The French  SNCF electric locomotive 1.5 KV CC 7107 from 1953.

SNCF’s CC 7100 class are part of a series of electric locomotives built by Alstom. The prototype ‘CC 7000’ (7001 & 7002) were built in 1949 and the production series locomotives CC 7101-CC 7158 followed during 1952–1955. Two of the class are notable for setting world rail speed records: CC 7121 reaching 243 kilometres per hour (151 mph) on 21 February 1954, and CC 7107 reaching 331 kilometres per hour (206 mph) on 28/29 March 1955.

Alstom is a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer which operates worldwide in rail transport markets. It is active in the fields of passenger transportation, signaling, and locomotives, producing high-speed, suburban, regional and urban trains along with trams.

The company and its name (originally spelled Alsthom) was formed by a merger between the electric engineering division of Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques (Als) and Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (thom) in 1928. Significant acquisitions later included the Constructions Électriques de France (1932), shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique (1976), and parts of ACEC (late-1980s).

A merger with parts of the British General Electric Company formed GEC Alsthom in 1989. Throughout the 1990s, the company expanded its holdings in the rail sector, acquiring German rolling stock manufacturer Linke-Hofmann-Busch and Italian rail signaling specialist Sasib Railways. In 1998, GEC Alsthom was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and, later that year, it was rebranded Alstom. At the time, the company was manufacturing railway rolling stock, power generation equipment and ships.

In 2014, General Electric (GE) announced that it reached a deal to purchase Alstom’s power and grid divisions for US$17 billion (€12.4 billion). The deal came under heavy scrutiny from French regulators who saw the business as a strategically important domestic industry. To secure approval, GE agreed to form joint ventures with French companies in power generation and transmission, Alstom’s heavy gas turbine business was sold to Ansaldo Energia, and GE agreed to sell Alstom’s rail signalling business. The deal was finalised in November 2015; since then, Alstom has been operating solely in the rail sector.

In an attempt to grow its rail business, in late-2017, Alstom announced a proposed merger with Siemens Mobility. However, in February 2019, the European Commission prohibited the merger. Subsequently, in February 2020, the company signed a letter of agreement to purchase the transportation division of the financially struggling Bombardier Inc. The purchase was finalized in January 2021.

Read more: History of railways with Alex Meltos ...