Published: 03:22PM Jun 2nd, 2011
By: Chris Milner

French test train runs on HS1


The TGV at Ashford International station. Picture: ALAN CROTTY

A French ‘Train Grande Vitesse’ in the form of SNCF test train IRIS 320 became the first of its class to run in Britain on the night of May 4/5.

The unit was towed by Eurotunnel Krupp locos Nos. 3 and 4. Arriving on HS1 at Cheriton at about 23.40, the train ran all the way to London St Pancras on the up line and back on the down line, carrying out measurements.

Only the crew and signallers knew about it in advance and this photo of the historic run – taken in the middle of the night on a Canon camera with a setting of some 51,200 ISO as the train passed through Ashford International – is thought to be an exclusive.

The TGV was booked to return to France in the early hours of May 5.

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