Metre-Gauge railways in Provence - the Central Var Line - Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:53 AM   #1
rogerfarnworth
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Metre-Gauge railways in Provence - the Central Var Line

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...ral-var-part-1
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:54 AM   #2
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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-metre 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. Please see the first attached image.

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.

The route is shown on the second attached image.

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

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-14
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File Type: jpg 36679745873_fce1f9ebba_b.jpg (311.6 KB, 1 views)
File Type: gif lignes-cfsf.gif (119.6 KB, 25 views)
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:55 AM   #3
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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.

[attachment=1]le-train-des-pignes-et.jpg[/attachment]

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.

[attachment=0]lignes-cfsf1.gif[/attachment]

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

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-14
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:14 AM   #4
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Wonderful photos. Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:14 AM   #5
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I am still getting the hang of posting on this site. I seem to have posted the previous post twice!

This next post covers a branch tramway that linked Vence to Cagnes-sur-Mer.

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

These trams were run on metre gauge track but had a losing gauge little wider than the track.

Last edited by rogerfarnworth; 04-02-2018 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:41 AM   #6
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This next post takes the railway line from Vence to Le Pont de Loup.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-18
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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The next step on the journey from La Manda/Nice to Meyrargues along the Central Var line takes us from the emblematic Pont du Loup to Grasse.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-19
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:44 AM   #8
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Grasse was at one stage full of different rail transport. 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
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:45 AM   #9
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The second half of my blog on the TAM tramway between Grasse and Cagnes-sur-Mer:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com...de-provence-21
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:45 AM   #10
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There was also a Tramway between Grasse and Cannes. This next post covers that line ....

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