- With the opening on 15 December 2013 of the direct high-speed line linking Paris (France) and Barcelona (Spain), Alstom's high-speed (HS)1 trains have now crossed their 16th border2. Alstom is the only rail manufacturer to have built more than 1,100 HS crossborder trains, in service in 18 different countries.
The TGV Duplex and AVE S100 trains that will travel on the Paris-Barcelona line have all been designed and produced by Alstom. The Duplex very high-speed train, with the highest transport capacity on the market, is operated by French national rail operator, SNCF. The AVE-S100, a single deck VHS train, operated by Spanish national rail operator, Renfe, was delivered about 20 years ago. Alstom has modernised the AVE S100s, adding about 15 years to their lifespan. They have been adapted by Alstom and then homologated to circulate on the French network.
In order for the French and Spanish trains to travel from one country to another, they must be interoperable. This means that they must adapt to a variety of power voltages, signalling equipment and technical specifications of interoperability (train, noise, tunnels, etc.) in line with European Union requirements. To this end, Alstom has equipped the TGV and AVE S100 with Atlas, its ERTMS3 solution which enables trains to share a unique signalling system through out all countries.
As of 12 December 2011, Pendolino Allegro trains run between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. These trains can operate on AC and DC lines and on different signaling systems of Russia and Finland. The tilting technology enables the train to pass the curves at a higher speed. Max speed of Pendolino Allegro in Russia is 200 km/h, in Finland 220 km/h.
Owing to this service, the traveling time between these cities has reduced from 5.5 to 3.5 hours. On the 20th of September this year, the train carried the millionth passenger. For the 3 years of operation the Allegro trains carried over 1,1 million passengers, and this number is growing. In 2011 there were 305 thousand people on the train, in 2012 – around 358 people, and the expected number of passengers in 2013 is around 450 thousand passengers.