Tramways in Provence

Roger Farnworth Apr 16, 2019

  1. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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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
     
  2. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  3. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    The tram from Vence to Cagnes-sur-Mer was part of the TAM network.

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...d-cagne-sur-mer-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-17


    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


    The second part of the story of the TAM tramway between Grasse and Cagnes-sur-Mer:

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/the-tramway-between-grasse-and-cagnes-sur-mer-part-2-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-21

     
  4. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    The city of Grasse was connected to a variety of palces by different transport linkslinks.

    The first and last relate to the metre-gauge line which passed through the town on its journey from Nice to Meyrargues. The middle three cover the PLM/SNCF line, the funicular and another tramway.

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...ntral-var-part-4-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-19

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...ndard-gauge-line-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-24

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...ailway-in-grasse-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-23

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...rasse-and-cannes-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-22

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.co...ntral-var-part-5-chemin-de-fer-de-provence-25
     
  5. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    The TNL built a 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 covers the length from Nice to Tourrette-Levens.

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


    The remainder of the TNL tramway line from Tourette-Levens to Levens follows below.

    As part of the blog, 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.

    The second half of the blog focuses on the current route 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
     
  6. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  7. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  8. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Reading the book in French by Jose Banuado, I have discovered more about the Sospel to Menton tramway.

    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
     
  9. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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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


     
  10. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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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 has also been 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


    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
     
  11. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Another of the branch tramways left the Nice to Digne line close to La Mescla Station and travelled up the valley of La Tinee.

    https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/tam-tramway-from-la-mescla-to-saint-sauveur-sur-tinee-revisited-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-67




    The available imagery from the time of the tramway is limited in extent and is supplemented by images from later dates.
     
  12. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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  13. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    This next post reflects on the conditions on the tramway network in Nice in the years after the war:

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/12/28/tnl-tramways-recovery-after-the-first-world-war-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-83


    It was not long before the tramways around Nice began an inexorable decline. The early 1930s saw the loss of many of the tram routes outside the city of Nice. Buses were the new thing as far as public transport was concerned. The car became gradually more important.

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/04/09/the-tnl-tram-network-the-beginning-of-the-decline-1927-1934-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-84
     
  14. Roger Farnworth

    Roger Farnworth TrainBoard Member

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    Further decline in the urban tramway network in Nice occurred from the late 1920s into the 1930s. Buses became politically more acceptable than the trams. ... This post continues my reflections based on a translation of the work of Jose Banaudo from French into English. ...

    http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/10/14/the-tnl-tram-network-the-changes-in-the-urban-network-1929-1934-chemins-de-fer-de-provence-86


     

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