Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chemin de Fer Touristique du Haut-Quercy

     In May 2015 Vickie and Mark Gottlob were staying in Sarlot, a restored 16th century town in the Dordogne region in southwest France.  One of their day trips was to the town of Martel in the Haut Quercy region to check out an excursion railroad.  Their plan was to watch the train take off on an excursion, but they arrived just as it was loading and quickly bought very reasonable tickets.  They joined the large crowd on open cars pulled by a Polish steam locomotive.  Haut Quercy is near the Massif Central and is made up of limestone bluffs cut by the Dordogne River.  The railroad was originally built in the 1880’s to haul truffles out of the mountains to the cities below.  The train traveled along a series of bluffs, through tunnels, and over viaducts, with magnificent views of agricultural land and castles.  Photos from their journey appear below.    
 Poster advertising the excursion
 Ticket Office
The steam locomotive (0-6-0 tank) acquired
from a Polish potato glue factory in 2000
Views of walnut groves and a castle with moat
Approaching the Courtilis Viaduct
Viewing stop at the Mirandol Tunnel