We are not really in a part of the world noted for its steam trains, so opportunities to see one are few and far between. But we heard a steam train was due to run from Lyon to Le Creusot this morning. So, on a trip to buy timber and nails at BricoDepot for our new deck, we timed it nicely to be sitting by the railway track south of Mâcon waiting to for the train to pass by. We were just discussing why there are so few accidental deaths on the railways here, for we were parked only a few feet from the track with no barrier, when WHAM! We didn’t expect it so early and didn’t see it coming. It must have passed at 100km/hr, so close, and we were left with lungs full of smoke and cinders.
So I got a photo like this –
When it should have looked like this -
The engine is the Mistral 241P17, one of the fastest steam locomotives ever built. It was made between 1947 and 1949 and has clocked up 1,741,865 km. It was out of action for a few years recently when its boiler blew up but it is running again on trips out of Le Creusot to Lyon, Valence, Grenoble and Switzerland.
It doesn’t really matter that we missed the train this morning as we are booked on the 241P17, aka the Savoie Vapeur Express, to Aix-les-Bains in August. At 64€90 it actually works out cheaper than going on a regular train and we get the afternoon to look round Aix-les-Bains before our return. For more information see www.train-vapeur.fr.