Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent


Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent
Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent
Legend
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Argent-sur-Sauldre
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Clémont
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Brinon-sur-Sauldre
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Pierrefitte-sur-Sauldre
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Souesmes
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Les Loges
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Salbris
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La Ferté-Imbault
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Selles St. Dennis
Urban stop on track
Loreux
Urban stop on track
Villeherviers
Urban stop on track
Faubourg d'Orléans
Urban station on track
Romorantin
Urban station on track
Les Quatre-Roues
Urban stop on track
Pruniers
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Gièvres
Urban stop on track
Chabris
Urban stop on track
Varennes-sur-Fouzon
Urban station on track
Valençay
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La Gauterie
Urban stop on track
Luçay-le-Mâle
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La Foulquetière
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Terre Neuve
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Écueillé
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Heugnes
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Pellevoisin
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Juscop
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Argy
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Buzançais
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Bonneau-Habilly
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Chaventon
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Vendoeuvres
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Ste. Thérese
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Subtray
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Mézières-en-Brenne
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St. Michel St. Cyran
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Lingé
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Douadic
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Azé
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Le Blanc

The Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent (BA) is a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge railway in the Centre region of France, part of which is still open to traffic, whilst another section is now operated as a heritage railway.

Contents

History

The BA was conceived as a standard gauge cross country route linking various lines of the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans (PO). Although the scheme was abandoned, the PO built the line as a single track metre gauge railway, linking Argent with Le Blanc, and running through the departments of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher and Indre.[1]

The system had at total length of 191 kilometres (119 mi), with headquarters at Romorantin. The system opened in 1901 and remained intact until 1951 when the first closures took place. All traffic was steam hauled until the early 1930s, when Billard railcars were introduced to handle some of the passenger traffic. Steam locomotives were operated until the 1950s. In 1981, the Centre region and SNCF agreed to rebuild the four Verney railcars, and built two new ones. The timetable was reorganised to give better connections with the SNCF. The BA became part of TER in 1987. Freight traffic on the BA ended in 1989.[2] The last regular freight ran in 1989.[1]

The lines

The CFBA was divided into five sections operationally.

Argent - Salbris

The section between Argent and Salbris closed to passengers in 1939. Argent - Clemont was the first to close completely, in 1951. Clémont - Salbris closed to freight in 1973[3]

Salbris - Romorantin

The section between Salbris and Romorantin is still open to passengers.[1]

Romorantin - Valençay

The section between Romorantin and Valençay is still open.[1]

Valençay - Luçay-le-Mâle

The section between Valençay and Luçay-le-Mâle closed in Oct. 2009 after a safety inspection. There is a replacement bus service.

Luçay-le-Mâle - Buzançais

The section between Luçay-le-Mâle and Buzançais closed to passengers in 1980, freight lasting until 1989. It is this section which is used by the preservation society between Luçay-le-Mâle and Argy. The section Argy - Buzançais is rebuilt to standard gauge.[3]

Buzançais - Le Blanc

The section between Buzançais and Le Blanc closed to passengers in September 1953 and freight in December 1953.[3]

Rolling stock

Steam locomotives

  • 0-6-0T locomotives built by Blanc-Misseron.
  • 0-6-0T locomotives built by Buffaud & Robatel.
  • 2-4-0T locomotives built by Batignolles. Transferred from PO Corrèze.

Railcars

X202 as preserved
X74504
  • Four Billard railcars, introduced in the 1950s, ex CFD Charentes et Deux Sèvres.
  • Four SCF Verney railcars, built 1950. Two more were transferred from the PO Corrèze in 1968.
  • Two CFD railcars built 1984.
  • X201-X206 De Dion-Bouton OC2 railcars. Transferred from the Réseau Breton in 1967. Only X202 and X205 put in service, the rest were used as spares sources. X202 now preserved in Brittany.
  • X74501-X74505 CFD-Bagnères twin railcars, entered service in 2001.[1]

Diesel locomotives

Preservation

Part of the line between Lucay-le-Male and Buzançais has been preserved by the Société d'Animation du Blanc-Argent (SABA). The final section of line between Argy and Buzançais has been converted to standard gauge to serve a local agricultural industry so Argy is the southern terminus of the preserved part of the line. [3][4]

Preserved stock

  • 11 Corpet-Louvet 0-4-0T, ex enterprises Paul Frot.
  • X224 Verney railcar.
  • X205 De Dion-Bouton OC2 railcar.
  • X206 De Dion-Bouton OC2 railcar.
  • 713 Renault Draisine built 1930.
  • 208 Billard draisine built 1968.
  • 56115 Deutz 4w diesel, ex Euskirchener Kreisbahn and mine-musée du Blégny, Belgium.
  • 56116 Deutz 4w diesel, details as 56115.
  • Brookville 4w diesel, works number 3162.1945. Ex US Army. Reconstructed in 2002 with hedge flail
  • COMESSA 4w diesel, built 1935.
  • 4 0-6-0 diesel built on chassis of a Couillet steam locomotive, works number 693/1884. Ex CF Indre-et-Loire Nord and CF Seine et Marne et Yonne.
  • Various open wagons and vans. Passenger carriages are four wheeled, ex Swiss and also some converted from goods vans.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Organ, John (2002). Northern France Narrow Gauge. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-75-3. 
  2. ^ "The Prototype Blanc-Argent". Jean-Philippe Joliveau. http://blancargent.altervista.org/English/page2.html. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Map of the Blanc-Argent Railway". Jean-Philippe Joliveau. http://blancargent.altervista.org/English/page8.html. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  4. ^ "Plan de situation". Le Train du Bas-Berry. http://traintouristiquedubasberry.com/situation.html. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 

External links


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