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Philip D

Normandy tramways - Sourdeval to Granville

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Great stuff Phil.

I'm intrigued by Mesnil Gilbert or rather by the object looking rather like a gangplank parked at the side. Mesnil Gilbert looks to have been a minor station without a goods shed and no upper floor for the Chef's apartment.   It would probably have had a loading bank like the one at Cuves and the ramp, if that's what it was, looks too narrow to be a ramp for loading cattle so what was it; for loading sheep maybe?

 

This is a close up of the 1930s Michelin map for Cuves and I think it would have occupied most of the length between where the line crosses the minor road going north (which is now named La Gare) and where it crosses the N811. The rectangle used by Michelin to mark a station says

nothing about the extent of its yards but probably does indicate that it was accessed from the minor road.

 

 

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Though it's not certain, the house named La Gare may well occupy part of the station site but not necessarily the location of the actual station building.  If you want to check the  location of an old railway or station, the Parcelles Cadastrales (property boundaries) map that you can overlay over an aerial photo or a modern map on the Geoportail site https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr sometimes shows the railway's right of way even though it may have disappeared on the ground. You can also sometimes trace a route on an aerial photo (as you can from the air)  where a series of short farm tracks etc line up or a road built since the railway disappeared shows a characteristic pattern of wide curves.  Because the Département owned the land that local railways (Voies Ferrees d'Interet Local) were built on they were free to reuse it for new roads or to straighten out existing roads and often the stations for what we would term council depots (In Bayeux the former CF Calavados station and loco depot opposite the SNCF station  became a gare routier and bus garage. Tthough I fear part of the the loco shed may have been demolished to enlarge the station car park the station building with its outside stairway characteristic of many CFC stations was still in use in 2009

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Edited by Pacific231G
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With massive thanks to David, I now know exactly where the stations were between Sourdeval and Brecey, and can do a 'then and now' for Cherence le Roussel gare. The 'now' picture was taken from the lane, now tarmac, that was the embankment west of the station. Amazing that the embankment (or indeed anything else) survived given the ferocity of the tank battle in 1944. Station itself probably stood where there is now a large wooden shed behind the new house.

 

Next step, back to UK to see my modelling advisor (you know who you are) and make a plan for the model. Tempted to base it on Cherence as the building will be easier than Brecey, and it may connect better with the locals at their summer fete.

 

 

 

 

Cherence old.jpg

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231

 

Those wheeled gangplanks turn up in a lot of photos of secondary and tramway stations, and I've always assumed that they were portable unloading ramps for livestock, or maybe also for barrels. They don't look particularly robust though, so I hope French cows were well-mannered.

 

PD

 

I like the idea of a layout a lot. What scale are you heading for .......... G would make for a cracking diorama, and since you'll probably have to scratch-build virtually everything it avoids things being too fiddly. Would make a lovely thing to present for display in the Mayor's office.

 

K

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On 14/01/2020 at 21:54, Nearholmer said:

 What scale are you heading for ..........

 

K

 

Looks like it'll be a bit of a compromise between OO9 and HOe as scratchbuilding locos and/or stock is beyond me. I already have some HOe Jouef open coaches that are just the job, and there is some Bachmann OO9 stock that looks the part. From the photos of the railway back in the day, the stock didn't all match for size anyway. And we've found a Hornby skaledale building that can be adapted to be the station. Given the lack of contemporary photos (and none in colour found so far) there will need to be some artistic license, but it should be possible to give an impression of what the line was like.

 

As for a diorama, that's a great idea - something to think about once I've got this project up and running

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The Jouef open coaches ('3rd' class) are closer to 4mm than 3.5mm scale, though there should be one more bench (reducing legroom, rather than making them longer). Interestingly there was a similar '2nd' Class version with slightly more substantial seat ends and 5 pairs of benches. The Minitrains Decauville Progres is more or less 4mm scale too. Their 2-6-2PT Baldwin though is 3.5mm scale, which is obvious if you put it next to the Bachmann 4-6-0PT version.

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The difficulty with OO9 and HOe is that both are over gauge for 600mm gauge.With OO9 it is not as obvious, but for HO scale it is nearer to 750mm gauge. For my 3D printed models I do both 1/76 and 1/87 scale but recommend using 6.5mm for HO, as this is becoming easier and cheaper to get hold of, and the Busch HOf models coud be used as well.  The next problem is then finding suitable chassis for some smaller locos.

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22 hours ago, rue_d_etropal said:

The difficulty with OO9 and HOe is that both are over gauge for 600mm gauge.With OO9 it is not as obvious, but for HO scale it is nearer to 750mm gauge. For my 3D printed models I do both 1/76 and 1/87 scale but recommend using 6.5mm for HO, as this is becoming easier and cheaper to get hold of, and the Busch HOf models coud be used as well.  The next problem is then finding suitable chassis for some smaller locos.

 

Many thanks for your thoughts. I continue to be amazed how much info there is out there on something that disappeared over 80 years ago.

 

Given that I am a relative novice to this, and that my intended audience will have little knowledge about the local railway (so I can get away with some artistic licence) , I intend to keep this simple and base the model around what's readily available commercially. So the JOuef HOe carriages, a Bachmann Baldwin, and Minitrains Progres gives me a good start, and, now I know they exist,  some of your 3D printed wagons to test my modelling ability, and fill a gap in what the manufacturers offer. Especially the covered wagon, which can be seen lurking in the background of the pic of Cherence station.

 

In the end it can only be a representation of the old railway - for all the wealth of info out there I have yet to find a single colour photo so don't really know what colours to use. But hopefully the Normandy locals will find it interesting, and it will help me develop my modelling skills. Thanks again :)

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On 16/01/2020 at 18:47, BernardTPM said:

The Jouef open coaches ('3rd' class) are closer to 4mm than 3.5mm scale, though there should be one more bench (reducing legroom, rather than making them longer). Interestingly there was a similar '2nd' Class version with slightly more substantial seat ends and 5 pairs of benches. The Minitrains Decauville Progres is more or less 4mm scale too. Their 2-6-2PT Baldwin though is 3.5mm scale, which is obvious if you put it next to the Bachmann 4-6-0PT version.

 

Thanks for this - the Progres looks just the job. Do Bachmann distribute these in UK I wonder. It's on their website but not in the list of products that my local shop can order. I can do an internet mail order but like to support my local shop when possible, not least as there's a nice tearoom next door. As for the 2nd class Jouef coaches, didn't know they existed and not yet found a picture. Guess it's a case of stalking eBay til some come up for sale

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Try Gaugemaster, they are a significant Minitrains stockist, or Mount Tabor trains, or order direct from the maker ...... they are dead easy to deal with.

 

The coaches you might try the 009 Society secondhand team - they rarely don’t have any.

 

One shadow of doubt: you are heading in a direction that feels much more Pithiviers than your friendly local metrique.

 

Couldn't you scratchbuild some basic stock and a loco body, maybe to go on a cheap Roco H0 0-6-0T chassis, to give 1:60 scale ........ it could all easily be done in card.

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer
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On 17/01/2020 at 10:34, rue_d_etropal said:

The difficulty with OO9 and HOe is that both are over gauge for 600mm gauge.With OO9 it is not as obvious, but for HO scale it is nearer to 750mm gauge. For my 3D printed models I do both 1/76 and 1/87 scale but recommend using 6.5mm for HO, as this is becoming easier and cheaper to get hold of, and the Busch HOf models coud be used as well.  The next problem is then finding suitable chassis for some smaller locos.

That's true but, if you're thinking of using H0f for a French narrow gauge railway, you'd probably be far better off with H0m. That uses  12mm gauge for 1:87 scale. That's close to scale but more important, of the public narrow gauge railways in France (excluding urban tramways), about 21 000 kms were metre gauge* but only  a little over 400kms - less than 5%- were 60cm gauge,

There was just one public 75cm gauge railway in France for which H0e would be more or less correct; the 11.5km line from Roquefort to  Lencouacq-Jourets in the Landes département which opened in 1907 and fnally closed in 1934

 

The four main 60cm gauge lines were the CF du Calvados (by far the most extensive) , the Pithiviers-Toury tramway in the Loiret Departement, the Royan Tramway in  Charente-Maritime and the Tramway de La Trinité à Etel  in Morbihan . They were all promoted by Paul Decauville following the success of his 60cm passenger carrying railways at the 1889 Paris Exhibition, Deacuville seems to have persuaded the French government to allow 60cms rather than 75 or 76 cms as the gauge for sub-metric railways  though, as proved in Austro-Hungary, the wider gauge would have been more useful. In 1914 the Tramway de La Trinité à Etel was lifted for wartime use of its rails but rebuilt as a metre gauge railway in 1922. There were also a gaggle of short 60cm lines serving coastal resorts and hotels and the gauge was widely used for both military and industrial railways. 

 

Probably because N gauge equipment is easier to get hold of than TT or Z gauge most French modellers do seem to prefer H0e, and 0e for similar reasons, over H0m or 0m but it seems a shame that they create narrow gauge fantasies when, unlike in Britain, such an incredible richness of metre gauge prototypes are just asking to be modelled.  

 

*between 500-600 kms of metre gauge railways are still in public service in France and about an additional 130kms have been preserved. There are a number of mainly short 60cm "touristiques" probably adding up to a similar total. Of these, the only one that  is part of a 60cm public railway is 3.5 km of the Tramway Pithiviers-Toury preserved by the Association Musée des Transports de Pithiviers.

Edited by Pacific231G
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It was great to see the sketched out plan on Saturday Phil. Things seem to be progressing nicely. Sorry that I can't help with the Minitrains item at present.

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Scale/gauge wise, I think that there is a lot to be said for TTm, 1:120 on 9mm track. 

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Go up slightly in scale to 1/100 scale and you then have all the 15mm wargaming buildings and accessories(most a lot cheaper than plastic kits). It is also easier to fit motor/chassis in locos.

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Just joined this conversation. I’ve modelled French 60cm for about 13 years now, and the dodge I’ve used is to model the stock in 4mm scale, so it looks ok on the track, but the layout itself is 3.5mm/H0e. This allowed me to use the small no of kid that are available for French 60cm and which tend to be 009 (e.g. the Tortillard Models Weidknecht 4-6-0 - such as ran on the Calvados and the Tarn, or the BCF Models Calvados 4w coaches).  My layout is set in Normandy, in the Caux region (east of the Seine) and is an imaginary line along the coast around Étretat and Fécamp; it’s called St Etienne-en-Caux and was in Continental Modeller in October-December 2010. A few pictures here.

 

Charlie I

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A few more pictures of my little slice of Normandy, St Etienne-en-Caux.

 

Charlie I

C2931570-04C2-40EE-B444-5EFBBA93F9A8.jpeg

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Looks great, never knew Jacky had a boat named after him.

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Fantastic, Charlie. Mine will never be that good, but at least 'Cherence le Roussel' is starting to take shape. Baseboard constructed yesterday, and today a first try-out to see how best to use the space.

 

 

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Looking good Phil. I am sure I have seen that Baldwin somewhere before.

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I'm not over-interested in narrow gauge, but having discovered the meter gauge TTA in Belgium in the Ardennes, I found the google satellite views very helpful for following closed railway lines. Look for gentle curved rows of trees, hedges etc once you've found a definite location of say a station.

 

The TTA is the last remaining bit of the metre gauge SNCV in operation. I happen to have a mobile home based about 200m from the end of the line at Lamormenil, but it's going a bit off-topic here.

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8 hours ago, roythebus said:

.... Look for gentle curved rows of trees, hedges etc once you've found a definite location of say a station......

 

 

That was how I worked out the exact location of where the long-gone stations must have been. 1934 Michelin map of the area not quite accurate but once one has learned to spot the clues it starts to become clear. Interestingly, while on the bike in Derby yesterday, spotted what looks very much like a narrow gauge curved embankment across a flat flood plain

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10 hours ago, roythebus said:

I'm not over-interested in narrow gauge, but having discovered the meter gauge TTA in Belgium in the Ardennes, I found the google satellite views very helpful for following closed railway lines. Look for gentle curved rows of trees, hedges etc once you've found a definite location of say a station.

 

The TTA is the last remaining bit of the metre gauge SNCV in operation. I happen to have a mobile home based about 200m from the end of the line at Lamormenil, but it's going a bit off-topic here.

 

The coast line is another part of the Vicinal still operating.

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Thanks to the lockdown, making good progress. Decided to scratchbuild the station building, and thanks to A2B, sourced the track. Had to use N gauge as OO9 wasn't available, so the track is all down and tested. Dilemma of the day - roughed out the road and the width is probably correct, but it looks too big to me, so I may try something smaller, as I don't want the road to be too dominant.

cherence station model.jpg

layout 04 13.jpg

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Some more pictures of the layout as it develops, taken over the last 4 weeks. The track is now ballasted, the house (loosely modelled on mine) now has a hedge round the garden, a potager, dog kennel and space for an orchard. At the time of writing the cultivated field is drying, and my first attempt at a fence is taking shape. The idea of using fishing line between the posts had to be abandoned as it's so fine, I couldn't see it, so have reverted to thin garden wire, which seems to work pretty well. Loads still to do, but plenty of time to do it.

model 04 15.jpg

model 04 30.jpg

model 05 05.jpg

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