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Paris, January 2015

So, the goal was to see the TGV La Poste. I'd also been warned.. it'd be dark. Well, it was. Pitch-black. I got to Maisons Alfort-Alfortville early on two mornings and saw the TGV La Poste (two, on one morning) pass. It was too dark to get a shot with the equipment I had. Another morning, I hung around the east end of the Gare De Lyon yards. The result is as follows.

DSC05214 DSC05215 DSC05216

That, my friends, is the TGV La Poste. I then proceeded to scale the yard on foot, trying to find where the train stopped. It was nowhere to be seen... I have no idea what shed it rolled in to, but it is not visible from any bridge, road or platform.

The land of the TGV

I had seriously underestimated the sheer quantity of TGV rollingstock in France. The variety, too, was much grander than I had expected. My first model train was a Lima HO TGV in orange and grey and it was good to see that this model was still running... although somewhat refurbished.

Anyway, whilst scaling the yards for the yellow one... I took photos to make sure that my entire trip wasn't going to end in a puddle of tears.

DSC05205 DSC05218 DSC05219

DSC05221 DSC05222 DSC05225 DSC05226 DSC05227

DSC05224 DSC05229 DSC05235

DSC05231 DSC05232 DSC05233 DSC05238 DSC05241

DSC05237 DSC05242 DSC05243 time it'll be summer... it'll be southern France... it'll be at the beach ... and the TGV La Poste will have been discontinued and chopped up.


France: TGV La Poste

It's off to Europe for christmas and I intend on hunting down the odd train. The first on the research list is reminiscent of Dr Yellow from Japan: TGV La Poste. This service is an express freight EMU (not unlike the M250 of Sagawa Transport) for the French Postal Service based on the TGV series.

Source: Special TGV La Poste "Operation Pieces jaunes" Blois - Tarbes. [Author: LM]

I'm going to use this page as a thinking-out-loud scratchpad to record the information I'm able to obtain. The goal is to grab a shot of it in action down the line and then one (at least) in the depot near Gare De Lyon in Paris.

NOTE: It seems this effort will be futile... the sun won't rise until around 8am and the train is due to run only during the dark-hours. this link has the timings for 2015.

Web References


From all of the above data, I've managed to scrape together the following timetable of the services. From the links, you can tell that this data is old... really old. I am under the impression that the service will be wound-down in 2015, but hope that one or two of the services below will be running in January.

There's a double-up on times around Macon for most of the services. It seems that the train arrives at Macon-Loché, heads in to Macon-ville and then back out on it's way via Macon-Loché once more.

TGV La Poste 6990 6991 6992 6993 6994 6995 6995 6996 6997 6998
T = Tuesday M-F M-F T-S M-F T-F T-S T-S T-S M-F SAT
Paris-gare-de-Lyon (parc postal) 0137 2006 0748 2242 1806 0330 0518 0758 1932 0604
Bifur-de-Créteil   2016     1756     0748    
Yerres (bifur de Massy)   2017     1754     0746    
Bifur-de-Chevry-Cossigny (pointe Ouest du triangle de Coubert)   2024     1748     0740    
Bifur-de-Solers (pointe sud du triangle de Coubert)   2025     1747     0739    
Moisenay/Crisenoy 0103 2028 0719 2301 1744   0535 0736 1951 0526
Montereau 0045                 0504
Sens 0029 2044     1728     0720   0446
Laroche Migennes 0012                 0439
PRS Pasilly 2354 2102 0638 2338 1710   0616 0702 2028  
P.R.S n° 18 de Toutry (viaduc A 6)   2106     1705     0657    
Le-Creusot-Montceau-Montchanin 2328 2127 0554 0010 1645   0648 0637 2057  
P.R.S n° 24 de Cluny   2138     1635     0627    
Col-de-Bois-clair         1634     0626    
Viaduc-de-la-Roche         1633     0625    
Dijon-ville           0554
Chagny                   0251
Macon-Loché-T.G.V         1628 << 1622
Merges with 6624 @ 1600 from Lion-Part-Dieu
  0711 0620 2111  
Macon (parc postal) 2307 2149 0527 0032 1550
Macon-Loché-T.G.V   2144     1528
TGV Lyon St Exupéry (TGV)         1514   0739   2128  
Valence TGV         1446   0800   2202  
Bif Lapalud             0820   2135  
Pierrelatte         1416   0821   2224  
Avignon Fontcouverte         1352   0846   2244  
Cavaillon         1325 0901 0907 0324 2253

Plotting the path


This wasn't easy... I have no idea if the map to the left is the correct path... it seems that the train travels on the highspeed direct line in some places and then diverts to the local SNCF lines in others?

From what I can tell, the train travels further south than Cavaillon. But all timetables only reference it to there.

From the YouTube link at the start of this article, you can tell that the service seems to travel all the way to Nice? Or at least past Cavaillon?

If anyone can help, I'd love to get this map correct for anyone else wanting the information.

The plan...

Based on the timings above, it's going to be really hard to see this thing in daylight, moving, whilst being based in Paris. My best bet will probably be to head down to the RER stations 'Maisons-Alfort Alfortville' or 'Le Vert de Maisons' early in the morning and hope for the best. It'll be mid-winter, so lighting will be low.

I'll post again once executed.
Update: Paris, January 2015.