March 29 1955 World Rail Speed Record: The BB 9004 reached the incredible speed at the time - of 331 km/h (205.7 mph). It was truly a pioneer record where they reached the limits, broke some equipment, dangerously damaged the track, destroyed a pantograph, etc. In comparison, the highly publicised live media coverage of the 574.8km/h speed record of April 2007 did not allow to take any risk. This side of the refurbished BB 9004 wears a grid in front of the windshield. The grid was applied for the March 1955 high speed run and was later removed when the engine saw regular service. The BB 9004 retired in the late 1960's and it is now a preserved icon of the French railroads' History.