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Author Topic: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var  (Read 549 times)

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Offline rogerfarnworth

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The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« on: March 30, 2018, 08:53:52 am »
There was a very extensive network of secondary lines in France of which many were of metre-gauge. The line from Nice to Meyrargues was one of these. The route was over 200 kilometres in length and left the Nice to Digne Line at La Manda near Colomars. The link below takes you to the first of my blog posts on this line:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/ligne-de-central-var-part-1
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 02:19:52 pm by rogerfarnworth »

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 09:01:12 am »
Nice was at the heart of a network of metre-gauge railway lines which included a significant number of rural tramways/tramroads as well as more traditional railway lines - all of them metre-gauge. France had a significant series of secondary routes and routes of general interest with a track gauge of 1 metre. One of these routes is still in use - the Nice to Digne Line and is commercially viable. It has recently replaced older railway stock with modern DMUs. The websire Provence and Beyond (http://www.beyond.fr/travel/railpignes.html) talks of this metre-gauge line as follows:

"This 1-meter gauge railway runs between Nice and Digne-les-Bains, 151 km, and takes about three hours. The track follows rushing rivers and steep-sided mountain valleys, many not accessible by car, and the view is magnificent. The ride is an adventure. The stations are old, tiny and personal, with everything on a human level. The name Train des Pignes comes from the pinecones, once used for tinder to start the steam engines."

Steam trains can still be used on the line but the line is generally operated by very modern rolling stock.


The lines I have been focussing on are no longer in use. The first of these is the Central Var line which leaves the Nice to Digne line not far from Nice itself and runs to Meyrargues a little north and east of Marseilles. It closed fully in 1950.

A plan of the route is shown in the blog below.


The second post in the series takes us from Le Tunnel de Les Champignonnieres, Saint-Jeannet to Vence Station.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/ligne-de-central-var-part-2-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-14
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 02:20:34 pm by rogerfarnworth »

Offline Carmont

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Re: The Railways of South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 09:09:49 am »
Roger,

Thank you for this. I have spent a few short periods in Provence, based in Aix mainly for courses in connection with work. If I return, I will have a closer look at the sites you mention in your blogs.

Saint-Jeannet station looks very suitable for a little model!

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 05:48:19 am »
Thank you Carmont. If you are interested in further posts then this next one relates to a tramway that linked to the mainline at Vence. The tramways in Provence were run on Metre-Gauge track and had a loading gauge not much wider than the track.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/tramway-between-vence-and-cagne-sur-mer-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-17
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 02:20:53 pm by rogerfarnworth »

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 06:47:31 am »
This next post relates to the metre-gauge railway as it travels on from Vence to Le Pont sur Loup.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/ligne-de-central-var-part-3-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-18
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 02:21:10 pm by rogerfarnworth »

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2018, 10:23:28 pm »
This post covers the length of the line from Le Pont de Loup to Grasse.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/ligne-de-central-var-part-4-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-19

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 10:27:18 pm »
Grasse was exceptionally well served by railways and tramways. Even though it was the perfume capital of Provence it is difficult with hindsight to understand what appears to be an over provision of railway infrastructure ...............

A number of different railways met at Grasse: two tramways, one from Cagnes-sur-Mer and one from Cannes approached the town from the south. A PLM branchline also linked Grasse to Cannes. There was a funicular railway linking the PLM (SNCF) railway station to the town centre, and there was the Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France Central Var line crossing the town on its way between Nice and Meyrargues.

This next post covers the first part of the story of the TAM tramway between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Grasse:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/the-tramway-between-grasse-and-cagnes-sur-mer-part-1-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-20

And this next post completes the story of that tramway. The second half of the blog on the TAM tramway between Grasse and Cagnes-sur-Mer:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/tramway-between-grasse-and-cannes-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-22
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 08:25:49 am by rogerfarnworth »

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 08:38:04 pm »
Hello,

I am pondering converting my blog into an online book. This might prove of interest to people. I have taken this a little further and produced the first few chapters of the book I am imagining. They are at the moment missing a contents page and and editorial page but I'd appreciate comments on whether the book might be worth publishing on line and whether you think it should be free or charged for?

If you are interested, please follow this link via my blog:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/an-ebook-on-les-chemins-de-fer-du-sud-de-la-france/

Best wishes

Roger

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2018, 08:27:09 am »
Grasse also enjoyed a funicular railway linking the town centre with the PLM railway station. This post provides details of the funicular and also of plans which have been made but not yet implemented(if they ever will be) for a new funicular. .....

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/funicular-railway-in-grasse-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-23

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2018, 08:27:54 am »
And a PLM (SNCF) branch-line from Cannes to Grasse which is covered by this next post. This includes a link to a video of a cab-ride along the line:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/the-grasse-to-cannes-standard-gauge-line-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-24

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2018, 08:29:34 am »
The Central Var line of Les Chemins de Fer du Sud de La France cintinues with the length from the station in Grasse to Peymeinade:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/ligne-de-central-var-part-5-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-25

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2018, 08:30:15 am »
This next length of the Central Var line runs from Peymeinade to Tanneron. After the invasion by allied forces in 1944 and the destruction by retreating German forces of a number of Viaducts, Tanneron became the eastern terminus of the Central Var line and renmained so until full closure of the line early in 1950.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/ligne-de-central-var-part-6-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-26

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2018, 10:15:08 pm »
The next length of the line starts at Tanneron and finishes at Seillans:

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

Offline rogerfarnworth

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 08:04:17 am »
In November 2018, my wife and I visited a number of the perched villages in the area around Fayence. As a result, I have updated one or two posts on my blog which relate to parts of the Central Var metre-gauge line. The changes to the post below relate to a visit to the perched village of Tanneron which sits high in the hills above the line. The village is a staggering 11 kilometres from the old station which bore its name.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2017/12/03/ligne-de-central-var-part-6-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-26

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Re: The Railways of the South of France - Ligne de Central Var
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 08:38:56 am »
On the same journey on 15th November 2018, Jo and I were also fortunate enough to follow the line of the D94 linking Tanneron to the site of its station, and then to travel along the D562 and the Avenue de Narbonne before visiting the village of Montauroux The result of these visits has been some minor additions to the post below, particularly some photographs.

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

 

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