Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Is It a Tram? Is It a Tram-Train (2)

Steam : Electric : Diesel : Tram?
If your geographical knowledge of France is as weak as fbb's you might need to pinpoint Lyon.
The opening of a railway between Lyon and Monbrison was greeted with effusive praise by journalists of the day. No geographical detail is spared ...
... and the civil engineering is lauded with pride. 
The "travaux d'art" (works of artistic merit) are as good as those on the "grandes lignes" (main lines), showing a combination of "hardiessse de la conception" (boldenss) and "élégance de l'exécution". Marveilleux!
The article highlights the gracefully curved structure over the Vallée de Brevenne at Vecherin ...
.. and the taller structure at Buvet.
The viaduct across the Loire at Montrand ... 
... is now a well-maintained footpath and cycleway.
Praiseworthy indeed. One postcard published on-line shows a superb one car DMU crossing the flood plain, sadly with no explanation as to the origin and purpose of "observation" style of the unit. One of fbb's multitude of readers may know more.
[Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez is a protected area of woodlands and traditional farmland in the Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes regions of central France. Spanning the departments of Puy-de-Dôme, Haute-Loire, and Loire, the park covers a total area of 297,000 hectares (730,000 acres).]

The line was, obviously, operated by steam at first, then partially electrified at 1500 volts DC. The power was switched off in 1984 because, by then, diesel units of various shapes and sizes provided the service.

La ligne a été électrifiée de Lyon-Saint-Paul à Charbonnières en courant continu 1500 V en 1954. Dans le même temps, elle a été mise à voie unique entre Gorge-de-Loup et Tassin. À compter de 1984, l'ensemble des installations électriques a été mis hors tension, car toutes les circulations étaient alors effectuées en mode thermique (diesels!).

The line was subsequently closed leaving a service to Sain Bel (upper left; click on the map to enlarge) ...

... and the line beyond for freight to a huge quarry. 

But, rather than remain too long engulfed in joyful nostalgia, we need to find those trams at St Paul Station. And to get there we might take a swish C3 trolleybus ...
... whose turning loop is built on the site of the former St Paul goods yard.
Maybe we'll find the trams tomorrow?

 Next train/tram blog : Thursday 15th October 


  1. Dear FBB,
    I believe the train in your photo to be an X 4200. However, despight this is was unable to come up with any other information about where or when the photo was taken. I was surprised by how little information seemed to exist on the web about these unit, but I did find the following (in French):

  2. Andrew Kleissner14 October 2015 at 08:08

    Which means that - during the summer at least - you can actually ride on one!

    Jouef used to do a model of one: