26th October 1986

(Association de Jeunes pour l'Entretien et la Conservation des Trains d'Autrefois)
J'aime à Revoir ma Normandie

Loco Used SNCF steam : 231G558

Route :
SPL 16450 / SPL 16451 - Paris Austerlitz to Rouen RD
SPL 16454 / SPL 16455 - Rouen RD to Paris Austerlitz

Loco Route
231G558 Paris Austerlitz (07:57) - Orly - Massy Palaiseau - Versailles-Chantiers - Mantes-la-Jolie - Evreux - Conches - le Glos-Montfort - Orival - Rouen Rive-Droite (13:45)
231G558 Rouen RD (17:38) - Val-de-Reuil - Vernon - Mantes-la-Jolie (centre platform) - Epône-Mézières (flyover) - Plaisir-Grignons - St. Cyr - Versailles Matelots (slow line) - Grand Ceinture diveunder - Versailles-Chantiers - Massy Palaiseau - Orly Ville - Vitry-sur-Seine - Paris Austerlitz (21:08)

Source : Andy Pullar

Tour Review
(by Andy Pullar)

On paper this seemed a good trip to get in some French vapeur and some bonus curves (of the rail variety).
The weather had other ideas but there was no plan B as I was working the early shift on the Saturday and the Channel Tunnel was still a dream in French politicians eyes.

73105 got me to Gatwick from London in time to catch 47476 on the 16:15 Manchester Newhaven Harbour Marine (did they really run these trains).

Then it was time to brave MV Chantilly across the Channel. Unfortunately I didn't row fast enough because of the bad weather and by the time SNCF class 67 67527 skipped its way along the Harbour at Dieppe there was no chance of getting to Paris in time for lunch let alone board the special train.

Nothing for it but to wait for the tour to arrive at Rouen, take the withering in good spirit[b@!%@£d!] (how come no one else missed the start), enjoy the guided tour of Rouen (if you can describe looking at medieval plague burial sites enjoyment) and make do with the return thrash.

Having booked the wine and dine option the great start to the day was soon forgotten in a gluttony of fine food and over imbibing on the plonk provided to wash everything down.

The Association de Jeunes pour l'Entretien et la Conservation des Trains d'Autrefois put on a most enjoyable trip (even if I missed half of it including the curve at Serquigny I have never travelled over - methinks I was well and truly bowled - how do you say it in French - Ne va va voom pas).

On arrival in Paris it was a quick dash to the Gare du St.Lazare for the 22:13 Boat Train back to Dieppe hauled as far as Rouen by sparky 16006 and thence a pair of SNCF class 66s in the form of 66458 and 66500 (67s and 66s - must get back in my TARDIS and check there were no EWS logos attached).

MV Chartres was the tugboat that connected with 47490 hauling the 06:25 Newhaven to Manchester (yes they did run these sort of trains) as far as Kensington Olympia for 47627 to Clapham Jn. on the 05.20 Wolverhampton - Brighton.

Then it was off to work pretending that everything went as planned.

Andy Pullar

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