Their journey is unusual for passengers and railway workers aboard this rail cruise.
An atypical “cruise” left Lausanne, Saturday September 17, to travel 1,716 km through France and the Massif Central with the oldest coach in activity at the SNCF. An eight-day journey that led travelers to stop in Sète, Wednesday, September 21, where they enjoyed a day in the sun.
A historic railcar
The singular island will have been a day of visit during their journey by train. Arrived Tuesday evening, the travelers left their wagon, disembarking on the quays of the canal. Some were visiting when others were able to take the bus for the Larzac-Express, which runs along the Cernon.
Departing from Ussel, in Corèze, it is Michelline who leads the travelers on their journey. If it does not necessarily speak to the youngest readers, it is no less than the model of the oldest railcar still in circulation on the SNCF network – since 1951.
The tourist train leaves its usual rails to cross the Massif Central: the landscapes of Montluçon, Limousin, Auvergne, Lozère or the Cévennes. After the singular island break, the train will leave for Millau and Mende, and will cross the Allier to finish with a last day of travel along the Loire, to Roanne.
If this journey seems impressive, the 80-seater railcar has already traveled 4 million km since it was put into service 71 years ago. The three retired railway workers, from the Auvergne railway association, even restored the original colors of the vehicle, which catches the eye when it is docked.
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