Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Listowel and Ballybunion Railway

Over Christmas 2018 I have been looking through a number of old issues of The Railway Magazine. In the May 1950 edition, I came across a short article about the Listowel and Ballybunion Railway. [1]

The line was over 9 miles long and operated on a system which I believe was not replicated elsewhere in the UK or Ireland. It was a unique form of monorail. I have known of the existence of the railway for sometime and had thought that I would one day get round to writing a little about it.

The Railway Magazine article was written around 25 years after the closure of the line in the 1920s. It says: ” The permanent way in use was described by its inventor M. Lartigue, as being on the monorail system; but, although the weight of the train was taken by the carrying rail supported on trestles, two guiding rails, one fixed on each side, near the feet of the trestles, were used. The trestles were 3ft high, and the line practically followed the natural contour of the country; any slight excrescences were levelled so that the carrying rail was everywhere 3ft above surface level. Stability was obtained by sinking the legs of the trestles to a sufficient depth in the ground, and attaching a crosspiece to each pair of legs. The saving in cost was thus great in respect of preparation of roadbed and ballasting, both of which, as known in standard permanent-way construction, were, so to speak, non-existent. Switching and turning were effected by means of pivoting sections of track.” [1. p337]

“The reason for the adoption of the Lartigue system was cheapness of construction. The sea sand at Ballybunion, a small seaside resort on the Atlantic, in County Kerry, near the mouth of the Shannon, had been found to be particularly rich in phosphates; and Lord Devon, who owned considerable estates in the West of Ireland, was anxious that it should be available for fertilising purposes over a wider area. When it was explained to him that a railway for the purpose could be constructed very economically on the Lartigue system, he warmly in supported the scheme; and it was decided to build such a line to Listowel, a small market-town between 9 and 10 miles inland, served by the Limerick-Tralee line of the (then) Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway.”

“The late Mr G.A.Sekon, writing in The Railway Magazine in November 1924, stated that on 16th April 1886, Parliamentary sanction was obtained for the construction of the Listowel & Ballybunion Railway on the Lartigue monorail system. ‘The route mileage,’ he continued, ‘was 9.25, but as the peculiar conditions requisite for the working of the railway required considerable auxiliary lines, the track length was 10.25 miles.’ The capital was fixed at £22,000, with £11,000 borrowing powers, from which it will be observed that the total estimated for the purchase of land, construction of the railway, and provision of rolling stock was only £3,300 a mile. It is of interest to note that, following the passing of the Act, a full-size model railway on the Lartigue system was built on the site of Tothill Fields Prison, Westminster, in July 1886. On this line were gradients of 1 in 10 and curves of 49ft. radius.” [1. p337]

Construction began in August 1887 and the line opened to traffic on 1st March 1988. There was n intermediate station at Liselton and two places that the train would stop when signalled to do so. Later, a second intermediate station was added at Francis Road. Speed seldom reach 20mph and over 40 minutes were timetabled for the journey. In winter 2 services were provided in each direction. This increased to 5 regular services with son additional ones added as required.

The railway at was not a financial success. Its highest receipts were taken in 1913 – £740. Usually the railway ran close to break even. In 1897, the company passed into the hands of receivers and remained so until its closure in October 1924. At that time the permanent-way and rolling stock were dismantled and sold for scrap. The rolling stock was necessarily of twin design. An unusual feature of operation was the necessity for the guard to ‘balance the train’ by ensuring the loading of an approximately equal number of passengers or weight of goods on each side. There were three locomotives, and at one time there had been a fourth; the last-mentioned had been built abroad and was smaller, and was possibly used at Tothill Fields. The other three were built by Hunslet Engine Co. Ltd., Leeds. Each had two parallel boilers, and was suspended on three coupled axles, with wheels 24 in. in diameter placed between the twin boilers. The tender also could be made to exert driving power; it was carried on two coupled wheels, 24 in. in diameter, with a wheel base of 4ft 3in., and was driven by two cylinders, 5in. diameter by 7in. stroke.” [1, p337-338]

Having read the article in The Railway Magazine it seemed that a little research online would be appropriate. Some further information about the railway and its method of operation came to light. It also became apparent that a modern facsimile has been built which has become a visitor attraction in Co. Kerry.

The Lartigue System

The Lartigue Monorail system was developed by the French engineer Charles Lartigue (1834–1907). He developed a horse drawn monorail system invented by Henry Robinson Palmer [4] in 1821. [2] The most well-known example of the system was that constructed between Ballybunion and Listowel, but another line, 17 km (11 miles) long, was built in 1895 between Feurs and Panissières, in the French departmente of Loire. The adjacent image shows a locoi motive and carriage from that line.

Lartigue saw camels in Algeria carrying heavy loads balanced in panniers on their backs. This inspired him to design a new type of railway. Instead of the conventional two parallel rails on the ground, it had a single rail sitting above the sand and held at waist height on A-shaped trestles. The carriages sat astride the trestles like panniers.

By 1881 Lartigue had built a 90 km (56 mi) ‘monorail’ to transport esparto grass across the Algerian desert, with mules pulling trains of panniers that straddled the elevated rail.

However the Lartigue system as built was not truly a monorail, since it was necessary to add two further rails, one on each side, lower down the A frames. These did not carry any weight, but unpowered stabilising wheels fitted to all the engines and wagons contacted these extra rails to prevent the vehicles from overbalancing. [3]

The Wikipedia article about the line notes:

Locomotives were specially built with two boilers to balance on the track, and consequently two fireboxes, one of which had to be stoked by the driver.They were also fitted with powered tenders for auxiliary use on hills. The tender wheels were driven by two cylinders via spur gears. Two small chimneys were fitted to each tender to discharge the exhaust steam from these cylinders. A smaller engine, nicknamed the “coffee pot”, was used in the construction of the railway, having been used previously on a demonstration line at Tothill Fields in London. It can be seen on an early photo of 1888.

Loads had to be evenly balanced. If a farmer wanted to send a cow to market, he would have to send two calves to balance it, which would travel back on opposite sides of the same freight wagon, thereby balancing each other.

Another problem with using the Lartigue system in populated areas was that, due to the track’s design, it was not possible to build level crossings. In order for a road to cross the track, a kind of double-sided drawbridge had to be constructed, which required an attendant to operate it.

A picture of a level crossing taken from The Railway Magazine, May 1950A similar road crossing in the down position. [5]

Where farmers’ tracks crossed the line there were level crossings based on the principle of a turntable. These were locked and the farmer in question provided with a key. Once unlocked, the track could be swivelled to one side to allow the crossing to be used. Both the swivelling and drawbridge type crossings were automatically linked to signals, which stopped any approaching trains; road traffic was always given priority under this system.

A picture of a farm track crossing taken from The Railway Magazine, May 1950

Passengers could not pass from one side of a carriage to another while in motion. A kind of footbridge was built into one end of some of the passenger coaches, while at least one such bridge was carried on a separate wagon. This allowed passengers to cross from one side of the line to the other when the train stopped at a station.

Conventional railway points could not be used, so a similar function was fulfilled by a large number of curved movable pieces of track which, when rotated one way, would connect the main and one direction; when turned end-for-end, the curve went in the opposite direction, and so connected the main and a different track. These could not be called turntables since they could only be moved when there was no rolling stock on them.

The line closed in 1924 after the track was damaged during the Irish Civil War, and everything was scrapped, except a short section of the track. [3]

I have found videos on YouTube about the Listowel  to Ballybunion line:

It is fascinating to note that a stretch of this line has been reconstructed to give modern holiday-makers a taste of what the line was like in the early 20th century. Nowadays, a visit includes a short demonstration journey on a full-scale diesel-powered replica of the original monorail. During the journey people experience the unique features of the monorail and are able to observe its ingenious switching system. Before or after a journey, it is possible to visit the Lartigue Museum to watch film of the original Lartigue and see models, displays and memorabilia of the Lartigue and main-line railways. [5]

References

1. The Listowel and Ballybunnion Railway; The Railway Magazine, Volume 96, No. 589, May 1950, p337-338.

2.  “The Lartigue Railway”Australian Town and Country Journal. NSW. 19 March 1887. p. 32. Retrieved 23 February 2013 – via National Library of Australia …. reviewed on 31st December 2018. The text of that article was as follows:

The Lartigue Railway.
The Lartigue railway system is that of a series of cars drawn by horse-power or a specially constructed locomotive, running on a single rail elevated a few feet from the ground. The system has been in use since 1883 in several parts of Europe and Africa; and a model line has recently been shown in action near Victoria-street, Westminster, London. The main features of the system, which is applicable to military, agricultural, or manufacturing lines, are as follows:
The line, which is exceedingly portable, is composed of one rail, of the shape of a flat bar, extremely rigid when subjected to vertical pressure, but easily bent horizontally. This rail is sup-
ported above the ground by A-shaped trestles, or frames, made of angle, or some very stiff section of iron. The upper extremity of these trestles is bolted to the rail ; and the lower extremity rests on the ground, being supported by a bed-plate or sleeper, to which the frame is firmly secured. The sleepers may be of different sizes, and shapes, and may farther be secured in their places when required by long pegs driven into the ground through holes drilled near the extremity of the sleepers ; thus preventing the line from shifting. If a river has to be crossed, some light piers can be made, or two wire cables may be stretched across to receive the trestles of the line ; while if a ravine, has to be traversed the line can either be carried directly over the gap, or taken down the gorge by means of a zig-zag length, which can be connected by curves of as small a radius as 10ft. Moreover, it is possible to use gradients as steep as 1 in 17. On passenger lines guards, to prevent thé swinging of the cars, and points, sidings, signal, &c., have been introduced ; and everything has been constructed with a special eye to simplicity. The cars are fitted with two grooved wheels; which run on the rails; but are fashioned according to the purpose for which they are intended. The passenger carriages, as well as the locomotives, are fitted with horizontal grooved wheels, which run on side guide lines, attached to the trestles by the side of the main line, thus imparting steadiness. As our sketches (above) show, it has been tried in Russia, both for the transport of troops and of military invalids; in the Pyrenees it is used for carrying ore, while its facilities, for passenger traffic were tested at the short line at Westminster. It has been shown at various European exhibitions, and is in use in Algeria and Tunis for carrying esparto grass. Indeed, it was while seeking to solve the problem of carrying the grass from the plains to the mainlines of communication that the idea of the single-line
railway first occurred to the inventor, M. Lartigue; the appearance of a caravan of camels in the
distance laden with bags on each side of their humps furnishing the starting point. The advantages claimed for the line are its extreme simplicity and portableness. Unevenness of the
ground can be balanced by different lengths of trestles, while the motive power can be, either
electricity, horse traction, or steam. The inventors say that during a trial in Russia 6ft 6in were
laid down in six minutes by six men, so that a mile could be completed by thirty men in eight
hours. In this instance the line was raised 3ft 3in above the ground.
3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lartigue_Monorail, accessed on 31st December 2018.
4. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Robinson_Palmer, accessed on 31st December 2018.
5. http://www.lartiguemonorail.com, accessed on 31st December 2018.

Nice to Digne-les-Bains Part 16 – Locomotives and Rolling Stock – Shunters and others – Diesel Traction (Chemins de Fer de Provence 82)

The use of steam on the Nice to Digne line was gradually abandonned. Increasingly, the travelling public became dissatisfied with steam haulage and the economics began to turn in favour of the combustion engine. The ease of use of diesel power worked in its favour, as did the rapid acceleration possible which resulted is significant reductions in journey times.

Initially, diesel traction was trialed on the shorter journeys. One of the earliest diesel units to be employed towards the end of steam was CP51 which first started work in 1948. There is an older locomotive at work on the line, BA11, but this was not brought to the line until 1988 by the GECP.

CP51

This locomotive is still present on the network and owned by the GECP. It was the first diesel shunter at work on the network and there is a hope that it will be refurbished and running once again. It was recently moved (in December 2017) from the depot at Lingostiere to the GECP depot at Puget-Theniers.CP51 at Lingostière Depot [1]CP51 moved to Puget-Theniers in 2017. [2]

CP51 was the first of a number of diesel traction units which ultimately ran alongside a range of Railcars (Autorails) on the Nice to Digne line. It performed a series of differnt duties on the line over the years. One important role was the movement of transfer stock from the Chemins de Fer du Sud to the SNCF and vice-versa.

Pictures of the locomotive in use on the connecting line can be seen on the following link: [3]

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/04/12/the-connection-between-the-plmsncf-station-in-nice-and-la-gare-du-sudchemins-de-fer-de-provence-59CP51 in good condition in its later use on the Nice to Digne line. [5]

BA11

BA11 was one of 4 diesel 0-6-0 shunters (locotracteurs) in use on the Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent. [4] Of those four locomotives, No. 12 is now on the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme, Nos. 13 and 14 are still on the Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent. [9] BA11 is the oldest diesel locotracteur (shunter) on the Nice to Digne line and it is still operational.

Before arriving at the Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argens these locos were in use by the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer Departmentaux (C.F.D.) on their Nord d’Indre et Loire network.

No. 11 was built during the Second World War, based on the chassis of an old steam loco. This transformation was carried out by the C.F.D.  The steam loco was itself built in 1885 by the Belgian firm, ‘Couillet’. Work on the conversion started in January 1940 at the C.F.D. workshops in Neuille-Pont-Pierre. It was completed in January 1941. [10]

The new diesel locotractuer was initially endowed with a Renault 130 hp engine but not used for lack of fuel . Then it was equipped with a Berliet 150hp engine for the Chemins de fer de l’Yonne. Once refurbished again by C.F.D, the Locotracteur No. 11 circulated from January 1950 on the Laroche Migennes – L’Isle-Angély line and was equipped with a 200 hp, 8 cylinder Willeme engine. [11]

In 1952 BA11 was sold to the Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argens in February 1952 and not brought to the Chemin de fer de provence by the GECP until March 1989.BA11 in the snow at Puget-Theniers. [11]Details of BA11 provided by the GECP. [10]

BB401

BB401 was built in 1962 [15] by the C.F.D. it was a diesel-hydraulic locomotive.

It ran, for some years on the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans (PO) Corrèze and was transferred to the Nics-Digne line in 1971 where it remains. [17]BB401 at La Gare de Saint-Bonnet-Avalouze (PO-Corrèze) in 1963, (c) Jean-Michel Vaugouin. [16]Here at Argentat on the same PO Correze network in 1967, BB 401 awaits the departure of Billard X251 courtesy of “030T 1707 Nord-Est” on the Passions Metrique et Etroit Forum in France. [16]BB401 at Lingostiere in 1985. [18]BB401 at Lingostiere in 1997. [18]BB401 in storage at La Tinee and in a dilapidated condition in the 21st century! [12]BB401 at the Gare de la Tinee a little earlier in the 21st century. [13]BB401 at the head of a goods train in the 1970s. [6]The two images immediately above were taken in November 1989 and show BB401 at the Gare du Sud in Nice. They were downloaded from Smugmug. They were taken by Dave Rowland and freely available to download. I was unable to establish whether copyright issues applied. [14]

BB402

BB402 was also built by the C.F.D. at Montmirail in 1962 both locos were part of one batch of locotracteurs bult that year (BB400-BB404). Both had/have a central cabin and two ‘bonnets’ which hid/hide identical 207hp motors from Poyaud. [20]

The transmission of both units was/is hydraulic using an Asynchronous hydraulic system patented by the C.F.D. which synchronised the two engines. In both engines the axles of the bogies are coupled by connecting rods. [19]

BB402 was progressively stripped down, presumably to provide spare parts for BB401. It seems as though the remains were transported to the Chemins de Fer du Vivarais in 2001. In 2013, only the body shell remained in the depot at Tournon. [23]

BB402 at Lingostiere in 1985. [18]BB402 at the Gare du Sud in May 1976. [21]Diesel locomotive BB 402 with three passenger cars at the platform in Annot in June 1977, (c) Herbert Graf. [22]An autorail “Ville de Digne” crosses with BB 402 in Annot in June 1977, (c) Herbert Graf. [22]

T61-T66

These six locotracteurs were built in 1950 by Brissonneau & Lotz. [19][24]

 

A locotracteur of the series T61-66 at Colomars. [7]A locotracteur of the series T61-66 on 1 September 1959, taken at Fugeret on the Central Var line in charge of the goods train 502A, BY this date the locomotive would have been isolated on the Central Var line with no rail access to the rest of the network. [8]

An HOm model of the Brissonneau and Lotz T61 of the Chemins de fer de Provence runs with sound! (Trains d’Antan). [25]

Commonly known as ‘Provence-type tracteurs’. The Brissonneau-et-Lotz 040DE locomotives were produced at the request of the Union des Voies Ferrées (UVF). These locomotives contrast significantly with the much more modest locomotives which had hitherto been used on the secondary lines in France.Provencal T62 in green livery. The car at the crossing gate is a Simca 1000, these vehicles were produced at Poissy in France from 1961 to 1978 [1]  (c) J-C. Reese. [27]

Until 1950, the French railway Industry had very little experience in the field of diesel locomotives with electric transmission. It is not initially clear where the Brissonneau-et-Lotz gained the knowledge to allow it to manufacture this series of locomotives. The answer is primarily associated with metre-gauge railways. [27]

In the 1930s Brissonneau-et-Lotz manufactured motor vehicles (autorails/railcars) for narrow-gauge lines which were equipped with electric transmissions, for example, the railcars delivered in 1934 to the Chemins de Fer d’Anjou [28]. These railcars were seen as a loss-leader by the company and were provided at well-below market price. This allow Brissonneau-et-Lotz to undertake evaluations of the locomotives in service.

In November 1935, the Deux-Sèvres Tramway Company (TDS) awarded Brissonneau-et-Lotz a contract to retrofit a diesel locomotive onto the chassis of an 0-6-0T steam locomotive (No. 16) built by Blanc-Misseron. The revitalised locomotive was delivered in 1937 to the TDS. It had a MAN 240hp diesel engine associated with an electric transmission. After a long and valuable career, this machine has been enjoying a peaceful time, since 1996, at the “Musée des tramways à vapeur et des chemins de fer secondaires français”  (MTVS). [27][28]

Building this small locomotive (shown in the adjacent image) paved the way for Brissonneau-et-Lotz’s involvement in the manufacture of diesel-electric locomotives.

In November 1936, two Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotives were ordered from Brissonneau-et-Lotz for the coastal line (Le Macaron). They arrived in 1938, the locos were equipped with two Berliet 150hp engines and were numbered T1 and T2. Those locomotives were sold into Spain with the closure of Le Macaron.

As a result of providing these two locos Brissonneau-et-Lotz were contracted to provide two locomotives for the Malagasy network, then four for the Reunion network (these had 160hp Saurer engines).

After the second world war, competitive tenders were invited to provide Bo-Bo locomotives for the the Union de Voie-Ferree (UVF). The design had been determined to be the best for the secondary lines. Brissonneau-et-Lotz was chosen to build a series of these machines. Unfortunately, only three networks (including the Chemins de Fer de Provence) chose to purchase the locomotives. The series was, as a result, limited to only 10 locos. They were distributed to the Voie Ferree du Dauphine (VFD), the Chemins de Fer de Provence (CP), and Chemins de Fer de la Corse (CFC). The work took 3 years to complete primarily because it was difficult to source the necessary parts and because technical specifications were altered in an endeavour to reign in project costs. [27]T64 in brown and cream livery at the head of a mixed goods and passenger train on the journey between Nice and Digne-les-Bains in March 1953. At the time these locos were the height of modernity,  © Michel Dupont-Cazon. [27]

T62 at the Gare due Sud in Nice, © Jean Louis Paris. [27]

 

 

 

 

It appears that cost reductions were partially achieved by a sharing of design costs between Renault, which was supplying the overseas market in the 1950s and Brissonneau-et-Lotz, who were supplying the domestic market. Although Renault used hydro-mechanical transmissions, the parallels between the Renault locomotives intended for overseas and the Brissonneau-et-Lotz diesel-electric vehicles designed according to the specifications of the UVF are obvious. Both series of locomotives used Renault diesel engines, both used two diesel engines in order to attain the necessary pulling power.

The four engines of the VFD were designated T1 to T4 and received there between August 1950 and January 1951. They served there until just before the Winter Olympic Games of 1968.

T63 stabled at Nice, resplendent in its brown and cream livery. © M. Fontaine.

 

 

 

The Winter Olympic Games of 1968 in the area around Grenoble required significant improvements to road infrastructure. The line between Jarrie-Vizille and Livet ran alongside the N91 which had to be widened. As a result the line was closed in 1964. T1-T4 were offered for sale that year but it took 20 years for them all to find new homes. However T3 was moved to Provence where it was renumbered T63.Tracteur T62 in “Arzens” livery, designed to harmonize it with second generation SY railcars. It is snowing that day in Nice, © Jean-Rémy Grasser. [29]

T64 from the Chemins de Fer de Provence was dispatched  to the metre-gauge network in Corsica in August 1963 where it took the number 403. In January 1964  the Chemins de Fer de Provence received compensation in the form of locomotive T3  which was numbered T65. It survived until it was scrapped in 1983.Technical spec. of the Brissonneau-et-Lotz tracteurs. [29]

When originally ordered, T61 to T64 were intended for passenger service alongside the Renault ABH railcars on the Nice to Digne-les-Bains line. The technical spec. was downgraded to limit cost overruns, their role was limited to heading goods trains. T61, T62, T63, and T64 arrived in 1951. As we have already noted T64 left the network for Corsica in 1963, T65 was added to the roster of the Chemins de Fer de Provence in 1964. The closure of the line to Meyrargues meant that the network had more Renault ABH autorails available for the Nice-Digne service than originally expected and the reduced spec. of the tracteurs created no significant problems.
T65 seems to have ceased active operations in 1970. It was canabalised to provide parts for T61 which had been in an accident in 12th August 1971. Interestingly, the locos delivered to the Chemin de Fer de Provence and the VFD networks did not have exactly the same ends. As a result, the T61 became an asymmetric machine. [29, (note 5)]

By January 1974 the condition of the locos meant that both T63 and T61 had to be cset aside and cannibalised in favour of T62, the only machine of the series kept in active by the Chemins de Fer de Provence. For the T62, the 1970s were devoted to lower-level tasks such as weeding, supplying ballast for the track and other materials, pushing snow plows, and so on. In addition to the service trains, the locomotive supported some special trains composed of cars R 1341 to 1344 (ex-AT 1 to 4), which offered enhanced capacity to the autorails. Maintenance to T62 took place in Desbrugères in the early 1980s and in 1987-88 the SNCF supplied diesel engines and electrical transmission sub-assemblies to maintain the T62. During the 1990s, the T62 remained the most obvious Brissoneau-et-Lotz locomotive on the network. Its condition deteriorated over time.

In February 1999, the T62 received a running-mate. The former T1 of the VFD arrived on the network (Gm 4/4 508 of the Jura Railways) and it was numbered T66. It required some repairs after an eventful road journey from Switzerland. The parts needed were sourced from La Mure where the locos T2 and T4 of the VFD were stored.

On 19th January 2000, tests of T66 on the network revealed poor performance and resulted in a decision to re-motorise both T62 and T66. Neither performed exceptionally in the early years of the 21st century. Major work was intended to secure their future on the network. [27]

T62 at Entrevaux in December 2014, (c) JeffP, RMWeb.co.uk. [31]T66 in service in Nice. [12]

Henchel BB1200

The Compania Minera de Sierra Menera (SM) ordered first three then two additional locomotives of the type DH 1200 from Henschel in Kassel. The drive unit consisted of a four-stroke Maybach-Mercedes Benz diesel engine type MB 820b with 12 cylinders in V-arrangement. It delivered 880 kW at a maximum of 1500 revolutions per minute and was equipped with turbocharger and intercooler. The cooling water was cooled in a cooling system installed under the roof. The cooling air was sucked into the side walls and blown out through the roof. A short PTO shaft transmited the torque of the diesel engine to the Voith L306r turbo transmission with hydrodynamic brake. It included three hydraulic transducers and a reversing gearbox. Two cardan shafts each drove a bogie. The two axles in the bogie are also connected by cardan shafts. The locomotives were braked with compressed air. The locomotives were designed for double traction and therefore has a skid protection device.

Of these 5 locomotives, Henchel BB1200 No. 1004 with serial number 31003, built in 1966 was numbered 1404 by the Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha (FEVE) and noted on their roster in 1973.

The FEVE replaced on the Henschel locomotives the Maybach deisel engine by a French SACM engine, which was installed on other FEVE locomotives to standardize the spare parts inventory. Regularly there were problems with this engine type. To improve the reliability of the locomotives, the control of the first three locomotives was modernized. A mid-nineties built-in programmable logic controller with redesigned cabs extended their life. The locomotive 1404 was sold in 1992 through intermediaries to the Chemins de fer de Provence. The middleman just re-painted the loco. Regular disturbances led in March 2006 to the final shutdown of the locomotive and it was placed in storage at Lingostière . [32]

BB1200 at Entrevaux. [12]BB1200 at Lingostière on 16th May 2010, (c) Eric Coffinet. [30]BB1200 at Annot (c) JeffP, RMWeb.co.uk. [31]

Draisines DU 101 and 102

These modern locomotives were constructed by Matisa and are used for a variety of maintenance work on the line. They are popular with the staff. They are also used to supplement existing locomotives in the event of breakdown. [33]Draisine DU 101. [34]Draisine DU 102. [35]

References:

  1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CP-51-d%C3%A9bris_Lingosti%C3%A8re_04-2014.jpg, accessed on 17th November 2018.
  2. https://www.gecp-asso.fr, accessed on 10th December 2018.
  3. https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/04/12/the-connection-between-the-plmsncf-station-in-nice-and-la-gare-du-sudchemins-de-fer-de-provence-59
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemin_de_Fer_du_Blanc-Argent, accessed on 12th December 2018.
  5. https://picclick.fr/Diesel-de-Provence-SNCF-Locomotive-Railway-Chemin-de-153151417340.html, acessed on 12th December 2018.
  6. http://cccp.traindespignes.free.fr/phototheque-digne.html, accessed on 12th December 2018.
  7. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=120, accessed on 12th December 2018.
  8. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=135, accessed on 12th December 2018.
  9. Organ, John; Northern France Narrow Gauge. Midhurst: Middleton Press, 2002.
  10. http://gecp.asso.fr/ba11.html, accessed on 12th December 2018.
  11. http://train-des-pignes.over-blog.fr/article-inventaire-du-materiel-roulant-du-gecp-44929448.html, accessed on 13th December 2018.
  12. http://cccp.traindespignes.free.fr/phototheque-materiel.html, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  13. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BB401_Gare_de_la_Tinee.jpg, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  14. https://daverowland.smugmug.com/RAILWAYS/European-Railways-1988/FRANCE-03-06-November-1989, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemins_de_Fer_de_Provence, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  16. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8552&p=406865&hilit=BB401#p406865, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  17. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3728&start=0, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  18. http://metrique43.free.fr/vm_reel/vm_01.htm, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  19. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemins_de_fer_de_Provence, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  20. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poyaud, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  21. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CP_BB402-III.JPG, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  22. http://www.bahnbilder.de/name/galerie/kategorie/frankreich~schmalspur–und-zahnradbahnen~chemin-de-fer-de-provence-cp/digitalfotografie/48.html, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  23. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8552&start=75, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brissonneau_and_Lotz, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  25. To learn more about the Trains d’ Antan see: http://passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4739&hilit=frot, accessed on 18th December 2018.
  26. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simca_1000, accessed on 23rd December 2018.
  27. Voie-Libre (Loco-Revue) No. 21: October 2002, http://fr.1001mags.com/parution/voie-libre/numero-21-octobre-2002/page-38-39-texte-integral, accessed on 23rd December 2018.
  28. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C3%A9e_des_tramways_%C3%A0_vapeur_et_des_chemins_de_fer_secondaires_fran%C3%A7ais#Mat%C3%A9riel_%C3%A9lectrique_ou_%C3%A0_moteur_%C3%A0_combustion_interne, accessed on 25th December 2018.
  29. http://fr.1001mags.com/parution/voie-libre/numero-21-octobre-2002/page-44-45-texte-integral, accessed on 25th December 2018.
  30. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CP_locomotive-Henschel-31002.JPG, accessed on 28th December 2018.
  31. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/76570-railways-in-france-1980s90s-more-pics-added-012015/page-5, accessed on 28th December 2018.
  32. http://www.le-rail.ch/text/projekt73.htm, accessed on 28th December 2018.
  33. http://golinelli.pagesperso-orange.fr/trains/actucp.htm, accessed on 29th December 2018.
  34. http://cccp.traindespignes.free.fr/autorails.html, accessed on 29th December 2018.
  35. http://tgveurofrance.com.pagesperso-orange.fr/cp.htm, accessed on 29th December 2018.

TNL Tramways – Recovery after the First World War (Chemins de Fer de Provence 83)

This blog is based on the text of the book written in French by Jose Banaudo: Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004. The translation is intended to promote a better understanding by an English audience of the tramways of southern France. Errors in the translation are mine, and for me to correct. Please let me know if anything in this blog post is incorrect.

Difficult recovery

Like all transport companies, TNL faced the post-war years of economic, social and material hardships that arose from the long-running conflict. All developments of the network. in progress or planned, were suspended. The political upheaval experienced by Europe deprived the region of part of its rich seasonal clientele. Habits were changing and car transport was rapidly taking off, taking away a significant amount of passengers from the trams. Monetary inflation was felt in the price of raw materials and supplies at a time of urgent repairs after years of intensive service with limited maintenance. Inflation also affected the income of the employees. During the conflict their loyalty to the company survived, but after 4 years of constraints they decided to defend their own rights.The years after the first World War were ones of social unrest. in May 1920 the police and army occupied the Ste. Agathe depot to prevent striking workers disabling the network, (c) Baussano – collection Gerard Santos. [1]

On 15th August 1919, for the first time in twelve years, the staff went on strike to obtain a salary increase and a limit to the working week of eight hours a day and forty-four hours a week. The strike lasted a month, the company obtained permission from the city to increase its rates, the abolition of the reduction on round-trip tickets and the exemption from the cost of parking on public roads, which made it possible to give the employees what they demanded and to hire more than two hundred additional staff.

The constant search for savings was prioritised above the quality of the service to customers, especially on the departmental lines where the service had been reduced to two or three trips a day on certain sections during the war years. Not only did the service not improve, but in some cases it was further diminished. For example, on La Grave-de-Peille route there was only one round trip per day in 1919. In the face of protests raised by this failure, a new service was introduced the following year with two round trips three times a week but no traffic the other days! On the urban lines, the service also left much to be desired and the Municipality of Nice, while granting concessions to the company, did not fail to remind it of its obligations. Under the terms of the agreement, the operator had to pay the city a percentage of the profits; however, under the pretext of the exceptional difficulties caused by the war, arrears accumulated.

In Nice City Council, the discontent was such that for the first time some elected officials proposed to replace the trams with buses. At the meeting on 29th March 1919, one councillor stated: “We will clean up, we will remove the rails, the present inconvenient cars, the horrible wires and trolleys, and we will replace this worn-out, old-fashioned system with buses as the most modern cities are doing.” The idea gained some traction, so much so that in the following year the secretary general of the Tramway Union, Guardiano, thought it necessary to reply: “If the municipality found an advantage in replace the trams by automobiles, it would do so in the face of more than a thousand fathers of families who would be made redundant and then, at that time, we do not know if the automobiles of the mayor would roll quietly.“… The social climate remained tense because a new strike broke out from 13th to 16th May 1920, during which the prefecture and the municipality immediately intervened with troops to keep the depot of Ste. Agathe open and escort the seventeen tramcars which remained in circulation.

Expansion projects of the departmental network

Urban projects planned for 1914 had been started before the war. This was not the case for the  departmental lines.

However, at Levens, work on the extension to the village continued at a slow pace during the war. The formation had been completed by 1917, including the curved tunnel, but the terms for moving the terminus facilities were still unresolved between the department and the company.The tunnel leading to the village of Levens, the structure was completed but never used. No tracks were laid through the tunnel (c) Yann Duviver. [2]

On the line from La Pointe-de-Contes line to L’Escarene, the work was interrupted following the death of the contractor and the termination of the contract by his widow. Despite the difficulties of all kinds, the department nevertheless resumed work at the end of 1919.

In the first half of the 20’s, the development of the departmental network was still on the agenda for the Alpes-Maritimes General Council. However, persistent economic difficulties discouraged public investment in trams to rural areas where road transport now seemed to offer a more flexible and less expensive solution. The commissioning of the new Haut-Var and Esteron lines of the TAM network proved to be a big mistake, the lines were not viable from the beginning, this reinforced an evolution towards road transport.

Even with most of the work complete, the TNL began to wonder whether it was viable to complete and maintain the route into Levens village and between La Pointe-de-Contes and L’Escarene (particularly given that by 1923 work had commenced on the PLM Nice-Cuneo line).

The commissioning of these new links was postponed. As were two other projects planned by the TNL: the establishment in Menton of a TNL passenger and goods station closer to the port or in the Careï valley, and the putting underground of the tramway in a part of the crossing of the Monaco principality.

It became clear very quickly that these new projects would not be viable, given the deficits being experienced on the other departmental lines. New agreements were made with the local authorities which were intended to secure the future of all of the TNL lines, however the decree of 15th May 1924 which followed the negotiations only brought a brief stay of execution for the least remunerative lines which it had been designed to preserve.From 1st January 1923 all of the trams on the TNL network were numbered with large numerals at either end of each tram. Here in Place Massena a ram running on Ligne 11 is clearly visible directly alongside another running on Ligne 9. [3]

A first restructuring of the urban network

On the Nice network, the tramway system was founded on a single rate in each of 1st and 2nd class. A single journey had a single price no matter the distance. This policy was part of the agreement with the municipal authorities and as the city expanded it continued to apply. Expansion since the beginning of the 20th century had been very significant. Maintaining a single urban tarrif amounted to a significant loss of possible revenue for the TNL.

The TNL obtained authorisation, on 6th July 1920, to introduce multi-tier pricing by dividing each line in two, three or four sections, depending on the distance traveled. From 1st January 1923, all the lines of the network were renumbered and their number placed prominently on a color disc at each end of the tram. N ° 1 to 16 designated urban lines and their partial services, but did not include the No. 13 so as not to deter superstitious passengers. Nos. 20 to 24 were applied to services on the line to Monte Carlo; Nos. 26 to 30 to those to the valleys of Paillons; Nos. 31 to 34 to those on the line to Antibes and du Cap; tNos. 41 to 46 to the Monte-Carlo and Menton group of lines, on the same date, the stops were classified in two categories, fixed and request, which a few years later were designated by red and green plates.

But now the tramway no longer dominated the field. Small and large automobile manufacturers were marketing chassis and engines for very reasonable prices. Private entrepreneurs were equipping themselves with trucks and buses. Initially they provided links to the tramway and railway networks. As early as 1921, the Société Anonyme Nicoise de Transports Automobiles (Santa) opened a Nice – La Turbie line via the Grande Corniche and a Nice – Colomars circuit through the hills, with the financial support of the department and the city of Nice. The following year, it created a Nice – St. Isidore service through Caucade. Tramway access to this large cemetery to the west of the city was planned before the war, but the route from La Californie was not built and the families who came to see their loved ones graves had to walk a
painful climb from Carras.Urban buses appeared in Nice on 28th May 1925 on the Massena-St. Sylvestre line via Jospeh Garnier and St. Barthelemy boulevards (now Auguste Reynard). The TNL operated this first service with road buses (a Scemia body on Schneider chassis). We see one of these buses (No. 6) ready to start in front of the Casino. These buses had an open driving position and rear platform, they derived directly from the type H vehicles put into service in 1916 in the capital by the Compagnie generale des Omnibus (CGO), but compared to their Parisian cousins they have the advantage of a pneumatic tyres not solid tyres, © Collection of Henri Dupuis. [4]

Bus No. 3 which was a Scemia-Schneider bus. Its driver is M. Ponza and rhe bus was runnign on ligne C – Masséna – Caucade in 1928. (c) Collection of Gérard  de Santos

Fearing that this potential competitor would move into the city and considering the development of this new mode of transport in Paris, the TNL took the initiative, asking the municipality to permit the TNL to operate by “omnibus automobiles” urban lines that had not been completed. The authorization was granted on a temporary basis on 19th February 1924 and confirmed by decree of 1 July 1925, for two routes:

  • Masséna – St. Sylvestre by Boulevards Joseph-Garnier  and
    St. Barthélémy (now Auguste-Raynaud), commissioned on
    28th May 1925, and
  • Saluzzo – Caucade by Dubouchage, Victor-Hugo and Gambetta Boulevards, on 5th October

Subsequently, the Caucade line saw its terminus transferred to Place Masséna on 3rd May 1926, going beyond the central area of the city to reach the  Promenade des Anglais via Avenue des Phoceens. On the same day, it was increased by a Massena – St. Isidore service via Caucade. Thus, after having been neglected for so long by public transport, the Nice cemetery became a particularly well served destination! These new routes were operated by Schneitler and Sontuzt buses directly derived from those operating in Paris.

As the first buses appeared, the tramway network underwent two modifications. Line 3 was restricted to a terminus on Boulevard Tzaréwitch at the crossroads with Rue Clavier. This spared the tramway the steep climb to the Parc-lmpérial Hotel. That prestigious hotel, now deprived of its rich pre-war Russian clientele, was in decline pending its future transformation into a high school. From 21st December 1925, the route of the circular lines 6 and 7 was extended from the Port to Boulevard Ste. Agathe, where the double track laid from the beginning of the network was used until then only for access to the depot and transit of freight trains.

At this pivotal time in the history of TNL, the registered office was located at 79, Avenue de Breteuil in Paris (15th arrondissement). The Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Vincent
Arnaud, was composed of Alfred Dumur, Alphonse Frédérix, Jacques Le Chatelier, René Théry and Joseph Lemonnier. Mr. Fernand Saran and Jean Umdenstock were auditors. The local management, whose offices were located within the compound of the depot at 15, Boulevard Ste. Agathe in Nice, was composed of Messrs. Joseph Lemonnier, Director; Thierry, Chief Engineer of the Department of Exploitation; Schopfer, Chief Engineer of the Electrical Department and the rolling sotck and locomotives; Benet, chief engineer of the track and works department; Gallais, Head of Administrative Services and Accounting.

Jose Banuado gives the following details about the TNL in 1927, [5] …….

STATISTICS T.N.L. 1927

The ‘Statistics of the French railways’ published by the Ministry of Public Works  for the year 1927 reports the following figures that allow an idea of the financial, administrative and technical situation of the TNL at that time. The TNL then operate 141 km of lines, divided as follows:

  • Urban network: Nice 26 km (excluding common trunk routes).
  • Monaco network 5 km.
  • Coastal network 50 km.
  • Departmental network 60 km.

The staff is composed of 1373 people, 14 of whom are in administration, 846 in movement, 323 to the equipment and 190 to the track.

The fleet of rolling stock includes 17 freight tractors. 175 power units a travellers. 96 passenger trailers and 162 freight cars.

Trams travelled 5,437,583 km during the year, including 4,164,884 on the urban network, 984,534 on the coastal network and 288,165 on the departmental network .

The total number of passengers carried was 35,416,562. of which 31,680,850 on the urban network. 2,976,441 on the coastal network and 759,271 on the departmentai network.

The total volume of goods transported is 489,689 tonnes of which 299,239 were on the urban network. 148,376 on the coastal network and 42,074 on the departmental network.

Revenues amounted to 24,521,671 francs, including 22,080,605 francs in passenger traffic, 2,286,958 in freight traffic, and 154,108 in miscellaneous revenue. The expenses amount to 22,597,515 francs. i.e. a profit of 1,924,156 francs and a total cost/income ratio of 0.92. But it must be taken into account that only the urban network allowed this level of return to be reported. The coastal lines recorded a deficit of 453,771 francs and a coefficient of 1.1, while the departmental network was subject to a déficit of 431,971 francs and a coefficient of 1.36. These figures pointed forward to likley closures on lines outside the conurbation.

During the year, 925 accidents were recorded, including 6 derailments, 539 collisions with cars, people or animals, and 380 miscellaneous accidents. The overall toll was 4 killed (1 traveller and 3 third parties) and 114 wounded (12 workers. 68 passengers and 34 third parties).

References

  1. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004, p78.
  2. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004, p79.
  3. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004, p80.
  4. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004, p81.
  5. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil du Tram: Volume 1, Histoire; Les Editions du Cabri, 2004, p82.

Uganda Railways – Part 29 – The Railway Magazine 1950 – April 1950

I have been looking through old railway magazines over the Christmas break this year (2018) and came  across articles in the 1950 editions of the Railway Magazine which relate to this series of posts. The first is in the April 1950 edition of the magazine. ……..

The April 1950 edition of The Railway Magazine [1] contains the first of these articles written by Thomas H. Cobb. The next three images are scans of the relevant pages of The Railway MagazineThe text is reproduced below:

At 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays the down Uganda Mail starts from Kampala on its 884-mile journey to the coast at Mombasa. In its course it crosses the Nile within a mile of its source, the highest railway summit in the British Empire, the equator three times, and diagonally the Eastern Rift Valley and up the eastern wall of it. From Nairobi it drops over 5,000 ft. to the sea in little more than 300 miles, and the whole journey takes just under 48 hours.

The Uganda Railway was begun on December 11, 1895, with construction on a few miles on Mombasa island and on the adjacent mainland. There was con¬siderable skepticism as to whether the line would pay, but its avowed intention was to put an end to the slave trade. The work was done at high speed and survey parties were always busy on the next section ahead of the construction. By 1899 the railhead had reached the further edge of the Athi Plain at mile 315, and halted while the survey parties went ahead, and a supply base was established at the foot of the hills. This spot has become Nairobi. Indians were imported to build the line to the metre-gauge (which it still remains). object of the builders was to push on to Uganda as quickly as possible; one result was that Kenya was ‘discovered’ on the way.

After Nairobi the line climbed into the Kikuyu Hills and dropped down the escarpment into the Eastern Rift Valley. Such was the hurry to get the line open that the word ‘dropped’ is almost literal; a temporary line was laid to overcome this descent of 1,552ft on gradients varying from 1 in 7 to 1 in 1.75. This section was worked by ropes and for the steeper two parts a carrier was used for the trucks, as at Hownes Gill on the Stanhope & Tyne Railway in County Durham. The permanent line was brought into use in 1901, and the ‘lift’ remains only a scar on the hil-face. North-west along and across the bottom of the valley construction was easy, but at Nakuru the line had to begin to surmount the Mau Plateau over which it passes,with asummit of 8,322 ft. There are 27 steel trestle viaducts on this section, and the temporary line climbed down one side of the ravines on a gradient of 1 in 30, reversed and climbed out the other side on the same grade. From the summit the descent to the Lake is steeper, about 4,500 ft. in 80 miles. The first loco¬motive reached Port Florence (Kisumu) on Lake Victoria on December 20, 1901. Kisumu is 179 miles by water from Port Bell, which is 6 miles by rail from Kampala, the commercial capital of Uganda.

This land and water route remained the route to Uganda till the first half of the 1920s, when the all-rail route was completed, branching northwards from. the Kisumu line at Nakuru and sur- mounting the Uasin Gishu Plateau near Timboroa, over the record summit of 9,136 ft. The line then descended into Uganda and joined the Busoga Railway, which was already in existence from Jinja to Namasagali, circumventing the rapids of the Nile. The junction, at Mbulamuti, about 30 miles north of Jinja, was reached in 1928. In 1931 the last section of the main line was opened, from Jinja to Kampala. The main engineering feature of this section is the single-span rail and road bridge over the Nile at Jinja, just below the Ripon Falls, where the Nile starts its 3,000-mile journey to the Mediterranean.

The Uganda Railway reached Tororo, the first station in Uganda, in 1927; just before it reached the objective that its name implied, it was renamed the Kenya & Uganda Railway, which it remained till May 1, 1948, when all the railway and steamship services in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika amalgamated to form the East African Railways & Harbours. These lines have always been state railways, though they are administered as a separate department.

A journey from Mombasa to Kampala is by no means dull. The mail train consists of about 13 carriages, three first, three second, three or four third, a restaurant car and two or three old first class non-corridor carriages used as seconds. This comes to about 400 tons tare. In addition, there are two vans for crew and three or four covered freight trucks. From Mombasa the train is worked by a Mikado, built in 1927 by Robert Stephenson, Darlington, originally intended for shunting, but now used on most passenger trains between Mombasa and Nairobi, where the lines are 80lb to the yard, laid in 40 ft. lengths. The ruling grade from Mombasa to Nairobi is 1.18 per cent. in the up direction and 1.05 per cent. in the down, apart from the first few miles, where it is 2 per cent. to get clear of the coast. Up means up¬country. All gradient posts are marked in percentages.

The line is single throughout, with passing loops at most of the stations, and water at intervals of some 20 miles. Signals guard the entrance to each loop, one above the other on the one post, the top indicating the left-hand loop, and the bottom the right. There is a daily service from Mombasa to Nairobi, and twice a week the trains run right through to Kampala. The train leaves Mombasa at 4.30 p.m. and reaches Nairobi (315 miles) at 8.52 the next morning. First and second class carriages have side corridors, and the seats form sleeping berths at night, four to a compartment as the racks let down to form the upper berths.

There is practically no difference between first and second class, except that the former have a fan and bed-reading lamps, and are slightly less crowded. Third class carriages have wooden seats and centre corridors; they are always crammed to bursting point. Hire of bedding, and food in the restaurant cars is cheap, and passengers are officially encouraged not to tip company servants – but they do. Speed is never high; the up mail train covers the first 30 miles out of Mombasa in 100 min., including two stops. All trains stop at all stations, with the exception of a few ‘local’ stations neat Mombasa and an odd flag stop or two usually missed by the mails. The Uganda Mail heading for Lake Victoria in the Kikuyu Hills, banked by 4-8-0 Locomotive No. 69. [2][4]

Before it gets dark you can see the whole of Mombasa Island and Kilindini Harbour as the line clears the coconut groves and negotiates the first spiral into the hills. The first thing that strikes a stranger is the sharpness of the curves on the metre-gauge; it is not unusual for a long train to be travelling in three directions at once, and the engine is frequently in full view of he windows of the ninth or tenth carriage. After dark the train is a lighted snake, as, even when the passengers’ lights are out, each carriage has a side-light in the middle just under the eaves. The engine pierces a tunnel in the darkness with its search-light. In the night are passed, Mackinnon Road, the new military headquarters of growing importance; Voi, junction for Moshi on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, and the Tanga line (the only physical connection with the railways of Tanganyika); and Tsavo, famous for its man-eater lions which made havoc of the construction gangs.[3]

You wake up next morning on what looks like Salisbury Plain, only here you climb up the side of every combe, round the end and out the other side. When I later saw this country from the air it looked quite flat and the railway seemed to be making an absurd fuss. At Nairobi the mail waits an hour-and-¬a-half. The station has three long platforms, mostly covered with awnings. the island connected with the main platform (which is used by the mails in both directions) by a subway. There is a complete set of signals, and it is the only station on the line which has the air of a station such as we know it in England. As at Marylebone, with luck one might see a train at any hour of the day. The mail endures some mar¬shalling, and some coaches are added for the longer stage on to Kampala.

When I came up we started from Nairobi with thirteen large coaches and several smaller ones, vans and trucks on the back, a tare weight of 470 tons. We were headed by a 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 Beyer Garratt, and were banked by one of the shapely 4-8-0 tender engines which are the maids of all work. The line turns a sharp right-angle to the north to circumvent the town, and then plunges straight into the 1 in 50, which lasts for nearly 20 miles with few intermissions, and some pitches of 1 in 40. The scenery changes to woods of eucalyptus and intensive cultivation.

At lunch time, after a morning of heavy slogging, the train reaches Uplands, and suddenly, the Rift Valley is spread at your feet. Here a new alignment, the third in 50 years, was brought into use at the beginning of 1948, and the trees have not had time to grow high enough to obscure the view. The valley stretches as far as you can see, blue in the midday haze, and in the middle you look down into the crater of the extinct volcano Longonot. The railway winds down the face of the escarpment on a steady grade of 1.05 per cent., which is considerably better than the old route, up which trains took 2 hr. to struggle 15 miles, with two stops. In the floor of the valley the line passes hills of fantastic shape, like sleeping camels and inverted washbasins, and you can see the beautiful lakes Naivasha and Elementeita; at Eburru jets of steam spurt out of the ground. There are all kinds of game in the valley, and you are unlucky it you do not see a giraffe or an ostrich, or at least a herd of buck. In the evening the train arrives at Nakuru; 120 miles in just under 8 hr.

After Nakuru the light remains only long enough to see the Lake Nakuru, away to the south, with its fringe of pink flamingos, and as the darkness falls the old main line to Kisumu branches to the left. The line to Uganda goes up the side of a slope in a series of S-bends, and as the telegraph wires follow the line, from below they look like a forest as they thread backwards and forwards about six times. To see the next 125 miles to Eldoret, in some ways the most interesting of all, it is necessary to travel in a goods train which starts at dawn and arrives at dusk, taking just 12 hr. on the journey. The mail trains traverse this section in the night in both directions.

Some goods trains have a third class carriage at the back, and as the whole train is continuous-braked, travelling is not uncomfortable. Speed between stops is not much slower than the passenger trains, but crossing places may entail waits of over an hour, so heavily occupied is this section with goods trains during the day time. Soon the climbing starts in earnest, and the line is much on a shelf in wooded ravines, crossing side valleys on horseshoe embankments. From Maji Mazuri to Equator Station is over 20 miles, dreaded by enginemen for fear the water will run out; this stretch is over an hour’s collar work.

Below Equator station the line rises clear of the trees and the country is grassy and open, the scenery Alpine without the mountains or snow. An S-bend, and the lower of the two spirals is encountered. In the station the ‘line’ runs through the platform, at an altitude of 8,716 ft., 1,050 ft. above Maji Mazuri. The equator is crossed again, the second spiral is threaded, and the equator is crossed for the third and last time. An EC3 at the spiral close to Timboroa Station. [2]

Before the summit, the line ploughs into wonderful cuttings and woods, and the absolute top is reached at 9,136 ft.The Summit, the highest altitude reached by any British colonial railway. [5]

Timboroa station, 9,001 ft., is just beyond the Summit. Because of these altitudes it was considered that the vacuum brake would not hold, so the Westinghouse is fitted.

The descent to Eldoret is quite different in scenery. First come bamboo forests, and a steel trestle over a ravine, then open country not unlike the moors between Riccarton Junction and Whitrope summit on the Waverley route. At times you might think you were coming down Shap to the south, or crossing the blasted heath between Penruddock and Troutbeck. The kindlier country begins at Eldoret, where you are down to 6,000ft again. Eldoret, a thriving centre of Kenya settlers, has the unfortunate distinction of having its two passenger trains a week in each direction in the station between 1 and 1.30 a.m. From Eldoret to Tororo I have not travelled by daylight, even in a goods train.

At Tororo the line enters Uganda. It is hotter and greener than Kenya, but, apart from the rocks of Tororo, reputed scene of Conan Doyle’s Lost World, the scenery as far as Jinja is dull. The line runs up and down small slopes, between elephant grass, sometimes as tall as 20 ft., bananas, coffee and cassava. At one place the Mpologoma swamp is crossed, an oasis of bright green papyrus, on a 2-mile embankment which gives continual trouble to the maintenance department. Near Jinja, extensive sugar estates are passed. The wealthy Kampala dwellers cut this last bit out by having their cars to meet them at Nsinze, whence it takes about 3 hr. by road to get home; the train, winding northwards through Busoga, and wandering back south with a touch of east, spends 7 hr. After Jinja, which is reached after lunch, the line twists and plunges down to cross the Nile. This is one of the highlights of the journey.

The bridge is in sight of the Ripon and the Owen Falls, and the line swings round and climbs till it passes just above the former. The clear blue of Lake Victoria and the broken white of the falls are not only a relief to the eye of the hot and dusty traveller, but here at your feet is the answer to the age-old riddle of where the Nile comes from; this is its very source. One wonders if the
Baganda and Basoga, who lived in mutual enmity on either side of it, ever used to ask themselves where the river went to. Opposite is the golf-course on which hippopotami form natural bunkers; and are the rub of the green.

Buganda, entered on crossing the Nile, is a country of hills all same-height with flat tops, divided by swamps. The line was built more cheaply here, and there are many short stretches of 2 per cent. uncompensated on the curves. The line rises and falls to cross almost every anthill. The downhill stretches lead to swamps which are crossed on embankments with right-angle bends, and as speed gathers you wonder what will happen at the bottom as you see the Beyer-Garratt swing round in full view of your window. About 10 years ago there was a terrible accident, and a crowded train plunged into a swamp. Over 20 passengers from the teeming third class carriages were pinned into the ooze and drowned.

Kampala, reached almost exactly 48 hr. after leaving Mombasa, is a single-platform station with a short bay at the eastern end. It is built at the top of a single line ramp of 2 per cent., and the yards are in the lower ground below. There is no turntable, but a triangle is laid. out among the eucalyptus trees. The platform is covered most of its length, and the offices and station building are the best in the town. There are plans to extend the railway 200 -miles farther west to Toro, on the slopes of Ruwenzori, which divides Uganda from the Belgian Congo. There are vast copper deposits there, but the proposed railway may be abandoned in favour of a canal, which will involve the deepening of a river whose flow is so sluggish that it is marked on maps as flowing both ways.

Some curiosities to end with: from Mbulamuti to Jinja the east-west main line runs distinctly eastwards for about 20 miles. The curves on the line have the inner edge of the outer rail oiled by hand twice a week. The two summits of 8,322 and 9,136 ft. on the Kisumu and Kampala lines respectively are only 20 miles apart, but on quite separate lines, yet they have each pursued an independent course of over 60 miles from their divergence at Nakuru. The main line from Nairobi to Uplands is being re-aligned, which will entail a completely new course for about 20 miles, and the complete abandonment of one station; at one point a tunnel is being cut, which will rob the tunnel on the Kisumu line of its uniqueness in East Africa. The only racial discrimination on the railway is against Europeans, as they are not issued with tickets below second class, even for trains which consist of third class carriages only.

References

  1. Thomas H. Cobb; The Kenya-Uganda Railway; in The Railway Magazine No. 588 Vol. 96 April 1950, p262-267.
  2. The Railway Magazine April 1950, p250.
  3. The Railway Magazine April 1950, p265.
  4. The Railway Magazine April 1950, p264.
  5. The Railway Magazine April 1950, p251.

New Year – New Beginnings

NEW YEAR – NEW BEGINNINGS?

As the New Year arrives I often find myself looking back – pondering what has happened over the last 12 months – and looking forward, wondering what is ahead.

The past year has included for me, most recently, the death of my mother. In the past 18 months I have lost both of my parents. They both had good long lives and strong faith and they were both looking forward to being at home with their Lord in heaven. Some of Dad’s last words to Mum were, “I go to a better, better place.” We reflected on the truth of that hope as part of Dad’s funeral. More recently at Mums’ funeral, we again reminded ourselves of the depth of love with which we are surrounded as followers of Jesus. We can let go of our loved ones confident that ‘they rest in him, our shield and our defender’, that they are surrounded and held in the loving arms of our Father God.

Jo, my wife, has been appointed Chair of the House of Clergy for Diocesan Synod and as result is now, for three years, one of the senior women priests in our Diocese. She holds this new role in tandem with her other roles in Parish life and as Ecumenical Officer for Manchester Diocese. Jo thrives in these roles and we look forward for God’s guidance for her for the future.

This has been a year when I have become more aware of both my gifts/strengths and of my weaknesses. It was hard to let go of the role of Area Dean for the Deanery of Ashton and a delight to be asked to be Borough Dean of Tameside, a role to which I was licenced in February 2018. This role recognises the work that I have been doing over many years to create space in the public sphere in Tameside for faith communities and some of the roles that I have played in more recent years in the wider charitable sector in Tameside.

Our personal circumstances are not the only things to reflect on. The war in Yemen, the ongoing saga of Brexit, the continuing sense that we have of being ‘at risk’ in a world where terrorism is a serious threat, all crowd in on our thinking. The uncertainty in national politics and the reducing value of the pound suggest that change in coming months is not going to be easy, whatever political negotiations bring about. Many things can leave us leave us with a real sense of worry and concern.

What was 2018 like for you? What were the ‘highlights’ and the ‘lowlights’? What seemed to leave you in the dark? What seemed to leave you basking in the light, in the sunshine of God’s love? What things excite you or worry you about the year ahead?

Things of the past as well as our present experiences and our anticipation of what the future holds, make us into the people that we are today. Each of our experiences over the past year are like ‘holy ground’, they are places where God was present, even if we couldn’t feel him there. They may have been places where faith was tested, sometimes to the limit, or even beyond. They may have been places of illumination where God’s grace and love for us became almost tangible. They may have felt mundane and ordinary. There may well be things which it is impossible to make sense of at the moment, storms which will not die down, emotions and fears which overwhelm us. All of these are ‘holy ground’.

In a beautiful passage in Isaiah, God speaks to his people:

“Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through rivers they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:1-3. NRSV)

A New Year brings opportunities for new beginnings, a chance to start over. It can be a time when we take a significant step forward in faith, or in our life circumstances. It can be a time when we hear again God’s promises to us, when hope is renewed, when we determine again to commit ourselves to serve others. A New Year can be a time when we break with the past, when we leave behind the old and move on to the new. A time to ‘wipe the slate clean’. And rightly so!

However, let me encourage you to remember that we are not just people who look forward to the future with hope. We are people who live in the present, and whose identities are shaped by the past. We are who we are because we have our own story to tell. We belong to a particular community and share in its joys and sorrows; we have a specific family background which has shaped who we are; we went to a particular school or schools; we have lived alone or with a partner; we have had children, or we have not had children, either by choice or because of force of circumstance. We have each faced the reality of loss in our own way. We have been able to delight in good news, and have shared in the joys of others. And we can all be encouraged by the words of St. Paul in Romans:

“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, NRSV)

God does want to break into our lives, if we let him, to bring healing and hope, just as he burst into the world on that first Christmas morning. Healing and hope for our past, for our present and for our future.

This New Year, like every New Year, brings the promise of new hope, new chances, new life. God also wants to build on the foundations of the past, helping us to become the people we long to be. People who are confident of God’s love through all the experiences of our lives. People whose faith is built on strong foundations, people who have found security in his love, even in the most difficult of times. People whose relationship with God is real. People whose lives, past, present and future, can be, and are being, redeemed by God’s love.

We don’t just have hope for the future. God is at work in all of us, none of us is the finished article. God is redeeming each of us, our past, our present and our future.

Peace Babies

Jelly Babies and Peace in the World!

In August 2014, I wrote a post about the history of Jelly Babies and their first being produced at the end of the 1st World War in 1918. This is the link. …

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2014/08/03/jelly-babies-and-the-peace-of-the-world

Recently, Maynard Bassett’s have produced a special edition pack of Jelly Babies which have them renamed as “Peace Babies.”

This gives another really good excuse to buy and eat Jelly Babies which while high in sugar content are fat-free!

“In celebration of the end of the First World War in 1918, George Bassett & Co. produced Peace Babies – what would later become the confectionery classic we all know as Jelly Babies.

Now, to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One, Maynards Bassetts has designed a special limited-edition pack of Peace Babies available at Tesco. Aiming to raise over £25,000 for Help for Heroes*, the money raised will help us support those who put their lives on the line for us to have a second chance at life for them and their families.

Archivists at Mondelez trawled through records and found a rare surviving copy of an export list mentioning the sweet treat. Thought to be from the 1920s or 30s, this shows a ‘hundred-weight’ (100lb or 45kg) of Peace Babies listed for sale in ‘4lb wood boxes’, for the grand total of 68 shillings. This would be the equivalent of £139.60 in today’s money!

It is thought that these were on sale until a shortage of raw materials put a stop to production during World War Two. In 1953, they were relaunched as Jelly Babies – the rest, as they say, is history!

(Available at selected Tesco stores and http://www.tesco.com while stocks last ….. A A5p donation from the sale of each product sold in Tesco and http://www.tesco.com between 05/09/2018 and 06/11/2018 will go to Help for Heroes Trading Ltd, which gifts all its taxable profits to Help for Heroes (a charity registered in England and Wales , number 1120920 , and in Scotland SCO44984).”

It seems as though the jelly baby first appeared by mistake! Legend has it that it was an Australian immigrant in 1864 that made the first Jelly Baby, although he chose to call them “unclaimed babies.” He was meant to create a mould for jelly bears, however, (for reasons which may be forever lost in time) it seems the jelly baby was born instead – pun wholly intended. [2]

And thus, jelly babies became a firm favourite in the UK.

After a short hiatus, classic sweet manufacturer Basset’s took up the style of the rather darker original name ‘unclaimed babies’ and rebranded them ‘Peace Babies’ to mark the end of World War I. These new sweets had a more realistic baby look , closer to the sweets we know today.[2]

References

1. https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/news/2018/september/peace-babies

2. https://www.sweetsinthecity.co.uk/news/post/jelly-babies-facts

 

 

 

Nice to Digne-les-Bains Part 15 – Locomotives and Rolling Stock – Steam (Chemins de Fer de Provence 79)

This post focusses on the Steam locomotives used on the line between Nice and Digne-le-Bains. It is unlikely to be comprehensive and I’d be grateful of any contributions by others which will add to my knowledge. I am hampered particularly by not having access to the seminal work on the network by Jose Banaudo, “Le Siecle du Train des Pignes.” [25] The text of this book is in french and as it is out of print a good copy will cost well over 50 euros. If anyone has access to this book and is prepared to add to the text of the blog, please feel free to do so, or email me direct and I will update the post.

I would be particularly interested in details of locomotives which ran on the Nice to Digne Line throughout its life and which are nor properly covered within the text below.

As part of studies on the two other main-lines which made up the network of the Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France – the Central Var line and Le Macaron – we covered a lot of ground investigating early traction and steam power on the lines of the whole network and provided as much information as possible about rolling stock on the system.

The relevant posts are:

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/02/23/locomotives-and-rolling-stock-on-the-central-var-line-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-50

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/03/02/locomotives-and-rolling-stock-on-the-central-var-line-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-52

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/03/07/rolling-stock-on-the-central-var-line-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-54

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/01/26/ligne-du-littoral-toulon-to-st-raphael-part-14-locomotives-and-rolling-stock-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-49

These posts are as comprehensive as possible for the era of operation of those lines and cover the period up to their closure after the Second World War. However, they are focussed on the two lines which closed. It make sense, therefore to review those posts in the light of a focus on the Nice to Digne Line. This blog sets out to do just that. I need also to acknowledge the support I have received in collating this information from Etienne de Maurepas (Étienne Thilliez). [12]

Steam Locomotives on the Nice to Digne Line

Background information on the companies which built the steam locomotives which served on the Central Var line can be found by reading my post on the locomotives of the Coastal Line  – Le Macaron. [1]

At the height of its powers, between 1888 and 1908, Le Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France network had:

• 23 steam locomotives.
• 42 passenger coaches: 3 in 1st class A series; 21 mixed 1st and 2nd class series AB; 6 in 2nd class B series; 2 mixed 2nd class + van series BD and 10 open coaches called ‘jardiniers’ series AC and C. These were sourced from various manufacturers: the Foundries and Forges of Horme Company, Chantiers de la Buire in Lyon; the Desouche and David workshops in Pantin; the Hanquet factories -Aufort and Company in Vierzon; the establishments De Dietrich in Lunéville; and the ‘jardiniers’ came from a network of steam trams – the Raincy-Montfermeil in the northern suburbs of Paris.
• 12 luggage and post office vans: 10 luggage vans with DD series postal compartment and 2 DS series emergency vans. Their manufacturers were as follows: 6 Buire vans, 4 De Dietrich vans, 2 Hanquet-Aufort vans.
• 219 goods wagons: built by Horme and Buire, Hanquet-Aufort, De Dietrich, and Magnard and Decauville.

Between 1889 and 1894, 19 steam locomotives were put into circulation on the whole network; divided between 3 manufacturers: 8 SACM, 8 Pinguely and 3 Corpet-Louvet.[2] A number of these were used on the Nice to Digne line.

Between 1889 and 1894, 19 steam locomotives were put into circulation on the whole network; divided between 3 manufacturers: 8 SACM, 8 Pinguely and 3 Corpet-Louvet.[5] A number of these were used on the Central Var line.

Later, other locomotives were purchased …..These Locomotives included some from the manufacturer Franco-Belge as well as SFCM, SACM, Pinguely and Corpet-Louvet.

In the first decade of the 20th Century, Pinguely 4-6-0T locomotives were ordered. The close-up shot shown below is taken at Toulon, but these locomotives also served on the Nice to Digne Line.Very similar 4-6-0T locomotives were ordered from SACM. The image below is one used on the Macaron but it is identical in design to ones used on the Nice to Digne line.Details of these locomotives and pictures of them operating on the Nice to Digne line can be found below.

1. Pinguely, SFCM and SACM 4-6-0T Locomotives

Locomotive No. 89 is a 4-6-0T Pinguely (Works No. 192) delivered in November 1905 and remodelled in 1949 (see picture below). Sérié E of Les Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France, it is part of a series of 12 locomotives delivered between August 1905 and December 1907. The whole network including the coastal line had a total of 28 E and F Series 4-6-0T locomotives, supplied by several manufacturers. No. 89 was scrapped in January 1951. According to José Banaudo, these 4-6-0T locomotives were the best steam engines on the network.The picture of SF No. 89 was taken at La Manda Station on the Nice to Digne line. This is the best head-on picture of a Pinguely 4-6-0T engine that I have discovered.

It is difficult to distinguish between the different 4-6-0T locomotives on many of the postcard images available today. For example, there are two images of the La Manda Station near Colomars below. In the first image it appears that the locomotive is a 4-6-0T but the resolution of the image is not good enough to determine whether it was made by Pinguely or SACM. The second image appears in Jose Banaudo’s book [3] and on the CPArama website. [4] Banaudo highlights the fact that the locomotive in that image is a 4-6-0T but does not clarify which manufacturer. He does draw attention to the flat wagon at the left of the picture which he says must have come off the TAM network because of its narrower loading gauge.I have been consulting with 242T66 on “Les Passions Metrique et Etoile!!” Forum [9][12] about some of the photographs in this blog. They comment that it is likely that the locomotive in the second image is an type E 4-6-0T because the type F had an air-compressor fitted to the right-hand side of the smokebox. It is possible that the locomotive is a SACM Series 81-86 rather than a Pinguely locomotive.NICE (AM) – Locomotive No. 102 tows freight train at La Madeleine station – Photo Card. 
The locomotive No. 102, type 4-6-0T, was built in 1908 by the French Society of Mechanical Engineering (SFCM) – Cail in Denain (North). It was delivered on July 6, 1911 to the Railways of Provence – It was part of the series Nos.101 to 105 – After a career of more than 40 years, having traveled 752,362 km. this loco was stabled in 1952 and scrapped on 24th March 1954. [3][10]Another view of the 4-6-0T locomotive No. 102, at the station of La Vésubie in January 1949 – Photo card. (Bernard Roze collection). [10]This picture shows the official reception train headed by 4-6-0T Pinguely No. 94 on 30th September 1907, the trucks on the left belong to the contractor, Entreprise Orizet. The station is La Gare du Pont de Gueydan. [3][5][12]In this view, taken sometime between 1908 and 1911 .an unidentified 4-6-0T (I think) approaches Annot Station from Nice. At this time the middle section of the line between Annot and Saint-Andre-des-Alpes was still under construction. [3][7]A train for Nice headed by 4-6-0T SACM No. 83 at Annot Station. [3][12]What appears to be a 4-6-0T locomotive stands at Thorame-Haute. The picture is not clear enough to identify the locomotive. [6][12]An unidentified 4-6-0T also standing at Thorame-Haute. Although the picture is present in Jose Banuado’s book the locomotive is not identified by him. [3][6][12]

610-11 – Machine 230T (4-6-0T) No. 101 built by SFCM-Cail in 1908, in Digne on April 19, 1949.
Photograph: F. Collardeau – Publisher: BVA in Lausanne (Switzerland). [10]

2. Smaller Steam Locomotives (0-6-0T/2-4-0T)

The line was served by a series of smaller locomotives. However, the first image below was taken before the opening of the line and illustrates an early form of chartered train. The contractor for the line provided a train for access to the special festival at Thorame-Haute on 26th September 1909. The locomotive used was one of its own 0-6-0T locos.An 0-6-0T Pinguely industrial locomotive owned by Entreprise Orizet, on a pilgrims’ special, 26th September 1909, Notre Dame de la Fleur at Thorame-Haute. [3][8][12]Drawing from Corpet-Louvet. [13]A model of one of these locomotives in the livery of the Tramways de l’Aude which I have also been writing about (cf. the series of blog posts which can be found on this site under the category ‘Railways and Tramways of South-Western France’ and which start with https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/27/tramways-de-laude-overview-part-1). This model is No. 54 in the Tramways de l’Aude fleet of these small locomotives. The French company Lucien Corpet built 826 of these metre-gauge 0-6-0T locos for railways across Europe, and you can still see examples in use today. This LGB model offers all the classic LGB technical features: a powerful Bühler motor, weather-resistant gearbox, voltage stabilization, reliable power pick-ups and much more. The prototype was one of many built from 1890 onwards. 0-6-0T locomotives were the mainstay of Corpet’s production with weights ranging from 7 to 22 tons. Railway companies could order these locos from a catalogue. [14]

Corpet-Louvet was a family-size railway manufacturer, which nevertheless managed to find markets and satisfy its customers with simple, well-built and robust machines. Their locomotives came out of the workshops for a hundred years, straddling two centuries, the second half of the nineteenth century and the first of the twentieth century.

The small Corpet-Louvet locomotives are regularly cited as emblematic of the secondary railways. From 1855 until 1952, the plant produced 1962 locomotives. The majority of them were built to operate on metre-gauge rails and were tank engines. [19]

Three 0-6-0T Corpet-Louvet locomotives numbered 70 to 72 (as below) were ordered by the Chemins de Fer du Sud to operate on the line between Cogolin and St. Tropez. [19] Further examples may have been used throughout the rest of the network including on the Nice to Digne Line. I have not yet been able to identify any. Whether certain locomotives were specifically allocated to the Central-Var or to the Alpes line, I do not know. Allocations may have changed over the years anyway and it is likely that some engines at least were used on both lines.

According to J. Banaudo, [25] very few Corpet-Louvet engines were used on the Alpes network bewteen Nice and Digne, apart from the four class D 031T (0-6-2T) No. 20-23 built 1894/5 with works numbers 619 to 622. I have not yet found a picture of one of these locos at work on the Nice to Digne line. These 031T (0-6-2T) Corpet locos on the Sud-France were large 28-ton steam locomotives. [27] One of these is shown in ex-works condition in the picture below.Corpet-Louvet Works No. 621 – No. 22 on the Sud-France network.

N° 19 L’Arve was a metre-gauge industrial 030T (0-6-0T) locomotive built 1887, acquired second-hand 1893, converted to standard-gauge 1897, withdrawn 1933. Designed for easy conversion from metre to standard-gauge and vice-versa, she was mainly used on the short mixed-gauge link and exchange sidings between Nice PLM (now SNCF) station and la Gare de la Sud de France.

Corpet-Louvet 030T (0-6-0T) Nos. 32 and 33 (1905/1906) from Régie des Chemins de fer du Sud-Ouest were borrowed during the war (1943/1945) (as were much bigger 141s (2-8-2s), also built by Corpet-Louvet) but saw very little use indeed.

No details are given by J. Banaudo [25] of the various industrial engines that were used by contractors when they built the lines. They may have included Corpet-Louvet 020T (0-4-0T) or 030T (0-6-0T) engines. [12]

I have one photograph of a 2-4-0T locomotive on the Nice to Digne line.A 2-4-0T built by SACM stands at Mezel Station. The loco was in the series No. 5 – No. 12. The picture was taken when the line was completed as far as St André-les-Alpes only. [3][12] “The Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques (SACM) [Alsatian corporation of mechanical engineering] is an engineering company with its headquarters in MulhouseAlsacewhich produced railway locomotives, textile and printing machinery, diesel enginesboilers, lifting equipment, firearms and mining equipment. SACM also produced the first atomic reactor at Marcoule. The company was founded by André Koechlin in 1826 to produce textile machinery. In 1839, he opened a factory to build railway locomotives at Mulhouse in AlsaceThe business grew rapidly but in 1871, the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by Germany, brought about the transfer of some production to Belfort in France. In 1872 the company merged with the Graffenstadencompany of Illkirch-Graffenstaden (a suburb of Strasbourg) to form SACM.” [23]

3. Mallet 0-4-4-0T

Mallets were relatively powerful locomotives for their size, having two sets of driving wheels. Relatively limited use of this type of locomotive was made on the Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France.An example of the class. Two of this type of locomotive were stabled in Toulon at the liberation in 1944. I believe that they were moved to Saint Raphael and loaded onto SNCF wagons for transport to the factory of Corpet-Lovet in 1945 for refurbishment. They could be found in use on the Nice to Digne line in 1946 and 1947.An SACM Mallet 0-4-4-0T at Nice.Mallet 0-4-4-0T drawings. [11]

4. Other forms of Steam Traction on the Line

A. 2-8-2 Tender Locomotives

Locomotive No. 17 was one of a series of 7 locomotives built by the Corpet-Louvet establishments in La Courneuve and delivered in 1943 to the Railways of Provence. These machines were originally intended for the Dakar-Niger railway in Africa, but, because of the war, they were assigned to the Nice-Digne line. In the picture above, we see the loco at Annot (Basses-Alpes). These locomotives were not a success on the line. No. 17 ended its career on 14th May 1947 having travelled only 103,144 km. [3]

Locomotive No. 18 was another of this Class – seen here at Nice Station. [26]

B. 0-6-0 (Class A) and 2-4-0 (Class B) Tender Locomotives

In he early years after the opening of the network a number of 2-4-0 and 0-6-0 Tender locos were in use. Pictures are available of these at work on the Nice to Meyrargues line. I have not been able to find examples on the length between Nice and Colomars. However, it is pretty certain that they did run on the length between Colomars and Nice, and probable that theybran over the length of the line between Nice and Digne-les-Bains.

The Central Var had four 030 (0-6-0) tender locomotives, they were built in 1887 by SACM Belfort: No. 1 “Draguignan”; No. 2 “Flayosc”; No. 3 “Entrecasteaux”; No. 4 “Salernes.” [24]

An early photograph of one of the Class B locomotives on the turntable at Draguignan. [24]

A SACM-Belfort 0-6-0 Tender Locomotive (Class A) at Salernes Station. [24]

Modern Steam on the Nice to Digne Line

In modern times, three steam locomotives have been in use on the Nice of Digne Line. They have been renovated and maintained by the GECP (Groupe d’Etude pour les Chemins de fer de Provience):

A. The Portuguese [16][18] 2-4-6-0T

This steam locomotive was built in 1923 for the Portuguese Railways. It belongs to what was a series of 16 locomotives built by Henschel & Sohn for the Caminhos de Ferro do Estado (Minho e Douro division) in 1911 (CP No. E 201-204, ex MD 451-454), 1913 (CP E 205 / 206, ex MD 455-456) and 1923 (CP E 207-216, ex MD 457-466). Two other similar locomotives were delivered in 1923 to Companhia dos Caminhos from Ferro de Porto to Povoa de Varzim and Famalicao: PPF 16/17, later Norte 41/42 then CP E 181/182. [26]

During the early 1970s it was based in Sernada, used to haul passenger and freight trains on the lines Val de Vouga/Espinho to Sernada and Aveiro to Viseu. In 1975 it was transferred to Lousado, where it provided service on the line from Famalicao to Povoa de Varzim.

After being transferred to the central workshops in Puerto Campanhã it underwent its last revision in service in 1976. Later on it was based in Regua where it pulled mixed trains and work trains on the line from Corgo Regua to Chaves. It was taken out of service in 1981.

Three years later, the Portuguese Railways offered to sell twelve steam locomotives no longer in use. One of them was the E 211.

It was offered to and bought by GECP and in July 1986 towed from Regua to Vila-Real and then transferred onto road transport to be moved to the South of France. At the small station at Mezel-Chateauredon the locomotive was transferred back onto rails and moved to the depot at Puget-Therniers where ultimately it was to be refurbished. For a short period (1988-1992) it pulled the Train des Pignes between Puget and Annot, sometimes even between Nice and Digne-les-Bains.

The locomotive was then restored at the Lucato Termica workshops in Castelletto-Monferrato In the Piedmontaise province of Alessandria in Italy. That restoration took time, and it was not until 2009 that the locomotive was once again available in Puget-Thernier and June 2010 before it pulled its first Train des Pignes.The full specification of the loco can be found on the GECP website. [16]The Portuguese and Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T.  [15]

B. 0-6-0T Corpet Louvet (CdN No.36)

This small 0-6-0T loco is seen in action in 2008 in the video below: [20]

LGB G-Scale Model of the CdN locomotive No. 36 which was built by Corpet Louvet an which, late in the 20th century, could be found running regularly between Puget-Theniers and Annot. [21]

No.36 (Lulu) is now housed at the Musée des tramways à vapeur et des chemins de fer secondaires français which is located alongside Valmondois railway station, in the small town of Butry-sur-Oise in the departement of Val-d’Oise, 30 kilometres north of Paris.This locomotive was one of a series numbered 30 to 42, They all worked on the CdN from 1925 to the closing of the network in 1956. They developed a power of 375 hp, towed a load of 90 tonnes with a top speed of 50 km/hr. This was the maximum speed allowed on the network.
The last line where they were employed was the St.Brieuc – Paimpol line. At the closure of the network No. 36 (Lulu) remained exposed for a long time in front of the station of St Brieuc. [22]

C. 4-6-0T No. E327 ‘Bretonne’ [19]This locomotive was one of twelve commissioned by the Chemins de fer de l’Ouest for the operation of the metre-gauge lines of the Reseau Breton. It was built by the Compagnie de Fives-Lille, in Lille (Nord). It first saw service in September 1909 as No. E327 and was based at the  Caraix depot (Finistere). It ran for 58 years on that network. It is very similar to a whole range of 4-6-0T locomotives that were used on the Chemins de fer du Sud de la France.

After closure of the Reseau Breton by the SNCF, E327 was declared supernumery in September 196. It was saved from destruction by the Federation des Amis des Chemins de fer Secondaires (FACS). It was transferred in December 1969 to the Chemin de fer du Vivarais (CFV) but was only rarely used on that network. In March 1979, it appeared at ‘Exporail’ in Cannes and was thenmade available to the GECP in Nice to launch its tourist train.After a partial overhaul, the locomotive was used from July 1980 unil the end of the 1987 season. Renovated by l’Arsenal de Toulon, E327 reentered service in 1993 and continued in circulation until 2007. The loco is now waiting full refurbishment once again. Full details of the specification of E327 can be found on the GECP website. [17]

References

  1. https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/ligne-du-littoral-toulon-to-st-raphael-part-14-locomotives-and-rolling-stock-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-49
  2. Roland Le Corff; http://www.mes-annees-50.fr/Le_Macaron.htm. Retrieved 13th December 2017.
  3. José Banaudo; Les Train des Pignes; Les Editions de Cabri, 1999.
  4. http://www.cparama.com/forum/colomars-t23738.html, accessed 12th February 2018.
  5. https://www.cparama.com/forum/pont-de-gueydan-cne-de-saint-benoit-t28160.html, accessed on 10th August 2018.
  6. http://www.cparama.com/forum/thorame-haute-t28161.html, accessed on 10th August 2018.
  7. https://www.cparama.com/forum/annot-t1810-20.html, accessed on 2nd August 2018.
  8. https://www.cparama.com/forum/notre-dame-de-la-fleur-cne-thorame-haute-t28159.html, accessed on 14th August 2018.
  9. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4143&start=3120.
  10. https://www.cparama.com/forum/locomotives-et-trains-divers-t23762-20.html, accessed on 23rd August 2018.
  11. http://www.bnf.fr, accessed on 23rd February 2018.
  12. A friend who posts on a few French Railway interest forums as 242TE66.
  13. http://tramwaytetg.free.fr/page22.htm, accessed on 31st October 2018.
  14. http://www.gbdb.info/details.php?image_id=164&sessionid=331671d706495c4df71149187a6e1d74&l=english, accessed on 31st October 2018.
  15. http://www.nicetourisme.com/nice/1360-train-des-pignes-a-vapeur, accessed on 17th November 2018.
  16. http://gecp.asso.fr/e211.html, accessed on 17th November 2018.
  17. http://gecp.asso.fr/e327.html, accessed on 17th November 2018.
  18. https://trainmec.blogspot.com/2013/06/train-des-pignes-la-portugaise-e-211.html, accessed on 7th December 2018.
  19. http://www.mes-annees-50.fr/Le_Macaron_locos_vapeur_Corpet.htm, accessed on 7th December 2018.
  20. http://wap.codedfilm.com/download/voie-m–trique-corpet-louvet-n–36-sur-les-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-juillet-2008/GdTmwDcLIY0, accessed on 10th December 2018.
  21. https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/lgb-20790-corpet-louvet-d-36-steam-249760598, accessed on 10th December 2018.
  22. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2122&start=0, accessed on 10th December 2018.
  23. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Société_Alsacienne_de_Constructions_Mécaniques, accessed on 11th December 2018.
  24. https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/02/23/locomotives-and-rolling-stock-on-the-central-var-line-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-50.
  25. José Banaudo; Le Siecle du Train des Pignes; Les Editions de Cabri, 1991.
  26. http://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=90, accessed on 16th December 2018.
  27. http://passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10561&start=15, accessed on 17th December 2018.