Les Chemins de Fer Economiques de Gironde (Cabri)

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An historical review of the secondary railways to have existed in the Gironde department of south-western France. Home of the Bordeaux wine-growing region and the Côte d'Argent beach, this department was once the location of several interesting minor railways.

Before the arrival of the railway, the primary means of transport in Gironde involved horse-drawn vehicles and poorly maintained roads and paths, which penalised economic activity. From 1871 to 1881, several railway projects were unsuccessful, partly due to the bankruptcy of certain entrepreneurs and the difficulty of raising funds, but the opening of the first line, from Saint-Symphorien to Nizan, heralded the beginning of Gironde's railway era

In the following years, an extensive 272 km network grew up, connecting with the existing main line network and Gironde’s major port. It brought comfortable travelling conditions for passengers and connected rural communities with Bordeaux and the seaside resorts. Freight traffic grew in the form of wood and resin treatment plants, and the sale of forestry products.

Les Chemins de Fer Economiques de Gironde tells the history of the lines and reviews many different aspects of railway operation. It looks at the stations and major infrastructure work, rolling stock, workshops, signalling, staff and railway equipment. The second-hand Renault railcars that first appeared on the lines in 1931 are well documented, as are the new Dion-Bouton railcars that followed in 1934.

As well as the narrative text, Les Chemins de Fer Economiques de Gironde also contains a remarkable 770 illustrations including archive photographs, maps, diagrams, timetables, ticket reproductions and other reproduced images. 248 pages. Hardback. French text.

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