A foreign visitor

Utrainia's relationship with Japanese railway technology is well known, but recently a new face has been sighted in Utrainia:

What is this splash of orange with the super-hero mask you ask?

It sure doesn't look very Japanese. Nope, this is the TGV: Train à Grande Vitesse. French technology (from 1981!) is now rolling the rails in Utrainia. (The platform at Raparapa might need some yellow safety striping installed.)

Utrainia Rail acquired this a few months ago for a song, through some astute monitoring of the second hand market.

I'm not sure exactly when this set was manufactured, but the Kato model number is S14701 which dates it. The only info I can find is "late 1980s", so this set is probably nearly as old as me.

So why the TGV? Well I love high speed passenger trains, especially good looking iconic ones, and few trains could be more iconic than the poster-child of high speed rail during the 80s and 90s. Pretty sure I had one of these on my wall as a kid.

It required a bit of TLC to get it running again, which will be the focus of a future article, but for now, lets just enjoy the sight of an orange blur streaking through the Utrainia landscape.

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Sunday, Feb 15 2015, 2:38 AM John Kesl (from John) says...
Hi,<br /> Just thought I'd share something I know a little about. Photography. If you would like for the trails of lights to follow in the direction of travel while using flash, look for in your cameras menus "2nd Curtain Sync" this will fire the flash at the end of exposure, allowing for the light trails from the vehicle to follow rather than lead the vehicle being photographed. (Just thought I'd give my 2 cents only cause it would make the shot of the TGV approaching rather epic :-) )<br /> Thank you for your lovely site and for sharing your knowledge.<br /> John Kesl - fellow train enthusinut.<br /> <br /> <br />
Wednesday, May 6 2020, 5:12 PM Barry says...
I bought a Kato TGV setup in europe in 1988. It was right after I actually took the train from Paris to Geneva, on my way to Zermatt. I was so impressed I wanted a model of it, so I bought the KATO. I never got around to building a display case for it. Last year, I took up Model Railroading where we winter in Arizona, and started with G Scale. When I am back home there is no where I canplay with trains so I am starting to build up an 4 x 8 N Scale layout. I Found the TGV and an OSS named train the "Mozart", and a DBB named express all from the 1980's. Eventually they will all get DCC'd and put on the layout. So I can confirm that your TGV was sold in toy/hobby stores in Germany in the Fall of 1988. Enjoy the train. Riding on the 1:1 scale is a memory I will treasure for a very long time.