Historic Metre Gauge Railways in Provence in Southern France

Aug 2018
166
Ashton-under-Lyne
#61
The next step along the Nice to Digne railway line takes us from Saint-Andre-les-Alpes into the next valley - the valley of L'Asse.

Nice to Digne-les-Bains Part 12 – Saint-Andre-les-Alpes to Barrême. (Chemins de Fer de Provence 76)

Our journey recommences in Saint-Andre-les-Alpes. The feature image shows the village with the station in the foreground. The image immediately below gives a panoramic view of the village from the north, showing the first of the lakes in the Verdon valley behind the village, as well as the railway station in the bottom-right.
 
Aug 2018
166
Ashton-under-Lyne
#62
The next post in the series on the line from Nice to Digne covers the length of the route from Barreme to the station at Mezel.

Nice to Digne-les-Bains Part 13 – Barrême to Mezel (Chemins de Fer de Provence 77)

As an interesting aside, research on line suggests that the final location of Barreme station was not the location originally intended. I have found a sequence of drawings which seem to locate the station to the north-west of the present location further along the Nice -Digne line, beyond the bridge in the village centre. It is possible that I have misunderstood the drawings, but it seems that there was another location planned and that the station would have had larger facilities if the original plans went ahead.
Barreme Station has been used as the source for a model by Aubertrain (Modules). The diorama is 602 x 400 x 250 mm in size and costs 875 euros.
 
Aug 2018
166
Ashton-under-Lyne
#63
This is the final post covering the length of the Nice to Digne line. I hope to cover the motive power and rolling stock on the line in one or more additional posts.

Nice to Digne-les-Bains Part 14 – Mezel to Digne (Chemins de Fer de Provence 78)

Traffic on the metre-gauge line is hampered by that fact that the standard-gauge connection to Digne has been cut. There has been talk of a possible metre-gauge line extension to meet the SNCF mainline at Château-Arnoux Saint-Auban, however, this is probably beyond the resources of the Chemins de Fer de Provence.

In looking for plans of the Station Site at Digne les Bains, I noticed reference to a 'Project de Tram Train Digne Manosque'. It can bee seen on Openstreetmap as a dotted line which runs from Digne to Château-Arnoux Saint-Auban.

The project is intended to use the old standard-gauge formation and its line into Château-Arnoux Saint-Auban. The project now has a website:

Projet multimodal Digne Sisteron Manosque.

Is the scheme feasible? There are some questions about this which appear in the comments on the website.

How likely is this scheme, does anyone know?
 
Aug 2018
166
Ashton-under-Lyne
#66
In order to complete this series of posts on the Metre Gauge Railways of the Cote d'Azur and Var in Provence I have been working on a series of posts about the locomotives and rolling stock on the Nice to Digne-les-Bains Line. I have just posted the first of these:

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:

Locomotives and Rolling Stock on the Central Var Line (Chemins de Fer de Provence 50)

Locomotives and Rolling Stock on the Central Var Line (Chemins de Fer de Provence 52)

Rolling Stock on the Central Var Line (Chemins de Fer de Provence 54)

Ligne du Littoral (Toulon to St. Raphael) – Part 14 – Locomotives and Rolling Stock (Chemins 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).
 
Aug 2018
166
Ashton-under-Lyne
#67

Similar History Discussions