1) Verdun France 1969


Paris Austerlitz France 24th May 1987

SNCF 9200 class Bo-Bo 1.5kV DC electrics BB-9272 and BB-9266 stand at the head of their trains in the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris.

1) Verdun France 1969

Verdun station in the snow. The semaphore signal is pulled off & North British 2-8-0 140C246, built in Glasgow in 1917, slowly pulls away light engine by the bridge prior to dropping on to its cement train in the station to the left & departing tender first around the bend in the distance to the north. These trains still ran in August 1972 when I passed through Verdun again & lasted until September 1975 I believe. A locomotive of this class, 287, pulled the last regular steam train on the SNCF between Troyes & Sainte Colombe on 24th September 1975. According to AJECTA who have restored 231 there are eight of these engines preserved, 246 is not one of them. I participated in several railtours pulled by 140C231 in the late 1980s when I lived in Paris - must scan some of those photos.

2) Verdun France 2019

Only 50 years later! No steam engines or snow this time. Verdun is overshadowed by the terrible slaughter of the First World War battle but today it is a very pleasant small city. This view over the river Meuse and the Notre-Dame cathedral was taken from our hotel room window at the Jardins du Mess. Before our stay I had wondered about the hotel name and in what condition we would find it.... In fact the Mess refers to the officer’s mess, the role that this building played in WWI.

Troyes Aube France 17th February 1988

SNCF Class CC 72000 diesel 72079 pauses at the southern end of Troyes station en route to Mulhouse, Alsace. Postal workers have finished loading the mail and the tractor and trailers are pulling away. I had travelled on this train from Paris Gare de l'Est.

Cannes Côte d'Azur France 28th September 2019

One man and his dog. On the Plage Gazagnaire at sunrise.
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