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Old 19-03-2018, 06:48 AM   #1
rogerfarnworth
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Default Historic Metre Gauge Lines in Provence - the Central Var line

I was wondering what interest there might be on this forum in some significant narrow gauge lines in Southern France. Many secondary lines in France were constructed as metre-gauge railways rather than the standard gauge we chose to use for our branch-lines. Perhaps the most well-known of these secondary railways are those which have made it through to preservation ....... the Vivarais network and the Baie de Somme.

There were many more. I have been investigating some in Provence.

Here is the first blog in a series on the Chemin de fer du Sud de la France - Central Var Line. There will be more to follow. .......

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 200kilometres 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...ral-var-part-1
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Old 19-03-2018, 12:07 PM   #2
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Some good stuff there Roger and nice pictures
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Old 19-03-2018, 03:30 PM   #3
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Wonderful pictures and very interesting, nice to see something different.
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Old 19-03-2018, 03:35 PM   #4
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The late Richard Lane modelled a fabulous imaginary line, based upon the metre gauge system. The layout headed Continental Modeller 2 or 3 times and I think also won an award. I'll see if I can locate a copy and post the issue nos & dates.
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Old 19-03-2018, 10:05 PM   #5
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Thank you for the responses. I'll try posting a little more on the Central Var Line.

I have recently completed a full survey of the line. Here is the second blog post in the series:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/ligne-de-central-var-part-2-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-14"

The Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France made connections with a number of tramways operated by TAM. The first of these was a tramway between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Vence. This next post covers that metre-gauge tramway.

There were a significant number of electric tramways in the area around Nice which connected either to the Chemins de Fer du Sud or linked towns on the coast with those further inland. This tramway did both. It operated from around 1911 until around 1932.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-17

One further step along the journey from Nice to Meyrargues. Staring in the town of Vence and travelling towards the perfume capital of Grasse.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-18

This fourth post covers the length of the line from Le Pont de Loup to Grasse.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-19

A number of different railways met at Grasse.Two TAM 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...de-provence-20.

This continues the story:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-21.

And this next post covers the tramway from Cannes:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-22.

In addition, Grasse was at the end of a standard gauge line PLM (then SNCF):

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-24.

And finally, a funicular that transported people between the city center and the PLM station:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-Provence-23.

We move on now from Grasse towards Draguignan, getting as far as Peymeinade:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-25

The journey continues from Peymeinade to Tanneron

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-26

Tanneron became the eastern terminal of the line after the invasion in 1944 as many of the viaducts to the East had been destroyed. This post covers the length of the line from Tanneron to Seillans:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-27
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Old 20-03-2018, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raetiamann View Post
The late Richard Lane modelled a fabulous imaginary line, based upon the metre gauge system. The layout headed Continental Modeller 2 or 3 times and I think also won an award. I'll see if I can locate a copy and post the issue nos & dates.
Roger, the second instalment was in Continental Modeller in July 2011 and the layout went by the name of CF de Ventoux. Worth a look if you can find a copy. Richard was a very accomplished modeller and a keen visitor to France. Unfortunately he never got to Switzerland and the Rhŕetische Bahn before passing.
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Old 20-03-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raetiamann View Post
Roger, the second instalment was in Continental Modeller in July 2011 and the layout went by the name of CF de Ventoux. Worth a look if you can find a copy. Richard was a very accomplished modeller and a keen visitor to France. Unfortunately he never got to Switzerland and the Rhŕetische Bahn before passing.
Thank you, 'Raetiamann', I'll see what I can dig out.

Our survey of the Central Var Metre-Gauge Line continues with the length from Seillans to Claviers ....

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-28

The journey along the Central Var metre-gauge line continues from Claviers to Figanieres.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-29

In this next post we reach Draguignan which very quickly became the premier town on the Nice to Meyrargues line.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-30

We travel on, from Draguignan to Lorgues

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-31

The journey along the Central Var Metre-Gauge line between Nice and Meyrargues continues with the length from Lorgues to Sillans-la-Cascade:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-32

The next length of the Central Var line runs from Sillans-la-Cascade to Barjols:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-33

And now from Barjols to Rians

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-34

And from Rians to Meyrargues

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-35

This is the first post in a short series of posts about the Locomotives and rolling stock on the line from Nice to Meyrargues. It covers the steam traction on the line:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-50

And the second which covers Diesel power on the Chemin de Fer du Sud Central Var Line in the years before closure in 1950.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-52

This is the final post on the Chemin de Fer du Sud de la France Central Var Line and it covers the rolling stock (wagons and coaches) which were found on the line.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-54
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Old 24-03-2018, 07:58 PM   #8
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I'm merging most of these posts and also in another topic on similar railways by rogerfanworth, as they seem to be promoting a single persons blog . This is not in the spirit of the forum.
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Old 25-03-2018, 07:30 AM   #9
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Apologies flashbang

I was hoping these posts would be of interest to forum members. I have received a few positive responses. Happy to comply with what you plan. The intention is only to provide good material for discussion and enjoyment.

Best wishes

Roger
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Old 25-03-2018, 08:38 AM   #10
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Hi again flashbang

Can I suggest a new thread name? Say, "Metre Gauge Lines in France?" There are a lot of such lines both abandoned and in the hands either of preservation companies, (Vivarais or Baie de Somme) or, as in the case of the Nice to Digne Line, commercial enterprises. Perhaps doing this will promote further engagement by others?

Best wishes

Roger

Last edited by rogerfarnworth; 25-03-2018 at 08:42 AM.
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