Category Archives: Railways and Tramways Around Nice

Various posts about the railways and tramways in Provence and Les Alpes Maritime.

The TNL Tram Network – The Changes in the Urban Network (1929-1934) (Chemins de Fer de Provence 86)

This post continues a series of reflections on the tramway network in and around Nice which are based on Jose Banaudo’s French language book “Nice au fil du Tram Volume 1: Histoire.” The text below includes elements translated from Jose Banaudo’s book. [1]

A Changing Urban Network in/around Nice

The 1930s through to the 1950s saw major changes in the urban environment. As elsewhere, the car began to dominate people understanding of progress. Other firms of transport, to a greater or lesser extent, took a secondary place. Independence, rather than interdependence, came to dominate political thinking. Strengthening democracy after the Second World War valued the perspective of the individual. By the end of the 1950s the place if the ‘expert’ in any debate was beginning to be challenged. No longer were people as willing to be told what was best for them. In a significant way, the car became a touchstone for that growing independence and self-confidence. The tram and the train began to be seen as part of the past rather than an important part of the future.

We noted in the last post in this series how buses began to replace trams on the longer routes. Road improvements swept away the tram infrastructure. The rails were replaced, at first,  in some places, by trolleybuses. In others the change to petrol/diesel engines vehicles was more rapid.

Banaudo, writing in French, says: “While the tramway disappeared from most interurban lines, the monopoly of this mode of transport was not immediately threatened in the city of Nice. Initially, in 1925-26, TNL had simply created three ‘automobile omnibus’ lines serving routes complementary to the tramway network. These services were designated from 1928 onwards by letters:

A Masséna – St. Sylvestre;

C Masséna – Caucade; and

D Masséna -St. Isidore. 

On March 20th of the same year, two new links were created to serve Mont-Boron Hill, to the east of the city: 

B1 Masséna – Miramar, and

B2 Masséna – Col de Villefranche. 

Their routes were modified several times, only stabilizing in September 1929, the first taking Boulevard Carnot (Basse Corniche) and the second, the Chemin du Mont-Alban (Moyenne Corniche).” [1: p93]

He continues: “The year 1929 was marked by the development of road transport in the city, with the delivery of Renault buses of a Parisian type which were put into service on eight new lines which opened from 19th January to 7th October:

A: Place Masséna – St. Sylvestre, by Boulevard de Cessole;

D1: Place Masséna – Digue-des-Français, by St. Augustin;

E: The PLM Station – Port, via Berlioz, Rossini, du Congrès and Paradis streets;

F: Square Masséna – St. Etienne, by Boulevard Carabacel, Avenues Désambrois and Lambert, Streets Mirabeau, Vernier and Chemin de Pessicart;

G: Square Masséna – Le Ray, by Streets Gubernatis and de Lépante and Avenue St. Lambert;

H : Place Masséna – St. Roch, by Place Garibaldi, Rue Bonaparte and Boulevard de Riquier;

S1: Place Masséna – La Bornala, by Rue de la Buffa;

S3: Rue de l’Hôtel-des-Postes – Rimiez, by Avenue des Arènes.” [1: p93]

After this, there was a lull in the development  of bus routes with some routes opening and then closing within short periods of time.

However some routes were set up which survived. Line K: Masséna – Madeleine-Superior was created in February 1932 and in March 1933.

The tramway  is eliminated from the centre of Nice

Banaudo says:  “All the bus-lines created by the TNL between 1925 and 1933 in the municipality of Nice were established on routes complementary to the main routes travelled by tramways, either by taking streets in the city centre that had previously been left out of the network, by climbing hills that were not suitable for trams, or by opening up suburban districts that were undergoing urbanisation. Operated by limited-capacity buses where the driver issued tickets to passengers, these lines had low frequencies and carried relatively modest traffic.” [1: p95]

Early in the 1930s, following the example of Paris. TNL and the municipality began negotiations to extend the use of buses to a main route, that from Place Massêna along the Avenues of la Victoire, Malaussena and Borriglione. It was envisaged that this move would improve traffic movement and eliminate the need the costly maintenance of an electrical power supply. “On 5th June 1931, the municipal council decided to convert the lines serving St. Maurice, St. Sylvester and the Boulevard Tzarewitch to a bus-service.” [1: p95]

To implement this program, it was necessary to finance the purchase of a further sixty buses. These were ordered from ‘Renault’ and ‘Panhard et Levassor’ from 1933 onwards. The road vehicle fleet reached 144 units by the following year, surpassing the number of motorised trams. In addition, the TNL finally won a number of legal actions against interurban line operators who picked-up and put-down passengers inside the city in direct competition with trams and buses. [1: p95]

Lines were either provided with new termini, as in the case of lines to the West and East of the centre of Nice, or diverted along alternative routes as in the North of the city. Place Massena lost its trams altogether. We now know that this decision was one which came to be regretted by the municipality towards the end of the 20th century as they began to develop plans for a new tram network. [1: p95]

The first stage of this transfer was carried out at the beginning of 1934, with the opening on 3rd January of the new “Gare municipale d’Autobus” on the Couverture du Paillon, between the Casino Municipal and Place Massena. The departures and arrivals of all long-distance lines were moved, to the chagrin of some carriers who were used to using favourable locations for the Place Masséna, Avenue des Phoceens or Place St François. The opening of the new station required police protection, as the most disgruntled entrepreneurs threatened to block the streets of the area with their buses. In the end, everything settled down and passengers got used to the new arrangements.  With the end of the tramway programme, the kiosk in Place Masséna was demolished and the head office of the city buses was moved about 200m further east: a new “TNL Station” was built in the shade of plane trees south of the Casino Municipal, along Boulevard des Italiens (now Jean-Jaurès). [1: p95]

The Tramway kiosk in Place Massena in 1913 [2]Place Massena again. [3]Avenue de Malaussena. [4]Avenue de la Victoire [5]

Monday 8th October 1934 was chosen as the date for the changes to take place. On the Sunday evening, the trams ran for the last time on Place Masséna and the south-north axis through the Avenues de la Victoire, Malaussena, Borriglione, du Ray and St Sylvestre, as well as in Joseph-Garnier Boulevard, Tzaréwitch Boulevard and on the left bank of the Paillon, between Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi. The next day, the network was completely reorganized, creating thirteen tram lines (including those of Contes and La Grave, the last vestiges of the departmental network) and twenty-two city bus lines. A new pricing system based on tickets sold in booklets came into effect. [1: p95]

There were initial problems. Users were disrupted by changes in numbering and new tram routes. The buses were considered noisy. polluting and at certain times their capacity was notoriously insufficient compared to that of the old trams and their trailers. The Nice daily newspaper “L’Eclaireur”, which from the beginning had unreservedly encouraged change, began to doubt whether it had been worthwhile. [1: p95]

The staff complement was reduced by a further 27 employees. This triggered a strike that lasted from 13th to 26th October. In addition to the teething problems on the bus network, the trams were hit by bad weather. On 1st November 1934, the overhead line of the No. 34 Masséna – St. André line was seriously damaged and the service was replaced by buses. On the Contes line, a landslide cut the track between the cement plant and the terminus and traffic did not resume until March 1935. [1: p95]

My understanding of Banaudo’s comments is that the changes were hastily brought in so as to satisfy a variety of different political agendas. Hindsight suggests that the conurbation would have been better served by renovating/refurbishing its tramways rather than allowing them to fall into disrepair and be replaced by what ultimately has proved to be a poorer series of alternatives.

References

  1. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil due Tram Volume 1: l’Histoire; Les Editions de Cabri, 2004.
  2. https://www.fortunapost.com/06-alpes-maritimes/2100-carte-postale-ancienne-06-nice-tramway-place-massena-1913-carte-toilee.html, accessed on 14th October 2019.
  3. https://www.geneanet.org/cartes-postales/view/5938209#0, accessed on 14th October 2019.
  4. https://www.geneanet.org/cartes-postales/view/7404985#0, accessed on 14th October 2019.
  5. http://www.retro-photo.fr/cartes-postales-anciennes/cpa,illustrateurs,nice–41-avenue-de-la-victoire-tramway–signee-beraud-,8390.html, accessed on 14th October 2019.

Ligne de Central Var – Part 13a – Sillans la Cascade to Barjols (Chemins de Fer de Provence 85)

Sillans la Cascade to Barjols

I have been preparing a book about the Central Var line and in doing so have recognised that my original post about this length of the line carries some significant omissions, particularly in relation to Rognette and two mines in close proximity to it. I have reviewed the original post to include details of these mines and to improve referencing of pictures.

We got off our train to Meyraragues to have a look round Sillans and its environs.The town is known for its waterfall which is just to the Southeast of the town. ….

References

  1. http://sillans-la-cascade.fr/blog/page/6, accessed on 19th August 2019.
  2. https://www.provence7.com/portails/villes-et-villages/communes-a-visiter/sillans-la-cascade-a-visiter-83, accessed on 19th August 2019.
  3. https://www.bookmarkplayer.info/sillans-la-cascade.html, accessed on 18th August 2019.
  4. http://www.mgfedayi.info/Pot-Falls-f51f00, accessed on 19th December 2019.
  5. https://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=60 © J.F. Mc Cameron, accessed on 9th December 2017
  6. https://www.tourinprovence.fr/commerces/commerces-services/2421-mairie-de-sillans-la-cascade.html, accessed on 9th December 2017
  7. https://yasminroohi.com/maison-de-village/maison-de-village-sillans-la-cascade-var-provence, accessed on 1st May 2018.
  8. https://thebesthotels.org/room-photo-sabai-inn-pattaya-ID3385898.htm, accessed on 1st December 2018.
  9. https://sillans-la-cascade.fr/municipalite/sillans-2020, accessed on 17th August 2019.
  10. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sirpiano/sillans-la-cascade-provenza-francia, accessed on 9th December 2017.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sillans, accessed on 9th December 2017.
  12. https://www.cparama.com/forum/sillans-la-cascade-t30688.html, accessed on 9th December 2017.
  13. https://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=60 © J.F. Mc Cameron, accessed on 9th December 2017.
  14. Jose Banaudo; Le Siecle du Train de Pignes; Les Editions du Cabri, Briel-sur-Roya 1991.
  15. https://www.la-provence-verte.net/accueil/documentation/ftp2/pah-ponteves.pdf, accessed on 17th August 2019.
  16. http://www.inventaires-ferroviaires.fr/hd83/83095.1.pdf, accessed on 17th August 2019.
  17. http://www.inventaires-ferroviaires.fr/hd83/83095.1.pdf, adapted from an IGN aerial image of 1949 and further altered to show modern road alignments, accessed on 17th August 2019.
  18. https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/navigation_facette/index.php?f=fondsiconographique&mde_present=mosaique&crit1=33&v_33_1=rognette, accessed on 18th August 2019.
  19. Ibid.
  20. http://www.inventaires-ferroviaires.fr/hd83/83095.1.pdf, accessed on 17th August 2019.
  21. Ibid.
  22. https://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=60 © J.F. Mc Cameron, accessed on 19th August 2019.
  23. http://www.inventaires-ferroviaires.fr/hd83/83128.a.pdf, accessed on 16th August 2019.
  24. I am unable to provide a direct reference for this plan but suspect that it comes from Jose Banaudo; Le Siecle du Train de Pignes; Les Editions du Cabri, Briel-sur-Roya 1991.
  25. https://www.randomania.fr/de-barjols-sur-le-theme-de-leau-a-ponteves, accessed on 9th December 2017.
  26. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMXNNR_Gare_de_Barjols_Tavernes_Barjols_Paca_France, accessed on 19th August 2019.
  27. https://www.passion-metrique.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8154&start=60,  © J.F. Mc Cameron, accessed on 19th August 2019.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid.

The TNL Tram Network – The Beginning of the Decline (1927-1934) (Chemins de Fer de Provence 84)

This post continues a series of reflections on the tramway network in and around Nice which are based on Jose Banaudo’s French language book “Nice au fil du Tram Volume 1: Histoire.” The text below is translated from Jose Banaudo’s book with some minor alterations to the automatic translation to better reflect English idiom. [1]

From 1921 onwards the TNL was increasingly inspired by the practices of the prestigious Parisian STCRP (Societe des Transports en Commune de la Region Parisienne) in choosing its rolling stock and operating methods. After several years of rapprochement, the Nice network was definitively integrated into the Parisian group in 1927. The TNL’s head office was transferred to 4 rue Las Cases in Paris, in the premises that previously housed the offices of the Compagnie Zénérale des Omnibus (CGO) and the Compagnie générale parisienne de Tramways (CGPT).

The new Board of Directors was chaired by Mr. André Mariage, who was in charge of the STCRP, from which most of the other members came: Mr. Georges Bouton, administrator of l’Est-Parisien;  Julien Péridier, Director of Studies and Technical Control of the STCRP; Lieutenant Colonel Maurice Binder, administrator of the CGO; Ferdinand Maillot. Mr. Louis Régnier, head of the STCRP’s accounting department, was auditor.

Mr. Jacques Schopfer, formerly a rolling stock and traction engineer, was appointed Director of the TNL. He was replaced a few years later by Jean Baudouin, Chief Operating Officer, assisted by Alfred Gallais, Chief Administrative and Accounting Officer; Bernard Kergall, Chief Technical Officer; Emile Rigal, Chief Rolling Stock and Traction Officer; René Vinet, Chief Electrical and Track Officer.

The TNL was now tied to the dictats and intentions of the STCRP, for better or for worse! At the end of the 1920s the tramway was no longer seen as a fast, safe and efficient means of transport, but rather as an obstacle to traffic and an obstacle to progress, the latter being represented by the car. After initially supplementing their existing network with buses, the public transport operators in both Nice and Paris tried to convert most of the existing lines to buses. They were encouraged by public opinion, the press, tourist information offices, car clubs and many elected officials, both in the Alpes-Maritimes General Council and in the city of Nice. It is not surprising that the new mayor elected in December 1928, Jean Médecin, made the removal of the tracks in Place Masséna and on Avenue de la Victoire one of his election promises.

While these debates were taking place in the city of Nice, work to extend the ‘departmental’ lines at Levens and L’Escarène was suspended and the General Council considered using the infrastructure built to establish roads there.

In the autumn of 1926, the valleys behind Nice were hit by torrential rains. On the TAM network, the lines in the valleys of l’Estéron, Haut-Var, Tinée and especially the Vésubie were broken. A massive landslide engulfed the village of Roquebillière and about twenty of its inhabitants died. Although closer to the coast, the TNL lines of the Paillon basin were not spared by the conditions. On 18th November, the flooded river damaged the permanent way on the La Grave-de-Peilie branch, but tram traffic was able to resume on a temporary detour on 15th December.

Along the main road, a large landslide blocked the stretch between Contes and Bendéjun. The road was rebuilt in January 1927, but despite several reminders, the TNL did not carry out any repairs on the track and the overhead line, taking advantage of this case of force majeure to stop the operation of the tramway between Contes and Bendejun. This section of the tramway experienced disruption due to landslides and was also from the outset little used by passengers.

Faced with a fait accompli, the General Council accepted this closure. The forthcoming expiry of the agreements gave the TNL the opportunity to review the extremely complex administrative control of its network, which fell under five different legal jurisdictions. The urban lines in Nice were offered to the State by the municipality. The State passed responsibility to the TNL. However, one line, that to Cimiez, was granted directly to the TNL by the city authorities. He lines to Cagnes, Contes and Menton which formed the coastal network alongside the tramways in the port were within the gift of the State and were granted to the TNL to run, with the exception of one line which crossed the principality of Monaco which was innthengift of that sovereign state. In addition, the lines to Levens, Cap-d’Antibes, Cap-Ferat and Bendejun, La Grave and Sospel were conceded by the State to the Transports des Alpes-Maritimes and in turn passed to the TNL.

On 1st December 1927, a new agreement replaced the city of Nice with the State as the licensing authority for the urban network and ratified the creation of new bus lines. This agreement was not approved by a ministerial decree until 5th March 1929. At the same time, negotiations were undertaken in the spring of 1928 with the General Council to group the coastal and departmental lines into a single network where tramways would only be maintained where absolutely necessary, particularly when the freight service so required; otherwise, tramway routes would be replaced by bus services.

The result was a decision to keep only the lines to Contes, La Grave and Sospel – all others would be replaced by bus services. Passenger numbers were dropping rapidly and there were very few signs of hope. On 30th October 1928 the PLM inaugurated its international service Nice-Breil-Cuneo. The construction work for this line had been a major part of the freight traffic on both the La Grave and Sospel lines for years. The new line provided a much faster link to the communities served originally by the trams. In Sospel alone, the average number of tram passengers fell by 51% and the tonnage of goods by 58%!

The Closure of the Lines

The year 1929 marked the beginning of the end for the departmental tramways. After the TAM lines to Estéron, Vésubie, Haut-Var, Grasse and Bar closed in April and May, the TNL network closures began in the autumn. Growing car traffic made the closure of the coastal tramways a priority. With the development of car traffic, the elimination of the tramway was considered a priority on coastal arteries. The first line hit by the road-building programme was Nice – Antibes, the Bridges and Roads Department wanted to widen the RN7 onto the shoulder occupied by the tramway.

Tram traffic ceased on 29th October 1929 between St. Laurent-du-Var and Antibes. The service was replaced by buses -two new coach lines. As the quantity of road vehicles available was still insufficient, the Antibes-Gare – Cap-d’Antibes shuttle remained temporarily provided in a mixed form by tramway and by a new coach line. The few power cars kept in Antibes for this service were isolated from the rest of the network, sheltered and briefly maintained in the shed near the PLM station. After seven months of this arrangement that service closed on 1st June 1930. 

In April 1930, the General Council decided to continue the removal of the departmental lines, starting with the Monte-Carlo line, where pressure to “free” the Basse Corniche and the streets of the principality from tramway lines was becoming increasingly insistent. The TNL had been competing with a private contractor who used comfortable coaches and frequent departures, every ten or even five minutes during rush hour!The line between Villefranche and Beaulieu along the Based Corniche [2]

The coastal line was gradually converted to buses. On 9th March 1931, the tramway was closed between Villefranche, Pont-St. Jean, St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat, replaced by a road service. On 18th June the length between Nice and Villefranche gave way to a suburban bus service.

Ligne Nice-Villefranche [3]

Two lines which took so much effort to build and operate were then closed. The first was the Menton to Sospel line.The snaking route of the Menton to Sospel tramway viewed from behind the Viaduc du Caramel. [4]

For more information about the Menton to Sospel tramway please see the following links:

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2013/12/10/sospel-to-menton-tramway

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/02/23/the-sospel-to-menton-tramway-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-51

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/06/08/the-menton-to-sospel-tramway-revisited-again-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-61

The traffic on the Menton to Sospel line collapsed after the opening of the Nice to Cuneo railway line. It was closed and replaced by a bus service. Only a short suburban section in the lower Careï valley was temporarily preserved. The route had only been in service for 19 years.

The next to close was the Nice to Levens line. Details of the route to Levens  can be found on the following links:

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/03/20/the-nice-to-levens-tramway-part-1-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-54

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/03/27/the-nice-to-levens-tramway-part-2-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-56 Two shots of the station at Levens. It had been intended to extend this line from the station into the village of Levens and a tunnel was built to make this possible. after all 5hat expenditure the extension was never opened. [5][6]

The Principality of Monaco did not want to be left out of the trend towards the use of buses. On 8th May 1931, the TNL signed an agreement with the Monaco government to replace two tram services, No. 41 (between Visitation, place d’Armes and St. Roman) and No. 42 (between Monaco Station, place d’Armes and the Casino) with new bus services. Three bus services replaced the two tram routes and a further two bus lines were soon added.Trams in Monte Carlo. [7]

However, the tramway was not yet totally excluded from Monegasque territory since the TNL line to Menton, now isolated from Nice, still crossed the eastern part of Monaco between the Casino and St. Roman.  This stay of execution was only temporary because from 28th May 1931 the TNL signed an agreement with the authorities in Menton to prepare the town for the end of tramway services and in January 1932 both the remainder of the Sospel line and the line from Monte-Carlo to Menton were closed. A tram approaching Monte Carlo from Nice. [8]

The bus fleet was not yet up to full strength and it took some months to completely close the tramways around Menton. On 2nd October seven motor trams which were no longer needed were sent to Nice. The last vestige of the trams in this area were abandoned in 1933.

For a short period of transition, the TNL organized a bus route between Beausoleil and La Turbie to replace the rack railway whose operation had just been suspended following a fatal accident in March 1932. The service operated from 25th April to 31st July 1932 before is was passed to a local company.

In less than three and a half years, large parts of the TNL tram network had been closed with the full support of various statutory bodies and the local press. Thesevcactions were approved by decree on 20th June 1933, which ordered the downgrading of the closed lines: St. Laurent-du-Var – Antibes, Antibes – Cap-d’Antibes, St. André – Levens, Contes – Bendéjun, Pont- St. Jean – St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche – Monaco, Monte-Carlo – Menton, Menton – Sospel and the Menton station branch (closed since the war), as well as the two unfinished tramway sections: Levens-Station – Levens-Village and La Pointe-de-Contes – L’Escarène.

References

  1. Jose Banaudo; Nice au fil due Tram Volume 1: l’Histoire; Les Editions de Cabri, 2004.
  2. https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramway_de_Nice_et_du_Littoral, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  3. https://slideplayer.fr/slide/3703631, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  4. https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramway_de_Menton_à_Sospel, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  5. https://www.geneanet.org/cartes-postales/search/?country=FRA&go=1&page=1&place=Levens&region=PCA&size=40&subregion=F06&zonegeo=Alpes-Maritimes%2C+France, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  6. https://collection-jfm.fr/p/cpa-france-06-levens-station-d-ete-ligne-du-tram-excursion-aux-environs-de-nice-12154, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  7. http://www.barrysbest.net/Weathertopia/MonteCarloMonaco.html#.XK9Ntpgo-9c, accessed on 11th April 2019.
  8. https://www.akpool.co.uk/postcards/27613626-postcard-monaco-tram-route-de-nice-a-monaco, access on 11th April 2019.

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.

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.

Ligne de Central Var – Postcript – A short walk near Seillans (Chemins de Fer de Provence 28a)

On 20th November 2018, my wife and I visited a few small villages near Fayence. This included an hour or two in and around Seillans.

In December 2017, I completed a blog about the metre-gauge Central Var line of the Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France. The full story can be found on my blog. Two posts covered the line close to Seillans:

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2017/12/03/ligne-de-central-var-part-7-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-27

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2017/12/04/ligne-de-central-var-part-8-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-28

That blog focussed on a journey along the line from Nice to Meyrargues travelling from East to West. What pictures I was able to take in November 2017, were limited to those accessible from a vehicle in a single day trip.

This blog post looks at a very short length of the line to the West of the station at Seillans which we explored after lunch close to the Chappelle de Notre Dame de l’Ormeau which is marked in blue below and just happens to be close to the old station at Seillans which is itself a couple of kilometres from the village of Seillans.Seillans village on 20th November 2018.The area of our walk on 20th November 2018. The green lone approximates to the route oif the railway line.Approximately the same area, but this time in an aerial image from 1944. The railway was in use in the period immediately after the war and Seillans Station can be seen with track in place an an access road from the Fayence to Seillans road.

The pictures below show a stroll from East of La Gare to beyond the accommodation bridge in the bottom right of the satellite image above and a return journey along the same route.Approaching Seillans station building from the East on 20th November 2018. The station building (1) is in private hands. The picture is taken from the adjacent road with the old metre-gauge line and yard beyond the station building on its South side.Immediately to the West of the Route de Fayence (D19), the railway crossed a small stream. The bridge is long-gone although the three ends of the parapets remain (2). The bridge has been replaced by a small footbridge. The route of the railway can be seen disappearing into the distance, (20th November 2018).After a short straight section, the railway turned through a slight curve and crossed another, larger stream, adjacent to what are now the village sewage works. The structure was significant (3). This picture was taken after scrambling down the steep embankment, (20th November 2018).

Beyond the stream the footpath following the railway route becomes the road access to the treatment works and is a tarmacked single lane road. All the images below were taken on the 20th November 2018 unless staed and referenced otherwise.The accommodation bridge in the distance is that marked (4) on the satellite image.

A short distance after reaching the bridge  in the image above, we returned to the Station and our car which was parked at the Chappelle de Notre Dame de l’Ormeau.Looking Northeast along the line, back towards Seillans Station.Looking Northeast at the point where the railway began to turn eastwards, this picture shows the parapets of the bridge adjacent to the sewage works (3).Two pictures taken on the walk back towards Seillans Station.The view of the Chappelle de Notre Dame de l’Ormeau which would have been seen from the train. A picture taken by me, and a postcard image from the early 1900s. [1]Two pictures of the station building taken from the West.

The station building taken from the Southwest.

 

References

1. https://www.delcampe.net/fr/cartes-postales/europe/france/83-var/autres-communes?f=keyword:seillans, accessed on 20 the November 2018.