Friday, December 28, 2018

Turin to Clermont-Ferrand

Today I'm travelling to France.
 Early in the morning at Torino Porta Nuova station. I'm taking 6:54 train to Torino Porta Susa - which the second largest station in the city.
 1st class coach on this Regionale train
 Inside it looks just like 2nd class coach, but with less people
 9 min later I'm at Torino Porta Susa station
 The station is from 1868 but it was completely rebuilt in 2013.

 My first trip today will be from Turin to Modane, which is a border station between Italy and France. Since 2017 there are direct Regional connection, but they are unfortunately only operating on weekends, and today is Friday.
 I have to take the TGV train that is travelling between Milan and Paris.
 Interrail seat reservations for TGV trains inside France costs 10EUR, but for international services the price can be completely different. Seat reservation for the trip Turin-Modane in 1st class cost me 23EUR, the good thing is that it is possible to purchase this reservation directly on website.
 Service Milan-Paris is operated with TGV Réseau triple-voltage trainsets that were built between 1994-1996. Triple-voltage is necessary in order to operate under French voltages of 25 kV AC and 1,500 V DC and Italian 3 kV DC supplies.
 TGV 4502

 This is called a window seat
 Sunrise over the Alps
 The train was full, even in 1st class
 Bar coach

 Breakfast on board the bar coach
 Turin-Modane railway is 103km long and it was completed in 1871 together with the Frejus tunnel. The Fréjus Rail Tunnel is a rail tunnel of 13.7 km under Mont Cenis.
 There are some stops on Italian side before reaching Modane

 There are plans to build a new high speed line between Turin and Lyon, which would include a 57,5km long tunnel under the Alps

 Last stop in Italy
 After passing the tunnel, the train is entering France - here is the view of Modane town
 Not many people are getting off here
 FS Class E.652
 Modane station opened in 1871, the railway was electrified in 1915

 Alstom Prima EL3U locomotives
 Class E.52 locomotives supporting Italian 3kV DC can also operate on the french 1.5kV DC side with reduced power
 E.652 locomotives were manufactured between 1989-1996 by Ansaldo and ITIN

 The monument to Germain Sommeiller, who constructed the Fréjus tunnel
 SNCF Class BB 36000 in France are designated as FS Class E436 in Italy, the locomotives were given the name Astride, derived from Asynchrone Tri-system Drive Engine

 TGV 4502 leaving for Paris

 SNCF Class Z 9600, part of Z2 TER family operates on this line

 Z9600 is a dual-voltage version of Z2

 Fort du Replaton built between 1884 and 1892 to provide artillery cover for the French end of the Fréjus Rail Tunnel.
 E 186 317
 E 436 351

 The line towards Italy, no freight trains were passing during my short visit here

 The town of Modane

 SNCF Class BB 37000 (Prima EL 4200 B Fret - Prima EL3U/4)

 The area near Modan has many ski resorts
 My next train is a TER service to Chambéry
 Inside Z2 train
 2nd class
 1st class, even though I have experience that it does not make any difference in France when ticket you have for the TER service
 Leaving Modane, and travelling now on the 135km long Modane-Culoz railway. According to Wikipedia: "In 1925 the railway between Modane and Chambéry was electrified with 1.5 kV DC, using a third rail. This was the highest voltage ever used on a third rail system in Europe. In 1976 the third rail was replaced by an overhead wire."

 The line I'm travelling on was once built as Victor Emmanuel Railway (VER). Victor Emmanuel II was the king of Sardinia between 1849 and 1861. The Kingdom of Sardinia was a state in Southern Europe from the early 14th until the mid-19th century.
 The line is part of European corridor D between Valencia and Budapest

 Saint Michel Valloire

 Saint Jean De Maurienne

 St Avre La Chambre


 At Montmélian the line is connected with the line to Grenoble

 Final stop for this train - Chambery
 I have a very short connection between trains here
 The next train is a TER train to Lyon, here travelling next to Lac du Bourget

 The train was overcrowded, so I decided to get off at Culoz and wait for the next train
 In France the trains are either full or empty, this one was not pleasant to travel with

 Culoz is a junction station connecting the railway to Modane, Lyon and Geneva

 Train station in Culoz

 The train I'm now waiting for is this TER between Geneva and Lyon


 The old Gare des Brotteaux station
 I have now arrived to Lyon Part Dieu station

 E-scooters has arrived here as well
 Alstom Citadis 302 tram in Lyon
 My next train will be from Lyon-Perrache station, so I'm planning to walk there passing by central Lyon
 I will cross the Rhône river by walking over Pont de la Guillotière
 Overlooking the other 3 bridges including the railway bridge
 La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
 Place Bellecour
 Statue Équestre de Louis XIV

 Place des Jacobins

 Rue de la République
 Rue Victor Hugo
A monument commemorating Voie Sacrée ("Sacred way") - a road set up in 1916 between Bar le Duc and Verdun for transportation of the ammunition. Along the road, milestones were set up indicating the way - this one is identical to those.
Statue de la République

Gare Perrache opened in 1857 and it was intended to be the main station in Lyon, but in the 1970s it was replaced by Part-Dieu as the main station. Also in the 1970s an ugly bus terminal was built in front of the station (to the left here).

The station is today the terminus for TGV trains from Paris and a through station for TER services

My next train will be an Intercité to Saint Germain des Fossés where I will change train for my final destination - Clermont-Ferrand
The view from Lyon Perrache to the Rhône river direction

SNCF Class Z 23500 TER2N
SNCF Class B 85000 is an Alstom Coradia Liner dual mode train used here for Intercité service Lyon-Nantes
The new train has been in service since 2017 replacing the old rolling stock. At the beginning of 2019 it was announced that this line will one of two Intercité lines that would be opened for competition.

The train has both 2nd and 1st class

1st class coach has 2+1 seating configuration

This service has an optional seat reservation. According to the SNCF app it is possible to see exactly which seats are available.

The station where I'm changing trains

St Germain des Fossés is a station connecting the lines Moret-Lyon (which I was travelling on) and St Germain des Fossés–Nîmes railway
My next train
SNCF Class B 84500 is a "Régiolis" train, dual mode dual voltage version

The trip is short, and soon I'm in Clermont-Ferrand, which my final destination
SNCF Class BB 26000 "Sybic"

The view from the terrace of my hotel
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption
Clermont-Ferrand is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with a population of 141,569 (2012), [Wikipedia]

Fontaine des Lions
Place de Jaude - the main square in town

Statue of Vercingetorix

Christmas market

A good beer at the hotel

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