The TGV La Poste were dedicated trainsets for high-speed freight and mail transportation by French railway company SNCF on behalf of the French postal carrier La Poste. The top speed of this TGV Sud-Est derivate was 270 km/h (168 mph), making them the fastest freight trains in the world.[citation needed] They were withdrawn in 2015.[1]

TGV La Poste
TGV Sud-Est Postal - Bifurcation de Crisenoy.JPG
TGV La Poste trainset
In service1984- 27 June 2015[1]
Family nameTGV
Number built2+12 (new) + 1 (converted)
Number preserved3 + 12 spare set
Formation10 cars
(2 power cars, 8 postal cars)
Operator(s)SNCF for La Poste
Train length200 m
Width2.904 m (9 ft 6.3 in)
Maximum speed270 km/h (168 mph)
Power output6,800 kW (9,100 hp) @ 25 kV
Electric system(s)25 kV AC
1500 V DC
Current collection methodPantograph
Safety system(s)TVM-300, KVB
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge


The trainsets were built by Alstom between 1978–1986. These TGV units are essentially TGV Sud-Est trainsets that are modified for transporting mail. 5 half-trainsets were built, numbered 1-5. A further two, numbered 6 and 7, were converted from former TGV-SE trainset no. 38. Each half-trainset consisted of a power car and four intermediate-trailers.[citation needed]

In 2009, La Poste reduced services from 8 to 6 daily round trips.[2]

On 21 March 2012 a demonstration freight train ran to London-St Pancras,[3] but there was no follow-up.

In mid-2015, La Poste ended TGV postal services, shifting mail services to swap bodies instead as part of a major logistics restructuring and expansion which the trainsets were not capable of handling.[1][4] Additionally, the demand for fast overnight mail services has been decreasing in recent years. The final service was on 27 June 2015 between Cavaillon (Marseilles) and Charolais (Paris).[1] La Poste originally was seeking a buyer for the fleet,[1] however in December 2016 three trainsets were dismantled by SME (Société Métallurgique d'Épernay)[5] leaving only a half spare trainset left.

Fleet detailsEdit

Class Number in service Year built Operator Current units Notes
Series 923000 2.5 (5 half-sets) 1981 La Poste P1-P5
1 (2 half-sets) 1984 P6-P7 Rebuilt from SNCF TGV Sud-Est passenger trainset no. 38

See alsoEdit

  • British Rail Class 325, 161 km/h (100 mph) postal EMUs used in Britain
  • ETR 500, in freight operation since October, 2018. Maximum speed is 300 km/h, average speed is 180 km/h.


  1. ^ a b c d e Barrow, Keith (29 June 2015). "Last post for French high-speed freight as postal TGVs bow out". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  2. ^ "TGV: La Poste supprime un quart des TGV postaux". Passion - Trains (in French). 24 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Demonstration high speed freight train links Lyon and London". Railway Gazette International. 21 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Swap bodies to carry mail by rail". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  5. ^ Rapport de présentation 'Prestations de démantèlement de rames Tgv postal'. G Chan Liat (in French). 3 September 2016

Further readingEdit

  • Perren, Brian (15–28 February 1995). Kelly, Peter (ed.). "Speeding La Poste". RAIL. No. 246. pp. 36–37. ISSN 0953-4563.