1) Verdun France 1969


Paris Gare Saint-Lazare France 8th October 1987

As part of the commemoration of 150 years of railways in France SNCF organised a steam special from Paris Gare Saint-Lazare to St. Germain en Laye pulled by État 4-6-2 231 G 558. It is seen here beneath the fine trainshed roof by the buffer stops.

Gare de Bastille Paris France September 1969

SNCF 141TB 2-8-2T 463 departs Paris Gare de la Bastille station with cylinder cocks wide open. Bastille was the terminus of the 54.1 km long line to Vincennes and Verneuil-l'Étang. This was my first visit to Paris or France. No sign of any greenery in those days but today the Promenade Plantée is a major tourist site bustling with walkers who can follow the line eastwards for 4.5km. The station itself is the site of l'Opera de la Bastille. Interestingly when I lived in Paris in the 1980s I told my french co-workers that there had been a station here until 1969 & I was not believed at first! "C'est pas vrai"!!

Flamboin-Gouaix Ile-de-France France 5th June 1988

140C231, a former Chemin de fer de l'État, and subsequently Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) engine, was built by North British of Glasgow in 1916. The engine is preserved by AJECTA who organised a steam special to Troyes from Gare de l'Est in Paris running via Melun, Montereau and Flamboin. The engine came off the train at Flamboin for water.

Paris Nord France September 1969

The fireman of SNCF 141TC6 fails to close the water valve quick enough! Instead of commuter tanks, TGVs arrive & depart from these platforms 45 years later !

Dunkirk France 14th June 2015

The level crossing at Coudekerque-Branche.

Mulhouse Alsace France 26th March 1988

'Le Musée Français du Chemin de Fer' or "Cité du Train" these days. I'm not sure on which engine footplate this was taken, either 241 A1 or 232 U1 from the negative sequence. Perhaps someone else can identify it? Whatever, it certainly shows the spaciousness of the cab. I remember seeing those "Danger de Mort" signs on the railways the first time I went to France in the 60s and thinking it was a bit melodramatic. But of course now we have the same signs in English on our railways too!

Troyes Aube France 5th June 1988

Taken from the Rue Voltaire overbridge the support crew are pulling coal forward while 140C231 takes water at the platform end in Troyes station. Starting at the Gare de l'Est in Paris we ran via Melun, Montereau and Flamboin-Gouaix.

Compiègne Picardy France 5th December 2016

Rivers of gold in Compiègne.

View on map

Paris Gare du Nord France September 1969

Paris Gare du Nord 2-8-2T 141TC12 departs September 1969. A second 141TC simmers in the adjacent platform on the left. All the atmosphere of a main line capital terminus. With the services out of Gare de la Bastille these were the last suburban steam trains in France. Quite a change from the Eurostars that arrive at these platforms today. My girlfriend of the time studied French at Aberystwyth University & was in Paris for an induction course at the Sorbonne to prepare for her year as a teaching assistant in Verdun. While she studied I photographed. She obviously took the course very seriously as she ended up marrying a frenchman! Still I took my photography seriously too & I still have a liking for french steam, paticularly these modern looking tanks.
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