Locomotive Roster: Kato TGV Sud-Est; Kato

Some may call this cheating since I already discussed my TGV Sud-Est from Kato back when I had it digitized last May, but I never did a proper 'review' of it and I thought it was a set that deserved some additional coverage!   It also happens to be one of my favorites, so its not surprising that I like to talk about it more!  It also provides a good excuse to share a few more photos of this angular, iconic, orange beast on the layout! 
On the viaduct....
Passing by the yard....
At the throat of the passenger terminal....
Of course, the video above goes into more of a traditional review if your interested in that sort of thing! Thanks for reading!


  1. Nice train indeed!
    I'd really love to see a newer version of this model. I saw it in a train show lately and I almost took it. But I found it a bit too old: the mold is not so fine and the white stripes was kind of translucent and you could see the orange below.

    I don't have a permanent layout so trains is all I have to see when I run them, so I prefer perfect ones! ;-)

    Just one last remark: I like your video reviews but I must say that it's not as good as the written ones.
    You can't watch a video as fast as you read an article or watch it on the bus and can't come back quickly to get back some informations.
    I really enjoyed the video (especially the BSG-like intro :-D ) but I liked your written reviews better. ;-)

  2. Another great review, no surprise though :)

    For the pronunciation, ''Sud-Est'' is pronounced soed-aihst ( If you don't understand the "oe" thing, the u sounds like the oe in, sorry if its a bit sloppy, I'm not that good at translating, even though I'm half-french ! )

    I left a comment on YouTube, but I'm not sure you got it, so, here it is : I think your city needs a park, I'm not sure where, but I read in one of your posts ( construction of Version 3, if I'm right) that you didn't know what to do with the space where the cathedral is standing now. I suggest you put it there, besides, if you want your city is to have a european look, the cathedral should be in the center of the city and not "downtown" because the cathedral was one of the first buildings to be constructed (at that time, the Europeans were very religious). Or it could be a plan for Version 5 ...

  3. @ Kumo - I agree a newer version with today's standards would be great. And thanks for the comment on the video vs written review...that's good for me to know and I'll do my best to ensure I produce both! Glad to know some people like the written version!

    @ Anonymous - I think I responded on YouTube, and I agree, a park would really be ideal. I am actually starting to get some version 5 ideas, and a park is definitely part of it!

  4. Don't get me wrong: I like videos and I love to see the trains on the move, especially on such a detailed layout.
    I just think that the pure review part is best when written and illustrated with pictures. :-)

    I really enjoy your locomotive roster posts, that's why I have my "train depot" posts on Tecchan. :-)

  5. Yes, they are really nice. I really like them too.

    Maybe you shouldn't bother so much about how to pronounce those foreign names/words. There is too much to care about... and if you start there, you'll also have to correct your way to pronounce "Kato". It's a japanese "a", not an american one.

    And if you really want to care, google translate is the perfect tool for this.

    I'm really interested in reading/seeing your review of that Graham Farish DMU.

    I also liked to see that you could almost have a perfectly french pictures for this review (with all those SNCF stock in the background).

  6. It’s a long time since I’ve heard Plastic Bertrand! Thought he was Belgian not French? I’m nit picking - good review: good fun review.

    Had this set for years: looks great, very reliable and cuts a dash on the club layout: indestructible, runs on dirty track (would probably run with no track) and copes very well with bad handling at shows.

    Ross S
    North Berwick

  7. Happy new year Jerry!

    Great review of a great train, especially on great layouts like yours...

    With the same design, there is also a gray one which prototypes the "Ligne de Coeur" version. This train ran from Paris to Lausanne (Switzerland).

    Kato made it but is rare... If you can get an hand on it, go for it. I really like its gray design...


  8. Hello Jerry, I like your post. I've got a Kato TGV orange too and I think it's fantastic, about both the finishing and the running behaviour! If You try to shoot some close-up photos of the body, You can't easily believe it's an 1:160 model. Best Regards to You, bye.

  9. Hi Jerry,

    I'm a Flemish (similar to Dutch) speaking Belgian that happens to be multi-lingual. French is Belgium's second language. Believe me when I say: the pronounciation off 'Sud-est' was perfect. Never heared an English speaker pronounce it better ;-)

    This original Kato set was not taken into production again, probably because the real train does not excist any longer in orange livery. This original TGV ('train a grande vitesse'; free translated as 'high speed train') was built between 1978 and 1988 and operated the first TGV service from Paris to Lyon in 1981. As time went by and more and more new sections and destinations where taken into service to cover the majority of France, the need for adding the Sud-est suffix was obviously. Originally the Sud-est branch was driven by these orange livery trains, the atlantic branch by the grey (with blue highlights) livery. In a later stage the atlantic branch also got doubledeck 'duplex' TGV's.

    When Belgium introduced a TGV branch, all in France operating TGV's where painted in grey livery and the TGV's crossing Belgian territory (the north branch between Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam and Paris-Brussels-Köln) got the burgundy red livery and where no longer called TGV but Thalys. At the same time a UK branch was built (between Paris-London and Brussels London) and those ones got the yellow-grey livery and are called Eurostar.

    Interesting to know is that the French postal service 'La Poste' also has seven half-sets (half the lenght of a regular TGV) in yellow livery in service. They serve as a freight train and have no passenger seats.

    All TGV's (except those traveling to Switserland, who have reduced speed) travel at a commercial speed of 320 km/h (199 mph) but a TGV test train holds the world record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 575 km/h (357 mph) on 3 April 2007.

    All these different TGV models are beeing produced by Kato with the exception of the 'La Poste' yellow half-set. The Eurostar is an even more detailed model than your Thalys. It's a 'must have' in your collection and is in fact cheaper priced than the Thalys. Don't ask me why, I haven't got a clue. I myself have two off these Eurostar and one Thalys in operation.

    Continue the good work on your site for I look forward reading your reviews! I've learned a great deal already!

    Sinceraly, Bjorn (Belgium).

  10. Thanks Bjorn for all the great information! I had no idea about why exactly this livery of TGV was called "Sud-Est" as I knew it was the original, but not sure why it had that specific designation!

    I also agree that a Eurostar is something I need to add to my fleet! I did not care for the design as much as the traditional TGV's/Thalys, but it has grown on me! :-)

    Thanks Bjorn!

  11. Est-ce que Quinntopia se chargera de publier un article et la vidéo sur le TGV espagnol de Kato ?

  12. Est-ce que Quinntopia se chargera de publier un article et un vidéo sur le tgv espagnol de Kato : l'AVE ?

  13. No, sólo tengo la versión SNCF.

  14. C'est la version de TGV espagnol: RENFE.

  15. Est-ce que Quinntopia achètera un coffret de 10 éléments AVE RENFE de kato réf k10719-3 ?

  16. Est-ce que Jerry achètera Le TGV espagnol réf K10719-1 de KATO : l'AVE de la Renfe ?

  17. Bonjour Johan!

    Not at this time, maybe someday! I like the looks of the TGB in the white of Renfe! Very striking!