SNCF TGV Iris 320

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Iris 320 with pantograph monitoring dome on top.

Iris 320 is a modified TGV train operated by SNCF International as a dedicated track recording train for high-speed railways.[1] The train can run at 320 kilometres-per-hour and consists of two power cars and eight trailer coaches, providing a 160-metre long laboratory.[1] It was converted from former SNCF TGV Réseau passenger train number 4530.

The train primarily monitors the whole of the French high-speed LGV network every 15 days.[2] In addition it surveys other main lines in France operating at above 160 km/h[2] and the HSL 1 high-speed line in Belgium for Infrabel.

Once every two months, Iris 320 takes a survey of the Channel Tunnel for Eurotunnel (since December 2010) and of High Speed 1 for Network Rail (CTRL) in the United Kingdom (since 4/5 May 2011).[3] The cross-channel trips are diesel-hauled by Eurotunnel Class 0001 locomotives and undertaken at 100 km/h.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b Foeillet, Guillaume (2008-03-17). "The IRIS 320 High speed Measurement Train set" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b University of Birmingham (2008-11-04). D4.4.1 – Rail Inspection Technologies (PDF) (Report). Innotrack. p. 20. Retrieved 2011-06-07. SNCF ... “IRIS 320” car that can achieve speeds up to 320 km/h. These inspections are performed every 15 days to detect visual surface defects over high speed lines as well as high standard main line (speed ≥ 160 km/h). 
  3. ^ Milner, Chris (2011-06-02). "TGV in secret visit to UK". The Railway Magazine. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "United Kingdom: Track Geometry Checks". SNCF International. Retrieved 2011-06-07. SNCF International … with Eurotunnel and .. Network-Rail (CTRL) are … carrying out Eurotunnel monitoring runs using the Iris 320 train and extending them as far as London St Pancras. 
  5. ^ "Maintenance". Inspecting the infrastructure at 100 km/h (PDF). Annual Report (Report). Eurotunnel Group. 2010. p. 24. Retrieved 2011-06-07. IRIS 320 measuring train … since December 2010, … inspecting the Channel Tunnel, pulled by a Eurotunnel diesel locomotive at 100 km/h … every two months 

External links[edit]

Media related to Iris 320 at Wikimedia Commons