France : La Rochelle - Saintes : A Slice Of The 2 Estuary Line Nantes - Bordeaux Around The 70's

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Kentora, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    So DTG, driver of the world, still chilly to do a French route, let me present this one (I missed something when created this thread, so can you joint the follwing post to 1 post, thank you) :

    La Rochelle - Saintes, a 76 Km route on the 347 Km of the Nantes – Bordeaux line, connecting the Loire and Garonne estuaries main Cities, following the French Atlantic coast.
    The proposed route covers 3 main cities: La Rochelle, Rochefort-sur-Mer and Saintes in the département of Charente-Maritime (Wikipedia is your friend there)
    I will present it at its glory, around the 70's from the late 50’s to the early 90’s.

    060 DB 9 - the stars of this line - leaving the impressive La Rochelle-Ville station in July 1957, passing another train with 060 DB in front. (Picture : F.Fénino)

    CC72000 mid 75/80's at Rochefort-sur-Mer going to Nantes

    CC65005 (renubered 060DB in 1962) at Saintes in 1962 in front of the fast train 83 Paris-Austerlitz Bordeaux St Jean via La Rochelle, the 3-140C steam engine lives its last days

    Presentation of the route :

    upload_2019-8-25_18-22-54.png upload_2019-8-25_18-23-2.png
    The Nantes – Bordeaux line (Blue Grey) including the route proposal section (in red)

    Starting from La Rochelle-Ville the route follows literally the Atlantic coast in the “ Marais Poitevin” a swampish and flat area until Rochefort-sur-Mer (29km) and then follows pitoresquely the Charente river until Saintes (47km) with the main ramp not excessing 1/1000 at Saint-Savinien ( it was a nice place to hear roaring motors).
    The top speed turns around 140km/h from La Rochelle to Rochefort-sur-Mer, and 110/120km/h after.
    The signaling is the 1930 ETAT manual block system still in use even if the pallet were the changed to lights signal : which means long block especially with closed station.
    The route can include until 4 harbours: La Rochelle La Pallice important harbour branch line, La Rochelle old harbour, Rochefort-sur-Mer modest harbour and navy arsenal and Tonnay-Charente small harbour. 2 rail industries areas : the Alstom train factory (not directly on our line) at Aytré near La Rochelle and Saintes‘s railcar workshop. 2 depot: La Rochelle-Bongraine and Saintes.
    And obviously all that with the nice 060DB/CC65000 diesel engine (change ID in 1962 of all diesel engines) and theire "killer" : the CC72000.

    In 1958, the SNCF produced a movie (around 20 min) encouraging the steamer to go to diesel driving in 1957/1958 :
    La raison du diesel (1958)
    It was taken mostly in La Rochelle station and Bongraine’s depot, plus some scenic areas of the presented route and some rolling stock. same on youtube

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  2. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    Red : the main route, Blue : the La Pallice harbour branch line, Green : the single track branch lines, Purple : heritage railway, Dark grey : active line, Light Grey : whipped lines.

    Today’s schematics with open or closed infrastructures.

    Realy brief History of our line and route:

    The Nantes - Bordeaux line is the result of the connecting by merging or exchanging different lines form different compagnies under the State company : ETAT in 1878.
    One of them in the Compagnie des Charentes who build our route which headquater was in Saintes in front of the station building.
    The line was completed in 1886 by the impressive Cubzac viaduct near Bordeaux.
    RGP2 passing on the Cubzac viaduct ( 2178m long),
    Video crossing the cubzac viaduct in 2008

    Durring WW1, La Rochelle was one of the US landing port. A open air factory of TP wagon and the base to create todays Alstom factory.
    Camp Pullman factory, at the place of today's station

    In 1956, the first diesel engine 060 DB / CC65000 is received at La Rochelle-Bongraine depot to dieselize the region, finished in 1971 wisdrawing the last steam engine.
    From early 70's to early 90's, the line is at its glory wy the introduction of powerfull diesel engines : the CC72000, and theire discrete BB67400. The fastest train relies Nantes to Bordeaux in 3:55. a lot of express train - included night train - were created (Rennes - Toulouse, Quimper - Vintimiglia (Italy) or La Rochelle - Geneve (CH)/ St-Gervais-le-Fayet...). The freight was not left behind with various type or convoy (fish, oyster, rolling stock, oil, military, steel, coal, agricultural traffic...). but the local passenger traffic was more limited.
    Today the freight traffic is nearly absent. The express were killed by the "all TGV" policy : only 3 express Nantes - Bordeaux per day and bound in 4:55, a 110km part is limited at 60km/h. the local are numerous between La Rochelle and Rochefort-sur-Mer, and more limited after.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  3. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    Brand new Coradia Liner passing trough the swamp near Châtellaillon

    Station and point of interest :

    La Rochelle hub :
    Before WW2 but edited in 1954 Legend : 1) main track ; 2) track to La Pallice ; 3) tramway ; 4) metric track in Ré island ; 5) yard and depot

    - La Rochelle-Ville and the Old harbour :

    La Rochelle initially got 2 stations : the terminating old PO station and the old Charentes station, finally both replaced by the new 1912 station including the Tasdon Bridge. The old harbour was mainly used for fish market, a coal whoresaler, a shipyard and other diverse factories. Today it is a leisure place and a college campus.

    The old port with the huge fish market building, at the right the goods sheds and the old PO station at the back. on the right the Tasdon Bridge and the new station.

    New La Rochelle-Ville station from the street
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  4. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    - Bongraine Depot :

    The depot was created by the American durring WW1, then taken by the ETAT company. It was one of the first depot to recive railcars in 1934. The depot workshop was closed in 1965, and the rest in 1979.

    View of some american 141R, which will close the steam era on the line in 1971 / plane view from the depot, in the back ground the new habour of La Pallice

    - Alsthom Aytré

    This factory is not directly on our route. but only a few Km toward Poitiers. Created in 1919 by the Middletown company, after several name changes, it became Alsthom in 1972. It is the train rollstock factory and the biggest company of the area. Some of them were for the export market, rolled until La Pallice to be boarded. Some engine I will present bellow will be active on our route.

    A view from the factory, following the line, after the bridge, lays the bongraine depot on the right.

    Beetween La Rochelle and Rochefort-sur-Mer

    Not far from chatellaillon, 2 BB67400 follows the coast, this kind of composition was in place from the 80's to 2017

    CC 65000 at Le Marouillet stop, and crossing the important national road (RN 137) between Rochefort and La Rochelle. The crossing was removed and replaced by a bridge (where the pic was taken) due to a heavy accident with a hazardous goods truck in early 60’s.

    An other star, the X3800 "Picasso" passing at Saint-Laurent-de-la-prée, on the left goes the track to Fouras short ranch line (6,5Km)

    I will finish the topic tomorrow with the rest of the route, some rolling stock and the conclusion, I hope it appeal you all
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  5. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    So I will continue the topic by presenting some view of the route

    The city was build in the 17s centuary for the French royal navy, so it has some traffic related to the navy. It is the first city an harbour on the Charente river meander. The first station was build in 1857, replaced in 1867, and replaced again in 1922 by the actual one. Today the harbour traffic by rail has disapeard.

    An X2400 leaving Rochefort-sur-Mer to Saintes

    the station in the 60's with a nice brunch of cars (only Citroens on the right), note the marins in white entering the station


    In 1968, Rochefort sur Mer station, the harbour and a Meander of the Charente river followed until Saintes. On the top and right in white, a big chemical industry a Tonnay-Charente, the next station.

    An old BDR engine from the 20's making the relay between the Tonnay-Charente harbour and the chemical factory (CRAM) shown beforen on a private track in parallel of our route in 1986.

    From the train we can see the Tonnay Viaduct above the Charente.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  6. UnlimitedMagic

    UnlimitedMagic Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2018
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    Really good and detailed proposal I hope dovetail at some point start to make french routes and even make this one
    Good effort mate
  7. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    Beetween Tonnay-Charente and Saintes
    A freight service passing through Tailleboug


    X3800 on a local near Bussac


    Finaly Saintes the last stop of our route. It was the first station of our route build in 1863. It has since be an important hub with 5 directions (Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Angoulême, Niort and Royan), having a scrap yard, a depot a small railcar workshop and a passenger car workshop.

    The North of Saintes station, in the back the railwork complex, and on the right the hump.

    CC 65000 leaving Saintes in the 60's to the South, with a show of the depot, the railcar workshop in the baxk and the passenger car workshop..

    Here at the early 80's with a view of the station building, far more modest than La Rochelle or Rochefort-sur-Mer.

    So this review finish the visit of the proposed route. I hope you liked the trip. The rolling stocks will be presented tomorrow.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  8. thearkerportian

    thearkerportian Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2019
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    Tres bien proposition :)
  9. Sunscreen

    Sunscreen Guest

    I think they should make it based on this presentation alone! Excellent effort- you deserve success :)
  10. Gipsy_Danger

    Gipsy_Danger Active Member

    Aug 31, 2018
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    The reason DTG haven’t done any French routes is because they don’t have the SNCF licensing, they only have it for TGVs. Last time I spoke with one of the devs he said they were working it. That’s the reason why there hasn’t been any French content aside from High Speed Lines in either TS20xx or TSW
  11. Cherryva

    Cherryva New Member

    Jan 28, 2018
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    Superbly detailed presentation.
    Hope this route comes to TSW
  12. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    Rolling stocks

    The line got all the main diesel liner and mixed diesel engine, and railcars.

    All the type of express car going from 30's regional metalised car to the Corail car rolled. And for the wagons, you have a lot and a lot of choice.
    So I will only present shortly the relevent stocks- with their nickname in bracket- which could be included in the route if you - DTG - has the opportunity to do it, and highlight briefly the other. Note that some picture won't be taken from our route.

    141 R oil steam engine the "R" : 1340 engine (coal and oil) were build after WW2 in North America for France (and for some other countries), only1323 were received ,the other lies under the sea somewhere near Newfundland. It is really a versatile engine, used to all kind of traffic (heavy express, freight, local...) and present on all the territory : which means a lot of version beetween constructors and depot (More here). on our route their disapeard in 1971, and they had the honor to close the steam era by the SNCF. Several were preserved and still running nowadays : a classic one video, a preserved one video

    141R and a CC65000 with a fast freight service from La Rochelle to Bordeaux charged with fresh fish loaded in the white wagons in 1968

    060DB / CC65000 "submarines" : the star of our route to be included in the base route. Build in 1956 - 58 at 20 unit with two 925HP motors, tested around Belfort and the french rivera line and used shortly between St-Louis and Basel (CH). They were all grouped in La Rochelle in the 60's, they were renumeroted CC65000 in 1962 (like all other diesel engine). In 1971 the arrival of the powerfull CC72000 will start to whip out those engine from express passenger service and will be assigned to freight from 1977. Their last service was in 1988. Those engine got exported in Algeria and Argentina. 2 engines were preserved in France but no more functional. One video from Agrivap heritage CC65005 when the engine was still funcionnal. And 1 recently renovated in Argentina.

    The Argentinian export version.

    CC72000 "The 72000" : The Diesel Power : The most powerfull diesel engine of the SNCF with 3550HP, build at 92 unit from 1967 to 1974, limited at 140Km/h for the first 20 and 160 for the other, they took all the most prestigious express on importent diesel line including TEE trains. They started to took the CC65000 out of express from 1971. And quit our line in the early 90's. In 2006 they were all whipped out due to new UIC pollution norms. 2 are preserved and 2 are used for experimentation. 7 were exported to Morroco and 11 to Portugal. 2 videos to hear the engine : video1,video2

    2 CC72000 at La Rochelle, one for Bordeaux, the other one for Poitiers

    BB 63500 "the rail 2CV" : the steam killer, to be included in the base route. Build at 603 unit for the SNCF, from 1956 to 1971 mostly at Aytré. They replaced all the rest of the steam shunter and all mixed service steam engine. This class could be found everywere in France on the SNCF lines or the private industrial lines (mines, iron and steel industries...). Being rustic and tireless, some are still in service by private industrials and other were preserved. Vidoes of a cold start, during driving and a preserved one

    A preserved 63500, as we could drive it on our route

    X3800 "Picasso" : to be included in the base route. Built at 251 unit between 1950 and 1961, this 335 Hp engine has an elevated driving control cab. They were used mostly in rural area with trailers or other twinned railcars. A lot of them were preserved. here in cab, and a preserved one

    2 X3800 from both side at La Rochelle

    I won't make the list of all the class having roll onr this route, it would be really long especially if I include the prototypes. So I will briefly propose for the passenger cars and the wagons.
    For passenger car is difficult to make a choice because all the express series passed except the TEE one, for local passenger car it is easier, the main series are the Modernisée Ouest and Romilly's. The post car have less diversity.

    top left : A1AA1A68000 and corail car in the 80's. Top right : CC65000 and Romilly local car in the 70's. Botom left : BB67400 and DEV car in the 70's. Botom right : CC65000 and 30's passenger cars in the 60's.

    To finish with wagons, the 70's is the period were realy old 19s centuary - in service department - could cohabit with the brand new one with bogies.

    Top left : red "debach'vite" wagons and flat car on bogies from the 70's/80's. Top right : shuntin some bogie wagons ar Rochefort harbour. Botom left : a Stadard D refrigerated wagon branded to Stef, used to transport fish or oyste here somewere in Germany. Botom right : heritage 1918 USA TP wagons, used until the 80's.

    This conclude the rolling stock part, which is a wide subject. Next the bonus lines, some scenario possibilities, some interesting features to keep an interesting gameplay and the conclusion.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  13. Kentora

    Kentora Member

    Sep 20, 2017
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    To finish the tour of the route and the thread I will add the bonus about the 3 branch line in blue and green on the detailed map above.

    Bonus branch lines

    La Rochelle - La Pallice Harbour terminal branch line (7,2Km ):
    It is the place of shunting and the place were lots of freight traffic starts and leave from via La Rochelle-Ville (the blue line on the presentation map) and the rest of the country. This place was build in 1890, due to the tight Old Harbour overcrowed by the traffic. At it's opening La Pallice was used for the departure point of transatlantic liner to Valparaiso (Mexico) ant to different African places - stopped in 1962. Durring WW1 the harbour was used by the US navy to unload the TP wagons in kit and materials for war. Durring WW2 this place was used as a U-boat facility by the nazis. After WW2, a lot of heavy factory were installed and some military installations.

    An aerial view of the submarine base at La Pallice (other picture here including the port of Rochefort-sur-Mer).

    Fouras Branch line (6,5Km the short green line on the presentation map) :
    Opened in 1883 and closed in 1969, this branch line was mainly used to touristic use in summer time. and give conecting to Aix island.

    A local arriving at Fouras and direct car from and to Paris on the other platform near the line closure (summer 1965-1969)

    The town of Fourasand the station in the background from aerial perspective.

    Le Chapus Branch line (30km from Cabariot the long green line on the presentation map) :
    Opened in 1889 - with the neverdone projet to dug a tunnel to Oleron Island. The two main traffic are the summer direct car from Paris giving a link by ferry to Oleron island and in winter the oyster from Marennes Olerons on ou branch line.
    In 1967 a road bridge is openend between the land and the islang, closing the passenger service in 1971 and the freight service in the 80's due norms changes on cold food conservation (the wagons were realy old at this time and weren't replaced).
    2 CC65000 with some direct cars from Paris at Le Chapus treminal station.

    A view of Le Chapus terminal, with fort Louvois accesible by low tide and Oleron island. all the building at the sea shore are dedicated to the oyster

    Here finish our travel around our route, and I hope you appreciate it.

    Features, Traffic and activity ideas based on reality:
    Activity idea 1 : It is summer, take the teminal train arriving from Paris including direct car for Fouras and Le Chapus with a CC65000, stop at some stations until Rochefort, uncouple the rear part which will go back to Fouras with a BB63500. Continue with our train until Le Chapus.
    Activity idea 2 : It is in winter, with a BB63500 take some loaded fast delivery oyster from Le Chapus to be added on fast delivery refrigerated fish train at La Rochelle.
    Activity idea 3 : start at Fouras with a X3800 railcar and a trailer, stop at all station until Rochefort, change end to go back to La Rochelle.
    Activity idea 4 : with a BB63500, sort brand new BB63550 alike from Aytré train factory, to be added on the next train and take the export version one to La Pallice harbour.
    And many and many other possibilities...

    Two nice feature to add in service mode and the hypothetical multiplayer is :
    - The hazard shuffle of wagons in local duties, shunting duties and yard delivery trains. For the same service, each service will have a different number of wagon to take and leave (even none which shorten the service).
    - The seasonal traffic.

    This route has several scenic places in a very touristic and historic area.
    This route got a lot of rolling stocks in service (especially for diesel lovers), which can be reused on other routes in France or in other coutries for the export versions.
    This route has diverse activities possibility ( all kind of service possibility).
    This route could be a nice introduction to France in Train Sim World
    This route will make a lot of french player pleased, and from around the world too.
    This region has some tasty food and drinks, if you visit the area.
    So DTG and other rail driver from the world, don't hesitate to let a comment and have a feedback. And hope you would like to drive it on TSW.

    PS1 : Not being a native speaker, I'm sorry if my english is not 100% correct.
    PS2 : Sorry for all to have taken time to finish, but quality research takes time.
    PS3 : To answer Gipsy Danger France : La Rochelle - Saintes : A Slice Of The 2 Estuary Line Nantes - Bordeaux Around The 70's about the licencing issue. I think it is possible to do the route with unbranded engine and via a third party or not, purpose a free manual download of the branding. It would glad to have DTG's legal service feedback on this possibility.

    Links :
    books and mags :

    - Le Train : De nantes à Bordeaux
    - Rail d'autrefois : 1918, les wagons américains de La Rochelle
    - Images de trains : La France ferroviaire vue du ciel : Le Nord et l'Ouest 1955 - 1972
    - Le Train Nostalgie : n°2 and n°9

    websites :
    - CPArama (old poscard)
    - Sur les rails charentais
    - La passion du train
    - USAREUR COMZ Ports in France
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