posted on 23rd Nov 2021 10:22
On 17 November 2021, Alstom’s Avelia Horizon very high-speed train received the prestigious German Design Award, the official design prize presented by the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung) and the German Ministry for Economics and Technology. The award recognized the Avelia Horizon’s successful marriage of advanced engineering and strong sustainability focus with inspiring organic contours and an interior design that delivers a truly exceptional passenger experience.
The Avelia Horizon, a version called TGV M (or „TGV of the Future“) for SNCF, has a top operating speed of 350 km/h and can carry up to 740 passengers. The joint project of Alstom and SNCF was started in September 2016 and it was divided into three phases: setting the parameters by the end of 2017, designing, building and authorisation the new TGV for about four years, and starting commercial service in mid-2022.
There has been a shift in the latter point as it is now said that the first trains are due to enter service in 2024. In total, 100 TGV M units have been ordered in July 2018. The prototype train will be tested at the VUZ Velim test centre in 2022.
For the project, Alstom strove to emphasise a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of the rail manufacturer’s first very high-speed trains which leveraged the use of large panoramic windscreens to express the essence of high-speed rail travel. To communicate this, designers created, or enhanced, a series of unique design elements such as implementing aerodynamic improvements to the nose to reinforce the train’s sensation of velocity and closely merging the front windscreen and lateral windows to reinforce an elegant, aerodynamic essence. Lengthening the longitudinal stretch of the headlights also helped further evoke feelings of acceleration and momentum.
Inside, equal attention was given to the passenger experience. All windows were enlarged to offer an even closer connection to the exterior landscape while the choice of smooth shapes and plush material for interior fixtures seeks to create an embracing atmosphere of comfort that leaves passengers with a sensation of inclusivity and safety.
Laurent Jarsalé, Vice-President, Mainline Platform, Alstom, said: „Perhaps equally important to receiving the design award was the close attention put on meeting sustainability and efficiency goals. The Avelia Horizon addresses ambitious goals in terms of competitiveness of the rail sector and profitability: maintenance costs will be more than 30% lower and thanks to its aerodynamic design and a more efficient traction drive, Avelia Horizon will consume 20% less energy compared to the previous generation and achieve the lowest total cost of ownership per seat on the market for a train of its type.“