The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Railway electrification system
A railway electrification system supplies electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply. Electric railways use electric locomotives to haul passengers or freight in separate cars or electric multiple units, passenger cars with their own motors. Electricity is generated in large and efficient generating stations, transmitted to the railway network and distributed to the trains; some electric railways have their own dedicated generating stations and transmission lines but most purchase power from an electric utility. The railway provides its own distribution lines and transformers. Power is supplied to moving trains with a continuous conductor running along the track that takes one of two forms: overhead line, suspended from poles or towers along the track or from structure or tunnel ceilings. Both overhead wire and third-rail systems use the running rails as the return conductor but some systems use a separate fourth rail for this purpose. In comparison to the principal alternative, the diesel engine, electric railways offer better energy efficiency, lower emissions and lower operating costs.
Electric locomotives are usually quieter, more powerful, more responsive and reliable than diesels. They have an important advantage in tunnels and urban areas; some electric traction systems provide regenerative braking that turns the train's kinetic energy back into electricity and returns it to the supply system to be used by other trains or the general utility grid. While diesel locomotives burn petroleum, electricity can be generated from diverse sources including renewable energy. Disadvantages of electric traction include high capital costs that may be uneconomic on trafficked routes. Different regions may use different supply voltages and frequencies, complicating through service and requiring greater complexity of locomotive power; the limited clearances available under overhead lines may preclude efficient double-stack container service. Railway electrification has increased in the past decades, as of 2012, electrified tracks account for nearly one third of total tracks globally. Electrification systems are classified by three main parameters: Voltage Current Direct current Alternating current Frequency Contact system Third rail Fourth rail Overhead lines Overhead lines plus linear motor Four rail system Five rail systemSelection of an electrification system is based on economics of energy supply and capital cost compared to the revenue obtained for freight and passenger traffic.
Different systems are used for intercity areas. Six of the most used voltages have been selected for European and international standardisation; some of these are independent of the contact system used, so that, for example, 750 V DC may be used with either third rail or overhead lines. There are many other voltage systems used for railway electrification systems around the world, the list of railway electrification systems covers both standard voltage and non-standard voltage systems; the permissible range of voltages allowed for the standardised voltages is as stated in standards BS EN 50163 and IEC 60850. These take into account the number of trains drawing their distance from the substation. Increasing availability of high-voltage semiconductors may allow the use of higher and more efficient DC voltages that heretofore have only been practical with AC. 1,500 V DC is used in Japan, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, France, New Zealand, the United States. In Slovakia, there are two narrow-gauge lines in the High Tatras.
In the Netherlands it is used on the main system, alongside 25 kV on the HSL-Zuid and Betuwelijn, 3000 V south of Maastricht. In Portugal, it is used in Denmark on the suburban S-train system. In the United Kingdom, 1,500 V DC was used in 1954 for the Woodhead trans-Pennine route; the system was used for suburban electrification in East London and Manchester, now converted to 25 kV AC. It is now only used for the Wear Metro. In India, 1,500 V DC was the first electrification system launched in 1925 in Mumbai area. Between 2012-2016, the electrification was converted to 25 kV 50 Hz AC, the countrywide system. 3 kV DC is used in Belgium, Spain, the northern Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, former Soviet Union countries and the Netherlands. It was used by the Milwaukee Road from Harlowton, Montana to Seattle-Tacoma, across the Continental Divide and including extensive branch and loop lines in Montana, by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in the United States, the Kolkata suburban railway in India, before it was converted to 25 kV 50 Hz AC. DC volt
Rail freight transport
Rail freight transport is the use of railroads and trains to transport cargo as opposed to human passengers. A freight train or goods train is a group of freight cars or goods wagons hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, transporting cargo all or some of the way between the shipper and the intended destination as part of the logistics chain. Trains may haul bulk material, intermodal containers, general freight or specialized freight in purpose-designed cars. Rail freight practices and economics vary by region; when considered in terms of ton-miles or tonne-kilometers hauled per unit of energy consumed, rail transport can be more efficient than other means of transportation. Maximum economies are realized with bulk commodities when hauled over long distances. However, shipment by rail is not as flexible as by the highway, which has resulted in much freight being hauled by truck over long distances. Moving goods by rail involves transshipment costs when the shipper or receiver lack direct rail access.
These costs may exceed that of operating the train itself, a factor that practices such as containerization aim to minimize. Traditionally, large shippers build factories and warehouses near rail lines and have a section of track on their property called a siding where goods are loaded onto or unloaded from rail cars. Other shippers have their goods hauled by truck to or from a goods station. Smaller locomotives transfer the rail cars from the sidings and goods stations to a classification yard, where each car is coupled to one of several long-distance trains being assembled there, depending on that car's destination; when long enough, or based on a schedule, each long-distance train is dispatched to another classification yard. At the next classification yard, cars are resorted; those that are destined for stations served by that yard are assigned to local trains for delivery. Others are reassembled into trains heading to classification yards closer to their final destination. A single car might be reclassified or switched in several yards before reaching its final destination, a process that made rail freight slow and increased costs.
Many freight rail operators are trying to reduce these costs by reducing or eliminating switching in classification yards through techniques such as unit trains and containerization. In many countries, railroads have been built to haul one commodity, such as coal or ore, from an inland point to a port. Rail freight uses many types of freight car; these include box cars or covered wagons for general merchandise, flat cars or flat wagons for heavy or bulky loads, well wagons or "low loader" wagons for transporting road vehicles. Most coal and aggregates are moved in hopper wagons or gondolas or open wagons that can be filled and discharged to enable efficient handling of the materials. A major disadvantage of rail freight is its lack of flexibility. In part for this reason, rail has lost much of the freight business to road transport. Many governments are now trying to encourage more freight onto trains, because of the environmental benefits that it would bring. Compared to road transport whісh employs the uѕе of trucks, rail transportation ensures thаt goods thаt соuld оtherwіѕе bе transported on а number of trucks are transported in а single shipment.
Thіѕ saves. In Europe many manufacturing towns developed before the railway. Many factories did not have direct rail access; this meant that freight had to be shipped through a goods station, sent by train and unloaded at another goods station for onward delivery to another factory. When lorries replaced horses it was economical and faster to make one movement by road. In the United States in the West and Mid-West towns developed with railway and factories had a direct rail connection. Despite the closure of many minor lines carload shipping from one company to another by rail remains common. Railroads were early users of automatic data processing equipment, starting at the turn of the twentieth century with punched cards and unit record equipment. Many rail systems have turned to computerized scheduling and optimization for trains which has reduced costs and helped add more train traffic to the rails. Freight railroads relationship with other modes of transportation varies widely. There is no interaction with airfreight, close cooperation with ocean-going freight and a competitive relationship with long distance trucking and barge transport.
Many businesses ship their products by rail if they are shipped long distance because it can be cheaper to ship in large quantities by rail than by truck. Freight trains are sometimes illegally boarded by individuals who do not have the money or the desire to travel a practice referred to as "hopping". Most hoppers stow away in boxcars. Bolder hoppers will catch a train "on the fly", that is, as it is moving, leading to occasional fatalities, some of which go unrecorded; the act of leaving a town or area, by hopping a freight train is sometimes referred to as "catching-out", as in catching a train out of town. Bulk cargo constitutes the majority of tonnage carried by most freight railroads. Bulk cargo is commodity cargo, transported unpackaged
High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, new lines in excess of 250 kilometres per hour and existing lines in excess of 200 kilometres per hour are considered to be high-speed, with some extending the definition to include lower speeds in areas for which these speeds still represent significant improvements; the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the first such system, began operations in Japan in 1964 and was known as the bullet train. High-speed trains operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on grade-separated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design. Many countries have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities, including Austria, China, France, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan. Only in Europe does HSR cross international borders.
China had 29,000 kilometres of HSR as of December 2018, accounting for two-thirds of the world's total. Multiple definitions for high-speed rail are in use worldwide; the European Union Directive 96/48/EC, Annex 1 defines high-speed rail in terms of: Infrastructure: track built specially for high-speed travel or specially upgraded for high-speed travel. Minimum Speed Limit: Minimum speed of 250 km/h on lines specially built for high speed and of about 200 km/h on existing lines which have been specially upgraded; this must apply to at least one section of the line. Rolling stock must be able to reach a speed of at least 200 km/h to be considered high speed. Operating conditions: Rolling stock must be designed alongside its infrastructure for complete compatibility and quality of service; the International Union of Railways identifies three categories of high-speed rail: Category I – New tracks specially constructed for high speeds, allowing a maximum running speed of at least 250 km/h. Category II – Existing tracks specially upgraded for high speeds, allowing a maximum running speed of at least 200 km/h.
Category III – Existing tracks specially upgraded for high speeds, allowing a maximum running speed of at least 200 km/h, but with some sections having a lower allowable speed. A third definition of high-speed and high-speed rail requires simultaneous fulfilment of the following two conditions: Maximum achievable running speed in excess of 200 km/h, or 250 km/h for high-speed, Average running speed across the corridor in excess of 150 km/h, or 200 km/h for high-speed; the UIC prefers to use "definitions" because they consider that there is no single standard definition of high-speed rail, nor standard usage of the terms. They make use of the European EC Directive 96/48, stating that high speed is a combination of all the elements which constitute the system: infrastructure, rolling stock and operating conditions; the International Union of Railways states that high-speed rail is a set of unique features, not a train travelling above a particular speed. Many conventionally hauled trains are able to reach 200 km/h in commercial service but are not considered to be high-speed trains.
These include the French SNCF Intercités and German DB IC. The criterion of 200 kilometres per hour is selected for several reasons. Standard signaling equipment is limited to speeds below 200 km/h with the traditional limits of 79 mph in the US, 160 km/h in Germany and 125 mph in Britain. Above those speeds positive train control or the European Train Control System becomes necessary or mandatory. National domestic standards may vary from the international ones. Only one HSR line has been permanently closed after being put into commercial service, the KTX Incheon International Airport to Seoul Line, due to a mix of issues, including poor ridership and track sharing. Railways were the first form of rapid land transportation and had an effective monopoly on long distance passenger traffic until the development of the motor car and airliners in the early-mid 20th century. Speed had always been an important factor for railroads and they tried to achieve higher speeds and decrease journey times. Rail transportation in the late 19th Century was not much slower than non-high-speed trains today and many railroads operated fast express trains which averaged speeds of around 100 km/h.
High-speed rail development began in Germany in 1899 when the Prussian state railway joined with ten electrical and engineering firms and electrified 72 km of military owned railway between Marienfelde and Zossen. The line used three-phase current at 45 Hz; the Van der Zypen & Charlier company of Deutz, Cologne built two railcars, one fitted with electrical equipment from Siemens-Halske, the second with equipment from Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft, that were tested on the Marienfelde–Zossen line during 1902 and 1903. On 23 October 1903, the S&H-equipped railcar achieved a speed of 206.7 km/h and on 27 October the AEG-equipped railcar achieved 210.2 km
The TGV is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the state-owned national rail operator. The SNCF started working on a high-speed rail network in 1966 and presented the project to President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who approved it. Designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas turbines, TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. In 1976 the SNCF ordered 87 high-speed trains from GEC-Alstom. Following the inaugural service between Paris and Lyon in 1981 on the LGV Sud-Est, the network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect major cities across France and in neighbouring countries on a combination of high-speed and conventional lines; the TGV network in France carries about 110 million passengers a year. Like the Shinkansen in Japan, the TGV has never experienced a fatal accident during its operational history; the high-speed tracks, maintained by SNCF Réseau, are subject to heavy regulation. Confronted with the fact that train drivers would not be able to see signals along the track-side when trains reach full speed, engineers developed the TVM technology, which would be exported worldwide.
It allows for a train engaging in an emergency braking to request within seconds all following trains to reduce their speed. The TVM safety mechanism enables TGVs using the same line to depart every three minutes. A TGV test train set the world record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h on 3 April 2007. Conventional TGV services operate up to 320 km/h on the LGV Est, LGV Rhin-Rhône and LGV Méditerranée. In 2007, the world's fastest scheduled rail journey was a start-to-stop average speed of 279.4 km/h between the Gare de Champagne-Ardenne and Gare de Lorraine on the LGV Est, not surpassed until the 2013 reported average of 283.7 km/h express service on the Shijiazhuang to Zhengzhou segment of China's Shijiazhuang–Wuhan high-speed railway. The TGV was conceived at the same period as other technological projects sponsored by the Government of France, including the Ariane 1 rocket and Concorde supersonic airliner; the commercial success of the first high-speed line led to a rapid development of services to the south, west and east.
Eager to emulate the TGV's success, neighbouring countries Italy and Germany developed their own high-speed rail services. The TGV system itself extends to neighbouring countries, either directly or through TGV-derivative networks linking France to Switzerland, to Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as to the United Kingdom. Several future lines are planned, including extensions to surrounding countries. Cities such as Tours and Le Mans have become part of a "TGV commuter belt" around Paris. A visitor attraction in itself, it stops at Disneyland Paris and in tourist cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence as well. Brest, Chambéry, Nice and Biarritz are reachable by TGVs running on a mix of LGVs and modernised lines. In 2007, the SNCF generated profits of €1.1 billion driven by higher margins on the TGV network. The idea of the TGV was first proposed in the 1960s, after Japan had begun construction of the Shinkansen in 1959. At the time the Government of France favoured new technology, exploring the production of hovercraft and the Aérotrain air-cushion vehicle.
The SNCF began researching high-speed trains on conventional tracks. In 1976, the administration agreed to fund the first line. By the mid-1990s, the trains were so popular that SNCF President Louis Gallois declared that the TGV was "the train that saved French railways", it was planned that the TGV standing for très grande vitesse or turbine grande vitesse, would be propelled by gas turbines, selected for their small size, good power-to-weight ratio and ability to deliver high power over an extended period. The first prototype, TGV 001, was the only gas-turbine TGV: following the increase in the price of oil during the 1973 energy crisis, gas turbines were deemed uneconomic and the project turned to electricity from overhead lines, generated by new nuclear power stations. TGV 001 was not a wasted prototype: its gas turbine was only one of its many new technologies for high-speed rail travel, it tested high-speed brakes, needed to dissipate the large amount of kinetic energy of a train at high speed, high-speed aerodynamics, signalling.
It was articulated, comprising two adjacent carriages sharing a bogie, allowing free yet controlled motion with respect to one another. It reached 318 km/h, its interior and exterior were styled by British-born designer Jack Cooper, whose work formed the basis of early TGV designs, including the distinctive nose shape of the first power cars. Changing the TGV to electric traction required a significant design overhaul; the first electric prototype, nick
Transport express régional
Transport express régional is the brand name used by the SNCF, the French national railway company, to denote rail service run by the regional councils of France their organised transport authorities. The network serves twenty French regions; every day, over 800,000 passengers are carried on 5,700 TER-branded trains. TER is an integral part of SNCF Proximités, a branch of the SNCF dealing with urban and regional passenger rail, along with Transilien, Intercités, Chemins de fer de Corse and Effia. SNCF established the TER system in 1984 to provide a framework for the management of regional passenger services. Since the end of the 1990s, it has been coordinated with the regional councils, who sign an agreement with SNCF on the designated routes, the number of connections, the fares and the service levels. TER services are subsidised by French taxpayers. On average, 72% of the cost is borne by the State and the regional councils, with the travellers paying only about 28% of the cost; this cost tends to increase over time because the regional councils have expanded the number of services.
The low profitability of the TER system is due to the way that the services are used by the travelling public, with commuter traffic in the morning and evening but significant under-utilisation during the rest of the day. In addition, passenger numbers are not high. TER trains consist of single or multiple-unit diesel, electric or dual-mode rail cars, as well as some Corail carriages used on intercity routes. Seven régions have been experimenting with the transfer of administration of the regional rail network since 1997: Alsace, the Centre-Val de Loire, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes and the Pays-de-la-Loire, since January 1999, Limousin. In 1998, the traffic increased to an average of 4.9% in these seven régions compared with 3.2% in other regions. A few other regions are in turn signing on conventions intermédiaires in order to prepare for the increasing decentralization of the network: in particular, Haute-Normandie in September 1997, Midi-Pyrénées and Burgundy November 1997, Picardy in January 1998, Lorraine in February 1998.
31 March 1994: The publication of the report Régions, SNCF: vers un renouveau du service public by the Haenel commission. 4 February 1995: The law of management and development of territory organized the transfer of responsibility of collective transportation in the interest of administrative regions. 19 December 1996: Signing of the first convention with the region of Rhône-Alpes. Several figures released by the regions: These figures do not take into account infrastructure expenses; the SNCF have designated ten TER services as trains touristiques. They are: The Chemins de fer de Corse: trains operated from Bastia and L'Île-Rousse to Ajaccio The Train des Merveilles: trains operated in the hills of Nice between the metropolis and Tende The Train des Gorges de l'Allier: trains operated between Langeac and Langogne; the Ligne de Saint Gervais – Vallorcine The Ligne de Cerdagne/train jaune: trains operated from Villefranche-de-Conflent and Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg The Autorail Espérance: gastronimical train between Bergerac and Sarlat The Chemin de fer du Blanc-Argent: services between Valençay and Salbris The Train des Alpes: trains operated between Marseille and Briançon and between Gap and Grenoble The Ligne des Hirondelles: between Dole and Saint-Claude The Ligne de la Côte Bleue: suburban services operated from Marseille to Miramas or Avignon TGV via the Blue Coast creeks.
SNCF TER - official website
Libourne is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department, it lies near Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. Libourne is located at the confluence of the Dordogne rivers. In 1270, Leybornia was founded as a bastide by Roger de Leybourne, an English seneschal of Gascony, under the authority of King Edward I of England, it suffered in the struggles of the French and English for the possession of Gironde in the 14th century, joined France in the 15th century. In December 1854 John Stuart Mill passed through Libourne, remarking "I stopped at Libourne as I intended & had a walk about it this morning quite the best thing there is the bridge of the Dordogne, the view from, fine"; the Gothic church, restored in the 19th century, has a stone spire 232 ft high. On the quay there is a machicolated clock-tower, a survival of the defensive walls of the 14th century; the town-house, containing a small museum and a library, is a quaint relic of the 16th century.
It is located by the main square, the Place Abel Surchamp, which hosts every weekend one of the largest fresh food market in the region. There is a statue of Élie, duc Decazes, born in the region. Eugène Atget, French photographer, "Creator and Purveyor of a Collection of Photographic Views of Old France Louis Le Provost de Launay, French deputy and senator Jean-Marie Londeix, French saxophonist Jean Marcadé, French Hellenist and historian Hull town walls, the town of Hull established under Edward I, is said to have been similar in design to the Bastides, in particular Libourne Communes of the Gironde department Keynsham, twinned with Libourne INSEE "Libourne". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. 1911. Official website Unofficial website