The Genesis of the TGV: An Innovation in the Era of Decline for "Fordism"

By Olivier Klein

The TGV (French high-speed train) is a minor innovation. It is initially the product of a society, which it then causes to evolve. In fact, the genesis of the TGV ran concurrently to the crisis in "Fordism." Thus, to analyze the former through the latter could be pertinent. This paper presents an overview of the exhaustion of Fordism. It then considers the TGV as a symbol of railroads opening up to the pressure of competition. It is then observed that while concrete, this opening has remained partial. Lastly, the TGV appears to be shaped by new models of social organization. Looking back at the TGV’s genesis through the macro-economic transformations of its time allows for a better understanding of how this means of transportation fits into our society’s current reality.

Go to the article on