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Specific Item Information: Won 2007 FFMF Model of the Year
Model Information: Kato Introduced it first TGV model in 1983, the 10-091 6-Unit set.
The box sets consist of either a push-pull engine pair with transition coaches and standard coaches and the "add-on" sets consist of standard coaches only. With the push-pull sets, typically one engine is powered and one is a dummy. Coupler types vary from set to set and some sets even carry different couplers for different parts of the train. Newer sets have removable noses for prototypically accurate "double" trains. All the sets contain movable pantographs but none are operating in the sense they cannot draw power to the engine from catenary wires.
The Kato model has evolved over the years. The early engines were typical of 90's vintage kato mechanisms and run smoothly and quietly. They can be converted to DCC but only with shell and decoder modifications. The LED's in particular can be a challenge to wire properly. Later engines sport Kato's "shock-absorber" design for even quieter operation and support full DCC readiness through a NEM 651 6-pin decoder socket.
A TGV test train set the record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on 3 April 2007. In mid-2011, scheduled TGV trains operated at the highest speeds in conventional train service in the world, regularly reaching 320 km/h (200 mph) on the LGV Est, LGV Rhin-Rhône, and LGV Méditerranée. Trains running from Paris to Marseille and Strasbourg can also reach 350 km/h (220 mph). According to Railway Gazette International reports in 2007, the world's fastest scheduled rail journey was a start-to-stop average speed of 279.4 km/h (173.6 mph) between the Gare de Champagne-Ardenne and Gare de Lorraine on the LGV Est, not surpassed until Railway Gazette International's 2013 reported average of 283.7 km/h (176.3 mph) express service on the Shijiazhuang to Zhengzhou segment of China's Shijiazhuang–Wuhan high-speed railway.
The commercial success of the first LGV, the LGV Sud-Est, led to an expansion of the network to the south (LGV Rhône-Alpes, LGV Méditerranée, Contournement Nîmes – Montpellier), and new lines in the west (LGV Atlantique, LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire and LGV Sud Europe Atlantique), north (LGV Nord and LGV Interconnexion Est), and east (LGV Est). Eager to emulate the TGV's success, neighbouring countries Italy, Spain, and Germany developed their own high-speed rail services. The TGV system itself extends to neighbouring countries, either directly (Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland) or through TGV-derivative networks linking France to Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands (Thalys), as well as France and Belgium to the United Kingdom (Eurostar). Several future lines are planned, including extensions within France and to surrounding countries. Cities such as Tours have become part of a "TGV commuter belt" around Paris. In 2007, the SNCF generated profits of €1.1 billion (approximately US$1.75 billion, £875 million) driven largely by higher margins on the TGV network.
Since 1990, Lemke has been the general importer for Kato's products in Germany and Europe. Not only American and Japanese models were imported, but also models for the German and European market were produced under the name 'Kato Lemke'.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-06-12 03:52:25. Last edited by gdm on 2018-04-15 17:54:07
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