Saturday, December 29, 2018

Clermont-Ferrand to Bordeaux

Before I start today's post, I will show some maps of my trip so far each day. The maps are taken from the Interrail "Rail planner" app.

On 25th of December I started my journey from Varberg to Berlin (I took a bit different route between Helsinborg and Copenhagen, but otherwise it's correct)

26th of December: Berlin to Innsbruck

27th of December: Innsbruck to Turin

28th of December: Turin to Clermont-Ferrand
Today's trip will go from Clermont-Ferrand to Bordeaux, unfortunately there is no straight way by train, I have to take a detour north to Vierzon first. Today's trip is presented with two maps
From Limoges I will go north again to Poitiers, then I will be able to take TGV train to Bordeaux.
 Clermont-Ferrand station in the morning

 The line between Paris and Clermont-Ferrand is operated with Intercité train

 My first train is a TER to Nevers
 SNCF Class B 84500 "Régiolis"
 It is a brand new train, one can still smell the factory

 This train is actually one of my favourites nowadays, specially these seats (large windows, comfortable seats, and few passengers).
 The line between Paris and Clermont-Ferrand was constructed in 1858, and it is one of the main lines in France. It was electrified in 1990 and partially upgraded to 200km/h in 2008. The line is electrified with 1,5kV DC between Paris and Montargis and with 25kV AC between Montargis and Clermont.

 Cathédrale Saint-Cyr et Sainte-Julitte de Nevers
 Loire river
 At Nevers I will change trains

 Class 84500 (to the right) and Class 81500 (to the left) - both equipped with dual mode

 SNCF Class BB 26000

 My next train will be this SNCF Class X 72500 diesel multiple unit

 After a short ride I'm in Vierzon
 Vierzon is located at the Orléans-Montauban railway

 Night-time exit

 The line is served by Intercité trains, but this one did not stop here

 No information in English here but I understand that the railway was extended from Orléans and the station in Vierzon opened in 1847

 Next is this class Z 27500 "ZGC" - electric version of AGC

 I'm making another stop at Châteauroux

 Intercité train to Paris with SNCF Class BB 7200
 From Wikipedia: "The SNCF Class BB 7200 is a 1.5 kV DC electric locomotive operated by the SNCF in France. It is the DC version of the 'Nez Cassé' family of locomotives. SNCF Class BB 15000 is the AC version while the Class BB 22200 is a dual-voltage version. They are numbered to show that the DC and AC class numbers add up to the dual-voltage locomotive class number (7200 + 15000 = 22200). Another relative is the NS Class 1600 operated in the Netherlands, a DC locomotive based on the BB 7200."

 14 coaches in this train

 Église Saint-André

 SNCF Class Z 7300, 1.5kV version of Z2 TER
 TER to Argenton sur Creuse

 Another 14 coach Intercité train, this time heading to Brive la Gaillarde
 I'm going to travel with this train to Limoges Bénédictins

 Intercité train with SNCF Class BB 26000 locomotive is arriving

 Half of the train is empty, so I'm taking an available seat. This train has a mandatory seat reservation, 10EUR for 1st class Interrail
 1st class coach A5t2u with mixed compartments and open seating. The other 1st class coach is A8tu with only open seating. Both coaches are of type Corail Teoz

 After a grey and cold first part of the day, the sun is finally appearing as I head south

The route of my Intercités train
A short video

 At Limoges the sky is blue

From Wikipedia: "Limoges-Bénédictins is the main railway station of Limoges. It is situated on the Orléans–Montauban railway. It was named Bénédictins due to the presence of a Benedictine monastery closed during the French Revolution."

 Current station was built in 1929 by Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans

 Intercité train continues to Brive la Gaillarde
 Bus station next to the train station with Ouibus and Flixbus busses. As the train network in this part of France is not well expanded, specially for the west/east connections, the bus services have better services than trains.
 The main hall

 Limoges Benedictins is by far one of the most beautiful stations I've visited (it was worth taking this detour).

 The station is appearing in Chanel commercial

 Monument of the Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871

 City hall
 Trolleybus Irisbus (Iveco) Cristalis ETB12

Place Léon Betoulle

 Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges

 Limoges Fine Arts Museum
 Jardin botanique de l'évêché

 Church of St Peter of Queyroix

 Eglise Saint Michel des Lions

 Vodka advertisement

 Intercités trains are operated on this line every 2h, so here is the next one arriving from Paris
 This Intercité has destination Cahors, some other trains continue all the way to Toulouse. The trip time all the way from Paris to Toulouse is 6h43min, even though this is the shortest route geographically, it is now faster to take the TGV route through Bordeaux, the trip would then take 4h20min.
 SNCF Class BB 26000 "Sybics"
 My next train is this SNCF Class B 81500, dual mode version of AGC, called BGC. It is capable of running on both of diesel and 1.5kV DC.
 The train has destination Poitiers, where I will change to TGV for Bordeaux. It is a bit strange to travel north in order to get south, but it turned out to be the fastest route between Limoges and Bordeaux.

 I'm now travelling on the non-electrified line Limoges-Dorat

 Église Notre-Dame at Bellac

 Le Dorat
 From Le Dorat, the train is taking the line Mignaloux-Nouaillé to Bersac

 Final stop for this train is Poitiers
Poitiers is located at the main line Paris-Austerlitz to Bordeaux-Saint-Jean

 TGV trains are stopping here
 Also some freight trains are passing by

 TGV 391 and 349 are coupled here at Poitiers. Both are of second generation type TGV Atlantique built by Alstom between 1988 and 1992

 My train is arriving from Lille Flandres

 TGV 274 and Ouigo 760 coupled together arriving from Bordeaux

 Finally, my last train is arriving
 Some snack on board
 Almost 300km/h according to the Wifi page at the train
There is a possibility to chat with other passengers in the same train (when connected to same Wifi)

 View from my hotel
It is cold in this part of France

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