Peymeinade to Tanneron
In the postcard view of Peymeinade above, the line from Grasse came in at the bottom right of the picture along the side road which joins the main road just above the web address. The location of the station cannot be picked out as it is behind the trees which show up as dark green in the bottom right quadrant of the picture. The line then travelled across the picture from right to left in front of the first taller building and then behind the second slightly less tall higher building. Its route can then be seen on the left of the picture following the tighter road curve around the bluff and then away into the far distance.
Trains left Peymeinade Station travelling in a Southwesterly direction along what is now Avenue du Dr Belletrud, before swinging West and then South following the contours. The route followed fist Avenue du Dr Belletrud, then Avenue des Baumettes, then Chemin du Flaquier Sud, then Chemin de la ZA (by now travelling approximately Westwards). It is possible to follow this length of the route on foot but not in a car. Tarmac gives way to gravel or ballast and then to the track formation.
The line runs for over a kilometre through the forest before reaching the Tunnel des Planasteaux, a 535 m long tunnel under the hamlet of Les Planasteaux close to Le Tignet.
The East portal, marked with a red dot on the plan above, can be reached on foot ore in a 4×4.
The West portal, marked with a green dot on the map, has been overwhelmed by vegetation! It is marked with a green arrow on the picture below.
The tunnel has reasonable access from the East because out is used as a mushroom farm. This is the second tunnel on the route that has been used in this way. In 2009, the Commune of Le Tignet organised a walk which included a visit to the farm. The walk organiser commented: “The afternoon was spent visiting the Champignonnière of Mr. Christian Boselli.The latter presented his farm which is located in the tunnel of the old railway line which connected Nice to Draguignan. It was with great kindness that he commented on the visit both technically and historically.”
Trains left the West portal of the tunnel in deep cutting and traversed the wooded hillside on the South-East side of Le Vallon de Sant Pierre and approaching the boundary of the Alpes Maritimes with ran a!ong the River Siagne.
The line crossed La Siagne and then travelled in a Southwesterly direct for another kilometre before reaching an accessible point.
The viaduct which took the line across the valley has all but disappeared, just the abutments remain. It was an impressive metal structure (43° 37′ 10.18″ N 6° 50′ 7.15″ E) which was destroyed in 1944.
This viaduct is not to be confused with the SNCF viaduct of the same name down near the coast. If you are interested in the details of that viaduct, please follow this link to download a .PDF of proposals to alter it: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.sncf-reseau.fr/sites/default/files/upload/pl_viaduc_siagne_v2.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiyvbPdpu3XAhUJCsAKHf8ZBBoQFgjLATAU&usg=AOvVaw37EPld2nI89HogD60xDE2d.
Travelling on a train would negotiate it way through the forest in southwesterly direction some distance north of Lac de St. Cassian and then turns northwest towards Montauroux.
There are no points where the route can be accessed by car until it reaches the D94 close to its junction with the D562.
This is the old station for the village of Tanneron (11 kilometres from the line) and is the end of this short part of our journey on the Ligne de Central Var.
As a short PostScript: in November 2018 my wife and I drove the length of the D94 from the village of Tanneron to its station. It seemed a long way by car, it must have felt an eternity on foot or by cart. Our own pictures of the village and station appear at the end of this post (below).
Other sections of the line to the East of Tanerron can be found at the following links:
The view from the village of Tanneron towards the coast at Cannes.The church of Notre Dame de Peygros at Tanneron – a short climb from the village.Tanneron railway station building on 15th November 2018.