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Brittany: A new Narrow Gauge 60cm line !!

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Baldwin, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    The construction of a new narrow gauge 60cm railway has been started on the former trackbed of the Reseau Breton. The new line between Gouarec and the Bon Repos abbey was bought in april and work on it was started straight away. There are at present four locomotives on site, three Diemas and one Simplex, plus another three unidentified loco's awaiting on another site. On the site of Gouarec station there will be dual gauge with metre gauge, so allowing a museum of the former Reseau Breton to run. Track building is already underway, this is a fantastic project for the region with every chance of winning.
     
  2. 45669

    45669 Member

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    That sounds interesting. I hope that it does better than the ill fated 12¼" gauge line that ran along another part of that line at the end of the 70s.

    Please keep us updated if you have any more news. Do they have a website with more details and / or pictures?
     
  3. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Yes, type in " Les amis du chemin de fer de Bon repos (ACBR)". The Bon Repos station is right in front of the abbey car park which can have up to 250,000 visitors in the summer season, at the other end of the line is a small town, things look very good, there is also a very positive reaction from the local council who is actively helping with this project.
     
  4. TonyW

    TonyW New Member

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    Is that the same one that moved to Fairbourne?
     
  5. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Yes it was, this was previously situated further down the line, but having said that if it was still there today i think it would be doing ok, it was in front of it's time. The new line that's being built now has an already captive public.
     
  6. 45669

    45669 Member

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    As you say, it was ahead of its time, but such a shame that it didn't succeed. A very good friend of mine, sadly no longer with us, was involved with that line and laid the track for it.

    I went to Brittany in 2002 and took some pictures of the stations at Caurel and Mur de Bretagne which are still there but not, of course, railway stations any more. These pictures (Plus lots of others!) were on my Fotopic site but I have now put them on my new Flickr site. Here's a link if anyone is intersted to see them :

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/sets/72157626739118847/
     
  7. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    When the Moseley Railway Trust raiding party went to Ireland to collect the Ransome & Rapier diesel, they were told that a group from Brittany had collected the remaining locos and some other equipment - which is obviously where the Diemas and MR went to.
     
  8. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Hi, this new railway under construction has decided to built it's own points using timber and 20 kg/m rail. Are there any of you who can give advice on this, or know where to go to find it ? Thanks
     
  9. steamdream

    steamdream New Member

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    Yes it was along the artificial lake near Guerledan
    A 60 cms gauge line??! fine!! but far away the interest , the authenticity of a metric gauge: Child (I was 12 years old) I have travelled on the "RESEAU BRETON"section Guingamp-Rosporden it was a mixed train with a 4-6-0 fantastic souvenir in par with the visit of the Carhaix shed with it splendid and impressive Mallets:hippie:
    regards
    noel
     
  10. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    Fairly low profile operation at present, but was given a paragraph in the CCKB Journal in the Tourism section last month.
    It will be interesting at the Gouarec end of the line where the Gare has been preserved for many years – the new N164 bypass has released the former dual carriageway (now D2164) to the east (in the very bendy bit) to allow possible re-use of one lane…. If not, the new line will have to be sandwiched between the road and the Canal de Nantes a Brest (Blavet River).
    At the end of the dual carriageway, the old trackbed is on the left (when facing east), and climbs the base of the hills away to the north. There is a former railway building several meters above the road, probably the former Gare (La Gare, La Halte de Bon Repos, D2164, 22570 Laniscat).
    The course of the line then all but joins the road before sweeping north away from Bon Repos to the cross the Gorges de Doulas and the D44 on a fine arched bridge.

    The actual site of the former Abbey de Bon Repose lies 0n the D44 about 0.5 km south of the D2164

    There is a map at http://www.bretonbikes.com/gouarec.html in which the course of the trackbed can be followed as a line of trees in satellite mode or as a double dotted line in map mode. This map shows the trackbed that is now a cycle trail between Gouarec and Mur de Bretagne.
    There are fine pictures of the Gare at Gouarec and Bon Repos at http://rail-bretagne.aceboard.fr/237765-6263-8590-0-Reseau-Breton-ligne-Carhaix-Loudeac.htm

    The previous attempt to make a tourist railway was based at Caurel, about 4 km east of Bon Repos, the former Gare yard is now the Terain de Sports. The Gare building and Crossing Keepers cottage are preserved in good order.

    We await progress the local economy needs more Tourists!
     
  11. Axe

    Axe New Member

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    Looks to be an interesting new railway. Two questions if I may...

    (a) Will the railway when it starts train operation be staffed by paid staff or volunteers?

    (b) Are there any target dates as to when train services are likely to commence?

    Chris
     
  12. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    Hi Axe......From Central Brittany Journal Calender:
    "M. le Guen, vice president of the association launching a new initiative to restart the old railwayline in Gouarec , has agreed to come and talk to AIKB about the plans on Thurs 20 Oct at 14.30.
    Afternoon tea and cakes will be served from the AIKB Railway Buffet. Please reserve.
    Salle Polyvalente, Gouarec. Time: 2.30pm. Cost: 3€. Guests 6€."

    AIKB is the Anglo-French integration association based at Gouarec.

    I think, apart from the legal foundation of the Railway Association and the obtaining of certain locomotives, nothing much is happening that is on public display.

    No doubt M. le Guen will reveal more info at this time as to the proposed staffing and build schedule. There may well be a large volunteer contribution as with the Association des Chemins de Fer du Cotes-du-Nord near St Brieuc: http://chemin-fer-baie-saint-brieuc.fr/ (a small Metre gauge steam/diesel center with a very short line).

    I intend to attend the meeting and find out more, and will post info.
     
  13. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    A very interesting meeting today in Gouarec. Joel le Guen spoke at length about the 'Les amis du chemin de fer de Bon repos (ACBR)' showed plans from 1939 and talked about achievements to date. This was (after a Buffet)was followed by two site visits.
    The first statement was that the path of the old Reseau Breton line has been purchased privately, between Gouarec and the Halt de Bon Repos (some 4.1km). Some of that land had been taken to build the second carriageway of the RN164 after the RB closed in 1967. The road is now de-classified to a Departmental road D2164, so the carriageway closest to the Canal de Nantes a Brest, will eventually become a railway, cycle-path and footpath, probably, following French practice, having no fence to segregate.... They have concerns about the future level-crossing at the Roundabout junction with the D5, that will have to be sanctioned by the Conceil General de Cotes d'Armor (Dept 22)...
    Secondly, in answer to questions raised, it was clarified that the Association (ACBR) gives protection to the works being carried out by the Voluntary Workforce, that is, they do not become the property of the land owner.
    Thirdly, work has commenced (every Saturday from 9.00am) at the Halte de Bon Repos - the Station building is in very good order having been until recently a private house - it even retains the signage and clock (not working). Currently, the trackbed has been cleared of trees, etc (Nov 2010 to Feb 2011) for 400metres westward towards Bonnet Rouge, where the line will cross the D2164. Interestingly, the Mayor of Laniscat is much in favour of the scheme, and the school there will benefit from the trees felled, feeding the new Bio-mass furnace.
    Also at Bon Repos, the old platform (such as they were) has been excavated into an old Timber Shed (to the west of the station building), and this is to become an Engine Shed for the forseable future to house a 'Locotractor' of 60cm gauge.
    The line will initially be laid as 60cm gauge, and they have about 1km worth of suitable rail, but they need funds for 500 timber sleepers. Eventually the line will be converted to Metre gauge (or possibly dual gauge).
    At Gouarec, the Station has been used by the Tourist office, and is in very good order. This will be dual gauge from the start. There is a large shed to the back of the yard which contains two locomotives and railway items.
    The 4 wheel Metre gauge shunting engine has no makers plate (later info: Billard type T75D), but carries the number T101 MTVS. There is a 60cm gauge Mines Locomotive 'Rhurthaller' type G100HM, built 1991. there is also a wagon of some description.
    At Laniscat ther are a further 4 engines in store, these having been recovered from Ireland...so no steam operation is planned yet - maybe they will choose to hire in steam when the line is up and running - it is after all a tourist railway.
    The line is planned to be opened in 3 stages:
    1 Halt de Bon Repose as far as a private road requiring the installation of a level-crossing, probably 2012 using a Carriage being sourced from Switzerland (this will be stored at Gouarec until the Tourist season opens (May?).
    2 From the level-crossing to Bonnet Rouge where the line will cross the D2164 target optimistically 2013.
    3 Subject to the resolution of the D5 roundabout, from Bonnet Rouge to Gouarec will follow....
    Currently the project has no grants, and is funded by the land-owner and volunteers. Membership will be 20 Euro/Year, but in order to build up a good work force it is currently FREE!
    The meeting was well attended, and about 15 Brits joined the Association, lets see how many actually turn up. The Association had 20 members, but only 3 workers.
    The project needs funding - that was the main worry... it should eventually get up and running, but money and volunteer labour are currently in short supply. Eventually...... the line could be extended to Caurel and Mur de Bretagne as the trackbed is in good order, used as a cycle path.
     
  14. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    The intention is to have the main line in mixed gauge, that is metre and 60cm !!
     
  15. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    Hi Baldwin, As of today, they have a monorail on 8 sleepers! (eventually 2 x 60cm gauge into shed/workshop) Good working day, 4 Brits, 4 French (oops sorry Bretons).

    The shed where the rail is, had the timber floor replaced at the back, then miscl. salvaged windows and doors were moved to the Goods van body (no wheels yet), whilst the other group burned ivy and rubbish. Ran out of work to do by 14.30.
     
  16. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Ran out of work to do ? LOL , Keep it up.
     
  17. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    Another good working day with 12 on site, mostly brits - If you know Brettons/French who may be interested - pass the word on.....:help:

    The workshop now has two stout door pillars fastened in place ready to receive the doors next week...
    The plate-layers hut that was found collapsed under vegetation has been cleared and 4 new foundations for the corner posts cast in concrete.
    The massive task of clearing the shubs and weeds carries on... much more to do.

    A presentation to the commune of Laniscat will be made this week - aimed at the Bretton/French inhabitants. Essentially the same presentation as made to AIKB in Gouarec the other week, but slightly more focused on the funding aspect - NO State or Departmental aid in these financially challenged times - this to address comments/fears about the project sucking up State aid that is needed elsewhere.

    One major difference about working in France - the lunch - good food with some wine or beer :hungry:....this weekend sat outside in the Autumn sunshine - all very civilized....

    Work will cease sometime in November for the winter - Brittany being well known for its liquid sunshine :rain::rain:, and in recent years snow :smow:!!! I will be returning to UK this week, so unless I hear things on the ACBR Association communications - I will be quiet until end of February
     
  18. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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  19. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    Latest news - today, work schedule issued for next weekend:

    In Gouarec Station - lay 1 length of Metre Gauge Track - a sort of a flag flying operation:clap2: - Kind of screws the thread title? No not really as these rails will probably become mixed gauge - initially the Metre Gauge set-up is for Reseau Breton Museun purposes....

    At Halte de Bon Repos, clear and level access trench to workshop, and place 2 x 60cm sets of rails ready for ex SNCF standard gauge sleepers (when they can be purchased:violin:).

    So things have not quite gone to sleep for winter!
     
  20. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais New Member

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    More equipment is coming to Gouarec:
    Light rail motor tractor (Comessa) ex "Train du Bas-Berry" and a wagon (K118) are due in week number 47
    Coach B72 is coming from Switzerland sometime in January 2012

    Pictures attaching.... Also view of Bon Repos Freight Transfer Shed adapted as workshop with new doors.
     

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