Author Topic: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur  (Read 897 times)

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rogerfarnworth

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Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« on: October 31, 2020, 07:47:36 AM »
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In our many trips to Nice and Les Alpes Maritimes, my wife and I have seen a significant amount of engineering works, bridges, viaducts and tunnels all on lines which were neither part of the PLM network of standard gauge railways, nor part of the general metre-gauge network. It turns out that there were a significant number of lines operated by two main tramway companies in Provence, Tramways de les Alpes Maritime (TAM) and tramways de Nice et du Littoral (TNL).

These tramways ran on metre-gauge tracks but had a loading gauge not much wider than the track-gauge. In many places they ran alongside roads or withing the highway itself, but often they deviated away from the highway or their own formation.

The one which first drew our attention was the Sospel to Menton Tramway which was operated by the TNL. This is the story:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/the-sospel-to-menton-tramway-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-51

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 07:49:30 AM »
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There were two different tram networks in the Nice area. The TAM network (Tramways of the Alpes-Maritimes) is part of the Railway of the South of France. The other network was the Tramway Company of Nice and Littoral (NL). This post covers the history of the entire TNL network. The other posts will cover specific lines on the TAM and TNL networks.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/the-network-of-the-tramways-of-nice-and-the-littoral-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-53

trainforfun

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 09:24:19 AM »
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Very interesting Roger , I like to see the then Place Massena , as we travelled a few times to Nice and saw the new tramway system going thru the same place and along Ave. Jean Médecin .
Thanks a lot for posting these articles .
Thanks ,
Louis



rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 10:33:09 AM »
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Grasse was at one stage full of different rail transport. Two 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/2017/11/28/the-tramway-between-grasse-and-cagnes-sur-mer-part-1-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-20

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2020, 10:34:11 AM »
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rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 10:36:11 AM »
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This next article is about the other tramway which ran from Grasse to Cannes. It was not run by either the TAM or the TNL. Here is its story:

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/tramway-between-grasse-and-cannes-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-22


narrowminded

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2020, 11:34:17 PM »
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These posts are enjoyable. 8)  Thank-you. :)
Mark G.

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 06:31:28 AM »
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Thank you Mark

This next article starts a journey up a tramway from Nice to Levens, one of the perched villages in the foothills of Les Alpes Maritimes in the hinterland behind the city.

The TNL built the line from Nice to Levens, it extended the urban line that went from Nice to Saint-André-de-la-Roche.

This is the first of two posts that focus on the line and it covers the length from Nice to Tourrette-Levens where the castle houses a good butterfly museum.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-nice-to-levens-tramway-part-1-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-54

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 06:34:21 AM »
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The second article about the line from Nice to Levens covers the length from Tourette-Levens to Levens.

As part of the article, I have used what railway modellers sometimes call 'modeller's license' ... the freedom to use our imagination.

The first half of the blog follows the tramway that might have been built via Aspremont and Saint-Blaise to Levens. It was certainly planned and one structure and associated road alignment appear to have been built with it in mind (only my supposition).

The second half of the blog focuses on the route that was actually built along the M19.

I hope you like it!

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/the-nice-to-levens-tramway-part-2-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-56

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2021, 02:30:26 PM »
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This next post focusses on the tramway system in Toulon. A further post about Toulon will be required at some stage to complete the story of the whole network. This covers the east side of the city. ....

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/ligne-du-littoral-toulon-to-st-raphael-part-3-trams-in-toulon-and-hyeres-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-38

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2021, 01:27:00 PM »
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As part of my birthday present a couple of years back my wife gave me two books written in French about the Trams of Nice. I am enjoying working out what the books say! This post relates to the relatively unusual practice of regular transport of goods on a city tram network, which was common practice in Nice.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/goods-services-on-the-network-of-the-tramways-of-nice-and-the-littoral-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-60

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2021, 01:30:04 PM »
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Reading a book in French by Jose Banuado, I have discovered more about the Sospel to Menton tramway.

The Menton-Sospel line is the only one in the TNL network to have seen steam locomotives.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/the-menton-to-sospel-tramway-revisited-again-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-61

This post builds on previous ones, particularly ...

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/the-sospel-to-menton-tramway-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-51

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 09:13:16 AM »
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The TNL grew in size in the years before the first world war but had great difficulty in getting new lines authorised and built

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/the-network-of-the-tramways-of-nice-and-the-littoral-tnl-at-its-height-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-62

This post focusses on the years immediately before the First World War. It was at this time that the network reached its fullest extent and it was the time when it was both in its best condition and carrying the greatest number of passengers. After the First World War things began to change and competition from other forms of transport increased.

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2021, 04:18:19 PM »
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This post covers a short-lived tramway which left the Nice to Digne line of the Chemin de Fer de Provence at Plan du Var. It travelled up the Valley of the River Vesubie as far as St. Martin Vesubie. The line lasted no more than 20 years but was effective in opening up the valley of the Vesubie to tourism and vastly aided the agrarian economy. The post below will also be included in the story of the Nice to Digne metre-gauge main line.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/tam-tramway-from-plan-du-var-to-st-martin-vesubie-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-64

Tramway services left Plan du Var Station travelling North and diverged from the Nice to Digne line before reaching the Vesubie River. The images below are old postcards of the location of the junction and show the development of the site over a number of years. Initially a stone arch bridge took the road over the Vesubie, but when this failed it was replaced by the concrete arch bridge visible in some of the pictures.

rogerfarnworth

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Re: Tramways in Provence/Cote d'Azur
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2021, 04:19:57 PM »
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This post covers another short-lived tramway which provided a service up the valley of l'Esteron from Pont Charles Albert over the River Var to Roquesteron, a distance of more than 20 kilometres.

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/tam-tramway-in-the-valley-of-the-river-esteron-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-66

Before the tramway was constructed the Charles Albert Bridge was a suspension bridge (built by Marc Seguin in the mid-19th Century) but this bridge was not designed to accommodate tramway loading. In 1913 it was rebuilt to accommodate the trams, just as was necessary with the Pont de la Mescla on the Tinée tramway. The replacement structure had six spans of over 30 metres in concrete built by the company Thorrand. This 'new' bridge was replaced in the mid-20th Century by the one which is in use today.