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European Railroad Discussion > Freight hotspots in France and nearby


Date: 01/12/20 15:09
Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: inCHI

I'm going on a 10 day trip to Paris in October that will be mostly tourism focused. We are likely to spend 5 days near/in Paris and then the other 5 somewhere else, which I'm still considering. Whereever that is (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, who knows) we'll travel by train. But I'm looking to schedule a bit of railfanning time in too. I know nothing about freight traffic in France, and I was wondering whether there are freight hotspots, and what traffic would be at them. If there is any other site I should be looking at to figure that out I'd appreciate that info as well.



Date: 01/12/20 17:08
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: Lackawanna484

I spent an enjoyable two hours at the Gare de Juvisy a few years ago.  South of Paris, on several RER commuter train lines.  Not especially scenic, but it's in the middle of a busy freight rail yard.  I don't know if it's still accessible, or what the activity is now.



Date: 01/13/20 18:09
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: ross

I know you want freight, BUT- Tours, France. Stay in the hotel Ibis Tours. Great view of the depot from balcony rooms!



Date: 01/13/20 20:08
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: tq-07fan

If you search the sncf site and know a little French they have everything you could ever want and more. This is the digital mapbook from 2019 and the Fret map is from 2017 but should give you a good idea of where to start. 

Atlas du réseau ferre

Turn it to page 48 and 49 and enjoy!

My suggestion is the ibis budget Lyon Caluire Cité Internationale 154 Grande Rue de St Clair 69300 Caluire-Et-Cuire (Lyon) FRANCE 

Decent views of High Speed, Local and Fret lines coming into Lyon from the north. I was there during one of the sncf strikes and they still operated some freight trains.

Have Fun!

Jim

 



Date: 01/13/20 21:17
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: inCHI

Thanks for all of the help! I will look into those website references and that lodging.

And - that freight map of traffic density is excellent! Thanks for pointing that out, with the language barrier I would've had a hard time finding that. That certainly helps understand where to go for freight. I'm surprised it even shows something that seems to translate to "average daily traffic" on different line segments - in the US only Trains or some publication would publish that information. Following that, the mention of Lyon is certainly accurate, as it has the second highest daily total of freight traffic (53).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/20 21:51 by inCHI.



Date: 01/14/20 04:01
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: 86235

Back in 2011 on a business trip to Paris I spent a very fruitful couple of hours at Villeneuve St Georges, which is on the RER in the eastern suburbs along the Seine. It's on the PLM mainline from Gare du Lyon, there's an extensive freight yard and back in 2011 the regional expresses to Dijon were loco hauled, I suspect they're MUs today.

Here's a link to what I saw.
https://nick86235.smugmug.com/Trains/2011/A-couple-of-hours-at/



Date: 01/14/20 07:22
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: tq-07fan

inCHI Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for all of the help! I will look into those
> website references and that lodging.
>
> And - that freight map of traffic density is
> excellent! Thanks for pointing that out, with the
> language barrier I would've had a hard time
> finding that. That certainly helps understand
> where to go for freight. I'm surprised it even
> shows something that seems to translate to
> "average daily traffic" on different line segments
> - in the US only Trains or some publication would
> publish that information. Following that, the
> mention of Lyon is certainly accurate, as it has
> the second highest daily total of freight traffic
> (53).

No problem! It took a bit to get there the first time I stumbled upon the maps. Then I bookmarked the site and found it by searching on the site 'Carte Fret' which would be (sncf) freight map.

I spent an awesome week in France in Spring 2018. I visited all four trolleybus cities plus several other places. I was able to get by with only limited ability to read French and being able to speak very little. I found more people who knew English than I expected which truly helped. If you need any help with transit systems I was able to decode several of them including Paris and Lyon.

Once you get out of the high touristy areas of Paris France is great place to visit!

Jim

Posted from Android



Date: 01/15/20 08:25
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: darkcloud

tq-07fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you search the sncf site and know a little
> French they have everything you could ever want
> and more. This is the digital mapbook from 2019
> and the Fret map is from 2017 but should give you
> a good idea of where to start. 
>
> Atlas du réseau ferre
>
> Turn it to page 48 and 49 and enjoy!


Thanks for the link, great find.

Just to clarify, in case anyone has trouble translating, the map of freight traffic is page 50, p. 48 is Paris commuter rail, regionals p. 46, TGV p. 44, and all traffic combined is p. 52.



Date: 01/15/20 18:08
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: Steinzeit2

I too vote for Lyon -- and not only because of the freight trains, or trains in general, but because it's an interesting city which is easy to get around.  But regarding just freight, I think it would be hard to beat for a number of reasons:

1.  Freight in France is only a shadow of what it once was;  most yards have been closed and freight is primarily block trains.  But one of major remaining flows is from the industrial and petrochemical plants in the south to the northeast and, to a lesser extent, Paris, and there is no better place to catch that than Lyon.  In better freight times the line south on the west bank of the Rhone had the bulk of that traffic, the east side being reserved for passenger trains and some express freight.  But conventional  [ = non TGV ] long distance passenger is essentially no more -- see the map on pp 42-43 -- so there is capacity, shared with regional [ = TER ] passenger on the east side now as well.  At Lyon they come together and....

2.  One of the last remaining marshalling yards, Sibelin, is south of Lyon;  it is actually closer to the city than the pp 48-49 map would suggest, and as such is located before one of the bridges that can send traffic down the west bank.  It might be possible to railfan at one of the small stations such as Feyzin or Serezin, served by TER trains and north and south of the yard respectively.  However, I have not done this, and if I had, my recollections would be outdated;  there are regrettably some areas in most if not all of the metropolitan areas where your safety / property might be at risk.  A better choice might be .....

3.  The area immediately south of Lyon Part-Dieu, the main station, did and hopefully does provide some nice vantage points which would capture most of the freight to / from the north, and would also capture freight going east avoiding Sibelin.

Lyon also has a subway, a "rack subway", and a number of new streetcar / interurban lines as well as a variety of passenger services, so there's more steel wheeled [ and rubber tired for the subway, of course ] items of interest.

Have fun !!

With best regards, SZ



Date: 01/17/20 00:33
Re: Freight hotspots in France and nearby
Author: gobbl3gook

I spent a few days bicycling in the Upper Middle Rhein Valley in Germany last year.  Between Frankfurt and Cologne.  

It was the busiest freight railway I'd ever seen.  

2 track mainlines on both sides of the river.  I didn't count the trains, but probably 15 freight and 15 passenger every hour.  The river is narrow, so if you're trackside on one side, you can usually get a decent view of the trains on the other side as well. Lots of parks, paths and cute towns to chill around in.  Photo posted below.  

By far the most interesting freight trains were in the Carpathain Mountains in Ukraine.  The Russian train system has 50 car long freights.  The rest of Europe seems to top out at about 22 cars.   You could get there pretty quick from Paris via Munich, Vienna and Budapest, but thats probably ourside your current scope... 

See post here 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?17,4893121

Ted in OR




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