GADEFT: Journey to the heart of the Cevennes with “140C27”

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After two years of restoration to SNCF standards (8,000 hours of work, €15,000 of supplies), locomotive 140C27 returned to the rails of the French national network on 9 October 2021.

This human and technical feat is the result of the work of the GADEFT (Groupement d’Aide au Développement des Exploitations Ferroviaires Touristiques) association, supported by the recognised technical know-how of the CITEV as a steam locomotive and historic equipment repair workshop.

The locomotive is usually parked at the Nîmes railway museum, managed by the AAATV (Amicale des Anciens et Amis de la Traction Vapeur) section Nîmes, an association with which the GADEFT is a partner. It can be seen all year round during visits to the museum.

This summer, the locomotive has already travelled through France, as it went to pull trains for the Chemins de Fer du Creusot (CFC), the association that owns the incredible 241P17, which is currently undergoing major maintenance. Trips are still planned with the CFC, notably between Le Creusot and Lyon and Le Creusot-Miramas (www.train-vapeur.fr). The partnership between our two associations (GADEFT and CFC), which has been very productive so far, will continue in the coming years.

After its return from Le Creusot, 140C27 will make one last memorable journey this year on 1 October 2022: a trip on the mythical Cévennes line between Nîmes and La Bastide-Puylaurent, a line that is more than 150 years old and that has not seen this type of traction for several decades.

As in the days when the steam locomotive was used by the SNCF, the fire will be lit up 5 hours before departure from Nîmes. From there, it will slowly build up pressure to reach the 14 bars needed to arrive the station in Nîmes, where the great journey through the Cévennes begins – an opportunity to discover its beautiful landscapes, visible only from the rail. It is possible for travellers to board the train in Alès. It’s lunch time at La Bastide-Puylaurent. Arrival back in Nîmes around 6 pm. (information on www.gadeft.com )

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