Tramway between Grasse and Cannes (Chemins de Fer de Provence 22)

Trams ran on this route from 16th August 1915 to 1st  October 1926  after which the service was replaced by road vehicles.

The city of Grasse once had four rail links, including the Tramway de Côte d’Azur (TCA), which connected it to Cannes.

From 1902-1903, studies were undertaken about making a connection from Cannes to Grasse using steam trams. But opposition and administrative complications prevented the project from proceeding and it was not until 1909 that work began on an electric tramway.

The metre-gauge track was 18 km long. It started from the Albert-Edouard platform, in front of the Casino de Cannes and crossed the Avenue Felix Faure, going up what later became Rue de Marshal Joffre, then along Le Route de Grasse. It crossed Baraques de Mougins then Mouans-Sartoux.

The route then climbs a steep gradient up to Grasse, travelling along Boulevard Collet and Boulevard Victor Hugo. The terminus was at the entrance to the Cours de Grasse. In some places, the gradient reaches 60 mm/metre.

The construction of the line began in 1910. It encountered difficulties in construction because of the steep gradient and some technical problems. The formal commissioning did not get scheduled until Autumn 1914, and that date had to be move back due to the onset of the Great War. The commissioning only took place on 16th August 1915.

The rolling stock was made up of six central-platform engines – delivered from August 1915 to August 1919, modeled on the GGO’s G-cars. They were considered to be very modern in comparison to the cars onnthe Cannes network.. They were 11.50 m long and weighed 14 tonnes. The traction and braking equipment included two 50 hp engines that allow 4 rheostatic braking and an air brake. 7 open trailers completed the rolling stock.

The steep gradient of the line meant that accidents were frequent. The rolling stock was not well-maintained. A suicide on 9th July 1919 using the electrical overhead wiring did not help the reputation of the line and caused serious damage to the electrical power plant.

In the face of repeated accidents, speed limits were placed on the line. Sadly when the line opened it did so without any spare parts and as a result the service was ultimately, in 1920, limited  to just one tram-train per day. Regular services were interrupted by an irregular electricity supply.

On 6th January 1922, the line was sporadically put into service but the TCA was soon declared bankrupt. Occasional attempts were made to resurrect the line but on 1st October 1926 the last tram ran between Cannes and Grasses and the tracks were removed by 13th May 1933.

The route ran along the GC 34 from Cannes to Grasse on the left shoulder of the road all along its length with the exception of the underpass under the PLM track at Mouans-Sartoux where there was a depot. The following are a few images to follow which show different facets of the line.


2 thoughts on “Tramway between Grasse and Cannes (Chemins de Fer de Provence 22)

  1. Pingback: The Tramway between Grasse and Cagnes sur Mer – Part 2 (Chemins de Fer de Provence 21) | Roger Farnworth

  2. Pingback: The Network of the Tramways of Nice and the Littoral (Chemins de Fer de Provence 53) | Roger Farnworth

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