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Railways in france, 1980's/90's more pics added 01/2015


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In 1994, after a VERY wet and miserable** holiday the year before in the Gorges du Tarn, we decamped to the Gorges du Verdon. During the previous Spring, and being a lover of maps, I bought an IGN one of the Provence-Alpes de Haute Provence region, only to find a mysterious railway line marked upon it. It turned out t be the Chemins de Fer de la Provence, a private metre gauge line, and reference to my Platform 5 book told me there was a small works at a place called Lingostiere outside Nice.

 

So, of course, only a visit would suffice.

 

Turned into one of the most magic days out ever. I drove to Lingostiere and parked up, walked round the shed, the works, and the yard, then  boarded a train for an amazing ride into Nice, where I spotted for an afternoon at Nice, before returning the same way.

 

Lingostiere was amazing, truly amazing, the heat, the lack of trains, the loads of interesting OLD stuff, all backed by the sound of cicadas and the traffic on the nearby N202, all added to a really memorable day out. I was just about burned out from teaching in sink secondary schools, and felt genuinely at peace for the first time in years......

Here are a few pics from that day.

 

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Ex PO Correze BB diesel loco BB401 stands in the sunshine at the rear of the works at Lingostiere, July/August 1994.

 

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The remains of exPO Correze BB 402 at Lingostiere, the loco was cannibalised to keep BB401 running. In the background can be seen the small works building, and the Billard railcar.

 

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At the end of a long siding parallel to the mainline (such as it was), was No 51, a "D" (0-8-0) locomotive, originally built by CFD Montmirail. On a subsequent visit two years later, this loco was all but cut up.

 

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Closer view of the departmental unit, built by Billard.

 

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At Nice Gare du Sud, ex CFD Montmirail unit, X301 stand waiting to take the next northbound service.

 

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On my return, the departmental Billard unit, 212, had moved, affording a better view of the other end.

Sadly, like 51, this unit has subsequently been cut up.

 

** Managed to slip a disc in my neck quite seriously on the first day out, and spent the rest of the holiday on strong painkillers and in screaming agony. Not to be recommended.

Edited by JeffP
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Lovely photos.  My first French holiday was to Provence in 1988 (aged 11).  We stayed in a gite (an awful one!) near Brignoles.  We did a day trip to Nice and I remember spending half an hour at Nice Gare du Sud.  BB401 was there (as well as some other units) - a very distinctive loco.

 

I haven't liked your post as I don't want it to look like i'm liking the fact that you slipped your disc!

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Yes an amazing little railway and, after the opulence of the Côte d'Azur and Nice, like stepping back in time.

 

I only made one visit, back in 1990, when I'd decided to make a diversion to Monaco and Nice on a long saunter back from photographing wildlife at Gran Paradiso in Italy.  As it was a last minute decision, I hadn't realised it was the Grand Prix weekend, so Monaco was closed - but we enjoyed an excellent view of the race from the hills above.

 

After wandering around the terminus at Nice, I had hoped to visit more of the line, but the weather turned really bad and we decided to press on for home.

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Still with the Chemins de Fer de la Provence, but tonight we are up in the mountains at Annot, approximately half way to Digne, which is the northern terminus.

Here I tracked down the solitary Henschel BB1200 locomotive, used mainly for track maintenance and ballast trains. Two brightly painted ballast hoppers can be seen in front of the loco, and behind it is the disused 2-road steam shed.

 

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Three more shots of BB1200.

 

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Overall view of the facilities at Annot from the North. in the distance is the shed with BB1200 in front, to the right the large goods shed, and to the left a water crane and ashpit. Both are used for the steam specials when needed.

 

BB1200 is quite elusive, and can be stabled anywhere along the line, so I was quite lucky to find it on this day. It was also the first loco I glimpsed a long the line near Digne as we passed along the Route Napoleon, heading for Castellane, it came past in the opposite direction with a short ballast train heading for Digne.

On the extreme right is my Citroen ZX Volcane TD, complete with bike carriers.

Edited by JeffP
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A rare bird and a lucky find, Jeff.  It's one I have still to see, but at least it remains in service. .BB1200 was part of a batch of five built by Henschel (31003/1966) for the Sierra Menara mineral railway in Spain (no. 1004), later taken over and becoming FEVE 1404, before being sold on to the CF du Provence.  The design (and DHG 1200 classification) corresponded to locomotves supplied to Thailand (RSR 3000 class) and the similar DHG 1100 to Bulgaria (BDZ class 75, some of which were later sold to Argentina).

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Yes, it's a one-off. Trying to find it is hit and miss, although asking at Lingostiere might work. But like the SNCF, many of the stations are far off the main roads and also quite a disrtance from the town they supposedly serve, so actually driving to search for it would be a day's job.

 

There are two others now, I have pics, but boring boxes.....

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Staying with the CdP tonight, we are firstly at Entrevaux, the next stop from Annot in the Nice direction, and we find the line's most powerful diesel-electric loco, Brissoneau et Lotz 450kW BoBo T62, stabled with the usual rake of ballast hoppers. Note the trailer on the rear to carry the ballasting crew.

Incidentally, BB1200 is a diesel-mechanical.

 

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Back at Annot, and the station there plays host to one of the trailers from the local train, on the right, and a parcels trailer, unpowered, on the left.

 

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Better view of the parcels trailer. There were, at that time, seven of these, of which this one and XR1337 were in departmental service.

 

Back to mainline locos tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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We travelled from Digne to Nice on the CFP during the summer of 1980; the trip down was unremarkable, but the return had a driver who insisted on sharing his tea-time red with us, and even offered us the chance to drive (we declined).

The line had been carrying material for a dam from Digne, so Digne station boasted some narrow-gauge cement silos,as other freight stock.

It also retained a regular SNCF pick-up freight, complete with one of those 'road-van' fourgons.

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Back to main line stuff tonight, with some taken on the same outing.

 

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Nimes, and CC6500 No.6525 is waiting to leave with an express.

 

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Nameplate of above loco.

 

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Nimes again, and BB7200, No 7320 is waiting departure to the west.

 

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At the west end of Nimes station, and BB7200 No.7342 arrives with another express.

 

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Nice Ville station, with original liveried TGV SE set 06, and BB25500 No 25646 on view.

 

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Another shot at Nice Ville, and dual voltage BB22200 No. 22254 waits to leave with a westbound train.

 

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Lastly tonight, a shot of one of the then newly liveried TGV SE sets looking eastwards down the canopied part of the station

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Tonight we visit the depot of the Train a Vapeaur des cevennes at St Jean du Gard. Above a Bo-Bo diesel. In the background is one of the line's autorails, (Diesel railcars).

I know nothing more about this loco.

 

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Similar Bo-Bo diesel at St Jean du Gard, different livery.

 

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Ex SNCF shunter at St Jean du Gard, though what type I do not know.

 

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This is C61002 at St Jean du Gard depot, basically an 0-6-0 diesel electric ex SNCF shunter.

 

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One of the line's steam locos, on duty at Anduze, the southern end of the 13km line. It's an 0-6-0 tank, but of what provenance I do not know.

 

All taken 26/08/1997....my son's 8th birthday. Part of his treats for the day.

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Edited by JeffP
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The C61000 were a sort of half-way house between a shunter and a main-line diesel; intended for trip working, many ended up as 'cow and calf' pairs in hump yards. When SNCF got rid of them, many went to RATP for works trains; I think the unrestored one is one of these, as it's got part of the exhaust scrubber.

The other diesel is from one of the big northern French industrial networks; I think it's a Brissoneau & Lotz (sp?) build.

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Loco 906 was an industrial locomotive at a works in Normandy.  I have a photograph of a sign giving the details, but I'm a newbie here and haven't been able to work out how to attach photographs to this post.  It's certainly not intuitive i'll say that.

 

We travelled on the train in 2011 from Anduze to St Jean and return (after lunch), it is one of the most enjoyable train trips I have experienced.  Our locomotive was 030 TB 158, which the above mentioned sign said was the last steam locomotive to be produced for a French railway.  Again I am unable to attach a photograph.

 

Delfin

 

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The 030 (0-6-0T) was built in 1953 by Societe Alsacienne de Constructions Mechaniques and was the last of 30 built between 1948 and 1953, mostly for industrial users. Following retirement, the TVC rebuilt it over 4 years and it returned to service in 1994. It was either very dirty or has been repainted, as in the line's publicity material, and the photos I took of it a few years ago, it is in a much lighter green livery with yellow lining. It wasn't actually on the roster for 2014 so I imagine (hope!) it is in some sort of overhaul at present.

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Loco 906 was an industrial locomotive at a works in Normandy.  I have a photograph of a sign giving the details, but I'm a newbie here and haven't been able to work out how to attach photographs to this post.  It's certainly not intuitive i'll say that.

 

We travelled on the train in 2011 from Anduze to St Jean and return (after lunch), it is one of the most enjoyable train trips I have experienced.  Our locomotive was 030 TB 158, which the above mentioned sign said was the last steam locomotive to be produced for a French railway.  Again I am unable to attach a photograph.

 

Delfin

To attach photos, click on "Reply with attachments" at lower right when you have clicked on "Reply quoting this post" or Reply.

Then click on "Browse" at lower left, select the file you wish to upload from your computer, and click open. When it opens click "Attach this file" also at lower left.

 

Then, on the post, you will see a list of those files awaiting placing in your post, with tiny thumbnails. Click on "Add to post when you want it to appear, like I have just done:

post-13196-0-55524200-1419198036_thumb.jpg

Press enter to move cursor down and continue to add text.

Easy enough.

On some websites you need to get photos hosted, this one you don't, BUT: your photo to upload must be less than 1MB. Even a photo of exactly 1MB will refuse to load.

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Loco 906 was an industrial locomotive at a works in Normandy.  I have a photograph of a sign giving the details, but I'm a newbie here and haven't been able to work out how to attach photographs to this post.  It's certainly not intuitive i'll say that.

 

We travelled on the train in 2011 from Anduze to St Jean and return (after lunch), it is one of the most enjoyable train trips I have experienced.  Our locomotive was 030 TB 158, which the above mentioned sign said was the last steam locomotive to be produced for a French railway.  Again I am unable to attach a photograph.

 

Delfin

Yes, SMN 906 came from Société Métallurgique de Normandie and was built by Schneider in 1958.  The red one ("2") is 902 from the same source (b/ns 5409 and 5413).

 

The green ex-SNCF "shunter" is C61035 which was described as "in reserve" around the time of your visit.

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Yes, SMN 906 came from Société Métallurgique de Normandie and was built by Schneider in 1958.  The red one ("2") is 902 from the same source (b/ns 5409 and 5413).

 

The green ex-SNCF "shunter" is C61035 which was described as "in reserve" around the time of your visit.

Looking at  some French sites, it would appear that the tattier of the two Schneider diesels was being cannabalised to keep the other running.

The SMN operated a large steelworks in Caen, which in 1917 possessed the largest blast-furnace in the world. Iron-ore was sourced at Potingy, some miles to the south, and brought by rail on an industrial railway (built to main-line standards) to a plant at Mondeville, Caen. Other raw materials were brought to the port on the River Orne in Caen. The plant finally shut in 1993.

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To attach photos, click on "Reply with attachments" at lower right when you have clicked on "Reply quoting this post" or Reply.

Then click on "Browse" at lower left, select the file you wish to upload from your computer, and click open. When it opens click "Attach this file" also at lower left.

 

Then, on the post, you will see a list of those files awaiting placing in your post, with tiny thumbnails. Click on "Add to post when you want it to appear, like I have just done:

attachicon.gifFrance rail.28.jpg

Press enter to move cursor down and continue to add text.

Easy enough.

On some websites you need to get photos hosted, this one you don't, BUT: your photo to upload must be less than 1MB. Even a photo of exactly 1MB will refuse to load.

 

Thank you for that, I was expecting a simple drag and drop to work, it shows how lazy I have become!

 

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These are the two pictures I was trying to post, hopefully it will work now.

 

I have plenty more of the line and rolling stock, but don't want to bore you all any more.

 

Delfin

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Thank you for that, I was expecting a simple drag and drop to work, it shows how lazy I have become!

 

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These are the two pictures I was trying to post, hopefully it will work now.

 

I have plenty more of the line and rolling stock, but don't want to bore you all any more.

 

Delfin

Rest assured we'd not be bored....

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According to their web-site, they've got one of those North British-built 140s that were built for military use, and which were possibly the last SNCF-owned steam locos in use. Worth looking out for.. They've survived a long while for a French preserved line; most don't seem to survive the demise of their founder members.

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Tonight's photos are taken from a bridge near to Ligny le chatel, where the D216 crosses the LGV SE. Ligny le Chatel is a tiny village just off the N77 Troyes>Auxerre route, and more importantly, very close to a little town called Chablis.........we camped at Ligny on our way south, and sampled the local wine.

 

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First off, a south-bound TGV double set in the original orange livery.

 

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Also south-bound is this single set in the newer silver and blue livery.

 

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The third south-bound train, another single set in the silver and blue.

 

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And finally, a north-bound set, again a single set and again in the original orange.

 

Only four tonight as they don't fit anywhere else. To be honest, they weren't waht I wanted to see, but I had my little lads with me and they wanted to see TGV's not boring old passenger trains or freights at nearby Vergigny Gare on the classic line, so TGV's it was.

 

 

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Yes, TGVs do get rather monotonous!  So do the new Bombardier regional trainsets (TERs).  I don't even photograph the TERs any more.

 

The paint schemes date the photos.  The new Carmillion colors are in some ways more professional, more 21st Century, though I am sure that is a personal thing.

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