Class 4300/TGV-PBKA "Thalys"

Picture from the Picture Gallery, click here for the caption.

Number series: 4331-4332
Number built: 17
Number in service for NS-Internationaal: 2 (January 2009)
Introduced: 1996-1997
Axle arrangement: Bo'Bo'+2'+2'+2'+2'+2'+2'+2'+2'+2'+Bo'Bo'
Voltage systems: 1500V DC, 3000V DC, 15kV 16.7Hz, 25kV 50Hz
Continuous power rating: 3680kW (1500V) - 8800kW (25kV)
Maximum speed: 300km/h (160km/h in The Netherlands)
Weight in working order: 388 tonnes
Length: 200.19m
Motors: Holec
Builders: Alsthom, De Dietrich(F), ACEC Transport and Bombardier Eurorail(B)
Passenger seating: 120 first (Comfort 1), 257 second class (Comfort 2)

Since May 1996 high-speed trains of the TGV type operate between Paris and Amsterdam, using the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. Initially for this service 10 triple-voltage TGV-Réseau trainsets were adapted. These trainsets got a different red and grey livery, and operate since then under the name "Thalys". In December 1997 the "Thalys" service was extended between Brussels and Cologne in Germany, which made it necessary to have trainsets also suitable for the overhead wire voltage in Germany: 15kV 16.7Hz. In total 17 of these so-called TGV-PBKA trainsets were ordered, of which the Dutch Railways got two. The French Railways got 6, Belgian Railways got 7 and the German Railways 2, although these last are operated and serviced by the Belgian Railways.
The motor cars of the TGV-PBKA have a look that differs quite a lot from the rest of the TGV classes Sud-Est, Atlantique and Réseau. The motor cars are very similar though to the motor cars of the double-deck TGV sets. Trains consist of two such motor cars and eight trailers in between. The maximum speed of the trains is 300km/h, which they reach every day on the (now completed) high-speed line between Brussels and Paris. Until the new high-speed line in The Netherlands is finished, they just operate at a maximum of 160km/h on Dutch tracks.
Since the introduction in 1996, five return trips between Amsterdam and Paris are made every day (6 on some days). For these services both the TGV-PBA (rebuilt Réseau) and TGV-PBKA trainsets are used. Travelling time is now some four and a half hours, compared to over 6 hours before the introduction of the Thalys services. With the new high-speed line in The Netherlands - to be completed in 2008 - travel times will be close to 3 hours.