Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday 26 September - Magnificent Orleans

Last day of our Eurail pass today.  We took a train from Austerlitz direct to Les Aubrais and bought day passes on the Orleans public transit.
Ancient locomotives can still be seen at Austerlitz.
The first trip was on the A tram to the end of the line at Jules Verne then straight back into ton.  We had intended to go to the point where the two lines cross (De Gaule) but we were turned out at the Gare D'Orleans because of an incident on the line.  We walked to De Gaule down a very pleasant street with buildings with very interesting details.  Luckily the B line was working.  This is the new line with wireless operation through the centre - it was closed down for most of yesterday when a rodent bit through some cables.  Line B is a great extremely well done and adds a great deal to the historic section past the cathedral.  It is not intrusive and the colors of the trams fit in well with the colors of the stonework.  Great attention has been given to ensure that the trams blend in with the historic nature of the area.  Stone paving has been used extensively and this will last a long time.
The trams blend in very well with the architecture of the historic area.

This is a tram stop close to the cathedral.  The ticket machine has been hidden round the corner and the pavement designed to blend in with the historic nature of the area.
 The Ancien Hotel de Ville with its sumptuous decoration was well worth a visit.

We went out to the end of the B line at Clos du Hameau, watching the manual changeover from ground to catenary.  All the way out the right of way has been finished with stone or grass, in some places the grass has been replaced with a form of ground cover (similar to Paris).  There are a lot of tree plantings.
This was Fish and Chips Maison - the fishing bobber was there for decoration

We came back into town for lunch then walked along the Loire to the bridge and took the A tram to the end of the line at Hopital de la Source.  The line assumes more the character of an interurban with long, high speed runs between well spaced stops.

We went right through to Les Aubrais and caught the first train back to Austerlitz.
We were brought back to Paris by this electric loco with no markings - known as Ghost Livery.

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