On Jan. 7, the prototype of the Alstom AGV (Automotrice Grande Vitesse) arrived in Italy to undergo a series of tests that will enable operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV) to run its AGV fleet on the Italian network beginning in 2011. Alstom will begin speed runs on Jan. 14 and will also carry out tests to validate and approve signaling and safety equipment prior to approving the AGV series for NTV.
The AGV, Alstom's fourth generation high-speed train, will cover over 60,000 km on the Italian rail network between January and July 2010. The prototype will run initially on the conventional Rome-Florence line, then on a portion of the high-speed Rome-Naples line, and finally on the "direttissima" between Rome and Florence. During the acceleration tests, it will achieve a maximum speed of 335 km/h.
The new series of tests follows those carried out during the past two years at the rail test center in Velim, Czech Republic, and on the East European high-speed line (France). The prototype has already been operating for nine and a half months and has covered nearly 55,000 km.
In parallel with these tests, Alstom is continuing with the manufacture of 25 trainsets ordered by NTV. The first trainset will leave the Alsom factories in Autumn 2010, and will also embark on a series of tests on the Italian rail network, completing the certification process.
NTV awarded Alstom a €650 million order for 25 new generation high-speed AGV trainsets. The contract also covers the maintenance of the trains for a period of 30 years and includes an option for 10 more trainsets.
The AGV has been designed under the latest European interoperability standards, and meets European and Italian environmental and safety standards. Its traction system, which enables the AGV to travel at commercial speeds of up to 360 km/h, played a central role in the performance of the train that set the new world rail speed record of 574.8 km/h on April 3, 2007.