The International Steam Pages

Rail preservation in Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA)
Part 4 - Chemin de fer de Provence 2021

Thomas Kautzor writes:

While the region is the third most important economically in France, with the 2nd and 5th largest cities with Marseilles and Nice, and is very dependent on tourism, rail preservation sites are few and far in between.

See also:

Part 1 Tourist Railways

Part 2 Museums

Part 3 Miscellaneous Items (Le Cannet picture added 15th November 2021)

Thomas Kautzor writes (11th September 2021):

I hadn't visited the Chemin de fer de Provence for 12 years until 2 weeks ago. Although it is only 330 km from home to Digne, the drive by car takes at least 4 hours. From there to Nice (150 km) it is another 2½ hours.

I had never seen or photographed the GECP steam train between Puget-Théniers and Annot before, and I also enjoyed seeing the new Socofer diesel locomotive that was given to the CP in 2019.

The steam train is unfortunately very difficult to photograph from the position of the sun, the route it travels is east-west, so that the sun is always behind it both in the morning and in the afternoon. The few times it runs from Annot to Le Fugeret, the return journey south to Annot takes place bunker first. CP (Portugal) E 211 (Henschel 19874/1923), which was imported from Regua in 1986 and was already on the line from 1988-92, has been in use since 2010. 

Upon returning to Puget, the train is taken in four parts for parking before the steam locomotive is turned and takes water.

The almost identical CP E 182 (Henschel 19827/1923) is waiting in the shed in Puget, which was brought from Valencia / E in March 2020 and was originally delivered to PPF with a track width of 900mm. SNCF E 327 (Fives-Lille 3582/1909, ex Réseau Breton), which was used in 1980-87 and 1993-97, is being refurbished, its boiler is currently at Lucato Termica in Italy.

Blanc-Argent diesel locomotive 11 (CFD Indre-et-Loire 1941-45) is used as a shunting locomotive in Puget, while the four-axle diesel locomotive 51 (CFD Montmirail 1948, taken over from CP in 2007) is waiting to be reconditioned.

CP Autorail ZZ 6 / X 326 (Renault ABH1 1936) was taken over by GECP in April 2019 and transferred from Annot, where it remains in the depot after an engine failure. It is currently being worked on and will be used for group trips in the future.

  GECP 11
  GECP 51
  CP E 182 (Henschel 19827/1923) in the shed in Puget-Théniers
  CP E 211 at Annot
  CP E 211 leaves Puget-Théniers
  CP E 211 at Puget-Théniers
  CP Autorail ZZ 6 / X 326

Rob Dickinson