• Tramways de l'Aude

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by rogerfarnworth
My wife and I are spending a week or so in a village to the southwest of Carcassonne in France during September 2018. A little bit of research highlighted the existence of a network of metre-gauge tramways in the Aude. These tramways were only in operation for a few decades in the early part of 20th Century. Other matters will take priority during much of the time that we are in the department but I am interested in these lines and have pulled together a blog which gives an overview of the lines and which is based around a French Wikipedia article about the lines.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/27/tr ... iew-part-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The plan is to look at the different lines in turn in future posts.
  by george matthews
Is the SNCF line that once led to Spain from Carcasonne still operating? I know that it has been closed in the recent past.

I wonder if it could become a Standard Gauge line into Spain?
  by rogerfarnworth
Hi George

There is an SNCF line to a terminus at Quillan

  by rogerfarnworth
Here is the first of a promised series of blog posts about the Tramways de l'Aude. It covers half of the line between Belpech and Castelnaudary.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/29/tr ... ary-part-a" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
This next post follows up the first overview of the Tramways with information which comes from the first of a series articles from 1961 .....

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/31/t ... iew-part-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This second part of the overview of Les Tramways de l’Aude is based on the first of a series of three articles provided by Loco-Revue in its magazine in late 1961, written in French by C. Lacombe. It is not a direct translation, and it seeks not to repeat information already provided in the first post in this series. [1] Inaddition a short set of notes are provided about the Compagnie du Midi which also served the department de l’Aude. Another post will look at the remaining articles by C. Lacombe. ….
  by rogerfarnworth
This is the third part part of the overview and covers much about the locomotives and rolling stock on the line.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/31/tr ... iew-part-3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
On 28th December 1910, the train for Olonzac painfully climbed the coast of Felines, with a strong head-wind in the storm. But the Corpet-Louvert 0-6-0T reached the top of the gradient despite the strength of the wind. However, on the last curve before the pass which separates the departments of Aude and Herault, and 50 m from the summit, the train suddenly exposed its flank to the enemy and the three passenger cars and the van overturned against the embankment.

Three years later, on 28th November 1913, Train No. 144, towed by Corpet-Louvert No. 40, consisting of three freight cars, two passenger coaches and a van, left Narbonne at 9:55am for Thézan. The wind blew violently and the locomotive struggled against it. Even so, the trip seemed to be going relatively well. However, just 6 km from its destination after the train had passed Saint-Andre Station, the wind redoubled in violence. The locomotive swayed heavily but remained on the track, so did the three freight cars, but the two coaches and the van were lifted bodily and thrown into the vineyard alongside the track.
  by rogerfarnworth
This post completes the story of one of the lines of the Tramways de l'Aude. The journey from Belpech to Castelnaudary is completed by a run from Salles-sur-l'Hers to Castelnaudary.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/08/29/tr ... ary-part-b" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
On 6th September 2018, my wife and I visited a series of towns and villages in the Aude before visiting the Citadel in Carcassonne. We managed to combine an interest in ecclesiastical history (Saint Dominic and the Cathars) with some visits to spectacular castles and churches and two of the tramway routes serves by the Tramways de l'Aude.

I have been working on the post below with a view to publishing it after travelling the route, which we did today. First thing in the morning, we walked the first 3 kilometres of the tramway which left Fanjeaux heading for Bram. We then drove the route of the tramway from Fanjeaux to Saint-Denis in our little hire car.

We went on to follow another of the tramway routes, but more of that on another occasion!

I hope you enjoy this post.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/09/06/tr ... -st-denis/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
Just back now from 6 days in France. We were able to travel along parts of, or along full length s of the lines I have been looking at in this series of posts up to now. On 6the September 2018 we travelled along the line from Fanjeaux to St. Denis and then crossed over to Lastours and followed the line from Lastours to Carcassonne. On 10th September we were able to travel along part of the line from Belpech to Castelnaudary.

This post covers the line from Lastours to Carcassonne.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/09/11/tr ... arcassonne" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This line passed through areas of significant industry in the early 20th Century. Areas which are now essentially rural but which in those days were primarily wealth generating. The decline of this industries and that of the tramway seemed to go hand in hand.
  by rogerfarnworth
In this post we travel along the tramway from Carcassonne to Caunes-Minervois.

This is a pleasant meander through he countryside encountering small historic villages.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/09/19/tr ... -minervois" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
  by rogerfarnworth
It has been a few weeks since my last post on the Tramways de l'Aude This next section is the length from Caunes-Minervois in the Aude to Siran in Herault.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/09/tr ... s-to-siran" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Topography in this area means that road gradients and curvature at the time of the building of the tramway were such that at times the tramway had to find its own route. There are two such significant lengths on the tramway in the first part of its journey with the Departement of Herault.
  by rogerfarnworth
This next post completes the length of the Tramways de l'Aude from Carcassonne to Lezignan.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/13/tr ... -corbieres" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The post which follows will begin to look at the tramways to the South and East of Lezignan-Corbieres.
  by rogerfarnworth
This next length of Les Tramways de l'Aude takes us south of Lezignan-Corbieres. Some assumptions have had to be made about the route followed based on what appears to be the route in Michelin Maps of the 1930s.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/16/tr ... des-champs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Should anyone have better evidence of the route, I'd be delighted to hear from them.
  by rogerfarnworth
This post carries a bonus! Two lengths of the Tramways de l'Aude in one post! Each is dealt with separately in the posts below. I hope you enjoy them.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/19/tr ... mouthoumet" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/19/tr ... -to-ripaud" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There is still a significant amount of the network to investigate!
  by rogerfarnworth
Tuchan is the terminus of one of the branches of the Tramways de l'Aude. The line travels from Tuchan to Ripaud where it forms a junction with the line from Les Palais.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/10/25/tr ... via-durban" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The onward route will take us on towards the coast!