Metre-Gauge tramways in Provence

  rogerfarnworth Train Controller

In our many trips to Nice and Les Alpes Maritimes, my wife and I have seen a significant amount of engineering works, bridges, viaducts and tunnels all on lines which were neither part of the PLM network of standard gauge railways, nor part of the general metre-gauge network. It turns out that there were a significant number of lines operated by two main tramway companies in Provence, Tramways de les Alpes Maritime (TAM) and tramways de Nice et du Littoral (TNL).

These tramways ran on metre-gauge tracks but had a loading gauge not much wider than the track-gauge. In many places they ran alongside roads or withing the highway itself, but often they deviated away from the highway or their own formation.

The one which first drew our attention was the Sospel to Menton Tramway which was operated by the TNL. This is the story:

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  rogerfarnworth Train Controller

There were two different tram networks in the Nice area. The TAM network (Tramways of the Alpes-Maritimes) is part of the Chemin de Fer du Sud de la France. The other network was the Tramway Company of Nice and Littoral (NL). This post covers the history of the entire TNL network. The other posts will cover specific lines on the TAM and TNL networks.
  rogerfarnworth Train Controller

The tram from Vence to Cagnes-sur-Mer was part of the TAM network. I have already posted on this tram elsewhere, but I have included it on this thread for completeness.

Grasse was at one stage full of different rail transport. Two tramways, one from Cagnes-sur-Mer and one from Cannes approached the town from the south. A PLM branchline also linked Grasse to Cannes. There was a funicular railway linking the PLM (SNCF) railway station to the town centre, and there was the Chemins de Fer du Sud de la France Central Var line crossing the town on its way between Nice and Meyrargues.

This next post covers the first part of the story of the TAM tramway between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Grasse:

The second half of my blog on the TAM tramway between Grasse and Cagnes-sur-Mer:

This next post about the tramways serving Grasse is about an independent tramway which ran from Grasse to Cannes. It was not run by either the TAM or the TNL. Here is its story:
  rogerfarnworth Train Controller

The TNL built a line from Nice to Levens, it extended the urban line that went from Nice to Saint-André-de-la-Roche.

This is the first of two posts that focus on the line and covers the length from Nice to Tourrette-Levens.

he next post completes a study on the TNL line from Tourette-Levens to Levens. As part of the blog, I have used what railway modellers sometimes call 'modeller's license' ... the freedom to use our imagination.

The first half of the blog follows the tramway that might have been built via Aspremont and Saint-Blaise to Levens. It was certainly planned and there are locations where road alignments appear to have been readied for the route.

The second half of the blog focuses on the actual route along the M19.

I hope you like it!

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