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Bonjour!

 

 My father and myself had an enjoyable trip to Northern France on the 17th of July hunting Loco hauled workings. 

 

First off we caught the 5.58 Eurostar from Ebbsfleet to Paris. 

 

On arrival at Paris Nord we saw a few 22000's

 

22228 on the stops.

 

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22244 also on the buffers.

 

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And finally 22208

 

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Once we'd had a look round the Gare du Nord we took a stroll to the Gare De L'est to see what was there.

 

Just as we walked onto the concourse a test train was departing platform 2, couldn't get a great photo but this is better than nothing.

 

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Had a wander round the station, just missed a 67000 on a push pull working, but did catch 15001 and 15005.

 

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Had a little chat with the shunter before he coupled both locos.

 

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Then my dad spoke to the driver, or jockey, basically a shunt driver.

 

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Not much else going on so we went back to the Gare du Nord to catch the 10.31 Paris to Boulogne.

 

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More to follow soon. 

 

short teaser video.

 

 

Graham. 

Edited by shanks522
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Bonjour!

 

 An hours journey from Paris and we arrive at Amiens, Electric comes off and diesel attached, I think the booked stop is 13 minutes but the whole procedure was done in about 3! 

 

22234 already uncoupled and running into the centre road.

 

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67413 coupling up whilst 22234 runs back through the station to the Depot.

 

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Video of the Engine change.

 

 

With the Diesel attached we depart for Boulogne, we only stayed on the train as far as Rang-du-Fliers which enabled us to catch another train back to Amein.

 

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Off she goes to Boulogne.

 

 

The station building was in the process of refurbishment and was looking very nice indeed.

 

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Less than a twenty minute wait and our train back to Amiens arrives with 67626 on the front.

 

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Graham.

Edited by shanks522
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Try Paris Montparnasse in the peaks. Loads of push-pull suburban trains, and the peak-hour TERs to Le Mans via Chartres tend to be loco hauled. This is now my preferred route to and from Paris, with very comfortable 80s loco-hauled stock. I join at La Ferté Bernard.

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Austerlitz used to be my favourite terminus.

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Back to Amiens now.

 

626 is uncoupled and sent off to the depot.

 

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Quite an imposing signal box!

 

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Diesel out the way, incoming electric appears.

 

 

Whilst waiting for departure an AGC appeared, quite stylish units.

 

 

Then we see the Paris train leave, nice to see mechanical signals still being used too.

 

 

Our next destination was Lille and departure time was looming, just enough time though to catch 67606 getting into position for the next Boulogne service.

 

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Caught the 14.38 from Amiens to lille-flandres, uneventful journey, however passed 4 freight trains and couldn't get a photo or video!

 

Arrive at Lille, interesting units, not a patch on Corails and locos though.

 

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Main reason for going to Lille was to catch some 15000's, but not one in sight! We spent a few hours in Lille, managed to find the only restaurant in the town that didn't serve food at 5.00pm, took a wander back to the station, still no 1500's.

 

My phone was on its last legs and i just managed to film this TGV departure.

 

 

Our train back to Paris was 18.41, and interestingly two original sets, units 39 and 01.

 

Once back in Paris we took a stroll to the Gare de L'est.

 

Few Electrics and then just out the corner of his eye my dad spotted a 67000 on a push pull train.

 

quick dash across the station and caught it before she left with empty stock.

 

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nearly time for home 21.13 Eurostar back to Ebbsfleet, jumped on the Metro to the Gare du Nord, and home!

 

Hopefully we will be returning next month for more adventures.

 

Au revior 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by shanks522
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Sounds like a long day out!

What was working Lille/Amiens? Were they all those DD units that you photo'd at Lille? We're going that way later in the year.

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Sounds like a long day out!

What was working Lille/Amiens? Were they all those DD units that you photo'd at Lille? We're going that way later in the year.

 

 

I think all services from Lille to Amiens are now Z55500 units.

 

Was a long day but very enjoyable, think we travelled about 1000 miles in total. 

 

Graham.

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You got a Metro from Gare d'Est to Gare du Nord?

 

 

Yes, a whole 20 second journey.

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Good to see that the BB67400s are still in charge of the Amiens - Boulogne trains.  How little has changed from forty plus years ago - same class, except the line finally is electrified (as being of little consequence to the French).  Even better to see some in the classic SNCF livery.

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Austerlitz used to be my favourite terminus.

Shame most of it is covered by a concrete deck now, which makes it quite claustrophobic. I was quite surprised to see many of the station staff there zipping around on those Segway things.

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Looks like you had a great trip. I have done the line a few times over the past couple of years. 67626 in banger blue is a good one to get. I saw it at Amiens in the depot last year and I assumed from the sight of it that it was withdrawn.

 

There are a large pool of locos for just 4 diagrams so doing the trip a few times can result in a variety of locos.

 

Not sure how long they have left but might consider another journey myself. I have found a cheap option is to get an overnight Eurotunnel ticket. Drive to Boulogne and then do a few short journeys to Etaples or Rang.

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Very nice piece, like the story/photo/video format.

 

I'll try and arrange our next trip on the 21st. August. I've prepared an outline plan  which I think covers what you want to do, including the full distance to Boulogne and hopefully Longueau and Amiens depots. I've emailed the appropriate departments to request permits, but I'm not that hopeful. The last time I was at Longueau I spoke to several drivers who confirmed that entry to the depot "sans permis" was impossible, and often not allowed even with one! But you can get some decent photos through the gate and from the road!

 

Just about to order 22387 from Dominique and 67604 from Jura....

 

I still find it hard to believe that as a dyed-in-the wool steam fan I'm buying modern traction - I certainly didn't give it a second glance in the 1960s when, as a young schoolboy, I was chasing Chapelon pacifics!

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Just back from Amiens last week.

 

Had a ride from Amiens-Boulogne on the Paris-Boulogne intercity (Intercités) service, which changed from electric loco to a diesel at Amiens for the rest of the journey. the electrification ends at Amiens, but begins again at Rang du Fliers, just S of Étaples. Blue diesel with such faded paintwork that the number was missing! The coaches were a bit tired as well, especially compared to the nearly-new electric unit that took us on to Calais.

 

Seat reservations in the intercity. The seat numbering is 1x for the first compartment or bay, 2x for the 2nd, 3x for the 3rd etc. Well, our coach (12) was a compartment coach (side-corridor), but compartment 1 had had all the seats ripped out for bike accommodation. Didn't stop them reserving us in seats 11 and 13 though. So we moved into some empty seats in the next coach, an open, and waited for developments. Tickets not even checked, all the way from Amiens to Boulogne to Calais.

 

Saw at least two Class 66s still in EWS colours with Euro Cargo Rail, running on trains of hoppers through Amiens, and noticed a fair bit of other freight, including anhydrous ammonia and other tankers trundling through, although we weren't really there for the trains.

 

Caught the Calais-Dover ferry coming back as foot passengers for nostalgia reasons - bit of a palaver really, no shuttle buses between rail and ferry terminals, and shuttle buses between ferry terminal and ship, which means you need to be at the terminal well before the ship sails. We were theoretically early enough to walk from the terminal to the ship, even taking into account customs/passport control, but the shuttle buses only go at certain times, so we'd missed the previous ferry.

 

Couple of photos to follow later if anyone's interested, including some nice art deco lettering on the shelter at Corbie (nowhere near Ketteringe)

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Couple of photos to follow later if anyone's interested, including some nice art deco lettering on the shelter at Corbie (nowhere near Ketteringe)

 

 

Love to see the photos.

 

My Father and i are going back next week to see what we can find.

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Out via Eurostar to Lille, and and easy walk across to Lille Flandres. The 1202 Lille-Amiens was one of the newish double-deckers that have 3+2 seating even upstairs:

post-6971-0-61638400-1536651593.jpg

 

We walked the Somme towpath (Chemin de Halage) to Corbie and caught the train back.

Signage:

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and an X76000 diesel unit back to Amiens:

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Paris-bound train at Amiens. All the sets of intercity coaches seemed to have one of those "PL J nn" boards on the first and last coaches, presumably set numbers, but I don't know what it stands for:

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Our Paris-Boulogne train arriving at Amiens:

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...and after arrival at Boulogne, photo taken from the top of the DD unit to Calais:

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What number's the loco?

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The foot passenger approach to Calais port. OK in good weather, but could be grim with rain and wind:

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The bridge that takes you across to the booking office:

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[Edit:] forgot to add that there was a pair of 5(?)-car GWR Hitachi units in the yards between Calais Fréthun and Calais Ville. Presumably the ones being built in Italy.

Edited by eastwestdivide
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I had the pleasure of riding behind 67523 between La Rochelle and Bordeaux last year.  I had read that it had been transferred to the Boulogne services after the Nantes - Bordeaux line was taken over by units.

 

Here are a couple of videos I took of 523 at La Rochelle before boarding and also at Bordeaux as it returned towards Nantes.  I have a few other French videos that I uploaded last year.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0wYIXK7KrE

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Try Paris Montparnasse in the peaks. Loads of push-pull suburban trains, and the peak-hour TERs to Le Mans via Chartres tend to be loco hauled. This is now my preferred route to and from Paris, with very comfortable 80s loco-hauled stock. I join at La Ferté Bernard.

Off topic, I know, but I agree with you entirely regarding comfort, and the wise traveller in France who is not in a hurry might take note of the fact that Corail stock is by far more comfortable than anything more modern - especially the TGVs in their various forms!

When I lived near Saumur, and was not pressed for time, I would take the direct service to Paris Austerlitz, in preference to the TGV to Montparnasse, because of its refurbished Corail carriages, which must surely have about the most comfortable seats of any current European stock. Three other advantages at the time: it avoided a change in Tours or St Pierre des Corps and the fare was significantly cheaper than on the TGV...which led to the third, that travelling first class was an even more comfortable experience.

It did take twice as long to reach Paris, though, having to reverse if it went via Orléans, rather than just St Aubrais.

For the uninitiated, both Orléans and Tours suffer from very awkward geometries as a result of their railway histories as 'terminal' cities that became both terminal and through routes, which mean that through trains via both - to Angers and Nantes, for example - have either to miss the city centre stations or reverse in each of them.

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