The French railroad SNCF purchased the "Train à Grande Vitesse Paris - Ostfrankreich Südwestdeutschland" (TGV POS) for high speed service between Paris, Eastern France (Strasbourg), and Southern Germany. The core of the TGV POS was initially the new construction of the high speed route, which is planned to connect Strasbourg better with Paris. A trip of four hours was simply no longer tolerable if the railroad was to compete effectively with people driving cars. The new route with a maximum speed of 350 km/h / 218.75 mph was planned to be 430 kilometers / 269 miles long and also make connections to Nancy, Reims, Luxembourg, and Basle. The TGV Est trains were planned to travel at 350 km/h / 218.75 mph. On May 9, 2000, the DB AG and the SNCF agreed on standardization of cross-border cars and powered units, routes, and signals. Due to the short time plan and several disagreements there was no common high speed train. Instead, a mixed operation of ICE and TGV was planned. Both trains had to pass a great many test runs in the two countries in order to receive permission for operation.
The TGV POS is not really a generation of cars and powered units that has been developed totally from scratch. The TGV POS is more a mix of new powered end cars and intermediate cars from the TGV Réseau. The new powered end cars are mechanically very similar to those of the TGV Thalys PBKA (Paris - Brussels - Cologne / Amsterdam). The electrical equipment for three current systems (25 kilovolts / 50 Hertz as well as 1.5 kilovolts DC in France, 15 kilovolts / 16-2/3 Hertz in Germany and Switzerland) is being done for the first time using asynchronous technology with IGBT-controlled three-phase asynchronous motors. Two pantographs are located on the roof. The one with a contact strip 1,650 mm / 64-15/16" wide is used for 25 kilovolts / 50 Hertz in France and in Switzerland; the second one with a contact strip 1,950 mm / 76-3/4" wide and metallic plated carbon contact strips is used in Germany. In France the 1,950 mm / 76-3/4" pantographs on both powered end cars must be up under the 1.5 kilovolt catenary due to the high level of current. The intermediate cars come from the TGV Réseau. However, they were extensively modernized and brought up to the laterst technical standard at the workshops in Bischheim; they therefore differ strikingly from the other generations of TGV trains. A train set consists of two powered end cars and eight intermediate cars. The intermediate cars are connected to each other by means of Jakobs trucks and thereby form an operational unit. Five intermediate cars (one with a bar) are intended for passengers in 2nd class and three intermediate cars are for 1st class. The approximately 200 meter / 656 foot TGV POS has seating for 360 passengers. Nineteen units have been purchased with the road numbers 4401 to 4419, whereby road number 4406 was sold recently to the SBB. In France the trains are allowed to run at a maximum speed of 320 km/h / 200 mph; in Germany the maximum speed allowed on the high speed routes is 250 km/h / 156 mph.
TGV road number 4402 is a special train. Its powered end cars along with three modified intermediate cars set a new, unbelievable speed record for rail vehicles as World Record Train V150 at noon on April 3, 2007 on the route LGV Est. In 13 minutes this train accelerated to 574.8 km/h / 359.25 mph. The two powered end cars have kept their striking world record lettering, which immediately draws attention to the attempted speed. They can be seen occasionally in the Swabian part of Germany.