Friday, June 15, 2012

Trains at the Gare du Nord

Here are some trains I saw at the Gare du Nord in Paris, France. Most of the platforms are accessible without any tickets or security checks, which I found a bit odd. The Eurostar platforms are glassed off and you must go through significant security to gain access to the trains. I'll get into that in another post. The local RER trains require a ticket to access those platforms.

SNCF is the French state railway system. They operate numerous trains, including the TGV high-speed long distance train and local trains under the banner of SNCF Proximités. One of the local train brands is the TER, for Transport Express Régional. I spotted a couple of TER trainsets at the Gare du Nord.
TER 430 in Paris

These are multiple-unit trains made by Bombardier. I can't figure out if these are diesel or electric or both. TER operates several different types. I remember seeing a TER train flashing by at one of the castles we were visiting (Chenonceau).
TER 428 in Paris

This ugly duckling was at the head of a train. SNCF 116043 is a "class BB 16000" electric locomotive. It operates on 25 kV power, and 62 of these were built between 1958 and 1963. This locomotive has more tractive effort than a GP38-2.
SNCF 116043 in Paris

I think this was another locomotive-hauled train. I did not walk down any of the platforms so I don't know what was at the other end. Maybe another "ugly duckling"?
SNCF train in Paris

Of course, there were TGV trains in the Gare du Nord as well. This one is a little different than the TGV sets I showed at the Gare de l'Est.
TGV trainset in Gare du Nord in Paris

Set 3226 is a British Rail Class 373 train. It was built by GEC-Alsthom for Channel Tunnel operation between London, Paris and Brussels and the series is called "Three Capitals". I don't believe these SNCF-owned trainsets actually go through the Channel Tunnel any more.

Here's a Thalys high-speed train.
Thalys TGV trainset in Gare du Nord in Paris

Extra: The VIA Rail Renaissance cars were originally intended for the "Nightstar" cross-channel service. The intention of Nightstar was to provide sleeper service between Paris or Brussels and English cities north of London. For several reasons, mostly due to the privatization of Britain's rail network and the cancellation of regional Eurostar services, they never operated and were put in storage before being purchased by VIA Rail.

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