Ligne du Littoral (Toulon to St. Raphael) – Part 11 – La Foux les Pins to Cogolin (Chemins de Fer de Provence 46)

We have already noted that La Foux-les-Pins was one of the more important stations on the Chemin de Fer du Sud de la France Littoral. Two tramways, which are often referred to as one, left the station in different directions. The station opened in 1889, it was then called Cogolin-St Tropez for which it was the station before the tramway(s) opened. In this picture, a 2-6-0T engine has been posed with station staff for a photograph. The site of the station today is unrecognizable and has become a commercial complex. Although the station has disappeared the railway itself has become a cycleway.
In addition to the main-line from St. Raphael to Toulon and the two branch-lines, there was another feeder railway that approached the station from the immediate north and the sea. A sand quarry was established in the estuary of the River Giscle and it was served by a line from the station which appears not to have been directly linked into the mainline. Sand from the quarry must have been trans-shipped at the station. The locomotive and wagons used at the quarry can be seen in this picture and the route of the line is visible in the aerial images below.

There was another route out into the sand quarries on the north side of the river but we will leave considering that until we travel on towards Saint-Raphael. For now, we will head off towards the town of Cogolin.


The route is shown above, both Cogolin and La Foux Stations are marked as are two intermediate halts and a series of bridges.

Trains from La Foux for Cologin left in a Westerly direction and separated from the line to St. Raphael within the station limits. After bridging a diverted stream or drainage channel the line turned South and then turned South-west along the D98 Chemin de Grimaud. The first halt was given this name in 1894. The line opened in 1894 and the halt was called Grand-Pont for the first couple of years. The railway continued alongside the D98 through the next halt, Les Garcinières. This halt was 1.3Km from Cogolin when the line opened but was moved 400 metres towards La Foux in 1902. Immediately after the halt the line crossed a bridge. The bridges were numbered, this was bridge No. 5, Pont routier de Cogolin No. 5, 1.44 km from Cogolin. The next bridges were: No. 4, 1.35km from Cogolin; No. 3, 1.28km; No. 2, 1.20km; and No. 1, 1.06km from Cogolin. All along this length the railway clung to the side of the D98.

About 0.7km from Cogolin, the railway route diverts away from the modern D98 and crosses the River La Molle on Pont de la Molle (0.63 km from Cogolin). The bridge is shown in the image below. Back when the railway was in operation the road also crossed the river on a relatively short arch span adjacent to the railway bridge, which can just be picked out in the picture. Along much of the length of the route the road and railway were shaded by the large pine umbrellas typical of the area and which gave La Foux-les-Pins its name.

In very short shrift the line arrived at Cogolin station. The plan is superimposed on the modern satellite image from Google by Moreau [3]. A series of images of Cogolin Station follow:


The station site was, as this aerial photo and the picture below show, just outside the eastern outskirts of Cogolin.View of Cogolin-Grimaud from the station yard, the side of the facilities away from the running lines. The mixed passenger-goods building at the terminus is seen after its extension (Raymond BERNARDI Collection).

A large load of timber waits at Cogolin Station. The picture was taken before the extension to the goods facilities was built (Raymond BERNARDI Collection).

The original station buildings before enlargement.

At Cogolin, there was a small engine shed capable of stabling one small engine. This picture was taken in around 1900, with a locomotive 0-6-0T Corpet-Louvet series 70 to 72 There is a stock of briquettes beside the building (Maurice MAILLET Collection)

The station of Cogolin-Grimaud before the works of enlargement of 1910. (Collection Raymond BERNARDI).

Two open wagons stand in the foreground of this picture, parked at Cogolin-Grimaud station around 1910: on the left a T-1522 with interchangeable sideboards (construction HanquetAufort in 1899), on the right a T-1563 (construction Magnard in 1901). Both are equipped with the hand turned screw brakes, whose steering wheel is visible at the end of the chassis (Edmond DUCLOS Collection). On the main passenger lane, there appears to be a train of 2 or 3 coaches waiting for a locomotive to pull them.

Taken at much the same time as the previous picture. Jean Pierre Moreau’s[3] notes say: “Cogolin-Grimaud station, terminus of St.Tropez tramway and starting point of the unfinished antenna that should have joined La Garde-Freinet (Raymond BERNARDI Collection).” La Garde-Freinet is the next Commune north of Coglin-Grimaud and it seems as though the railway company had hopes of making a connection from Cogolin to La Garde-Freinet.

Cogolin-Grimaud station around 1910 with an 0-6-0T Corpet-Louve series 70 to 72 ready for departure to La Foux and St. Tropez; on the left, a Hanquet – Aufort series TM-15O1 to 1516 open wagon with removable sides (René CLAVAUD collection).

The station of Cogolin-Grimaud in 1910 beofre any building extensions were built. In 1914 work was started on an extension of the line to La Garde-Freinet. The extension remained incomplete because of the Great War (GECP Collection). No evidence of any earthworks is apparent on the aerial photograph of the site taken after the Second World War.

Another view of the Station taken before the Great War and before the extensions were built.

The Station in the 1920s, after the lengthening of the tracks and buildings. The line towards Grimaud and La Garde-Freinet was to lead off to the right in the direction of the valley of the River Giscle (Photo Jean BAZOT).

In the image above, we see the railway/tramway alongside the main road just after leaving Cogolin.

The platform side of the building in 1978 is shown above, still appearing to be surprisingly complete. The image below is taken from the other side of the building at much the same time. Everything feels derelict. A Saviem S45 coach and Renault Galion courier truck 1400 kg sit on the courtyard side in front of the old Cogolin-Grimaud station (both pictures by Photo José BANAUDO).

 

References

[1] Roland Le Corff; http://www.mes-annees-50.fr/Le_Macaron.htm, accessed 13th December 2017.
[2] Marc Andre Dubout; http://marc-andre-dubout.org/cf/baguenaude/toulon-st-raphael/toulon-st-raphael1.htm, accessed 14th December 2017
[3] Jean-Pierre Moreau; http://moreau.fr.free.fr/mescartes/ToulonGareSudFrance.html, accessed 24th December 2017.
[4] José Banaudo; Histoire des Chemins de Fer de Provence – 2: Le Train du Littoral (A History of the Railways of Provence Volume 2: The Costal Railway); Les Éditions du Cabri, 1999.

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