Le Chemin de fer du Blanc à
Argent


This page was originally written in 2002.  I have visited the line many times since and I have included updates.

Click here to see slideshows of the railway and the area - taken on visits since 1975.

Le Blanc à
Argent is a narrow gauge railway line operated  under contract to the SNCF running from Salbris to Luçay le Male in France. It is easily accesible from Paris by rail through Orléans. The metre gauge railcars traverse beautiful countryside with interesting towns and villages.  This page will give you some idea of the line, but it is best to go and take a look for yourself.  The SNCF was taking delivery of new trains when I was there in September 2002.  Click here to see pictures of these new railcars.

Click here to see an update from January 2007.

Click here to see an update from May 2011
Click here to see an update from December 2013


Waiting for passengers at Salbris
At Salbris, the BA trains wait for passengers at a platform to the east of the main line station.  On leaving Salbris the line runs close to the SNCF main line and then climbs over it, swinging westward towards the first village of La Ferté Imbault.

     
La Ferté Imbault



                 
The train runs on to the small village of Selles St. Denis.



      

   
Villeherviers is nestled in the trees.



 
The outskirts of Romorantin are reached at Faubourg d'Orléans
This is one of the busier stations by reason of the large number of schoolchildren using it on a regular basis.  Crossing a bridge over the river Sauldre, the train stops at Romorantin, the headquarters of the line.

   
On Wednesdays, when school is in session, a special train is run between Romorantin and Faubourg d'Orléans and this is about the largest train operated on this line.

              
 

The main workshops are located at Romorantin and a number of gems are easily visible from the station platform.   

     
An old caboose or brake van is at the end of a siding while a De Dion railcar, used for special excursion parties, stands in the shop area.

     
An ancient locotracteur is occasionally used for work trains.  It has a diesel engine but was built on the frame and motion of a steam engine which dates back to the thirties or earlier.  Here it is being prepared for a weed killing train.  Note the rabbit in the foreground in the right hand picture.

Romorantin is worth an extended visit (click here to see pictures of this attractive town).  It was once a junction for several lines, both standard and narrow gauge.
 The standard gauge lines were all abandoned before the Second World War but some trackage can clearly be seen. More slides can be seen in the Slide shows.



The line continues on through Pruniers to Gièvres where there is a connection with the SNCF line between Vierzon and Tours.

   
At Gièvres the narrow gauge line drops under the SNCF


before crossing a canal


and striking over the River Cher
for Chabris.




A train is leaving Varennes in the direction of Valençay



The next station is Valençay. This is close to the famous Chateau de Valençay which was owned by the Duke of Talyrand and the station is of a unique design built to be compatible with the chateau.  Click here to see additional pictures of the chateau and the town.  More slides can be seen in the Slideshows


 

     

   
The shield or "blazon" is affixed to one of the railcars.



The section of line between Valençay and Luçay le Mâle is used primarily to transport school children from Luçay le Mâle to the school at Valençay.  


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