Tuesday 4 October 2022

Running Round Rennes (1)

Rennes Then And Now

Like most reasonably sized communities, Rennes' public transport began with Horse Trams and quickly moved on to that new-fangled electricity. There is a very thorough entry in Wikipedia covering the development and the technology of the town':s trams BUT it is long and detailed and in French. Whilst fbb can manage the French, it involves a bit too much time on a day when a small horde of elderly folk are to descend on fbb mansions for the Monday version of the fbb's twin Fellowship meetings!

Here is the terminus at the railway station ...
... which was reached by trams travelling along the Avenue de la Gare. (Surprise!) To confuse fbb there is no such road in Rennes these days, it having been renamed after an MP and civic "worthy" Jean Janvier.
But there has been an attempt to preserve the arborial avenue aspect into the modern era.
But where a simple tram track once led ...
...  todays route diagram in a tad more complex!
Of course, back in the lazy hazy days of leisurely tramway trundles, Rennes was much smaller and the routes went to the very edge if town, and in some cases some way into open country.
Notice the practice of having a trailer hauled by a four wheel single deck tram; and notice also curtains provided in an often failed attempt to keep out the worst of the weather. With all drapes drawn it would have been a very gloomy ride indeed.

Hear are trams at the notable "Theatre" ...
... now known as "L'Opera" and untainted by horrid public transport!
Other tram locations are harder to identify!
But you can have a stab at placing modern bus routes on their tramway equivalent. Please, dear reader, these are just fbb guesses - hopefully of the intelligent kind - but fbb is no expert in "Les Transports en Commun de Rennes"!

Northbound ...
... bus C2 (BLUE):- The Cimetaire Nord just peeps into the old map top right/
North east bound ...
... Bus C3 (GREEN). The sharp left hander, just off the old map top right is the clue!
Eastbound ...
... C4 (PURPLE) and C6 (CYAN) ...
South east bound ...
C1 (LIME GREEN)  with C2 (BLUE) as a part way companion!
Southbound ...
... becomes C5 (ORANGE).
Westbound ...
... now shows as a broad GREEN line!
... which gives us a massive clue as to what is very different in Rennes compared with either Northampton or Leicester as per yesterday's blog.
One other item of interest is some black lines on the old tram map, obviously trams again, but, equally obviously setting off along more countrified roads.
More research needed!
And there are a few remnants of the tram system if you know where to look!
But not much. The system finally closed in 1952 when fbb was just 7.

Generally, however, we can still see the urban tram network as the basis of a much expanded bus network, intriguingly with a prefix letter "C". fbb will look a bit more closely at the "C" buses tomorrow.
Apparently, there is no route branding.

 Next Rennes blog : Wednesday 5th October 

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