Billiards railcar 213 (A150D type built 1938) Monday 9 March 2009,
Photo Ph. Ricaud, SGVA
(Click to see this picture and others of the service train on the SGVA website.)
Hard news regarding the long-term future of what was once France’s premier tourist and museum railway, the C.F. du Vivarais, remains in short supply. Meanwhile the Vivarais Railway’s supporters association, the SGVA, has posted some photographs on their website of a service train consisting of a vintage Billiards railcar. The photos also show some recent work carried out by a three man track gang who are now directly employed by the provincial council, the Conseil Général de l’Ardèche. Here is a translation of the accompanying article.
Billiards railcar on the line!
published Tuesday 10 March 2009
by Vincent Piotti
On Monday 09 March 2009, the railcar 213 Billiards (A150D type 1938) went for a run on the line.
After a movement from Saint Jean de Muzols with CFD X permanent way train January 27 (see 1st traffic movement of the year!), 3 employees of the Conseil Général de l’Ardèche (formerly employed by the SAEML) have cleared a 10km section of track from Lamastre.
Although less affected by the weather, the top section of the line still needed some care: we had to identify in advance areas where the track needed attention such as the flangeways of level crossing and places where earth had buried the rails to achieve this ‘partial re-opening of the line’.
Of course, no passengers were carried on board the railcar. On this occasion it was employed only as a service train.
The railcar ran as far as marker post PN 36 (near the viaduct at Garnier) before returning to Lamastre.
We hope that this partial reopening heralds similar activity in the other direction BOUCIEU-le-Roi, Colombier-le-Vieux and the Doux Gorge… and also the return of tourists in the near future.
Meanwhile, walkers take heed: it is forbidden and dangerous to walk on the track, for your spring outings, stick to footpaths!
We have received many queries about developments on the Vivarais and would encourage all who care about the future of this wonderful railway to join the SGVA or to make a donation.
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