

 First stop in France - Perpignan

 The line here is really close to the sea

 On both sides of the train there is water

 Passing by Cathédrale Saint-Just et Saint-Pasteur in Narbonne
 Z 27500
 BB 27000, Alstom Prima locomotive from 2002.


 Colombiers station, not in use since 2012
 River L'Orb and Cathédrale Saint Nazaire in Beziers.

 Passing next to the sea again on a strait from Cap d'Agde to Sete.

 Meeting with another TGV
 The port of Sete has ferries to Morocco.

 Arriving to Montpellier

 BB 69200

 Attaching here to the new high speed line Contournement Nîmes – Montpellier opening during 2017.

 The line towards Avignon and Marseille.
 TGV Brussels-Montpellier.
 Attaching here LGV Méditerranée
 Our train has to wait for a passing TGV Marseille-Paris.
 French automatic control system TVM (Transmission Voie-Machine) has same block marker signs as ERTMS.
 Rhône river

 The last stop before Paris is Valence TGV station

 Futuristic station of Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry created by Santiago Calatrava (same architect that made Liege Guillemins). Really few trains stops here, we are passing it with 300km/h
 The climate is rapidly changing as we travel north with a speed of 300km/h

 Approaching Paris

 Passengers are literally rushing out of the train. We are delayed, and it is Paris.
 The cleaning staff are ready to clean the train before next departure.

 Gare de Lyon
 After a short ride with RER train (only 2 stops) I'm at Gare de Nord.
 BB 22200. While in south of France I could see a similar one BB 7200, they are of no use here since they only support 1,5kV DC. BB 22200 is supporting both 1,5kV DC and 25kV 50Hz.
 TGV Sud-Est series 23000 with Carmillon livery
 TGV Réseau Series 38000 triple-voltage for low cost Izy service to Brussels and BB 15000 (25kV 50Hz version).
 Next train is Thalys for Cologne
 Thalys 4537 (TGV Reseau Series 38000 triple-voltage) and Thalys 4322 (TGV PBKA Series 48000 quadri-current)
 3 hours later in Köln Hbf

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