Ligne du Littoral (Toulon to St. Raphael) – Part 15a – November 2018 Visits to the Line (Chemins de Fer de Provence 81a)

Another Postscript.

This 1929 aerial photograph from the IGN site ‘remonterletemps.ign.fr’ really interests me. I discovered it on 19th November 2018 while staying in Saint-Raphael.

The centre of St. Raphael is in the middle of the picture, the relatively small harbour looks more expansive than it does now in the early 21st century. Watching some of the large yachts if the mega-rich manouvering in the harbour is interesting.

The large church building stood out much more clearly in the 1920s than it does today. The River Garonne was not built over in the way it is today.

The metre-gauge line can clearly be seen passing under what was the PLM standard-gayge mainline and climbing in an arc to meet the mainline at St. Raphael railway station. The metre-gauge sidings can be seen to the right-hand (East) side of the photo.

It is also possible to identify the metre-gauge passenger station building on the aerial image to the North of the mainline under what is now the site of the Gate Routiere.

The Google Earth satellite image below shows approximately the same location in the early 21st century. The grey roofed building houses the Gare Routiere and there are modern strictures over the site of the old goods yard.Little was done in the developments of the late 20th century to preserve significant aspects/views. As can be seen above there is a large modern block between the port and the church which obscures what could still have been an excellent view of the church. The images below show the effect of  modern development in this particular corner of the world!Perhaps surprisingly the alignment of the old metre-gauge line can still be picked out in this image. I have enhanced the scale a little in the image below and shown the approximate alignment with a green line. Tarmac covers most of the route shown. There is a break beneath the mainline.

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