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European Railroad Discussion > anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?


Date: 10/15/23 21:46
anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: pdt

I rode it YEARS ago, and have film pix around here somewhere.  Its meter gauge that runs from Nice on the Mediterranean coast, to Digne, in the foothills of the Alps.    It was mostly passenger and commuter service, with self propelled diesel cars.  I was there just before they stopped running into the orig old station in Nice, which was beautiful, altho rundown.   A 3 track stub end narrow gauge RR terminal with a head house.

Well, some developer was going to tear it down and put of condos or something, but there was a huge outcry, and a "save the termnal" group was formed and saved the terminal.  It was restored, but not for trains, unfortunately. Its shops and stuff now.  (You see, it isnt just in american that the govt does stupid things and follows money over common sense)

Back when I rode, there was still LCL service ...they used a non-pwered trailer car stripped of seats to transport goods from the city to the "country".
Ir was pulled by one of the scheduled passenger trains.    Some of the roadway crossing protection  was operated manually by local residents.
The railroad was operated by timetable and phone contact between a few of the larger stations.   There was no signalling.   They had one or 2 diesel engines that were basically used for MOW service, and there was a steam engine that was operated on a limited bases (like our fan trips).

Anyway, im wondering if anyone has an recent info on the Railroad.  I suppose its still running,    It was a great ride out into the very rural countryside of southern France. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/23 21:54 by pdt.



Date: 10/15/23 22:19
Re: anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: pdt

3 pix as I remember it......
1.The Magnificent Gare de Sud, that the city of Nice wanted to demolish. (idiots)

2. The train shed to the rear, looking as I remember it in 1990.  The yellow cars I believe are the old Renault built non-powered trailer cars.

3. Midway from  Nice to Digne, the "major" station stop of Annot.   Trains in opposite directions would meet here.  Also I think some of the trains operated just from Nice to Annot.  Also the steam train and some other equipment was based here.





 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/23 22:30 by pdt.








Date: 10/15/23 23:26
Re: anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: 86235




Date: 10/15/23 23:40
Re: anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: SOO6617

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I rode it YEARS ago, and have film pix around here
> somewhere.  Its meter gauge that runs from Nice
> on the Mediterranean coast, to Digne, in the
> foothills of the Alps.    It was mostly
> passenger and commuter service, with self
> propelled diesel cars.  I was there just before
> they stopped running into the orig old station in
> Nice, which was beautiful, altho rundown.   A 3
> track stub end narrow gauge RR terminal with a
> head house.
>
> Well, some developer was going to tear it down and
> put of condos or something, but there was a huge
> outcry, and a "save the termnal" group was formed
> and saved the terminal.  It was restored, but not
> for trains, unfortunately. Its shops and stuff
> now.  (You see, it isnt just in american that the
> govt does stupid things and follows money over
> common sense)
>
> Back when I rode, there was still LCL service
> ...they used a non-pwered trailer car stripped of
> seats to transport goods from the city to the
> "country".
> Ir was pulled by one of the scheduled passenger
> trains.    Some of the roadway crossing
> protection  was operated manually by local
> residents.
> The railroad was operated by timetable and phone
> contact between a few of the larger stations.  
> There was no signalling.   They had one or 2
> diesel engines that were basically used for MOW
> service, and there was a steam engine that was
> operated on a limited bases (like our fan trips).
>
> Anyway, im wondering if anyone has an recent info
> on the Railroad.  I suppose its still
> running,    It was a great ride out into the
> very rural countryside of southern France. 

Still running a regular passenger service with some
older DMUs, but the main service uses 3 2-car DMUs
built in 2010. They run seasonal excursions with
steam or diesel, though drought has limited the steam
use in the last couple of years.
 



Date: 10/16/23 10:43
Re: anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: rosenth

Ath the moment there are only trains between Nice and Saint-André-les-Alpes with bus substitution due to a tunnel that collapsed. It is expected that sometimes in 2025 the complete line will be run by trains again...



Date: 10/16/23 18:42
Re: anyone know anything about the Chemin de fer de Provence?
Author: pdt

Thx for the info and timetables.  I couldnt find the local ( commuter) timetable anywhere.    A lot more train service now than there was 30 years ago.  And the new articulated units look nice. 

Hopefully the tunnel will be fixed oin schedule and the trains return to Digne.
 Back when I was there, SNCF still ran there one day a week with a diesel rail car.  I think the other days it was a bus.

We made an all day trip of Nice-Digne on the provence railway, then Digne to  Arnoux on the SNCF (i think this line is now OOS), then reverse direction and up to Grenoble via the back road on a rail diesel car that was a lot like a US doodelbug.

Im having a helluva time trying to find SNCF schedules up to Grenoble on the back road thru the hills.  (not the TGV via Marsailles)    It was all single track . timetable and train order, with a few hand throw passing sidings, at the time.   I think its still active with 1 or 2 trains a day?

Added:  I did some research....it wasnt easy.. You can indeed take the train from Arnoux to Grenoble, but its not operated as a thru train.  You have to change trains about half way, with a 1 to 2 hour layover.    There's also some bus service in the very middle of the route .  Seems the train service is really set up to commute south to Marsailles, or north to Grenoble. 

Thx for any info and a link to schedules



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/23 20:34 by pdt.



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