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NEW USES FOR OLD RAILWAYS

Anne McCants, Eduardo Beira, José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro, Paulo B. Lourenço, Hugo Silveira Pereira (eds.)


ISBN: 978-153-36963-0-4 Graphic design and layout, and cover design, by Ana Prudente. Proof reading by Jeffrey K. Beemer Edited and printed by Inovatec (Portugal) Lda. (V. N. Gaia, Portugal). Cover printing and book binding by Minerva – Artes Gråficas, Lda. (Vila do Conde, Portugal).


“A party of Shropshire public men were recently taken for a trip over (...) the new Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Light Railway (...). The line, which has a length of about 20 miles, was abandoned more than thirty years ago, when it was burdened with a capital of over a million and a half. An attempt was made some years ago to re-open the old line, but financial support failing, the work was abandoned when it had reached the stage of the relaying of the rails and the repairing of some of the bridges. These under the present scheme have been put into thorough repair at comparatively small cost, and the old rails laid down years ago, but never used, were found in such excellent condition that it has not been found necessary to replace them except here and there.�1

1 The Railway Times, 8.4.1911: 343.


INDEX Introduction: rusty tracks and what to do with them Ellan Fei Spero • Hugo Silveira Pereira

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PART 1: RUSTY TRACKS AS HERITAGE

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1.1. Railway Heritage: an overview Günter Dinhobl

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1.2. From railways to heritage: the closure of railway lines in Spain and their valorisation as a cultural good Domingo Cuéllar

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1.3. Railways: industrial and maritime archaeology, geographic information systems, history and culture Dominic Fontana

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1.4. A new age of steam? The Tua valley line, Portugal: experience and examples from the technological heritage operations and preserved railways of Britain Dominic Fontana 1.5. Two case-studies in heritage and valorisation of old mountain railways in France Michel Cotte 1.6. Railways and tourism in Italy Stefano Maggi

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8•

PART 2: NEW APPROACHES TO OLD RAILWAYS

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2.1. Opening of mountainous and peripheral regions by main and branch railway lines Günter Dinhobl

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2.2. Exploring cultural landscape with old railway tracks Stefan Brauckmann

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2.3. Vanishing tracks: short history of a cancelled line Ivona Grgurinović

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2.4. Remembering railway’s past, conjuring up its future: what rail hikers have in mind while walking on rusty tracks Peter F. N. Hörz 2.5. Dismantling an old rail track: opportunities in the Tua Valley Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

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PART 3: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS 3.1. Redesigning the classical Railrider: a transportable prototype for modern ages Carlos Barbosa • João Figueiredo • Jorge Marques • Lídia Teixeira • Miguel Oliveira • Eduardo Beira • António Araújo 3.2. The Old Road: reusing, interpreting and commemorating an abandoned railway in southern England, 1964–2015 Colin Divall 3.3. Life, death and resurrection: further examples from the British experience of preserving railway and industrial heritage Dominic Fontana

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3.4. Draisine tourism in Germany: ideas for the Tua line? Stefan Brauckmann

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3.5. An example of renovation: adaptation of an old railway mountain line – the Chemin De Fer de l’Ardèche (South-Eastern France) Michel Cotte

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

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Introduction: rusty tracks and what to do with them Ellan Fei Spero • Hugo Silveira Pereira

Railroad history often brings with it romantic images of steaming locomotives or diesel railcars, bringing passengers, goods, and economic connectivity to previously remote and peripheral areas of the land, or on the other hand bustling interconnected cityscapes. Perhaps the story is told through the development of the trains themselves, from steaming bric-a-bracs to modern and sturdy bullet or high-speed compositions, passing at incredible speeds through bucolic countryside sceneries. Within these machine-centred narratives are of course the people that historian of technology, Thomas Hughes calls system builders who played critical roles in lobbying for railways, financing, building and operating1. We might also uncover the financial, technopolitical and technodiplomatic intricacies of their decision-making processes2. When thinking about histories of technology, we too often focus on its creation and use, rarely about regression or obsolescence, and even less frequently about revival as a way to create something new. Historian of technology, David Edgerton makes this point in his use-centred history, The Shock of the Old. He begins this work with an excerpt from the twentieth century German poet Bertolt Brecht, “I stood on a hill and I saw the Old approaching, but it came as the New”3. This vivid literary image opens a narrative where technologies not only appear, but also disappear, and sometimes even reappear. Edgerton urges historians to create a place of study for failed inventions; for obsolete innovations that were created, but eventually stopped evolving, were then rendered obsolete 1

HUGHES, 1983: X.

2

For the concepts of technopolitics and technodiplomacy, please check HECHT, 2009 and SCHWEITZER, 1989.

3

From Parade of the Old New. Apud. EDGERTON, 2008: VII.

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New uses for old railways

12 •

by the development of competing and rival technologies, but only to re-emerge with different features4. Perhaps it is what happens after innovation that is more important. Lee Vinsel and Andrew Russell argue that the many faceted and often hidden forms of labour that contribute to maintenance and repair, the building and sustaining of functioning and efficient infrastructures, simply has more impact on people’s daily lives than the vast majority of technological innovations5. In the case of railway systems, it is perhaps the combination of their value at inception as well as their on-going maintenance and possible transformation that make them such a compelling object of study. The chapters that follow in this volume help us to think about the full lifecycles of technological systems. Embedded in this diverse array of examples of railroad projects are of course their creation and use, but also the multiple ways that these technologies take on new meanings as pieces of living heritage, and even acquire new forms as tracks and surrounding landscapes are often reshaped as places for recreation and education. This volume begins where many technological narratives might have ended, with the closing of railways. This final stage in the lives of Large Techn(olog) ical Systems (LTS) as described by Thomas Hughes, following invention, development, innovation, competition, growth, consolidation, and technological transfer6. When confronted with these neatly demarcated stages, one may ask – are these closures inevitable? Is technological obsolescence unavoidable? Are different technologies doomed to battle one another for technological dominance? Perhaps this line of questioning only draws us dangerously close to the concept of historical determinism or more appropriately for the case of railways, a sort of technological determinism. Historian of technology, Merritt Roe Smith acknowledges that this line of reasoning is indeed a common temptation for those who seek to explain the technological past. He asks, “who among us would deny that it is easy to be drawn into technologydriven explanations of cultural and historical processes? (…) As moths to a flame, we find ourselves continually attracted to its alluring but dangerous glow”7. Despite the allure of these technological-driven explanations, Wiebe Bijker and John Law remind us that, 4

EDGERTON, 2008: IX-XV.

5

RUSSEL & VINSEL, 2016.

6

Apud. VLEUTEN, 2006: 299. Clarification of term use: invention (the inauguration of a new LTS), development (its adaption to the reality where it survives), innovation (the acquisition of new characteristics), competition and growth (against other LTS), consolidation (when it becomes less dependent on its environment and acquires momentum), and technological transfer (its key features are exported to other environments and adapted to different contexts)

7

SMITH, 1994: 35.


Ellan Fei Spero • Hugo Silveira Pereira

“there is nothing inevitable about the way in which these [LTS] evolve. Rather, they are the product of heterogeneous contingency (…). The social and the technical are established simultaneously – indeed that they mutually constitute one another.”8 The course of terminating the operation of a given railway can be explained by a wide array of reasons, technological and non-technological. At first glimpse, we can imagine that the operation of a railroad was discontinued due to the appearance of a more competitive transport technology in terms of speed, price, and maybe directness of the route. While surveying railway routes, engineers would choose the easiest and less expensive path (usually through river valleys). In an epoch where average speeds hardly exceeded 10 km/h, being able to travel at an average speed of 30 km/h was in itself an enormous feat, even if the chosen itinerary was not the most straightforward. However, as decades went by and as new methods were introduced in the different countries transport systems, the advantage provided by railways faded away. Some railroads became obsolete and were replaced by newer, more efficient transport technologies (namely the car and the highway). This is of course only one possible scenario for a track closure. Perhaps the railroad wasn’t economically viable (not enough freight or passengers); or a political decision or legislative imposition; or even yet the track bed could have been destroyed by the construction of another public work or LTS. A more likely conclusion is that the closure was a result of a confluence of these technical, political, legal, and economic factors. Here it is especially useful to keep in mind that technology cannot be interpreted outside the context (actors, agents, circumstances) where it was installed9. It is also important to keep in mind how the same railway-closing processes occurred in different countries and contexts. With the limits of over simplified comparative methods in mind, we aim to “conceptualise the relations between the more general, transnational patterns, and the particularistic patterns located within individual state, or regional, contexts”10, to unravel patterns and repetitions that may add to the debate about the entangled history of the final stage of an LTS life span. Just as the context for rail closures are varied with region, economic and cultural factors, the re-use of these abandoned tracks, the primary focus of this volume, is equally if not more diverse. It is vital to build a repository of cases for comparison to aid in the interpretation and reuse of abandoned tracks across regional contexts. With this both historical and practical value in mind, this volume is divided into three main thematic categories 1) rusty tracks as heritage, 8

BIJKER & LAW, 1992: 17.

9

HUGHES, 1983: 364. MARX & SMITH, 1994: XII-XIII.

10 SARKAR, 2007: 181.

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2) new approaches to old railways, and 3) practical applications. Günter Dinhobl opens the first section, Rusty Tracks as Heritage, with an overview of approaches to railway heritage, identification and preservation and use strategies. Using specific examples from on the World Heritage site Semmering Railway in Austria, a prototype railway of the 1850s, which remains in use as a main line with heavy traffic. This paper underscores the need for a wide knowledge base including artefact-specific maintenance and use and cultural interpretation. Domingo Cuéllar offers railway history as part of the broader concept of industrial heritage and presents the closure of railways in Spain and transformation into cultural goods with a specific emphasis on the creation of greenways, for walking and cycling. The next paper, by Dominic Fontana considers some of the potential range of data which may be held within a geographic information system (GIS) as an exploratory “tool for thought”11, and using specific examples from the United Kingdom, offers some suggestions for novel approaches for the utilisation of such data within historical, archaeological, cultural and railway projects. Fontana’s next paper compares the Tua valley line in Portugal, a redevelopment project still underway to established heritage railway systems in Britain. The two concluding chapters in this section continue the themes of reinvigoration of economy linked with bolstering regional identity, specifically in the countryside through examples from the Train Jaune in the French Mediterranean Pyrenees (Michel Cotte) and Tuscany (Stefano Maggi). The middle section, New Approaches to Old Railways, opens with Dinhobl’s overview of branch lines and the diverse technological approaches to expansion into peripheral and mountainous regions using examples from Austria, Switzerland, France and India. Next, Stefan Brauckmann offers the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg (Ratzeburg Adventure Railway), as a successful example of a German tourism network. Drawing upon this draisine and mixed-use case, Brauckmann explores potential ways to increase the tourism potential of the Portuguese Tua railway. The next two papers demonstrate the profound linages between railway heritage and memory. Ivona Grgurinović examines the implications of the closing of the Metković station in contemporary Croatia, ending its 128 year status as a border crossing with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Peter F. N. Hörz then takes an enthnographic approach to rail hikers in Germany and the dissociation between contemporary reality, an imagined past and future and individual agency along the rails. This section concludes with an examination of conservation issues associated with the dismantling of the Tua valley line in Portugal with an emphasis on adapting principles established by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) by Paulo B. Lourenço, Graça Vasconcelos, and Lurdes Martins. 11 EASTMAN, 1992: 32.


Ellan Fei Spero • Hugo Silveira Pereira

Finally, Practical Applications, the third section offers a collection of cases that highlight both opportunities and challenges presented faced by projects to reshape use of closed railway lines. A group of engineers, Barbosa et al., describe their development of a railrider prototype for use along the narrow gauge Tua line. Through the example of the Old Road, a closed section of railway between Southampton and Dorchester in southern England, Colin Divall illustrates the importance of land ownership patterns, geography and regional governance after closure. Fontana continues with examples of formerly commercial railways, which have been resurrected as heritage railways by British enthusiasts, along with recommendations for adaptation of these methods to the Portuguese context. Brauckmann then brings us an analysis of the European regulatory context and manual-powered draisine rail-vehicles designed with tourists in mind. Finally, this section concludes with Cotte’s analysis of contemporary reshaping of the remains of a mountain narrow gauge railway, the Chemin de fer du Vivarais (CFV) in Ardèche, France, after the end of a golden age of volunteer line management to save a part of that line for tours using steam engine traction and diesel railcars. These diverse examples of disuse, transformation, and reuse are offered in this collected volume within their own specific contexts, paired with the practical goals of comparison and adaptation of techniques for railway heritage. Economic historian, Anne McCants reminds us that, “history matters because without a credible story about where we have been before, we truly have no idea where we are now. And without evidence about past sequences of cause and effect, it is well-nigh impossible to develop intelligent plans for the future”12.

12 Available from: shass.mit.edu/news/news-human-factor-series-historian-anne-mccantsinnovation-and-economic-opportunity. Accessed 31 May 2016.

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REFERENCES BIJKER, Wiebe E.; LAW, John (1992) – General Introduction. In BIJKER, Wiebe E.; LAW, John – Shaping Technology / Building Society: studies in sociotechnical change. Cambridge, MA; London: The MIT Press, p. 1-14. EASTMAN, J. R. (1992) – Idrisi User’s Guide. Worcester, MA: Clark University. EDGERTON, David (2008) – The Shock of the Old. Technology and Global History since 1900. London: Profile Books. HECHT, Gabrielle (2009) – The Radiance of France. Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 16 •

HUGHES, Thomas Parker (1983) – Networks of Power. Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Baltimore, MD; London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. MARX, Leo; SMITH; Merritt Roe (1994) – Introduction. In SMITH, Merritt Roe; MARX, Leo, eds. – Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, MA; Londres: The MIT Press, p. VIII-XV. RUSSEL, Andrew; VINSEL, Lee (2016) – “Hail the maintainers”. Aeon. Available from: aeon.co/essays/innovation-is-overvalued-maintenance-often-matters-more. Accessed 31 May 2016. SARKAR, Sumit (2007) – “Labour History in India and South Africa: Some Affinities and Contrasts”. African Studies, 66(2), p. 181-200. SCHWEITZER, Glenn E. (1989) – Techno-diplomacy. US-Soviet Confrontations in Science and Technology. New York, NY; London: Plenum Press. SMITH, Merritt Roe (1994) – Technological Determinism in American Culture. In SMITH, Merritt Roe; MARX, Leo, eds. – Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, MA; London: The MIT Press, p. 1-35. VLEUTEN, Erik van der (2006) – Understanding Network Societies. Two Decades of Large Technical System Studies. In VLEUTEN, Erik van der; KAIJSER, Arne – Networking Europe. Transnational Infrastructures and the Shaping of Europe, 18502000. Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications, p. 279-314.


1. RUSTY TRACKS AS HERITAGE


1.1. Railway Heritage: an overview Günter Dinhobl

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INTRODUCTION This paper introduces Railway Heritage and gives an overview of the most discussed and important thematic areas and (open) questions. A first statement on what is railway heritage leads to the guiding question of the paper. Railways were (and are) built for daily use for more than 170 years. They have supported the industrial revolution like no other transportation technology. In this period, rolling stock, buildings and railway routes were built and used, but also maintained and renewed. If this framework changes, railways are in danger of being closed, dismantled or destroyed. This situation is why we can look at railway heritage today. The paper provides snapshots of the concept of using, reusing and preserving, which was first presented at the ICOHTEC-TICCIH conference in the summer of 2010 in Tampere (Finland). It was discussed there and presented as an extended version at VDI in Berlin (Germany) in spring 2011. The backbone of the concept is to identify the different actors and their different interests in railway heritage. This leads towards a railway heritage matrix as a tool to identify, clarify and develop how to handle railway heritage. The paper’s structural approach is illustrated with examples of UNESCO World Heritage Railways, Museum railways and other museums that show us the rich railway heritage. It also provides examples of protected railway heritage and


New uses for old railways

everyday rail operation. Special focus will be given on the World Heritage site Semmering Railway in Austria, a prototype railway of the 1850s, which is still in use as a main line with heavy traffic. This paper will contribute to the discussion on the history of railways and its heritage by identifying the characteristics of railways – depending of the time period they have been built – and establishing a structure to make it easier to handle railway heritage.

ABOUT RAILWAYS

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It was in 1830 when railways had their breakthrough. In that year, the LiverpoolManchester railway was inaugurated as the first modern railway, using iron rails to guide flanged iron wheels, and mechanical power to move the carriages. This principle remains the same today. During the nineteenth century, the railways became the most important industrialised land transport technology. Cities and regions were connected, and countries were unified with railways. Technology was relatively stable during this period, but by the mid-twentieth century, when motorcars and aeroplanes came into daily life, railways began to decline. At that time, railways were seen as out-dated technology, having value in terms of heritage only but not for the actual needs of society. That sentiment changed with the opening of Japan’s Shinkansen high-speed-rail line in 1964, which started the renaissance of railways all over the world. Impressive development has taken place since then, with the latest milestone of this expansion culminating in France’s trial run of the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) with a speed of 574 km/h! Several years ago it was not believed that a conventional rail system would be able to go so fast.


Günter Dinhobl

These aspects of the railway age illustrate quite well the history of railways over the last century. It has remained an enduring legacy for more than 170 years. Steam power was replaced by electro and diesel-powered engines, carriage bodies changed from wood to steel, and the materials for building railway infrastructures changed as well. For example, the early bridges were made of stone or brick, with steel becoming the more common material in the second half of the nineteenth century. More traffic resulted in higher loads and therefore bridges were strengthened and/or renewed. Finally, today’s bridges are built of concrete or steel, or using both materials. Station buildings were made of stone and brick, while nowadays they are a mix of concrete, steel and glass architecture. At the track itself, wooden sleepers are no longer used in new lines anymore. Concrete sleepers or ballast-less systems for high-speed rail are now the state of the art in railway infrastructure technology. And in the field of signalling– essential to guarantee the high safety of railways – basket signals used in the 1830s later changed to light signals. In the future Europe will see the ETCS (European Train Control System) implemented at least in the main European corridors.

Beside the technical issues, there have been always political, economic and cultural frameworks that brought other demands to the railways. These demands resulted in the need for adopting existing buildings or completely new buildings and lines, or the closing and destruction of railway lines. Changes also happened for existing lines like the Semmering railway (see the Semmering railway pano-

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rama which was published in 2010). When that line was opened at the beginning of the 1850s, there was no railway station at the village of Küb. A train stop with a simple waiting room was built in 1899, 50 years after the Semmering line opened. The waiting room was originally made of wood but renovated 60 years later as a concrete building, with the proportions staying nearly the same.

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All these examples illustrate that railways are complex systems in continuous development for transporting people and goods. More than 170 years of railways leave numerous remains worthy of preservation. The Venice Charta declared in 1964:“the conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them for some socially useful purpose”. Given these affirmations, railway Heritage can be distinguished into three areas: -

using: useful for travelling and freight transport (eco-efficient); re-using: useful for getting experience and feeling; preserving: useful for education and identity of people.

Finally, handling the railway heritage is linked up with different actors and the following examples should illustrate these three areas.

USING… The Semmering railway in Austria is in operation since 1854, and since 1998 it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But what is the worldwide importance of that railway line? Let’s have a look back. In the 1830s, Vienna was the capital of the Habsburg Empire in Central and Eastern Europe. The transport to and from


GĂźnter Dinhobl

Vienna was done by boat in the east-west direction on the river Danube. In the north-south direction it was more difficult because the roads had limited capacity. Even in the late 1790s an inland waterway was planned from Vienna to Trieste, the only harbour of the Habsburg Empire. The first 50 km were built, but then in the 1830s a new land transport technology emerged: the railway. So it is not surprising that the first railway had been built in northern and southern directions. The Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nordbahn made accessible the northern parts of the empire since 1838, and the Wien-Gloggnitzer-Bahn made the same for the southern parts since 1841-1842. The southern route was extended by the state beginning in 1841 with Trieste as the final destination. And the Semmering line was part of this long-distance railway line from the capital Vienna to the port of Trieste. In the case of Semmering, it was the first time a railway passed a high-mountainous area (Alps). The chief-engineer was Carl Ghega, who was born in Venice, and after university received experimental training in mountain road building. In 1842, he was sent to England and North America by the state to identify the latest news in railway technology.

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Ghega combined his personal knowledge and the knowledge gathered together at the study tour and planed a railway line between Gloggnitz and MĂźrzzuschlag, which doubled the length compared with the direct route. Instead of 21 km, Ghega used side valleys to build a railway to climb up the Semmering pass. Serpentines guaranteed the exclusive use of steam locomotives while the usual technology at that time used cable inclines with fixed steam engines. The line was a big success. The main rail traffic from Vienna southwards to the Austrian provinces of Styria and Carinthia runs over the Semmering still today. That means that today approximately 10,000,000 freight tons a year pass through the Semmering line. Freight and passenger traffic together leads to 170 trains a day on average making it one of the most frequented railway lines that passes the Alps.


New uses for old railways

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But what is the importance of this line? In particular, why was it listed as UNESCO World Heritage? The route design and exclusive use of steam locomotives resulted in a locomotive competition in 1851 to find the most efficient engine for the Semmering line. Four locomotive factories participated from Belgium, Germany and Austria. The company Maffei won the competition with its engine named Bavaria. Ghega commented that “now we have locomotives which are more powerful than we really need�. But in the end, none of these engines were good enough for the daily railway operation, which is why a special construction style was commissioned by Wilhelm Engerth. The so-called supporting tender was the invention of the time and first introduced at Semmering. In later times, locomotives with this Engerth-construction style were in use all over Europe.

Another outstanding feature of the Semmering line are its huge viaducts. Overall, there are 16 viaducts with lengths up to 228 m, heights up to 46 m, mostly situated along curves, which at that time was a novelty. There also are 15 tunnels with maximum lengths of 1,500 m, some of which were curved thus proving difficult to build due to the need for higher precision surveying methods.


GĂźnter Dinhobl

All this resulted in a railway line whose surroundings were recognised more and more with every train ride, generating views of the regional landscape. The railway line also provided opportunities to produce standardized views of its own construction embedded in the landscape, the most notable being the 20-Schilling view which recalls a view printed on an Austrian banknote used between the late 1960s and 1980s. The railway company recognised this potential and established a special line for touristic traffic. Infrastructures like hotels, hiking trails, a golf course and an alpine open-air swimming bath were added to attract tourists. High-society took Semmering as the summer destination, where numerous villas were built, prompting the nickname High-Vienna for the Semmering village. Overall, the railway enabled the touristic development of the region – in short, producing a cultural landscape.

The railway itself was operated by steam engines beginning in 1854 for more than 100 years of daily use. Electrification of the line was finished in 1959, and today all trains are operated without smoke. The capacity of the line has continued to

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increase, requiring as many as three engines (up to 18,000 HP) for today’s heavy freight trains to pull and push the trains up the incline to pass the Semmering line.

26 •

Both express and local trains pass the route at nearly the same speed – 50 to 70 km/h. Nostalgic steam trains or those with more modern, but historic, diesel or


GĂźnter Dinhobl

electric engines are put into operation several times a year. These offer a special experience and are nowadays well received.

Another example of using railway heritage is the so-called Vorortelinie (suburban-line) in Vienna. It was one of three Stadtbahn (city lines) routes designed by the architect Otto Wagner in later years of the nineteenth century. The station buildings were done in the secessionist style, and the Vorortelinie had to pass mountainous terrain, which required several tunnels, dams and bridges. After the World War II, the Vorortelinie was closed for passenger transport, and in 1987 the Austrian Federal Railways renovated the line and reopened it. Today trains arrive every 15 minutes during the day, accommodating appreciative travellers quite well. Some freight trains pass through the Vorortelinie at night posing the problem of railway noise in living areas.

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… RE-USING… In contrast to the Vorortelinie example, the re-use of railways took place when railways, e.g., rolling stock (steam/diesel/electric or carriages), were re-used for different tasks. While rolling stock had its original function in daily use, several of the historic rolling stock today is only re-used periodically throughout the year. One example in Austria is the Museumstramway Mariazell, a railway line built completely new in the late 1980s from a famous (and touristic) place of pilgrimage to a small lake nearby. The rolling stock was put together from different locations in Austria. Electric and steam tramways are in use, but also diesel engines of branch lines to factories. Overall, at the Museumstramway Mariazell, there is a re-use of historic light-railways on a completely new line only for touristic purpose on weekends and during holidays.

28 •

In the case of the Heizhaus Strasshof, there is a listed locomotive shed – the biggest still remaining in Austria – where an association works on renovation and restoration of historic locomotives. The main focus is still on steam engines, but there are also diesel and electric engines, which can be set in operation. On the other hand, numerous historic rolling stock remain un-renovated, but given the substantial damages renovations would be unrealistic. The Heizhaus Strasshof also offers one-day train rides in the eastern parts of Austria, and organises special days for families or locomotive meetings in the area of the locomotive shed.


Günter Dinhobl

Another example of re-using is the railway that passes the UNESCO World Heritage Wachau valley in Austria. Until 2010 this line was in daily operation but at the end of that year it was transferred from the Austrian Federal Railway to the province of Lower Austria. The province had no railway infrastructure concession, which necessitated the line’s closure before its transfer. Today it serves as a touristic railway operating only on weekends in the summer, while the daily transport of children to school has to be done by bus. And in a fortuitous circumstance, one month after the closing of the daily railway operation the Danube river flooded the street – but not the railway! • 29

… AND PRESERVING… The third way to handle railway heritage is by preserving. This is the classical way used by every museum. For example, the Vienna Museum of Technology preserves several old rolling stock locomotives of the early 1840s, a restored –(and in some parts rebuilt) passenger carriage of the Otto Wagner designed Vororteline, and the saloon car of empress Elisabeth.


New uses for old railways

… IN COMBINATION Other museums, like the Südbahn-museum in Mürzzuschlag at the Semmering line, link re-using and preserving together while historic buildings, which are also listed, are adopted for new use. Other items include the huge collection of gang cars in newly preserved condition while other items are preserved in their last state of condition, providing an opportunity to see a rusty steam locomotive with the flag of the former Yugoslavia on the wind shields.

30 •

Sometimes using, re-using, and preserving come together in one place. For example, in Payerbach, also along the Semmering line, a narrow-gauge railway line starts its way to a side valley from one station end while new city shuttle trains go every half hour to and from Vienna. It was built for freight issues, but passenger transport started in 1926 and ended in 1963. Freight transport took place until 1982, and since that time a re-use touristic railway operation operates on weekends. Also within the area of the Payerbach railway station, there is a museum park with a Semmering steam locomotive, an electric locomotive of the narrow-gauge branch line, a historic bus and a cab of the Rax mountain cable car.


Günter Dinhobl

PROBLEMS AND CHANCES OF USING Using Heritage Railways is always linked with problems and chance opportunities: problems because of daily wear and tear, the need for equipment repairs, and maintaining infrastructure to today’s standards for building and railway operation. But unexpected opportunities also present themselves, e.g. making detailed surveys of building infrastructures like the arched bridge Adlitzgraben on the Semmering Railway, built in 1851-1853. The problem here is getting a detailed surveying that guarantees today’s safety while the chance-opportunity is to include the construction history of this building. In 2010, the Technical University of Vienna conducted a laser-scanned survey on behalf of Austrian Federal Railways.

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Researchers also compiled the history of that building with the help of plans and other documents, which are available at the Austrian State Archive. With that information, they backward-edited the documents to show the permanent changes of this building. To see this, let’s go backwards in history. In 1959 the overhead wire was mounted, preceded in 1938 by a final strengthening of the viaduct at the arches. One final side pillar was built in 1911, with two side pillars on the left side in 1873, and three middle side pillars strengthening the inlays of the arches in 1855.

32 •

The construction history, found in the documents still available at the Austrian State Archive, gave light to this interesting building. Even in 1854, the year when the daily operation began, damage was recognized and documented precisely showing the cracks in each arch. Further documents show alternative plans that, for example, suggested rebuilding the viaduct as a simple two-story structure. That suggestion was never realized, existing only as a memory of a Semmering line that never was.

CONCLUSION All these examples illustrate that there are only three aspects, which are very important when someone works with railway heritage: knowledge, knowledge and knowledge! First, is the knowledge of the history of the railway objects itself;


GĂźnter Dinhobl

these can be implemented, e.g., as an inventory. The second dimension is the specific knowledge of the techniques for handling the Railway Heritage; this can be knowledge of maintenance, but also knowledge of daily railway operations. And the third knowledge aspect is dedicated to the meaning and perception of railway objects, e.g., as economic/social/cultural history of railways. Finally, it is important to distinguish between these three levels of railway heritage knowledge, which form the basis of our living with the railway heritage: when it is in use, when it is re-used and/or when it is preserved.

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1.2. From railways to heritage: the closure of railway lines in Spain and their valorisation as a cultural good Domingo CuĂŠllar

INTRODUCTION In this chapter we will make a first approach to the study of the closure of rail lines in Spain and the consequences related to the preservation and enhancement of those lines as railway heritage. We understand railway heritage as a part of the broader concept of industrial heritage. Hence, it must be subjected to the same criteria, methodology and systematic study described in the Nizhny Tagil Charter of 2003, and the recommendations for the Spanish case defined by the National Industrial Heritage Plan (2007 and its 2011 review), namely, as far as cataloguing, preservation and dissemination is concerned. In this context, it is of great interest to our study to know the basic legal rules governing the ownership, management and disposal of railway assets. This previous knowledge is very useful to interpret what the results were of the social patrimonialisation of lines closed since the 1990s. We will show how these efforts have been concretized in an intense and successful plan to open greenways, but as a poor implementation of projects to reopen closed lines with the circulation of historical and touristic trains.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT AND NATURE OF INDUSTRIAL AND RAILWAY HERITAGE

36 •

Industrial archaeology emerged from a social protest to prevent the demolition of the neo-Doric porch in the London Euston station in 19621. Casual or otherwise, that vindicating provided an imprint still present in many of the actions relating to industrial heritage and, by extension, to railway heritage. Although the term industrial archaeology was first used by Michael Rix (1955), it was not until 1963 that Kenneth Hudson – embers still smouldering from Euston – published his Introduction to Industrial Archaeology, which became a first trial mode manual for a systematization of industrial heritage2. The mobilization in London was not successful, and the porch was eventually demolished. However, the problem of the assessment of old industrial facilities and its inclusion within the canons of traditional heritage was highlighted. Until then, the valorisation of heritage was based only on artistic and creative criteria, following the publication of the Charter of Athens (1931) and the Charter of Venice (1964). These documents were the result of two international conferences about architecture in the context of preserving the “artistic and archaeological heritage of humanity”. That is, there was yet no preoccupation to value industrial heritage. Later in 1978, The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) was created as a supranational organization to ensure the interests of industrial heritage and to promote projects, conferences and other initiatives worldwide. The Charter of Nizhny Tagil was enacted in 2003. It indicated that industrial heritage consists of the remains of industrial culture, which are of historical, technological, social, architectural or scientific value. It also pointed out that industrial archaeology is an interdisciplinary method for the study of all the material and immaterial evidence arising from industrial processes, with special emphasis on the period from the mid-eighteenth century – the beginning of the Industrial Revolution – to the present. Furthermore, the definition also included transport means and their entire infrastructure. Thus, railway heritage was considered a part of the material and immaterial remains of industrialization. There is little doubt, therefore, about the inclusion of railway heritage in the wider concept of industrial heritage, albeit some forums still discuss this issue with some frequency. Regardless, as part of industrial heritage, railway heritage should follow the same criteria and methodological study systematized in the 2003 Nizhny Tagil Charter: cataloguing, including registration and research; protection through 1

BUCHANAN, 1972: 23

2

HUDSON, 1963.


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legal procedures; conservation, having in mind the preservation of its original functionality and the reversibility of interventions; and, finally, dissemination through the training of specialized staff, the education of students and citizens, and the interpretation in museums and outreach activities. These academic and formal methods were not always common working channels, which led to a significant dispersion and no little confusion3. Thus, railway heritage is presented today as an actor of a thousand faces that changes its functions according to the audience. But the preservation of industrial heritage, and railway heritage in particular, is also a social commitment that has been more intensely demonstrated in recent years – in the words of Lalana and Santos, it is fashionable4 – even though it would be desirable for a larger order and coherence in the approaches that advocate protecting railway heritage. The rail system has a number of characteristics and constraints that must be considered when facing interventions towards its integration into industrial heritage. During its operation period, railways faced issues such as large obstacles to the entry of new players in this market, long repayment deadlines, functional rigidity and monopolistic tendencies. It is also imperative to understand the presence of two distinct parts: infrastructure and services – a duality that also occurs when we speak of heritage5. In addition, the railway has suffered during its operation continuous changes, transformations, renewals, applications of new materials, and the introduction of new technologies to substantially modify its initial construction. This should also be taken into account when it comes to the moment of the termination of use, which is usually associated with public ownership, but that had frequent administrative discontinuities that make the ownership difficult to follow6. Thus, conflicts about the uses, modernization, and preservation of authenticity are common in railway heritage7. Bearing in mind these principles, we will make a first approach to studying the closure of rail lines in Spain and its consequences as far as heritage studies are concerned. We will make a brief note on the accounting and periodization of these closures that especially occurred in the second half of the twentieth century. Then we will study the legislative contributions in order to know the legal status of these rail lines after their closure. Finally, we will reflect on how the social patrimonialisation of these lines has been conducted in Spain. To do so we will analyse some case studies of greenways, protected lines and other interesting interventions. Conclusions will then follow. In order to avoid terminological confusion, we clarify that the term heritage 3

SANCHEZ PICÓN, 2010

4

LALANA & SANTOS, 2009.

5

CUÉLLAR, 2011.

6

CUÉLLAR, 2010.

7

LALANA, 2012.

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has two meanings in this text. On the one hand, there is the traditional concept that defines it as the set of assets belonging to a person. On the other hand, there is the definition that relates to cultural heritage, which is the array of goods that a nation has accumulated over time and to which is given special protection by the law for its artistic or archaeological significance. It is in this latter sense that we use the conception social patrimonialisation.

THE DYNAMICS OF RAILWAY CLOSURES IN SPAIN

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Almost everything we know has a cycle with a wider or narrower life span, according to its effectiveness, need, or performance. The railway is no different. With almost two centuries of existence, it portrays many examples of lines or facilities that arrived at the end of their cycles and ceased working for one reason or the other. As a matter of fact, the shutting down of rail lines has been present almost from the inception of the railroad. It is nothing extraordinary, yet its study has been absent from academic forums while occupying a prominent place in social and political debate. Rarely has historical analysis been interested in this issue. While the goal of this text focuses on heritage issues, we nevertheless find it necessary to make an initial assessment of the available data regarding the opening and closing of railway lines in Spain. We note that in the Spanish case, since the opening of the first railroad from Barcelona to MatarĂł in 1848 to the latest inaugurations of the high-speed lines between Olmedo and Zamora in 2015, there have been several cases of railway closures. For example, in the late 1860s, some sections of the railways from Almansa to La Encina or Albacete to Chinchilla were terminated shortly after their opening. Competing companies built these lines, which served the same purpose or region, and when those competing companies merged, these lines became commercially unnecessary. Other early closures were due to urban reforms or to the termination of extractive activities on some of the few mining railways that were made on broad gauge (1,67 m). In any case, these were sporadic and minor closures. Through lack of profitability and the reorganization of the rail system as a whole, the bulk of terminated lines occurred in the second half of the twentieth century when some of these railways were a century old. According to our calculations, Spain opened more than 15,000 km of broad gauge or high-speed railways to traffic. On the other hand, almost 4,000 km of


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lines were shut down, which would set the rate of failure – or opportunities depending on how you look at it – at just over 20% (figure 1). Economic theory tells us that one of the characteristics of large transport infrastructures is functional rigidity, that is, it is only useful for the purpose for which it was created8. This lack of elasticity for alternative uses has been changed ever so slightly in recent years, with the conversion of obsolete railway infrastructures in new mobility corridors like greenways, historical gadgets on rails or historical trains – issues that we wish to reflect upon later. If we take a look at figure 1, we plainly see the key periods of opening and closing of Spain’s railway lines, which clearly portray just how irregular railway expansion in the nineteenth century and railway stagnation in the twentieth century were. These cycles show the most significant moments in the Spanish economy, and the role of the railway as one of the great protagonists of modern times9. Figure 1 – Evolution of the opening and closing of railways in Spain (1848-2015). In kilometres10. • 39

As for railway openings, we find three expansionary phases, two in the railway’s classical period and the current one thanks to investments in high-speed lines. The first railway impulse ran from the 1856 Railways Act to the stock market crash of 1866. It was followed by a short period of recession, after which 8

THOMSON, 1976: 42. PERELMAN, 1997: 44.

9

ARTOLA, 1978. GÓMEZ MENDOZA, 1982. COMÍN et al., 1998.

10 Memorias y Anuarios de Obras Públicas. Memorias de RENFE. Circulares generales de RENFE. Boletín Oficial del Estado. ARTOLA, 1978. The lines shown in this figure use both the Iberian (1,67 m) and UIC gauge (1,44 m). Building a detailed series of the opening and closing of lines is particularly complex and each recalculation will bring minor changes or nuances, and so the figures here provided should be taken only as a general reference.


New uses for old railways

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railway expansion was resumed after 1870 – at a more moderate but steadier rate – until the turn of the century11. In the twentieth century, the opening of new lines slowed down. Only after incentives were given to the sector by the government of Primo de Rivera in the 1920s did the network attain relatively small gains (tens of kilometres). Likewise, in the dictatorial regime of Franco, lines of questionable utility were opened sporadically: Madrid-Burgos and Zamora-Orense. Both of them were designed in the nineteenth century, but they were only built in the mid-twentieth century with obsolete parameters, non-electrified and single tracked. Finally, the third railway impulse began in 1992 with investment in highspeed railways. More than 3,000 km of new, modern infrastructure for the twenty-first century were open. Its main purpose is to progressively replace the complex paths of the nineteenth century lines. In Figure 1, we can identify the first major phase of closures in 1939, which is clearly associated with the closing of strategic lines rapidly built during the Civil War and rendered unnecessary after the end of the conflict. Such lines include the Mejorada-Tarancón, Madrid-Cuenca, or Torrepacheco-Santiago de la Ribera (Murcia) tracks. The next important cycle of railroad closures came in the 1960s and lasted until 1972. In most cases, they were short-haul branches and some tracks with low traffic. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development published a report in 1962 that recommended ending the construction of new railway lines, which were deemed unnecessary for improving the Spanish rail system12. The decision meant that the construction of 1,000 km of new railways was definitively suspended, adding to the number of closed railways. Those tracks include the Utiel-Baeza (371 km), Arcos de la Frontera-Almargen (89 km), Talavera de la Reina-Villanueva de la Serena (163 km), and Teruel-Lérida (205 km) railways. The Totana-Cartagena line (64 km) and the branch of La Pinilla-Mazarrón were additional railways whose construction had previously been stopped. In the literal sense, these lines never came to be, as they were never opened. But they can be considered as railways that were rendered obsolete and, as such, can have railway heritage significance. For this reason, they were included in the Ministry of Public Works inventory of 1993. The termination of lines that took place in January 1985 received wide media coverage. After exhaustive debates, and no little controversy, the minister of Public Works and Transport proposed to the Council of Ministers (30 September 1984) the closure of several rail lines. The proposal argued three points: the operation’s financial losses were very high; there was a proper alternative in road transport; and they were not included in the public service obligations im11 CASARES ALONSO, 1973. 12 BANCO INTERNACIONAL DE RECONSTRUCCIÓN Y FOMENTO, 1962: 256-262. COMIN et al, 1998: 115-120.


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posed on RENFE. About 900 km of railway were shut down. To many others the termination was imminent, as they did not have any financial support from the regional governments or county councils to offset the operating deficit. Among these we can find the Calatayud-Cidad Dosante, Jaén-Campo Real and GuadixAlmendricos railways. Finally, in the 1990s, some of those lines that had been saved in extremis were eventually closed: the Valladolid-Ariza or the Plasencia-Astorga roads. The Colmenar Viejo-Burgos (256 km) track was also closed in 2008, but in this case it was a temporary closure pending reforms. Consequently, from 1962 to the present, the total number of kilometres closed to railway service, or lines whose construction was halted, exceeds 4,200. This figure includes only broad gauge tracks. As for narrow gauge lines, about 3,800 km of track were terminated according to the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment13. It is thus an important asset which reutilization was not comprehended in the legislation when these lines were planned a century before and had to be regulated in the regulatory changes of the second half of the twentieth century. • 41

THE OWNERSHIP OF RAIL ASSETS AND THEIR CLOSURE As stated in the preamble of the law 39/2003 that regulates Spain’s railway sector, several State-owned rail networks are managed in coexistence through the central government and the Autonomous Communities. In this sense, we must also remember that the Spanish Constitution of 1978 grants the State exclusive jurisdiction over railways and land transport that cross the territory of more than one community (article 149), while the Autonomous Communities may have full responsibility over those railways which routes lie exclusively within their territories (article 148). The public nature of most of the rail infrastructures had been consolidated in such fashion since the nationalization of the broad gauge railways enacted by the Law of Railway Management and Road Transport of 24 January 1941. The law granted the ownership of all the assets of the old companies to RENFE from the first day of February of that year. Nineteenth century legislation already stated that the railways might revert to the State, who was actually their legal owner14. The 1941 nationalization law granted the new company its own legal personality, which was distinct from the State. This was reiterated in the Statute of the company, approved by decree 2170/1964, of 23 July. Nonetheless, the 13 MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PÚBLICAS, TRANSPORTES Y MEDIO AMBIENTE 1994: annexes. 14 GARCÍA PÉREZ, 1996: 133.


New uses for old railways

42 •

“independent legal personality” and “full capacity for the development of its purposes” was subject to government interests, “through the Ministry of Public Works”, which was in fact the institution that took the most important decisions regarding the railway sector15. This model was only altered with the law 16/1987 that regulated land transports and detailed the issues regarding the ownership regime of railway assets16. The law 39/2003 introduced a substantial change in the railway sector, adopting a new regime for managing railway infrastructures according to the European framework of liberalization of the railway sector (directive 91/440/EEC). The new configuration of the State railway sector gave a leading role to Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF), which became responsible, among other functions, for the construction and management of railway lines, embranchments, or other elements of the railway infrastructure, as part of the network. ADIF is a public company, under the scope of article 43.1.b) of law 6/1997 of 14 April that regulates the Organization and Functioning of the General State Administration. More recently, law 38/2015 kept the design and functions granted to ADIF in the previous law, but provided its coexistence with a plurality of infrastructure managers. It also expressly subjected these managers to the law that regulates private sector managers, in what is connected to the construction and management of the railway infrastructure. Article 27 of this law stipulated that rail infrastructure general managers have their own assets to manage, which are different from the assets of the General Administration of the State. These are composed of the railway infrastructures belonging to the Railway Network of General Interest (according to the distribution made by order of the Minister of Public Works), as well as the assets and rights granted by law or regulation, and those acquired or built with their own resources. It was also stated that these general managers might exercise, at any time, in respect to public property under their management, the powers of administration, defence, control, investigation, survey, and repossession, granted to the General Administration of State by the laws of public administrations assets. Similarly, it is up to them to lay down rules for the use of public property under their responsibility and for authorizing the use of that property by a third party. Finally it established that all railways, the land in which they lay, and also their facilities belong to the public domain. As we saw in the previous section, from the mid-twentieth century, a substantial portion of railway operations were abolished, which posed a clear and unprecedented (at least with such dimensions) management problem. The initial question was to know whether or not the ownership of the lands 15 MUÑOZ RUBIO, 1995: 81-96. 16 OLMEDO, 1999: 59-62 and 105-110.


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should return to their previous owners (public or private). These entities had lost their properties via expropriation on grounds of public interest. The reversion to the previous owners was allowed under the terms of the laws of 1855 and 1877 (articles 3 and 11 respectively) that were in force until the promulgation of the 1924 Railway Regulation. After the 1941 nationalization, it was up to the public company RENFE – with ministerial authorization – to manage those assets. The 1964 statute granted the company the right to propose the total or partial closure of lines in operation (article 8), although the company was forced to propose replacement services in the affected lines (article 56). The 16/1987 law (Regulation of Land Transports) stated that RENFE needed governmental authorization to close a given line, but is was also understood that if within two months nothing was said otherwise, that particular line could be shut down (article 176.3). In the associated set of rules that applied this law, it was stated that an authorization of the Ministry was necessary after a previous report of the Autonomous Communities. Finally, the aforementioned Law 39/2003 proposed for the first time how the process of putting out of commission terminated or closed railways should be conducted. Article 24 indicated that public property managed by ADIF (which was not necessary for the services of general interest or essential for the community) could be put out of service by that company. The putting out of service required a declaration of un-necessity by the Board of Directors and determined the addition of that property to its heritage of disaffected assets that could be alienated or exchanged. Furthermore, the ninth transitory provision of that law stated that State-owned closed or abandoned railway lines should be integrated into ADIF as assets. In this sense it is important to consider what the legislator had already enacted a few months earlier with respect to the assets of public administrations in the 33/2003 Law. Article 69 stated that the public assets (of public domain) would lose that condition and would become private property when the disaffection occurred and they ceased being destined for public use or public service. This had already been discussed in the areas of law17. Furthermore, this law also regulated the free transfer of property or rights over these assets. On the one hand, it was noted that the entities that could transfer these rights might be the Autonomous Communities, local entities, public foundations, or any associations of public utility (article 145). On the other hand, it was also stated that free transfer of the use or ownership of those assets could only be made if previous powers had been given to their alienation and their inclusion in the assets of the General Administration of the State was deemed inappropriate (article 147). To carry out this putting out of commission and subsequent sale or exchange 17 GARCÍA PÉREZ, 1996: 136-137.

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it is necessary for the competent authority of ADIF – its Board of Directors – to approve the situation, as established by the statute of this public company, approved by decree 2398/2004, modified by decree 1044/2013 – which also gave the same power to the Board of Directors of the new public company ADIF-Alta Velocidad (High Speed), separated from the former. Article 27 of Law 38/2015 considered that the general managers of railway infrastructures might put out of service the public property under their responsibility that they consider unnecessary for the provision of services of general interest or essential to the community. This putting out of commission should be done by the competent management representatives of the railway infrastructures, according to their statutes, with previous declaration of un-necessity and mandatory report from the Ministry of Public Works. The out of service assets should also be incorporated in the property of the said management. Current law therefore states that the out of service assets may be sold when all the criteria stated in the compulsory expropriation laws are respected, since abandoned or closed railways were integrated in ADIF as assets. Figure 2 – Railway lines: operation and heritage use 44 •

In Figure 2 we provide an interpretation of the alternative uses for railway infrastructures that were placed out of service and are therefore regarded as an asset susceptible of transfer, sale or other uses. Thus, either by the cessation of


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railway operations, which carries the official closing of lines as a consequence, or by the definitive suspension of the construction works, we found three cases: first, the possible reuse and redevelopment for use of the land as transit routes; second, the abandonment and loss for all purposes; and third, the patrimonial use for more or less comprehensive preservation of the original infrastructure, which, in turn, has three models for analysis: (1) as a greenway; (2) within a full protection of the line for the circulation of historical and tourist trains; (3) other preservation alternatives. These three models shall be analysed in the next section in the Spanish context.

DYNAMICS, EXAMPLES AND CASES OF SOCIAL PATRIMONIALISATION OF DISUSED RAILWAYS IN SPAIN As we have noted, it was in the last quarter of the twentieth century that the need to address the problem arriving with the progressive closure of railway lines was perceived. The need to maintain these assets under public management and the presentation of several projects for the conversion of disused railway heritage led the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment to carry out an inventory of all these goods and a series studies to determine possible uses and to study its ownership18. In line with this view, the new 1994 statute of RENFE established in article 31 the need to perform an inventory of its assets in which it was clearly stated which assets were for public use and which were not19. Therefore, in the 1990s, during the discussion about the reuse or new use of obsolete railroad tracks, a green alternative was proposed, encompassing an approach to the natural environment through interpretation and environmental discourse that could be raised from the conversion of old railways into natural ways in order to bring citizens to these spaces. This project was included in a broader plan within the ministry, called Green Fabric. Its key features were the need to enable a number of abandoned infrastructures (like narrow and broad gauge railways, the towpaths of the old navigation canals of Castile and Aragon, the vast number of cattle trails that had developed during the cycles of transhumance, and other historical paths as the road to Santiago or the Roman routes) for the use of walkers and cyclists According to calculations of the ministry, about 10,000 km of roads across the country from north to south and east to west would be a sign of an outstanding commitment with a long run environmental policy that the minister wanted to 18 FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES, 1993. MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PÚBLICAS, TRANSPORTES Y MEDIO AMBIENTE, 1995. 19 GARCIA PEREZ, 1996: 414.

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implement. The investment, according to the General Infrastructure Plan 19932007 would surpass 25,000,000,000 pesetas (150,000,000 €)20. The objectives included maintaining the infrastructures in the public domain; deter further deterioration of these abandoned structures; promote sports and education within a natural context; foster economic resources; promote employment; develop vocational schools; root the population to its places of origin; and even recover the old uses, if possible21. So greenways were, and still are, a powerful tool for the preservation of old disused railway infrastructures. The lifting of the rail, the removal of the ballast, and the fitting of the platform can be considered an unwise intervention when compared with the desired comprehensive preservation of any historical sight. However, a more reflective thought on the role of greenways from the perspective of heritage protection, and not just environmental, leads us in an effective path to achieve the conservation of most of the railway infrastructures, such as embankments, cuttings, viaducts, tunnels and also outbuildings, keeping in most cases the integrity of the original design, and establishing a close relationship between the vision of the landscape that the past traveller and the current walker or cyclist may have. Looking from the inside out, which is not always appreciated, we must add the impact caused by the railway itself in the territory, and also the unique landscape that identifies the rail with the characteristic elements that it possesses22. In any case, all those elements are part of the typical landscape of industrialization23. On another level, the reuse of railroads with historical trains on historical tours has an abundant legion of enthusiastic fans that have their origin in two substantially parallel processes occurring in the second half of the twentieth century: the gradual extinction of steam traction in Western Europe and the closure of a considerable number of railway lines with little traffic. Protecting movements then emerged with the goal of recreating the historical travels from the days of steam traction, using the unused rolling stock in the abandoned or closed lines. These initiatives have subsequently been extended to other forms of traction, diesel or electric, with out of commission vehicles. But their inception was also a major challenge posed to technological, transport and railway museums of the late twentieth century, that is the will to conserve these vehicles, attract visitors and promote the interpretation of railway heritage, especially with regard to rolling stock, which needed to “change to survive”24. The association between historical rolling stock and disused lines had a very strong development in Britain, shown today as a role model. In 2013, 8,000,000 20 MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PÚBLICAS, TRANSPORTES Y MEDIO AMBIENTE, 1994: 361. 21 FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES, 1994: 36-37. 22 LALANA, 2012. 23 CRUZ PEREZ & ESPAÑOL ECHÁNIZ, 2007. 24 DIVALL & SCOTT, 2001.


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passengers – in 15,000,000 trips through the 890 km in operation – were transported in historical trains. This generated some 2,200 direct jobs, in addition to the support of nearly 20,000 volunteers. It is, therefore, a very important activity that has grown significantly in recent years (in 2003 the aforementioned figures were roughly half of the 2013 figures). If we add the visitor data and the sales associated with this business, we arrive to a grand total of 10,800,000 visitors and £141,000,000 (185,000,000 €)25. Beyond the numbers, the operation of historical railways in Britain has a typical structure of a tourism industry aimed at efficient exploitation26. The 150 historical railways in Britain preserved explicitly for the purposes of railway heritage were the result of the engagement of museums and other organizations currently. Nowadays they are a substantial part of the British tourist industry27. France and Belgium also made an early commitment to the reuse of closed railway lines with the circulation of historical and tourist trains driven by fan groups and other institutions related to the protection of railway heritage, but also with the support at an official level with the respective Ministries of Culture28. The Italian case is also identified as an emerging tourism industry related to old railways29. In Spain, that magic combination of historical rolling stock with unused lines is virtually non-existent; hence the scarcity of consolidated projects in the panorama of the historical and touristic trains running today. In a first group there are those associated with museums and cultural institutions with the support from various public administrations. Without going into a thorough analysis, we can cite the cases of the Strawberry Train (Tren de la Fresa), conducted by the Foundation of the Spanish Railways since 1985 as a recreation of the journey made from 1851 with the commissioning of the line from Madrid to Aranjuez; the train of Urola, a short run steam traction between the stations of Azpeitia, home to the Basque Railway Museum and promoter of the project, and Lasao, part of the line of Zumárraga to Zumaia opened in the 1920s with electrical traction; the Train of the Lakes (Tren de los Lagos), between Lleida and La Pobla de Segur, whose infrastructure has been managed by the Railways of the Generalitat of Catalonia since 2005, and is operated in partnership with a private non-profit entity – the Association for Reconstruction and Commissioning of Historic Railway Material (Asociación para la Reconstrucción y Puesta en Servicio de Material Ferroviario Histórico); the Train of Arganda, a small historic train operated since 2001 in a short section of the old narrow-gauge track of the sugar plant of La Poveda by a private non-profit insti25 HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION, 2015. 26 MURIEL, 2011: 388-438. 27 FONTANA, 2012. FONTANA, 2013. 28 VAILLANT & GUYON, 1994. COTTE, 2011. COTTE, 2012. 29 MAGGI, 2011.

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tution, the Center for Steam Railway Initiatives of Madrid, with the support of the Autonomous Community of Madrid; or – the latest –, the Tarraco Talgo, a project of the Catalonia Railway Museum, that also intends to consolidate an attractive offer for those interested in the circulation of historic trains, in this case a composition of series III of Talgo. In total, although we do not have exact figures, we may be talking about 40,000 passengers a year. In a second group, we find the rail operator RENFE Viajeros SA, where the services of the former narrow gauge public company (FEVE) were merged in 2012. In that company, a department of tourist trains was established with special rolling stock that annually carries about 100,000 passengers and has a turnover of approximately 6,000,000 €30. It is important to remember that passenger touristic service has operated in Spain under a framework of free competition since 31 July 2013 (order FOM/1403/2013), whereas the circulation of historic trains has its own regulation set by the Ministry of Public Works. Here we should also include the Ferrocarril de Sóller SA, between Palma and Sóller (under a concession which has recently been extended until 2055), which performs its commercial services with a clear touristic orientation. However, despite these figures, we must remember that in Spain the abandoned lines that still retain their rails are vast, and they expect an administrative solution to carry out projects that might grow the sector. Among these railways we find worth mentioning the lines of Fuente de San Esteban-La Fregeneda (78 km), Quintanilla-Barruelo (13 km), various sections of the Plasencia to Astorga line, or the old railroad Santander-Mediterranean, as well as the important lines Ariza-Valladolid (252 km), or Colmenar Viejo-Burgos (256 km). Of these, the highlight goes clearly to the Fuente de San Esteban-La Fregeneda line – located in the province of Salamanca – crossing the border with Portugal and continuing through the Douro line towards Porto. The Douro line is closed in the section between the border (Barca d’Alva) and Pocinho, but from this station trains still run towards Porto. While the Portuguese section meanders on a winding path along the banks of the Douro River, the Spanish section was designed to overcome large topographical complexities, especially in its last leg in the vicinity of the border, parallel to the Águeda River while entering the natural park of Los Arribes del Duero. Therefore, a significant number of tunnels and steel bridges had to be built in 1887. These works rendered this line worthy of protection with the Good of Cultural Interest (GCI; BIC in Spanish – Bien de Interés Cultural) declaration in the monument category by royal decree 1934/2000, of 24 November 2000. Law 16/1985 of 25 June 1985 on Spanish Historical Heritage covers this declaration. As we have seen, the line was closed to service in 1985, but only in 1999 was 30 RENFE Viajeros SA, Annual Report, 2014.


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the process to protect its integrity initiated (resolution of 22 November 1999 of the Department of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage). One year later, the protection would be issued as we saw. However, little progress has been made to enhance the value of the line, and even today it suffers a significant deterioration, especially in its spectacular metal viaducts. To these two main alternatives of reutilizing closed rail lines, we must add the alternative of draisine cars (vehicles moved by pedals), which just appeared in Spain but is mainstream in other countries. In Germany, for instance, 250,000 visitors use draisines on 30 lines encompassing a total distance of 500 km. Its goal is leisure and fun, no doubt, but it also has promoted conservation principles as an interim solution until the possible reopening of the line, which was closed by changes in demand and the organization of transport31. In Spain these initiatives are still tentative. Therefore, if we consider that the two main alternatives for reusing old railways are its conversion to greenways or its comprehensive protection to promote the circulation of tourist and historical trains, the results for the Spanish case are undoubtedly unequal: 2,200 km have been enabled as greenways or nature trails (about 25% of the overall mileage) and only a few hundred kilometres (1%) have received protection as provided by the law 16/1985 (on Spanish Historical Heritage) and the subsequent regional regulations (this was essentially a symbolic measure, since no trains operate in those lines). To explain the success of what we might call the environmental heritage, we must remember once more the principles of the transport economy. On the one hand, as it occurs with conventional rail transport, there are several barriers to the entry of new players in the market of the implementation of historical trains. This greatly reduces the potential number of operators, renders it almost impossible for enthusiasts, and almost forces a mandatory participation, as we have seen in the examples given, of public administrations. We must also bear in mind the obligation to comply with a series of administrative and management requirements to ensure the safety of the operation. This also favours the role of commercial operators, and this is why in most countries traditional rail operators have a division of touristic and historical trains. However, the conversion of a rail to a greenway is far more accessible since the costs are lower, which renders it easier to involve provincial and local administrations. In addition, as we saw initially, there is a specific program at the European level for investment, which has no major maintenance costs, and fosters the development of training workshops and other collaborative projects32. Furthermore, the strategy of RENFE regarding closed lines helped the development of these projects. In the 1990s the division of assets, and the optimization 31 BRAUCKMANN, 2012. 32 HERNANDEZ AIZPURĂšA & AYCART, 2011.

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of assets not in use, focused RENFE’s activities in conducting lease contracts for rural lodging, the development of training schools, the installation of municipal services and other social purposes33.

CONCLUSIONS: USING, REUSING AND CONSERVING RAILWAYS IN SPAIN

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The long cycle of railway use includes a final stage in which some lines are closed for operation. Without concern and sensitivity to conserve these railways, their destruction would be guaranteed. Here lies the interest that heritage railway has as part of the wider concept of industrial heritage in the application of different formulas for using, reusing or conserving, and protecting that particular heritage34. As discussed, Spain has a significant volume of abandoned broad and narrow gauged railway lines (around 8,000 km), and she has legislation ruling what could be done with these assets once they have been terminated for use. In addition, we have indicated the social patrimonialisation policies, activated within the Ministry of Public Works, that led in 1993 to the elaboration of an inventory of these lines and a series of studies to suggest alternative uses. To these we must add initiatives of the Autonomous Communities that were responsible for the management of some of these lines. 25 years later, the enhancement of the Spanish railway heritage has focused almost exclusively on the conversion of old railway lines in greenways. An important and successful network of greenways with more than 2,000 km was thus set. However, the implementation of projects that combine the conservation of closed lines with the circulation of historical and touristic rolling stock, as we have seen, is yet to be done on a larger scale. Perhaps we need a general national plan to carry out this undertaking, similar to the one that promoted greenways in the 1990s. Perhaps we are still symbolically in 1962, standing before the portico of Euston without a clear vision of what our railway heritage should be, but with the firm idea to conserve and enhance this legacy as an obligation to future generations.

33 JUBERT, 1994: 191-197. 34 DINHOBL, 2011.


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REFERENCES ARTOLA, Miguel, dir. (1978) – Los ferrocarriles en España, 1844-1943. Madrid: Servicios de Estudios del Banco de España. 2 vols. BANCO INTERNACIONAL DE RECONSTRUCCIÓN Y FOMENTO (1962) – Informe del Banco Internacional de Reconstrucción y Fomento. El desarrollo económico de España. Madrid: Oficina de Coordinación y Programación Económica. BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2012) – “Utilising tourist draisines as a method to conserve railway heritage”. In VI Congreso de Historia Ferroviaria. Vitória-Gasteiz: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. BUCHANAN, Angus (1972) – Industrial Archaelogy in Britain. Middlesex: Penguin Books. CASARES ALONSO, Aníbal (1973) – Estudio histórico-económico de las construcciones ferroviarias españolas en el siglo XIX. Madrid: Instituto Iberoamericano de Desarrollo Económico. COMÍN, Francisco; MARTÍN ACEÑA, Pablo; MUÑOZ RUBIO, Miguel; VIDAL, Javier (1998) – 150 años de historia de los ferrocarriles españoles. Madrid: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. 2 vols. COTTE, Michel (2011) – “Two cases studies in heritage and valorization of ancient mountain railways in France”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 399-425. COTTE, Michel (2012) – “An example of renovation-adaptation for an old railway mountain line: the ‘Chemin de fe du Vivarais’, South-Eastern France”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 419-437. COULLS, Anthony (1999) – Railways as world heritage sites. In Occasional Papers for the World Heritage Convention. S. l.: International Council on Monuments and Sites. CRUZ PÉREZ, Linarejos; ESPAÑOL ECHÁNIZ, Ignacio (2007) – “Los paisajes de la industrialización”. Bienes Culturales, 7, p. 119-131.

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CUÉLLAR, Domingo (2010) – “Transportes y Patrimonio Histórico: la herencia de la Revolución Industrial”. Áreas, 29, p. 61-71. CUÉLLAR, Domingo (2011) – “Historia Económica, Transporte y Patrimonio Industrial”. In X Congreso Internacional de la AEHE, Sesión 10, Patrimonio Histórico Industrial y Economía. Seville: Universidad Pablo de Olavide. DINHOBL, Günter (2011) – “Railways Heritage. An overview”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 445-462. DIVALL, Colin; SCOTT, Andrew (2001) – Making Histories in Transport Museums. London: Leicester University Press. FONTANA, Dominic (2012) – “A new age of steam? The Tua Valley Line, Portugal. Experience and examples from the technological heritage operations and preserved railways of Britain” In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 393-417.

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FONTANA, Dominic (2013) – “Life, Death and Resurrection. Further Examples from the British Experience of Preserving Railway and Industrial Heritage”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 483-497. FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES (1993) – Inventario de líneas ferroviarias en desuso. Madrid: Secretaría General de Planificación y Concertación General. FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES (1994) – Seminario Experiencias de utilización alternativa de infraestructuras ferroviarias en desuso: Vive la Vía. Madrid: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. GARCÍA PÉREZ, Juan (1996) – Régimen jurídico del transporte por ferrocarril. Madrid: Marcial Pons. HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION (2015) – Annual Report 2014. New Romney: The Heritage Railway Association. HERNÁNDEZ, Arantxa; AIZPURÚA, Nerea; AYCART, Carmen (2011) – Desarrollo sostenible y empleo en las vías verdes. Madrid: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles; Fundación Biodiversidad. HUDSON, Kenneth (1963) – Industrial Archaelogy: a new introduction. London: John Baker Publishers.


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JUBERT (1994) – “Política de RENFE frente a la reutilización de sus líneas desafectas de servicio de tráfico débil. Proyectos y directrices para futuras actuaciones”. In FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES – Seminario Experiencias de utilización alternativa de infraestructuras ferroviarias en desuso: Vive la Vía. S. l: s. n., p. 189-197. LALANA, José Luis (2012) – “Los ferrocarriles y el patrimonio mundial. Del monumento al paisaje cultural”. In VI Congreso de Historia Ferroviaria. Vitória-Gasteiz: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. LALANA, José Luis; SANTOS, Luis (2009) – “Las fronteras del patrimonio industrial”. Llámpara, 2, p. 7-20. MAGGI, Stefano (2011) – “A new role for old railways: tourism”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 427-443. MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PÚBLICAS, TRANSPORTES Y MEDIO AMBIENTE (1994) – Plan Director de Infraestructuras (1993-2007). Madrid: Centro de Publicaciones, Ministerio de Obras Públicas, Transportes y Medio Ambiente. MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PÚBLICAS, TRANSPORTES Y MEDIO AMBIENTE (1995) – Líneas ferroviarias susceptibles de usos alternativos. Madrid: Dirección General de Planificación Territorial, Secretaría de Estado de Política Territorial y Obras Públicas. MUÑOZ RUBIO, Miguel (1995) – RENFE (1941-1991): medio siglo de ferrocarril público. Madrid: Ediciones Luna. MURIEL, Manuel (2011) – “Patrimonio industrial y economía de la cultura: los ferrocarriles turísticos británicos y el caso andaluz”. Seville: Universidad de Sevilla. PhD dissertation. OLMEDO GAYA, Ana (1999) – El nuevo sistema ferroviario y su ordenación jurídica. Elcano: Editorial Aranzadi. PERELMAN, Michael (1997) – El fin de la economía. Barcelona: Ariel. SÁNCHEZ PICÓN, Andrés (2010) – “A modo de introducción: miradas sobre el Patrimonio Industrial”. Áreas, 29, p. 7-9. THOMSON, J. M. (1976) – Teoría económica del transporte. Madrid: Alianza Editorial. VAILLANT, Charles; GUYON, Gerard (1994) – “La utilización de líneas cerradas para el servicio de trenes turísticos en Francia y Bélgica. Panorama general”. In FUNDACIÓN DE LOS FERROCARRILES ESPAÑOLES – Seminario Experiencias de utilización alternativa de infraestructuras ferroviarias en desuso: Vive la Vía. S. l.: s. n., p. 175-187.

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1.3. Railways: industrial and maritime archaeology, geographic information systems, history and culture Dominic Fontana

INTRODUCTION Railways, and their associated industrial archaeology, are an area of immense fascination to me as I began my working career as a railwayman at the age of 16. Consequently, I must be one of very few academics who have used much of the nineteenth century railway technology in a real-world context as part of a national railway system. After the railway, I worked on the maritime archaeological project to excavate and recover the remains of Henry VIII’s warship Mary Rose, and subsequently as an academic geographer specialising in the application of GIS technology to archaeological and historical studies. This unusual combination of career experience has provided considerable insight into the complexity of data, which arises from both archaeological and historical study within a spatial, geographical context. This paper considers some of the potential range of data which may be held within a GIS and offers some suggestions for innovative approaches for the utilisation of such data within historical, archaeological, cultural and railway projects. GIS technology is considered as an enabling technology, which can assist researchers by providing an exploratory “tool for thought”35. Railways are large and complex entities, fundamental to the efficient functioning of modern society. They have a long past, active present and significant future. Many of Britain’s railways today are at least 150 years old with very long histories as modern metropolitan or intra-urban transport systems. They are 35 EASTMAN, 1992: 32.

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viewed as having a bright future in a world where low emissions and energy efficiency are extremely important attributes. Railways are both substantial and ephemeral expressions of human ingenuity developed in stone, concrete and iron and steel engineering. They have created and nurtured their own culture, dramatically altering the lives of all that they touch. Railways, may be measured, recorded and understood through their archaeology, history, geography, art, science, politics and economics. Railways are unlike almost any other form of human technology because they have a very substantial existence in physical terms, represented by the route-ways and architectural infrastructure placed throughout a widespread geographical area. At the same time, their historical and cultural depth has been recorded and expressed in many different modes and forms. Aspects of railways can be seen as networks or points, which may be viewed collectively or individually. Railways comprise of many different elements including: architecture, permanent way, signalling, locomotives, carriages and wagons, railway staff and folklore, railway passengers and their memories, railway companies and their economic relations with their investors and customers and a whole host of other elements of their existence. Some of these are tangible and persistent, others are intangible and ephemeral. Some are permanently located while others mobile or transient. It is undoubtedly a complex mixture of components. Understanding the past present and future of railways requires a detailed appreciation of the interaction of these many facets. Achieving this holistic integration of data is by no means a straightforward task, and in order to develop a fuller understanding of railways and their contextual setting, researchers need to be innovative in the research methods that they employ. A geographical approach to such data integration has much to recommend it in such circumstances. GIS technology provides a toolset, which can assist researchers, by providing an exploratory “tool for thought” as suggested by Eastman36. Specifically, Eastman writes: “With experience, GIS becomes simply an extension of one’s own analytical thinking... The system has no inherent answers, only those of the analyst. It is a tool, just like statistics is a tool. It is a tool for thought”37. When used in this way, GIS becomes a tool for the exploration, investigation and interpretation of the data and, therefore, the data itself becomes the most important part of GIS. Its availability, form and mixture determine what can be done with GIS. The specifics of the software and hardware system are of little consequence other than providing the necessary facilities to enable the researchers to store, access and display the requisite forms of data. Most current GIS software has the ability to use a wide variety of different digital data types including text, facsimile documents, video and sound recordings as well as direct access to web-based resources. It is, therefore, the data itself which becomes the all36 EASTMAN, 1992: 32. 37 EASTMAN, 1992: 32.


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important core for a study employing a GIS approach and, where possible, this should be at as high a temporal and spatial resolution as possible. In other words, GIS hardware and software opens up the information contained in the data for a researcher, providing the mechanism through which a researcher may explore the data. In effect GIS becomes an electronic, digital archive, which enables rapid access to the data contained within it and enables swift display of that data based on the relative geography. GIS provides the researcher with an exploratory and integrative mechanism for utilizing data more efficiently and effectively than might be the case with a traditional paper based archive. Karl Popper, when considering the nature of scientific knowledge and understanding, suggested that knowledge is finite whilst ignorance is infinite38. It was his contention that it will never be possible to arrive at the definitive answer and that there are many possible answers to an infinite variety of questions. Researchers should, if possible, have access to un-interpreted, and preferably un-aggregated, data in order to be able to address these many, as yet, un-asked questions. Easy, speedy access to un-interpreted data will be far more beneficial to the advancement of their understanding than traditional linear narrative; research outputs that largely present interpreted information. However, historical research is usually presented as such a linear narrative, derived from research attempting to develop an understanding of the past through contemporaneous records and evidence. These records themselves were rarely collected with this historical research purpose in mind, and such data is always incomplete, usually heavily filtered and seldom more than a cipher for the reality it is attempting to capture. Consequently, we must be acutely aware of the Popparian view of finite knowledge and infinite ignorance39 because of these problems which will always be inherent within research data. History however, and especially the history of railways, occurs within a geographical context, which is nonlinear, multitemporal, multi-faceted, and multi-scale thereby adding considerable complexity to the situations which the researchers need to understand and appreciate. Railways are often huge geographical undertakings, and placing relevant historical data within its geographical setting can greatly enhance the inherent and possibly unrealised value of many historical records. Essentially, viewing the historical data within its geographical setting may assist the researcher to arrive at a fuller understanding of its contextual meaning and importance. It may also provide a researcher with greater insight, thereby encouraging the serendipitous discovery of new knowledge derived from the timely and efficient combination of datasets which may not otherwise be attempted or even envisaged. GIS offers researchers a toolset to explore the possibility of integrating data from diverse and disparate geographical data sources, enabling the recognition, enhancement and 38 POPPER, 1974. 39 POPPER, 1974.

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extraction of greater levels of the informational value which all data contains. This situation is experienced in maritime archaeological projects, such as the excavation of the Mary Rose40, where immensely complex information can be recovered and recorded from the excavated remains of the sunken vessel. Experience gained through researching the events surrounding the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 can illustrate the potential of GIS technology when applied to the task of complex, geographically organised, research data. The Mary Rose was the vice-flagship of Henry VIII’s fleet, and on 19 July 1545 she was assembled together with the English fleet, in the Solent on the central south coast of England, to oppose the invading French army sent by François I, King of France. The English fleet consisted of about 60 ships and the French 225. The French army was 30,000 strong; the English forces about 12,000 at the most. For King Henry VIII and the English this was a national emergency. The English were significantly outnumbered, both on the land and sea. Over a period of two or three days a series of engagements took place between the French and the English, which ultimately resulted in a stalemate. Although the English lost the Mary Rose and the French lost a Mediterranean galley, Henry retained his crown, the French departed the shores of southern England to lay siege to Boulogne, which the English had captured the previous year, and the Mary Rose settled into the muddy seabed of the Solent where she remained for over 450 years. The excavation of the Mary Rose in the 1970s and early 1980s recovered over 19,000 artefacts. The remains of 179 individual men, as well as the hull of the Mary Rose herself were recovered during the project. Much of this is now on display in the Mary Rose Museum in the historic dockyard, Portsmouth. The data from the artefacts recovered during the archaeological excavation represents an extremely complex dataset in which the spatial relationships between the objects and their surroundings within the ship are of tremendous importance. The data can provide us with not only a rich story of daily Tudor life aboard a warship, but also of life more generally within Tudor England. The distribution and movement of material and objects within the ship have recorded elements of the sequence of events during the actual sinking itself and record aspects of the Tudor attempts to recover the sunken ship. However, this data is immensely complex and requires not only an understanding of what each individual item of data represents, but of how it interrelates with everything else. In addition to the archaeological data collected, there also are a number of contemporary written accounts, which describe the events on that fateful day in July 1545. These are traditional historical documents that present linear accounts of what happened as their writers perceived the events. Geographically, we also have the physical coastline and sea areas, which constitute the contextual setting within which these events were played out and 40 RULE, 1982.


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within which the Tudor technologies of shipping and warfare came together to create the story. This geographical context might be considered as the Theatre of War which staged the events of the battle. We also have contemporary and near contemporary maps of the town of Portsmouth itself and a fabulously detailed image of the battle, which presents the events as a series of vignettes representing individual actions that took place over a number of days. The data, therefore, comprises an immensely complex and diverse set of information about The Battle of the Solent that researchers should examine and interpret as an integrated whole. A traditional historical documentary or archaeological approach for studying such material often ignores one of the most important elements: the geographical context of their events. The topography of the Solent dictated the potential initial distributions of the fleets’ movements subsequently undertaken by the ships of both the French and English fleets. The timing of the tides and the specific nature of individual tidal currents within the Solent determined the speed, direction and route that any individual ship could make. The combination of these factors therefore dictated the tactics which could be employed by the soldiers and sailors of both sides and their commanders41. Consequently, having a good understanding of the geographical environment and context can significantly help researchers to develop a much fuller picture of what happened from the available evidence. Such rich and diverse data needs integrating if it is to be fully utilized, and geography is key to this integration. Geography can act as the mechanism by which these diverse sources of data can be meaningfully joined or associated. GIS technology provides the toolset. Storing the data with geographical coordinates for use in a GIS will make the data much more useful to both present and future researchers. This is because GIS technology makes it possible to integrate documentary, archaeological, environmental, geographical and other diverse data in a way that is both accessible and meaningfully organized. Despite the many benefits that GIS offers for historical research, historians have yet to take full advantage of this integrative technology in their work. Traditionally, it has been normal practice to disseminate information and research findings by use of a linear historical narrative, which, it could be argued, has stood the test of time and provided an effective means of research dissemination. And yet, the question should be posed: can a researcher convey the full complexity of relationships inherent in the detailed and diverse data gathered and examined in projects such as the Mary Rose or research into the history of railways, through the mechanism of a linear narrative? Certainly, traditional research publication outputs can provide some of the information but it is unlikely that they will be by any means as full and complete as they might. GIS technology can make a 41 FONTANA & HILDRED, 2011.

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valuable contribution to the enhanced transmission of historical research data making accessibility easier for future researchers and thereby possibly effect the serendipitous discovery of new and deeper understanding. It offers current researchers unique opportunities to more effectively store, access and analyse complex geographical data while making this invaluable resource available for future historians to develop new and innovative explorations of the past.

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REFERENCES EASTMAN, J. R. (1992) –Idrisi User’s Guide. Worcester, MA: Clark University. FONTANA, D.; HILDRED, A. (2011) – “The Theatre of War: geographical evidence from the Cowdray engraving and GIS”. In HILDRED, A, ed. –Weapons of warre, the armaments of the Mary Rose. Portsmouth: The Mary Rose Trust, p. 867-882. POPPER, K. (1974) –Conjectures and Refutations. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul. RULE, M. (1982) – The Mary Rose, the Excavation and Raising of Henry VIII’s Flagship. Leicester: Conway Maritime Press. • 61


1.4. A new age of steam? The Tua valley line, Portugal: experience and examples from the technological heritage operations and preserved railways of Britain Dominic Fontana

INTRODUCTION Industrial and technological heritage tourism in Britain is an important part of the nation’s tourism portfolio and includes historic factories, coalmines, motor museums, old ships, canals and railways. Most of these are owned and operated by charitable organisations, founded and staffed by volunteer enthusiasts. Great Britain has over 150 preserved railways, which generate in excess of 15,000,000 tourist journeys each year. The industry employs 2,000 people directly and engages a further 18,000 volunteers. They contribute £579,000,000 to the British economy and play a very important role in the extensive cultural and heritage tourism industry of the country42. The railways of Portugal are well known to a global community of steam enthusiasts, many of whom used to visit the country specifically to experience and photograph the last days of steam traction until as late as the 1980s. The narrow gauge lines north of the Douro river, and the Tua valley line in particular, were considered as very special railways. Their unique combination of narrow gauge steam traction, relatively long runs of track and extraordinarily beautiful landscapes made for a magical railway experience. In the 1980s steam was replaced and although there are now a few diesel-hauled tourist “historic” trains on the Douro Valley line, there are currently no opportunities for people to recapture 42 HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION, 2011.

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this exquisite steam experience. Portugal has several railway museums under the control of the excellent National Railway Museum in Entroncamento, but these present static displays rather than live steam and many railway enthusiasts consider this to be a poor substitute for real steam locomotives operating within a fully-fledged railway environment. Portugal possesses a considerable number of redundant steam locomotives dispersed in yards around its national railway network, some of which remain in potentially usable condition43. Portugal also possesses track and routes, which have been recently closed to passenger and freight traffic. Some of these are still largely intact and could be reinstated at relatively low cost. Almost 60 years of experience of operating and developing technological heritage and preserved railways has been accrued in Britain and this may prove valuable to the recognition of the tourist potential and economic benefits that such technological heritage and preserved railways present as part of a modern tourism industry. Figure 1 – 0189 2-8-4T Henschel 1925 Mallet locomotive at Régua

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Heritage or preserved railways are usually railway lines originally built to meet commercial needs. They were primarily concerned with transporting goods and people but due to changing circumstances no longer served that purpose and were duly closed by their owners. Britain possesses considerable railway heritage resources, built during its long history of railway innovation and development. Indeed, the world’s first public railway was established by act of Parliament in 1801 and opened in 1803 as the Surrey Iron Railway running between Wandsworth and Croydon. On this line, horses pulled privately owned freight wagons over cast-iron rails or plate-ways set in stone blocks. The world’s first steam railway was established in Britain in 1804, when Richard Trevithick used a steam locomotive to haul a train along the tramway of the Penydarren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. Railways developed rapidly in Britain from these very early experimental implementations, with the opening of the Stockton 43 BAILEY, 2013.


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and Darlington line in 1825 marking the start of the modern railway age44. By 1845 there were 2,441 miles of railway open, which by 1900 had grown to some 18,680 miles in use, with railway lines reaching into almost all parts of the country. In the first decades of the twentieth century Britain’s railways were financed and operated by private companies and therefore placed the country’s railways under the direct control of distinct business interests. Company routes and railways competed with each other for traffic and business. Although there was no national railway plan, the extensive railway infrastructure continued to serve the transport needs of the country reasonably well. However, the business structure of the railway sector was significantly affected and remodelled by World War I and World War II. The wartime needs for the transportation of men and materiel between 1914 and 1918 saw the railways come under direct state control for the duration of the war45. Britain’s railways suffered severe overuse and lack of maintenance due to the privations and demands of the war. The British government subsequently sought to improve efficiency and encourage new private investment by joining the majority of Britain’s 120 railway companies together under the 1921 Railways Act to form four big railway companies. These became known as the Big Four, comprising The Great Western Railway, The London Midland and Scottish Railway, The London and North Eastern Railway, and the Southern Railway. The railways suffered again during World War II from continued overuse, hostile bombing and severe lack of maintenance and investment, leaving Britain’s railways in a perilous state by the end of the war. In response, the newly elected Labour government of 1945 opted to take the entire network into permanent public ownership through nationalisation. The nationalised British Railways came into being in January 1948, and although there was considerable optimism for the future of the railways, it was clear that closures were needed. These began as early as February 1948. In 1950, 150 route miles were closed, 275 in 1951 and a further 300 in 195246. During the remainder of the 1950s the Government continued to implement significant closure programmes. This culminated in Dr Richard Beeching’s 1963 report about the future of British railways, which identified 2,363 stations47 and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure – 55% of all stations and 30% of the total route miles. Consequently, from the 1950s until the middle 1960s there was the rapid closure of a considerable proportion of Britain’s railways. The potential loss of much of Britain’s railway heritage was recognised by many enthusiastic amateurs. With so many of these closures, combined with the rapid changeover from steam to diesel and electric traction, concerned individuals came together with the aim of preserving their own small parts of Britain’s industrial and railway heritage. As a 44 JONES, 2012: 7. 45 JONES, 2012: 13. 46 JONES, 2012: 13. 47 JONES, 2012: 43.

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result, many of the lines closed during the 1950s and 1960s were taken over or reopened by volunteers who wished to recreate their railway as it once was, as an historical experience. Consequently, almost all of these railway preservation operations have focused on serving the tourist and leisure markets rather than local transportation needs. However, although these events were extremely important in raising the public consciousness of Britain’s railway heritage, not all preserved or heritage railways in Britain result from the nationalisation and government closure programmes. There are a number of examples where preserved/heritage/ tourist railways have evolved from different foundations and developed a variety of operational and organisational models. Their range of foundation, formation, organisation, infrastructure and approaches may, at least potentially, provide examples that could help to inform railway enthusiasts and other interested parties about how and why heritage railways could benefit the tourist industry and economy of Portugal.

THE WORLD’S FIRST HERITAGE RAILWAY 66 •

The first line in the world to be recreated and re-invigorated as a heritage railway was the Talyllyn narrow gauge line in Wales, which was taken into volunteer operation in 1951. The Talyllyn railway is a 2 ft. 3 in. gauge, narrow gauge line that runs for 7.25 miles from Tywyn to the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn. In addition to carrying slate, the line was Britain’s first narrow gauge railway authorised by act of parliament to carry passengers using steam locomotion. However, the line was never really successful as a passenger carrying business except when carrying tourists during a short summer season. The line was predominantly used for carrying slate, but after World War I sales from the slate quarry declined. The quarry continued with a relatively low level of production until it was finally closed following a serious collapse on Boxing Day 194648. Local MP Mr Henry Haydn Jones had owned the railway and quarry since 1911. When he died in 1950 his widow kept the railway running for the remainder of the summer season until the line closed in October 1950. At this point, Tom Rolt and a group of railway enthusiasts called a public meeting in Birmingham to form the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society who took over the line in February 1951, running their first trains on 14 May 195149. The essential notion behind the formation of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society was that members would provide money for the railway through membership fees, fund48 TALYLLYN RAILWAY, 2012a. 49 TALYLLYN RAILWAY, 2012b.


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raising activities and donations, and also to provide volunteer labour working on the railway itself. It is now a much visited tourist attraction. The line currently has six steam and four diesel locomotives. It also owns 23 carriages and vans, including all of the original carriages and the brake van built specifically for the railway. In 2006, nearly 51,000 passengers were carried50 and by 2010 passenger journeys had risen to 85,146.

ISLE OF WIGHT RAILWAYS Today the Isle of Wight has two railways. Both could be classed as heritage railways although one is owned and operated as part of the national railway network and the other is privately owned by a charitable organisation and operated primarily as a volunteer-run tourist railway. During the 1860s, the Isle of Wight developed an extensive railway network that provided both passenger and goods transport to many of the isolated rural places around the island. In common with railways in many parts of Britain, much of the network on the Isle of Wight was closed in the 1950s and 60s. The major part of the closures resulted from Beeching’s 1963 report on the future of the railways. Beeching wished to close the entire railway system on the Isle of Wight, apart from the half-mile length along Ryde Pier from the Pierhead to the Esplanade, which he intended would remain open to convey ferry passengers from ship to shore. A local campaign prevented the closure of the line from Ryde Pierhead to Shanklin, running along the east coast of the Isle of Wight. This line served the most densely populated part of the island and was kept open as part of the nationalised British Railways network. In common with Britain’s railway modernisation programme at the time, steam trains were withdrawn from the line on 31 December 1966, which was then converted from steam operation to third rail electric power. In order to reduce tidal flooding within the Ryde Esplanade tunnel, the height of the track bed was increased to avoid potential problems with the third rail electrical system51. This reduced the tunnel’s clearance and consequently prevented trains built to the national loading gauge from travelling through the tunnel due to their greater height. It was therefore necessary to use rolling stock built to a lower height specification, and so second-hand London underground vehicles were employed. This brought its own problems elsewhere on the line, as it required the extensive modification of the relationship between the track and 50 ROBINSON, 2007. 51 JONES, 2012: 72.

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the platform heights to accommodate the low carriage height of the old London Underground rolling stock. Nevertheless, this approach has proven to be quite effective for the operation of the line over the past 50 years. Although very old, the electric trains were cheap to acquire, are robust and simple to maintain. Periodic overhaul and restoration of the cars is carried out at the Island’s own maintenance depot at Ryde St John’s Road. For an island-based railway system the possibility of local maintenance and overhaul is an important consideration, otherwise it would be necessary to ship the railway vehicles across to mainland England by ferry which would be a costly and time-consuming operation. Figure 2 – car unit 007 arrives at Ryde

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The line continues in use as a passenger transportation system marketed as The Island Line. South West Trains has operated this line since 2007 as part of Stagecoach PLC, using tracks owned by Network Rail since 28 October 2002. Network Rail is a private limited company which is run on a “not for shareholder dividend” basis52. The line currently runs with 4 x 2 car (plus 2 two-car units which are not used; 1 in rebuild and 1 used for shunting only) former London Underground rolling stock built in 1938 – the oldest in use on any lines of the British National railway network. Although not originally a consideration, this use of historic vehicles reflects the tourist nature of the Isle of Wight and railway enthusiasts travel to the island specifically to ride on the former underground trains. However, it should be noted that the line is well used by local residents simply as reliable transport as well as providing something of an historical attraction for the tourists. Surprisingly, the line regularly achieves 52 NETWORK RAIL, 2013.


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the best timekeeping and reliability figures on the entire national railway system even though the infrastructure and trains may be regarded as antique curios. As a model of commercial railway operation, which mixes the local transportation needs of the community with the interest and desires of dedicated railway enthusiasts, the Island Line is probably unique in Britain. It certainly provides an interesting and historic means of commuting between the towns on the east coast of the Isle of Wight and the cross-Solent ferries from Ryde Pierhead to Portsmouth. In 2016 the future of the line has again become subject of debate focusing around whether or not the line should be included in the South West Trains franchise offered by the government to the private operating companies in future years.

ISLE OF WIGHT STEAM RAILWAY In addition to the electric railway, the Isle of Wight has another railway owned by a charitable education trust and specifically operated in the traditional heritage railway mould, running trains for enthusiasts and tourists approximately 200 days a year. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway (ISWR) runs along part of the original route-way between Ryde and Newport, which was closed under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. It extends for approximately 5 miles between Wootton and Smallbrook Junction, where it joins the Ryde Pierhead to Shanklin electric railway at a recently built junction station. Here passengers can transfer between electric and steam trains. This enables visitors to travel by train from locations on the English mainland, using the Portsmouth to Ryde ferries to cross the Solent, and then reaching the steam railway by way of the historic London Underground trains on the Island Line. The ISWR has its main base at Havenstreet where it houses an engine shed, engineering facilities, a museum, gift shop and cafe as well as a number of functional railway buildings, all of which provide interest to visitors. The facilities are in the process of significant development as a result of a 2012 Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £970,000, which together with another £250,000 of funding, provide covered accommodation and a workshop to protect the railway’s vintage carriage fleet at Havenstreet station. Volunteer labour from the railway membership provided £75,000 of the matched funding required as part of the grant conditions53.

53 ISLE OF WIGHT STEAM RAILWAY, 2012

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Figure 3 – Propelling a four-coach train into Wootton station

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Volunteers are an important part of the ISWR operation as they provide the vast majority of workers on the railway, undertaking tasks including engine driving, signalling, shunting, ticket inspecting, plate laying and track maintenance, locomotive cleaning and maintenance, carriage restoration, ticket sales and working in the shop. The IWSR was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2012. This is the highest award in Britain for volunteer groups and was given to the railway in recognition of the community involvement and achievements made possible by the ISWR’s many volunteers. Currently, around 300 volunteers work on the railway, some on a regular basis and others occasionally, but they all contribute directly to the experience of the 115,000 passengers carried by the railway each year, thereby playing a very significant role in the success of the Isle of Wight’s tourist industry. The railway also has a small permanent staff who provide management and organizational continuity, forming the framework around which the volunteers can work effectively and efficiently. The origins of the ISWR can be traced back to the enthusiasm and imagination of Ron Strutt and Iain Whitlam who called a meeting in south London in 1965 to find like-minded people who wished to preserve some of the old Island railways. The group formed the Wight Locomotive Society whose initial aim was to secure at least one former London & South Western Railway 02 class 0-4-40T engine and, if at all possible, some carriages to accompany the locomotive54. The original plan was to simply preserve for static display; however, the group’s ambitions grew and by January 1971 all of the stock was moved to Havenstreet, and the Isle of Wight Railway Company was formed in 1972. By 1991 the line had been extended along the original route-way to Smallbrook Junction adjacent to the then British Rail line from Ryde to Shanklin55. Today, the IWSR is one of the leading heritage railways in Britain, having developed from a few enthusiasts with a redundant locomotive in the late 1960s into a vibrant part of the Island’s 54 MITCHELL & SMITH, 1998. 55 MITCHELL & SMITH, 1998.


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tourism industry in just 40 years, thus significantly contributing to the community well-being and the wealth of the region.

BRUE VALLEY LINE, NORFOLK The Brue Valley line, Norfolk, has taken a different approach to developing a steam railway and provides an example where the standard gauge track routeway has been reused as a narrow gauge tourist railway rather than as a heritage railway in the strict sense. Originally, the line was part of the standard gauge national railway network. This has now been redeveloped as a narrow gauge steam railway utilising modern, specially built, antique styled, steam locomotives. The line is specifically intended to be a tourist attraction rather than re-creation of the railway as it once was. Few of the previously existing railway buildings such as stations or signal boxes have been used other than the original road or railway bridges along the line. This approach has considerable advantage over reinstating full-size standard gauge locomotives, rolling stock and their associated infrastructure, by offering significantly reduced operating and fuel costs of the much smaller and lighter locomotives. The new narrow gauge track is far cheaper to purchase and install than standard gauge rails and sleepers. Additionally, lower operating costs could be expected from running the line with newly built locomotives rather than employing restored antique motive power with all the attendant problems of potentially worn parts and fragile materials. Using the previously existing standard gauge route-way, which is much wider than the space required for the 15-inch narrow gauge track, also allowed the local authority to build a footpath alongside the railway. This extends the route’s potential usefulness to walkers and cyclists as well as the tourist railway. The route-way originally began in 1877 when the East Norfolk Railway opened a line from Norwich to Cromer, then extending it from Wroxham to Aylsham in 1880. The line was nationalised in 1948, and in 1952 the passenger service was withdrawn although freight continued to Buxton Lammas until 1964, and to Aylsham and Coltishall until 1974. The Bure Valley Railway opened on 10 July 1990, and the long distance footpath opened in 1991. The Bure Valley railway runs from Wroxham to Aylsham, a distance of some 9 miles (14.5Km). Initially the railway hired several locomotives including Black Prince, Sampson and Winston Churchill, from the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, which operates on the same track gauge. The Brue Valley line had five steam and three diesel locomotives in 2012. The railway is supported by a volunteer group, The

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Friends of the Bure Valley Railway (FoBVR), which supports the railway financially by organising events and regular working parties of volunteers. Figure 4 – Bure Valley Railway, the engine driver rotates the turntable at Wroxham, 8 August 2012. The engine is the 15 inch gauge locomotive no. 9 Mark Timothy 2-6-4 Tank ZB Class. This was originally built by Winson Engineering as an oil fired loco, rebuilt by Alan Keef Limited as coal fired. It entered full service in July 2004

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In addition to carrying tourists, the railway operates specific training events for more dedicated enthusiasts who wish to learn how to drive a steam locomotive. The railway offers a series of training courses for prospective locomotive drivers and are currently offering one-day (£225) and two-day (£325) steam locomotive driving courses, a one-day advanced driving course (£295), and a one day Gold Driver Experience Course at £80056.

VOLK’S ELECTRIC RAILWAY, BRIGHTON The Volk’s Electric Railway is a heritage railway originally built as a tourist railway over 130 years ago, a purpose it still retains. Volk’s Railway is the oldest operating electric railway in the world. Today, it is owned and operated by Brighton & Hove City Council, and runs along a section of Brighton’s seafront and beach from the Palace Pier to Black Rock close to Brighton Marina. Magnus Volk opened the railway for public use on 4 August 1883 and it operated over a quarter of a mile of 2ft. gauge line running between the Aquarium and the Chain Pier. Electricity was supplied by a Siemens D5 50 volt DC generator, which was powered by a 2hp Otto gas engine. The railcar was fitted with a 1.5hp motor giving a top speed of about 6mph. By April 1884, the line had been extended to almost a mile and the gauge widened to 2 foot 8 1/2 inches. Additionally, the operating voltage was increased to 160 V DC from a Siemens 56 BRUE VALLEY RAILWAY, 2016


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D2 dynamo powered by an Otto 12hp gas engine. The line proved extremely popular with visitors to Brighton seafront and continued to develop with further extensions and the addition of a third rail in 1886 for power supply. The third rail power supply approach is still in use today and supplies current to the railway’s four rail cars, three of which are over 100 years old having been built in the first decade of the twentieth century57. Figure 5 – Volk’s railway car no. 9, built 1910

The Volk’s Electric Railway was taken into local council ownership in 1938 and initially leased back to the Volks family for the day-to-day operation until 1 April 1940 when Brighton Corporation took full control. In July 1940, the railway ceased operation for the duration of World War II, and it was not until 15 May 1948 that the railway reopened to passenger traffic58. In common with most preserved and heritage railway operations in Britain, the railway currently has a very active volunteer supporters group known as The Volk’s Electric Railway Association, which was founded in September 1995. The Volk’s Electric Railway is a very long surviving tourist railway that has become a heritage line simply as a result of the passage of time. After more than 130 years it continues to serve visitors to the seaside town of Brighton.

THE ROMNEY, HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) follows a section of the Kent coast in southern England. It differs from the majority of heritage railways in Britain because it was built as an entirely new railway and did not follow the route of a previously existing line subject to closure. It is a 15-inch gauge railway equipped with one-third scale replica 1920s British mainline steam locomotives 57 VOLK’S ELECTRIC RAILWAY ASSOCIATION, 2012. 58 VOLK’S ELECTRIC RAILWAY ASSOCIATION, 2012.

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built especially for the line. The railway was built in the mid 1920s by Captain J. E. P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski, after their failed attempted to purchase the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in the English Lake District. Both men were known for motor racing and were independently wealthy. The official opening of the RH&DR took place on 16 July 1927 with double track line running 8 miles between Hythe and New Romney. In 1928, the double track route was extended to Dungeness via Greatstone providing a ride of 13.5 miles. Zborowski died in a racing accident before the opening of the railway, and Howey continued to run the line until his death in 196359. Figure 6 – Southern Maid at Dungeness. 10 September 2011

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Problems with lack of investment in rolling stock and infrastructure almost closed the line during the 1960s, but a new group headed by Sir William MacAlpine took over in 1973, with a good deal of investment since. As with other heritage railways, an external supporters organisation (The RH&DR Association) plays a key role in supporting the railway both financially and with volunteer staff helping in railway operations and fundraising throughout the year. In common with the Brue Valley line, Norfolk, the RH&DR offer Driver Experience Days as one of their revenue raising activities. They charge £295 for a one-day course that includes practical experience driving one of the miniature steam locomotives along part of their route. The railway also offers an advanced course at £420 per session60. Clearly there is a market for relatively expensive railway heritage experiences.

59 ROMNEY, HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY, 2012. 60 ROMNEY, HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY, 2013.


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DOWNPATRICK & COUNTY DOWN RAILWAY, NORTHERN IRELAND The Downpatrick & County Down Railway is Northern Ireland’s only standard gauge heritage railway and is based in the county town of Down. It was founded in 1985 with the intention of rebuilding the entire former Belfast and County Down Railway (BCDR) branch line to Ardglass. As with many heritage railway projects in the United Kingdom, it soon became apparent that this was a rather ambitious target for a small volunteer-based organisation. The railway is being rebuilt as far as Inch Abbey and Ballydugan, both of which are on the former BCDR Belfast to Newcastle main line. The overall length of track available for running trains is relatively short, but the configuration of the lines means that it is possible to carry out interesting and complex manoeuvres with the trains and locomotives. Train drivers, shunters and signalmen can indulge in much railway activity, switching tracks, running round locomotives and using the line’s Railway Triangle that connects the sections of the railway creating, what might be termed, a Railway Theatre to entertain the tourists and railway enthusiasts. In other words, the complexity of the Downpatrick railway layout ensures that there is always something to see and that trains are engaged in more than just pulling coaches along a track in a single direction. Figure 7 – Running round, ex CIE 141 (B) Class Bo-Bo Locomotive 146, 1962 General Motors 0-4-4-0 locomotive at Downpatrick, 4 August 2012

The Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway is a not-for-profit society as well as a registered charity and museum. It has a membership of just under 200 people from all over the world. For a heritage railway in the United Kingdom this is a relatively small membership, but it must be remembered that the Downpatrick railway developed and operated during a period of considerable political and

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community difficulty in Northern Ireland. The railway earns revenue from the fares per trip, but also relies upon private and public donations and membership subscriptions. Major restoration projects and museum development tasks usually require grant aid. The Downpatrick Railway is therefore, another example of a heritage railway in the United Kingdom that has developed from the desire of a few enthusiasts to recreate a section of railway as it once was. They have done this from the discarded remains of a line that had been closed as no longer needed for passenger or freight service. These volunteers have taken what were redundant track and buildings and developed them into significant assets, helping to further Northern Ireland’s tourist industry and at the same time provide opportunities for volunteers to contribute to the wider society as well as develop their skills and indulge their passionate enthusiasm for railways.

THE TUA LINE 76 •

The Tua line was a metre gauge railway line in northern Portugal. It was opened in 1887 and closed in 2008. It was a wonderfully scenic narrow gauge railway line running north from a junction at Foz-Tua, connecting with the main Douro line from Porto. The track of the Tua line occupied a narrow ledge, which is hewn into the valley side and follows a route along the banks of the Tua River to the town of Mirandela, some 55 km from Foz-Tua. The line once extended another 80 km as far as the town of Bragança, making it the longest of all the narrow gauge railways in the area north of the river Douro. It was originally operated by Companhia Nacional de Caminhos de Ferro (CN) until 1947 with the advent of the unification of the Portuguese railways. From 1947 until its closure, it was operated by CP, the Portuguese national railway company. The section of the line from Mirandela to Bragança was closed in September 1991, although a small section from Mirandela to Carvalhais was reopened in 1997 by the Mirandela council to provide a local metro system. The line from Foz-Tua to Carvalhais was closed as a result of a serious accident in 2008. The majority of the permanent way was still extant until 2014 but unfortunately, a significant section of track has since (2015) been removed. The Tua valley is also now blocked by a hydroelectric dam being built near FozTua for Energias de Portugal (EDP), the Portuguese national power company at a cost of 162,300,000 €. A proportion of the Tua valley narrow gauge railway line will be lost to the floodwaters of the dam when it is completed towards the


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end of 2016 although it is understood that a significant portion will remain dry. Figure 8 – E81 2-6-0T Kessler 1886, photographed by Alan Orchard in 1968

The Tua valley line was considered by many railway enthusiasts to be a very special railway. The unique combination of narrow gauge steam traction, a relatively long run of track and extraordinarily beautiful settings made for a magical railway experience. Trains on the line were hauled by steam locomotives until the 1980s when they were completely replaced by diesel rail cars61. A variety of steam locomotives were used on the line including Kessler 0-6-0T, Kessler 2-60T and Henschel 0-4-4-0T Mallet. After the withdrawal of steam, diesel traction was provided by CP Class 9020 locomotives and Serie 9300 and Serie 9500 Diesel railbuses, and whilst these lost the allure of steam at least they kept the routes open for rail traffic until closure in 2008. Echoing the railway experience of Britain in the 1960s, the recent economic austerity in Portugal has led to a major reduction in the size and extent of the CP railway network and consequently many kilometres of track have been closed. The Tua valley line therefore closed for economic and possibly political reasons as well as the civil engineering problems associated with the construction and future operation of the hydroelectric dam at Foz-Tua. Currently, there is work going on to develop and construct a centre to preserve something of the memory of the railway heritage at Foz-Tua. This is an extremely important project to assist with the preservation of an essential part of the history and cultural experience of the area and hopefully this will tap into the potential of attracting railway heritage-based tourism. If authentic live steam were to form part of the touristic and heritage offer this would appeal to the extremely dedicated global community of steam traction enthusiasts who will travel huge distances and spend significant sums of money in pursuit of what they would consider as special railway experiences. It is interesting to note that, albeit from relatively anecdotal data, the steam 61 ORGAN, 2010.

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railways of Portugal and in particular the narrow gauge lines are very much sought after by railway enthusiasts. Sales (October and November 2012) on the Internet auction site eBay, of 35mm slides and black-and-white negatives taken during the late 1960s to mid-70s, depicting steam locomotives in action on the narrow gauge lines, have been fetching prices as high as £25 for a single 35mm slide, which is by no means an isolated incident as a number of separate transactions have been observed by the author in this price range and this may suggest that there are a number of enthusiasts around the globe who have both the money and the desire to engage with their interest in Portuguese narrow gauge railways. Indeed, in the United Kingdom, in addition to the more than 150 heritage railways, there is a thriving business of heritage rail tours operating on the standard gauge national railway network. Private companies organise special excursion trains hauled by both steam and diesel locomotives, which are often supplied from heritage railway fleets to take groups of enthusiasts on special railway journeys around Britain. Some of these rail tours focus on making journeys over particular sections of track, which are not normally available to the public, or using specific heritage locomotives to haul the trains. Others follow a slightly different model concentrating on a luxury nostalgia market rather than the dyed-in-thewool steam enthusiasts. For example, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Ltd operate the British Pullman and its sister train the Northern Belle62 as well as the renowned Venice SimplonOrient-Express itself. They offer departures from London Victoria, Birmingham, Manchester and many other cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom. As a specialist railway heritage-based business they have a particularly interesting business model that relies on high quality, upmarket and beautifully restored Pullman carriages that treat travellers to excellent restaurant meals and superb service. Clearly, there is a significant market for this version of railway heritage as they charge between £415 and £510 per seat for an experience lasting between three and five hours depending upon the route. Surely, it should be possible to package the railway enthusiasts’ love of steam engines with the breath-taking countryside of Portugal? Portugal offers wonderful food and a superb restaurant service with the world-famous and deeply historic Port Wine industry. It should also be possible to integrate the narrow gauge steam railway network into this package to develop a specialist and high-quality tourist business for the region. Almost all of the requisite elements are already in place. There is a wonderful modern airport at Porto; an excellent metro link from the airport into the centre of Porto; some superb hotels in Porto itself; existing broad gauge lines from Porto along the wonderfully scenic Douro Valley; and authentic and original historic 62 VENICE SIMPLON-ORIENT-EXPRESS LTD, 2012.


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rolling stock exists for the route. The immediate vicinity of Foz-Tua also has an important Port Wine Quinta. Several 1m gauge Mallet locomotives and their associated historic rolling stock, still exist and could easily be restored to fully functioning condition, so that they could provide steam hauled tourist trains along the existing narrow gauge railway track northwards up the Tua Valley, beginning a little distance to the north of the dam as far as the town of Mirandela. What is missing is the connection to draw this all together and that is the geographical focus of the railway junction at Foz-Tua itself. This requires some development and a means of reconnecting with the 1m gauge line to Mirandela. This could be achieved by a suitable tourist boat service running along the lake which could meet up with the southern end of the remaining Tua Valley line thereby enabling visitors to experience both travel by water and authentic live steam traction. Railway enthusiasts form a global community of some considerable size, and many of them are willing to spend significant sums of money in order to pursue their great passion. It is very interesting to consider that within the next five to ten years it is very unlikely that there will be any remaining steam hauled railways operating anywhere in the world other than as tourist attractions. Consequently, we may see the first age of steam coming to complete and final close very soon. However, based upon the considerable experience of heritage railways in Great Britain it can be seen that there is a great deal of continuing interest in the recreation of steam locomotion and the railways on which they run. However, as Chris Skow of Trains & Travel International, observed “Railroad museums and tour companies may continue to keep the old steam trains on hand for demonstrations, posterity or simple nostalgia. But for true rail fans, that’s like seeing an animal in the zoo. To see the old iron horse in the wild, on the other hand – what rail fans call ‘live steam’–is worth a journey of thousands of miles”63. Perhaps therefore, this might suggest that those associated with the Tua valley line should consider memorialising or re-creating the line not simply as a tourist railway but as a narrow gauge steam railway line very close to a genuine, working railway. This would have several significant advantages. Firstly, the locomotives and rolling stock would not need to be in pristine tourist condition, and merely using the locomotives and rolling stock exactly as they were originally intended could create a more authentic atmosphere. Indeed, although it is not steam operated, the model for this could be the Island Line on the Isle of Wight, where 1938 built third rail electric London Underground rolling stock is used in normal service by South West Trains who run the non-tourist railway from Ryde 63 GRABAR, 2012.

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Pierhead to Shanklin. The company maintains the rolling stock and use them as was intended when originally built. The line provides a well-used transport service to the local population using rolling stock over 70 years old and yet the line maintains some of the best reliability and timekeeping in the whole of the British railway system. Certainly, this experience suggests that if used correctly, old equipment may not hinder efficient operation of a transport system and create a nostalgic atmosphere. The recent railway closures in Portugal present a significant opportunity for the development of a very special railway heritage destination. Many of the elements needed to create this are still available and have not yet been removed or destroyed. A narrow gauge steam railway centre at Foz-Tua, with a viable connection to the Tua Valley line, could provide a must visit destination for railway enthusiasts around the globe. It has the potential to be among the absolute best in world railway heritage.

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REFERENCES BAILEY, D. (2016) – Steamlocomotive.info. Available from: www.steamlocomotive.info/ country.cfm?which=portugal Accessed 6 May 2016. BRUE VALLEY RAILWAY (2016) – The steam train driver experience. Available from: www.bvrw.co.uk/events/driver-experience.asp. Accessed 6 May 2016 GRABAR, H. (2012) –Countdown To the Last Steam Train. Available from: www. theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/10/hunt-last-steam-train/3582. Accessed 1 February 2013. HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION (2011) –Minister of State praises railway heritage sector at Westminster reception. Available from: www.heritagerailways.com/ med_newsArticle.php?Minister-of-State-praises-railway-heritage-sector-at-Westminsterreception-7. Accessed 1 February 2013. ISLE OF WIGHT STEAM RAILWAY (2012)– Heritage Lottery Fund Award £970,000 Grant to Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Available from: www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/news/ latest-news/338-heritage-lottery-fund-award-p970000-grant-to-isle-of-wight-steamrailway.html. Accessed 1February 2013. JONES, R. (2012) – Beeching 50 years of the axeman; modernisation of British Railways, Lincolnshire: Mortons Media Group. MITCHELL, V.; SMITH, K. (1998) – Great Railway Eras. Isle of Wight Lines, 50 Years of Change. Midhurst, West Sussex: Middleton Press. NETWORK RAIL (2013) – Our legal and financial structure. Available from www. networkrail.co.uk/aspx/713.aspx. Accessed 1 February 2013. ORGAN, J. (2010) – Portugal Narrow Gauge from Porto to Pomerao. Midhurst, West Sussex: Middleton Press. ROMNEY, HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY (2012) –History. Available from www.rhdr.org.uk/pages/history.html. Accessed 31 January 2013. ROMNEY, HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY (2016) -Drive a steam engine. Available from www.rhdr.org.uk/drive-what-course.html Accessed 5 May 2016 ROBINSON, John S. (2007) – The annual TRPS Council Meeting report, 2006. Available from: www.talyllyn.co.uk/internal/arrc-07e Accessed 5 May 2016

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ROWE, D. Trevor (1970) – Continental Railway handbooks Spain and Portugal. London: Ian Allan. TALYLLYN RAILWAY (2012a) – Haydn Jones buys the quarry and railway. Available from www.talyllyn.co.uk/history-haydn-jones. Accessed 1 February 2013. TALYLLYN RAILWAY (2012b) – The first preserved railway. Available from www. talyllyn.co.uk/history-preservation. Accessed 1 February 2013. VENICE SIMPLON-ORIENT-EXPRESS LTD (2012) –Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Ltd. Available from www.orient-express.com. VOLK’S ELECTRIC RAILWAY ASSOCIATION (2012) – A brief history of Volk’s Electric Railway. Available from www.volkselectricrailway.co.uk. Accessed 31 January 2013.

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1.5. Two case-studies in heritage and valorisation of old mountain railways in France Michel Cotte

THE TRAIN JAUNE IN FRENCH MEDITERRANEAN PYRENEES (PYRENEES-ORIENTALES): THE PRICE OF RAILWAY CONTINUITY Geographical and historical contexts The Cerdagne railway line (today named Train Jaune) climbs up the valley of La Tet River on the north-east side of the Pyrenees, from Villefranche-de-Conflent to join the large upper plateau of Cerdagne, close to the Spanish boundary. It is a trans-Pyrenean line in the geographical sense, crossing the La Perche Pass (1,592 m) to reach the Cerdagne region giving its water to the south side of the Pyrenees. The main summits and peaks of this country are around 3,000 m. But it is not a trans-Pyrenean line in historical and political terms. The line reaches the Spanish-French border at Bourg-Madame City, but it remains in French territory going close to the boundary line reaching the trans-boundary station of La Tour de Carol. This station is probably unique in terms of railway gauges, with the main line from Toulouse measuring at a standard European gauge, the RENFE line to Barcelona at a large Spanish gauge and the Train Jaune at a metric gauge! At the turn of the twentieth century, the Train Jaune project originated through the strong lobbying efforts of local elites, gathering significant national support

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by both the French Government itself and one of the major railway companies in France. Compagnie du Midi had a monopoly on the main railway lines in southwestern France, from Bordeaux to the Rhone Valley. The objectives of Train Jaune were clearly designed for local railway development in remote mountainous regions. It alone is able to make a permanent and sure transportation link from mountainous stretches, up to 1,000 meters, to La Tet Valley and the Mediterranean seashore. The project was presented as a perfect illustration for the concept of equality for the different territories inside the French Republic, with high symbolic value in French political sensibility. It was nicely advocated in the last decade of the nineteenth century by a remarkable local deputy at the National Assembly, Emmanuel Brousse (1890-1914)64, with strong echoes in republican parties. Indeed, the national context of the Third Republic was very favourable to the railway line development in general. It was the period of the third network, a kind of favourite political tool for regional and local development65. In 1877, the Freycinet Program planned a high number of local railways aiming to join the main lines together through the hinterlands of countryside and hilly regions. This densification of the national network was authorized by the national law of 1879. Unfortunately, severe geographical conditions of the La Tet high valley and Cerdagne upper plateau didn’t allow having a credible project in technical terms at that time. The difference of elevation (more than 1,000 meters) and the Pyrenees slopes were too steep for steam-powered trains at that time. The financial question was also delicate because the major railway companies didn’t wish to make significant investments given the likelihood of limited profits, and local companies had limited funds… However, at the turn of the century a series of specific and local issues were favourable for the Train Jaune project. Beyond the general context for railways, different elements merged together. As mentioned above, strong local political lobbying supported the construction of a railway line to link the upper plateau of Cerdagne to the lower valleys of Roussillon and to the departmental prefecture of Perpignan. Roads were very steep and almost impracticable during the winter months with strong and sudden snow falls or rainy days making it very dangerous for transportation. Cerdagne remained isolated during long winter months and had easier facilities with Spain. For the first time, it seemed possible to overcome these natural difficulties by the railway transportation solution. To complete these arguments of territorial link with a boundary country and local rural development, three specific economic issues reinforced interest in the project. First, the region held specific economic resources: mountain wood of course but mainly the granite carriers of Capsir, of exceptional quality, and discoveries of mine 64 CHURET, 1984. WIENIN, 2000. 65 CARON, 1997.


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possibilities for iron ore and fluorite minerals in La Tet Valley. The second issue concerned promoting revival of the traditional spas of the region. It was accompanied by a serious hope for development of Pyrenean tourism, which started at that time with support of wealthy English visitors and Parisian high bourgeoisie. The third issue focused on the mountains’ hydroelectric potential and the possibility to simultaneously implement an innovative electric railway line and electrification of the valley. The railway appeared to undertake all these potentialities as a unified solution. For engineers, the classical solution of the steam engine was not feasible due to the steep slopes of around 50 m per mille in upper La Tet Valley. Only new electric powered technology seemed able to answer such a challenge. Even with this solution, the route through the valley to reach the pass posed very delicate design complications, needing exceptional civil engineering with major bridges and numerous tunnels. The Cerdagne venture was the interest of the Midi Company both for experiments in electric powering and for developing tourism by creating Grand Hotels in mountain countries like Cerdagne. Figure 1 – The Train Jaune inside its buffer zone66 • 85

Official authorization for the line construction was gained in 1903, for a narrow gauge of 1 m, standard in continental Europe at that time for mountain railways. Combined with electric powering, it was possible for trains to traverse much steeper slopes and tighter curves. Electric traction was possible by remarkable capacities of the La Tet high valley to produce hydroelectricity. But at that time high altitude dams and pressure pipes were very new solutions. The Midi 66 COTTE & MULLER, 2002.


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Company wished to develop competence in such new technical fields, based upon the development of an original electric railway solution in France. It was the DC power at low medium voltage (850 V) by a third rail with contactors supplying the electricity to railcar engines67. This solution was first experimented with success for the metropolitan of Paris inaugurated at the 1900 Universal Exhibition. It was also implemented in mountain traction by the Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée Company (PLM) at the Le Fayet – Chamonix line (1901)68. Indubitably it was and remains a very robust electric solution for steep mountain trains in rainy and snowy situations and also for intensive use69. It also allowed reducing the height of the tunnel vault, which significantly cut costs in tunnelling (19 tunnels). Today’s third rail electric heritage is perfectly authentic and completely reliable. The Midi Company constructed a first dam at Les Bouillouse (2,010 m) in 1906. It supported some important repairs along its history, but it is now very similar to the original form. The original 1910 power station of La Cassagne still exists, with a great external architectural authenticity. Pressure pipes, turbines and electric generators were changed but produced the same alternative three phases current under 20,000 V inside the same buildings. With the help of technological improvements, substations along the line are able to make the transformation to DC 850 V70. The line of Cerdagne was concluded in 1911 from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Bourg-Madame, later to La-Tour-de-Carol in 1927. Its total length was close to 63 km. It involved numerous civil engineering works in order to keep the route as direct as possible in the steepest part of La Tet Valley within deep gorges. In addition to the 19 tunnels already mentioned, we must note 24 major bridges (more than 5 m span) and numerous important retaining walls, paying particular attention to the construction of two unique and innovative railway bridges. From the departure station of Villefranche, the first outstanding bridge is the Fondpedrouse Viaduc designed by the famous Ponts et Chaussées engineer Sejourné (1851-1939). It is an inclined and curve masonry bridge (length 237 m, height 65 m) with a very original design offering two levels of arches and an impressive central rib vault. The adaptation of the architecture to a natural gorge with a very specific shape is remarkable71. Higher in the valley, the second exceptional bridge is the rigid suspension bridge at La Cassagne designed by the military engineer Gisclard (1844-1909). It is an original metallic bridge combining classical suspension bridge design with a cable-stayed solution for reinforcing the structure. It was rigid enough for supporting trains72 but structurally light, 67 BOUNEAU, 1997. 68 MACHEFERT-TASSIN et al., 1980. 69 Electric powering of the Parisian metro network is still operating today by this solution. 70 MACHEFERT-TASSIN, et al., 1980. COTTE & MULLER, 2002. 71 COTTE & MULLER, 2002. 72 The classical suspension bridge of the nineteenth century was not rigid enough to support railway lines, even with light electric trains.


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thereby allowing a large free span with an elegant shape inside a landscape made of a deep and wild gorge (total length 234 m, main span 156m)73. Figure 2 – The Train Jaune running on the Séjourné bridge. © Humanities Department, UTBM 2001

The Midi Company, and later the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) and the Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) provided exceptional conservation for these two bridges over the years with regular visits for painting and other restoration needs. In their present state, the Fontpédrouse Viaduct and Gisclard Bridges are entirely authentic. We can tell similar appreciations for all the technical issues of the line. The main stations are still used today for passenger traffic and they keep their original plans and designs. Some parts of the Villefranche station, including small and abandoned stations along the line, are restricted and not in use. They were sold by the company to some individuals. Globally, the state of conservation of the Train Jaune is excellent, perhaps unique because of today’s use of traditional rolling stock, with some electric railcars and wagons from the beginning of the line use74. Figure 3 – The Train Jaune crossing the Upper La Têt Valley at Gisclard bridge. © Humanities Department, UTBM 2001

73 COTTE & MULLER, 2002. 74 Two electric railcars and two wagons from the original rolling stock are listed as historical monuments. They were still operating on the line at the end of the 2000s.

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Brief history of uses from the origins to the 1980s

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The planned 1910 opening of the Train Jaune line was delayed by a year due to a major accident during the line tests in October 1909. Commandant Gisclard was one of the six victims. Initial traffic was as expected by the line promoters. It was regularly used by local passengers and for diversified goods transportation, which was part of Cerdagne’s rural economic development. It allowed a larger management of forest woods and granite carriers in the plateau country, e.g. for pavement of Parisian streets. The opening of mines in the upper valley of La Tet also complemented the income of the Midi Company. It was also a period of strong development for tourism both by spas revival and the Grand Hotel at Fond Romeu, which the company erected itself, opening in the same year as the Train Jaune. It developed a summer season quickly extended by a winter season with the beginning of ice sports and skiing in the Pyrenees. A special rapid train connected Paris to Fond Romeu during winter seasons, with a unique transfer at Villefranche to the metric mountain line. It was a clear and successful replication of the Swiss touristic model75. Development of Fond Romeu as a tourist station around the Grand Hotel accompanied the golden age of Train de Cerdagne76 until World War II. The benefits of the Midi Company during the interwar period were reasonably satisfying with the addition of the Grand Hotel seasons, and the electrical energy produced for fast growing local networks, under the aegis of new dam projects and power stations in the valley inside a global regional hydroelectric program under the company’s control77. In 1937, railways of the Midi Company were nationalized and integrated inside the new national railway company, the SNCF. There were no major changes both for local traffic and for employees of the Train Jaune line, with technical specialties associated with the uniqueness of the line. Workers were mainly based at the Villefranche depot for railway cars maintenance. The Midi Company remained owner of the electrical power stations and the Grand Hotel. Goods traffic decreased during this period due to the 1930s economic crisis. The rural economy was less affected than industrial sectors. Of course, there were concerns for the Train Jaune, but because of its diversified activities it weathered the economic crisis much better than the industrial lines in Northern Europe. In some ways, nationalization provided a buffer against these economic forces by consolidating activities and strengthening the Train Jaune’s public duties under political control. The first deficits for the line management occurred during this period but involved in the large asset of the Midi Company and after that in SNCF counts consolidated by the State. 75 TISSOT, 2004. 76 Train de Cerdagne was its official name at the time. Train Jaune is the popular name mainly used today. 77 BOUNEAU, 1997.


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Figure 4 – Grand Hotel of Fond-Romeu. Also founded by the Midi Co in 1911. © Private collection

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World War II was a period of reduced traffic, amplifying the effects of the economic crisis a decade earlier. Already affected by the Spanish Civil War at the end of 1930s, the tourism and spas traffic decreased drastically. It was a period of military control of this boundary region and illegal emigration first from Spain to France during the civil war and then from France to Spain78. The immediate post-war period was a clear revival period for all the economic sectors. Train Jaune’s traffic for goods and passengers restarted strongly, but it was short lived. Passenger traffic decreased by the early 1950s as bus transportation benefited from the amelioration of mountain roads. Good transportation was also affected by the mining closures during the same period79. The turn of the 1950s and the 1960s clearly opened a crisis period. Even tourism practices changed drastically with the abandonment of the Grand Hotel way, the boom of individual cars for the middle classes, and the development of individual housing inside Pyrenean tourism stations. Train Jaune was progressively reduced to only 78 BELOT, 1998. 79 CHURET, 1984


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local transportation for students and those not having cars. At that time, Train Jaune employed around 120 workers, a very high average per kilometre, due to technical specificities with the line and the rolling stock. Some voiced the need not only to reduce traffic and employees but also the possibility of closing the line. Citizens and rail workers, however, did not take the threat seriously. First, the line was viewed as an important public service linking the mountains and valleys, especially during the winter months and rainy periods. Second, the Train Jaune was part of the SNCF national network supported by State credits and counted with an exceptional level of syndicalism ready to defend local interests. Train Jaune employees and citizens of the region remained committed to maintaining the line despite the chronic deficit. The 1970s were years of management optimization and regular decreasing of employees. Real gains of productivity maintained both a basic traffic and social peace between workers, inhabitants and SNCF managers. At the beginning of the 1980s, a deeper crisis emerged. Due to its large deficits and without hope of developing regular traffic in any way, the SNCF management officially announced the definitive closure of the line. During these years, not only rail workers but also almost all the inhabitants and their deputies and representatives faced significant opposition from groups organized under the auspices of the Confédération générale du travail (CGT), a powerful syndicate linked with the Communist Party. At that time, the regional identity of the entire French Catalonia focused upon the Train Jaune, bearing the Region’s emblematic colours of the yellow with red lines. It was the pride and symbol of this region, like a romantic image of local forces in the winter snow. That forged a guarantee for the future: “Facing natural difficulties Train Jaune never stopped; he will never stop!”80. From social conflict to value recognition and tourism development The conflict of the early 1980s advanced two discreet issues that rose slowly in parallel. The first was a revival of tourism, but only for the pleasure of taking an old and famous train from Villefranche to Cerdagne. The second was the quality of the heritage both of the train itself and of the natural surroundings of the La Tet high valley, with very nice villages and Cerdagne’s high plateau landscapes. An increasing number of people beyond rail workers and living train amateurs became aware of the Train Jaune’s value, especially local inhabitants and cultural authorities81. It was a mountain train, the highest line in France, kept in an exceptional state of conservation (both line and rolling stock). The bridges, design 80 COTTE & MULLER, 2002. 81 WIENIN, 2000.


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of the line, original railcars combined with the exceptional natural landscape, cultural heritage of Pyrenean Mountains, etc. Having started very discreetly during the 1970s, railway tourism increased inconceivably through the social conflicts of the early 1980s. The Train Jaune became a railway tourism reference in France by the end of the decade. It was a very enjoyable daily trip for individual travellers, groups or families with children. The trip itself is fascinating, crossing over two outstanding bridges, going through many tunnels and offering a series of diversified natural and cultural landscapes. The journey back, through downward slopes of 60 mm/m is also very impressive. Special passenger cars with open roofs were constructed by SNCF to better enjoy the landscapes, costing passengers two times the normal fees82. It was clearly a seasonal activity, from May to October. The typical tour program began with a climb in the morning, followed by a choice between pedestrian walks, visiting old villages, museums, cultural exhibitions, a solar research centre or the citadel at Mont-Louis (World Heritage since 2008), enjoying local cuisine and shopping at Fond Romeu or Bourg Madame, and then returning at the end of afternoon to the Villefranche station. Under social and syndicalist pressure, tourism appeared as a compromise between stakeholders to not close the line and to reorient management toward tourism. At the turn of century, around 200,000 passengers, mainly tourists, travelled each year, having two railway courses the same day83. That corresponds to a significant amount in terms of railway tourism, around 100,000 rail tourists during the 2000s, perhaps the first in France. At that time, the line was saved but probably remained unprofitable for the SNCF, due to the winter public service, which does not have any relevant traffic. Through its national interests, SNCF sought a new policy that aimed to share expenses of such local and unprofitable lines while still emphasizing the strong cultural values and strong seasonal touristic impact. At the end of the 1990s, it was a place for experimentation of shared responsibilities and expenses with local communities, especially the LanguedocRoussillon region. Indeed, it was one of the training cases for management of the future national policy of Trains Express Regionaux (TER), which was finally implemented in 2002 across the nation84. Line and railway infrastructures are the property of a specific national society (RFF). SNCF manages the rolling stock, line usage and its rail workers. Local authorities maintain the spaces surrounding the lines like stations, car parks, access roads, etc., and running expenses and railway investments are shared by Languedoc-Roussillon and SNCF. For instance, 82 Inhabitants of the region are charged normal SNCF fees. 83 COTTE & MULLER, 2002. We can find on the Internet some fantastic numbers of passengers largely higher! Villefranche station alone gives a clear idea of real touristic use of the line because almost all the touristic users start the trip from this terminal station. In 1999 departures were 104,730 and arrivals at Villefranche 97,754. Local traffic among this amount remains of little value. 84 A national contractual policy for trains of regional interest with costs shared by SNCF and regional authorities.

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Languedoc-Roussillon helped to buy two new railcars for Train Jaune in 2005, after eight long years of debate over its design, utility and cost. To facilitate coordination between Train Jaune touristic use and the natural and cultural heritage local policy, Languedoc-Roussillon implemented the Parc Naturel Régional (PNR) project at the end of the 1990s, with a long experimental period. This park is a classical park for keeping and managing the natural mountain heritage of la Tet high valley, the Cerdagne plateau and surroundings of Pyrenean Mountain. But it was also very original because it was designed around Train Jaune as a skeleton and access way. The PNR was supported by Languedoc – Roussillon and managed locally with involvement of the PyreneesOrientales Department and local municipalities. It was finally implemented in 2004 with headquarters at Mont-Louis inside the historical citadel. The final surface has 138,000 hectares for 64 municipalities and 21,000 inhabitants. The park is ruled by a charter signed by all the stakeholders, containing various specific protections for natural areas and cultural sites like the citadels of Villefranche and Mont-Louis now on the World Heritage List. One of the Park’s missions is coordinating local policies. Languedoc-Roussillon and railway line usage offers a large array of services from practical facilities at the main stations to large touring possibilities to the natural and cultural surroundings. It also manages a specific charter with private owners to maintain the authenticity of old stations out of use that were sold by the SNCF during the 1980s-1990s. One of the initial duties of the Park was to promote a Train Jaune dossier for the World Heritage List, which reached the French tentative list around 2000. However, the inscription of two Vauban citadels on this prestigious list in 2008 ended the support for the Train Jaune nomination among public authorities, and it now seems abandoned as a short-term project. Figure 5 – The success of the Train Jaune with open passenger cars. © Humanities Dep. UTBM 2001


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THE COMPLEX SURVIVAL OF THE CHEMIN DE FER DU VIVARAIS (ARDÈCHE AND HAUTE-LOIRE) Geographical and historical contexts Globally speaking, the eastern part of Massif Central is a large mountain ridge beside the North-South Rhone Valley, named Monts du Vivarais. It was lifted by the Alpine Rise during the Tertiary Geological Period. The region offers massifs of granite with geological vestiges of volcano eruptions forming summit and peaks named sucs. These massifs were dug by deep valleys and gorges mainly going down from West to East, and offering some narrow basins and many plateaus for human settlement and development of agriculture. Valleys and basins were favourable for industrial development based on water energy through family or little private enterprises, e.g. for silk industry, sawmills, leather, paper fabrics, etc. To reach the Plateau of Velay, the pass of Saint-Agrève is around 1,000 m of altitude; the surrounding summits reach more than 1,500 m (Mont Mézenc 1,753 m). Slopes in the Massif Central are not so steep for the La Tet Valley but they are significant nonetheless, and the valleys and gorges posed important difficulties for civil engineering. Eyrieux Valley and Le Doux Valley were located here, in the central part of the ridge. For a long time, this region was not a priority for developing transportation networks because the main national priority was for the North-South corridor of the Rhone Valley. However, we must notice that the Vivarais’ region was formerly involved in industrial processes despite remaining a rural region during the nineteenth century. It was the core of silk production for Lyon manufacturers from the end of eighteenth century, with celebrated engineers improving looms and mechanical techniques like Vaucanson (1709-1782). The Montgolfier and Canson families also developed famous paper mills in Annonay, and Marc Seguin, from the same city, implemented railways with steam engines in France in the Saint-Etienne-Lyon construction in the early nineteenth century (18241833) and improved steam engines with the innovation of tubular boilers85. This pioneer line was the first in the world to climb serious slopes very similar to those in Vivarais valleys, around 60-80 km north but with a lower pass. Despite its diversified economic activities, the Vivarais region remained mainly a land-locked mountainous country with relatively poor families and self-sufficient agriculture. Historians note a large emigration during the middle of nineteenth century toward the wealthy surroundings of Rhone Valley, Lyon region, and Provence86. The Roots of the Vivarais railway projects rely upon 85 COTTE, 2003. 86 BOZON, 1989. CHOLVY, 1988.

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these basic social and geographical features, aiming to open up the mountainous Vivarais both for agricultural development and industry, and to open the rural population to market opportunities. Figure 6 – State of preservation of the ancient Vivarais CFD network in 2011. © Michel Cotte 2011

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The first project for a departmental railway network appeared during the French Third Republic, based upon a law coming from the Empire (1865) offering possibilities to develop local lines87. Studies in the 1870s exposed the civil engineering challenges of building a line along steep slopes as well as negotiating disagreements over the line design between various different routes88. The Freycinet Plan at the end of the 1870s boosted this regional project previously studied by a few engineers. Following their statement, it was possible to ascend slopes and reach the Plateau by the main river valleys. Standard gauge lines seemed possible with a direct junction to the North-South existing lines in Rhone valley and Massif Central. The Freycinet Plan encouraged reinforcing the existing national network by local and regional junctions and the involvement of the major railway companies in these processes. From this concentration of interests arose the local company of Vivarais, founded in 1880. However the final cost evaluation of the project was too steep and the PLM quickly withdrew from the local company.

87 CARON, 1997. 88 ARRIVETZ & BEJUI, 1986. BEJUI, et al. 2008. Other books are mainly devoted to historical photos and anecdotes.


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From the project to the construction of a interdepartmental railway network (1883-1903) The PLM was one of the powerful and famous French railway private companies of the time and its withdrawal from the project could be a severe blow to its realization. Nevertheless, departmental and local economic interest for opening railway lines along the Vivarais valleys and plateaus remained strong. A second project for narrow gauge lines with less challenging civil engineering designs started immediately. Slopes were evaluated for a maximum of 30 mm/m, close to the limit for steam engine traction, and the curve radius limit was reduced. These parameters decreased the maximum speed of trains to 55 km/h, which was an acceptable trade-off given the steep and twisty line design. The official convention between State and Department was established in 1886. The Chemin de Fer Départementaux (CFD), a French company devoted to this type of regional network, using narrow gauge with specific rolling stock powered by steam engine locomotives, was the final contractor for the Vivarais network. For building the Vivarais network, CFD received administrative and financial support from public authorities for conforming to the Plan Freycinet and the French philosophy of économie mixte, which advocates merging public and private interests. Historically, CFD ruled a maximum of 14 departmental companies in France that operated narrow gauge lines from Corsica to Manche, from Indre-et-Loire to Yonne, etc. Technically speaking, linking the Rhone valley to the Velay Plateau through the Vivarais network was one the most ambitious of these regional metric lines, and one of the oldest. The North-East terminal station at Tournon, the administrative centre for the North of Ardèche involving the high school of Department, diversified commercial activities and the silk dying industry. The second terminal station in the Rhone valley was planned for La Voulte, close to the confluent of the Eyrieux river and an ancient centre for iron industry at that time. The Tournon and La Voulte stations were connected to the PLM railway line on the west side of the Rhone valley. The western terminal station of the Vivarais was planned for Dunieres (Haute-Loire) with railway connections to Saint-Etienne and Le Puy. Starting at Tournon main station, the railway used the PLM line in the city, through an important tunnel and bridge, to reach the Le Doux valley. From there, the line goes inside the gorge of the Le Doux river and along the valley to the city of Lamastre, a regional centre with a few industrial activities. Civil engineering in the Le Doux gorge was significant with a curved viaduct and tunnel, for instance. It was finally inaugurated in 1891 (33 km). The construction of the section from La Voulte to Le Cheylard along the Eyrieux valley (50 km) was done

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during the same period, also involving important bridges and viaducts. Le Cheylard was the centre of a typical region of Vivarais: Les Boutieres, within notable activities in textile and leather industries at that time89. The network was completed in 1903 with around 160 km of track90. The first junction linked Lamastre to Le Cheylard by the Pass of Les Nonieres, with a summit tunnel around 600 m high. The second junction climbed the high valley of Eyrieux to reach the ridge summit and the Plateau at Saint-Agreve (1060 m). The difference of altitude from La Voulte is close to 1,000 m, similar to the Train Jaune’s difference of altitude between Villefranche and Le Perche pass. However the railway extends for a longer distance (about 75 km). Indeed, the slope is severe from the junction station of Le Cheylard to Saint-Agreve, within a gap of more than 600 m for 25 km, offering the most difficult part of the line for the steam engines with declivities often close to a maximum of 30 mm/m. The line continues along the Velay Plateau (Haute-Loire) slowly going down to Dunieres. History of uses from early times to the public line closure (1891-1968) 96 •

Use of the line increased from the initial opening of Tournon – Lamastre and La Voulte – Le Cheylard in 1891. It offered excellent training for traffic organization and appreciating the technical difficulties that such mountainous networks in Le Doux Gorge posed for steam engine locomotives. It was also a period to observe the first economic and social effects of regular transportation by train for both passengers and goods. It was really an opening up for the two cities of Le Cheylard and Lamastre, offering easier opportunities for travel to the Rhone valley, e.g. for temporary rural works during spring and summer but also for emigration. On a larger scale, the cities of Le Cheylard and Lamastre experience notable economic development until World War I in the commercial and industrial sectors mainly by small, family firms. By contrast, change in rural zones kept a slow pace due to several agricultural epidemics in the nineteenth century that effected the production of silk and wine91. The forest industry benefitted the most from the final opening of the line, transporting wood to the Rhone valley for construction and domestic fuel, and for the coalmine galleries of Saint-Etienne country. The partial opening period also revealed the possibilities and limits of the first rolling stock. The first steam engine locomotives did not have the capacity to climb up the Nonieres Pass or the long Boutieres ascent. For the final Vivarais opening of 1903, CFD ordered a new series of locomotives from the famous Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet (1837-1919), a pioneer in mountain locomotives. He offered probably the best steam engines for mountain railways at that time, as 89 BOZON, 1974. CHOLVY, 1988. 90 BEJUI et al., 2008. 91 CHOLVY, 1988.


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he did for the Albula line in the Swiss Alps during this period and few years after for the coal transportation through Allegany Mountains in the United States of America92. He proposed a compound engine using four cylinders with articulated bogies (a 020-020 steam locomotive, in the French norm). There was also a latter version, the 030-030 Mallet. This was the only type of locomotive that could climb up the long and severe slopes of Vivarais pulling a commercial train with normal loads. Figure 7 – The famous Mallet steam engine 030-030 hauling a long CFV touristic train in Tournon terminal station. Š Wikimedia Commons

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Management of transportation led to a train composition specific to Vivarais, named mix trains with a selected number of different types of wagons for passenger, freight and riddle cars. It was a real success and a kind of golden age for the Vivarais during the decades before and after World War I, until the crisis of the 1930s. For instance in 1913, the Vivarais network gained substantial benefits with around 600,000 travellers, 11,000 tons of fast speed goods, more than 160,000 tons of sundry cargo and thousands of farm animals. It employed 380 rail workers, engineers and clerks, and it managed almost 16,000 trains that year93. Just as it had happened for the Train Jaune, the crisis of the 1930s slowly affected the Vivarais because of its rural bases and its peripheral role for industry. In parallel, technical modernization offered new diesel engines, adapted for fewer passengers. So in 1935, CFD started to buy diesel railcars able to pull one small wagon or passenger car. Different French firms were specialized in materials for metric gauge and mountainous regions: Billard, de Dion, Michelin, etc. A popular surname for these small railcars was Micheline as an extension of the 92 MALLET, 1908. 93 BEJUI et al., 2008.


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firm name well known for its pneumatics. Billard from Tours was the main partner of CFD. Diesel locomotives for cargo transport were not used on the Vivarais lines. Today’s diesel locomotives are coming from late purchases for touristic low cost uses. Exactly like the Train Jaune, the Vivarais lines traffic suffered seriously at the end of the 1930s and during World War II, but perhaps a bit less due to its geographical situation far from the borders. First deficits probably appeared at that time. However CFD was not involved in the 1937 nationalization and in the new SNCF, like all the independent metric gauge railway companies. It remained a small, isolated company with limited possibilities of help from departments, who were more interested in developing roads rather than railways at that time. The post-war revival was short (except for wood transportation to the Rhone valley, which lasted for longer). During the early 1960s, bus companies and the development of individual car transportation in France led to a sudden and irreversible fall of Vivarais passenger traffic. Deficit in operation boomed and the days of CFD without any public supports were soon to come to an end. Closure of the line was effective in 1968 with the failure of the Vivarais section of CFD. However, this situation was not contested by workers or inhabitants of the region unlike what would happen with Train Jaune a few years after. That was due to different factors. First, there was a lack of any reasonable hope for maintaining a public service (pragmatically, the inhabitants of the region were also unavailable for paying the expenses of operation). Second, the very quick rise of alternative projects and ideas for partially reusing the line was also responsible for combining the birth of rail tourism and residual wood transportation. Touristic alternative projects and the volunteers’ efficiency (end of the 1960s to 2000s) To save what could be saved from the Vivarais network, a social dynamic was created merging different partners: mainly a private group of amateur steam engine enthusiasts and the departments of Ardèche and Haute-Loire. It was a challenge to maintain steam traction on-going with Mallet locomotives, still valiant after more than 60 years of hard work. The scenic landscape also provided a vision to develop railway tourism, a very new perspective in Continental Europe following the first British examples94. The reopening needed a revision of the original national convention with CFD, instituted 99 years earlier. The new stakeholder was the Chemin de fer Touristique de Meyzieux (CFTM), an association of steam engine amateurs from the Lyon region and led by Jean 94 ARRIVETZ & BEJUI, 1986.


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Arrivetz. They had an interesting pioneering experience for tourism by steam engine at Meyzieux (Rhone). The technical capacity of the volunteers came generally from a former employment at SNCF for the last generation of steam locomotives or from the transportation companies of Lyon. This private little Company was a credible partner to get the public concession of the line with legal authorization to make steam engine, passenger transportation a reality. Forced to stop its activity at Meyzieux for urban development issues, CFTM took the opportunity offered by the vacancy of Vivarais lines to pursue its activities in a marvellous natural place, without any urban pressure and at less than 100 km of the line from Lyon to Tournon terminal station. The evolution of projects and definitive institutionalizations were a bit complex at the turn of the 1970s. The main facts could be summarized as follows95. A new concession was signed between the State, Department and CFTM, but public authorities refused any subvention. In terms of rail junctions, the Eyrieux line (La Voulte – Saint-Agreve) was abandoned because of its lower touristic interest, with a road parallel to the river and the severe and long ascent to Saint-Agrève. The junction from Lamastre to Le Cheylard by Les Nonieres pass was also abandoned for the same reason. These lines were dismantled and reduced to simple walk and bike paths. Finally, in 1969-70, only two sections of the former Vivarais network reopened under the new regime, forming two distinct commercial and touristic organizations. The first section went from Tournon to Lamastre for 33 km, close to the Rhone valley and offering the trip inside Le Doux Gorge. The second section went from Saint-Agrève to Dunieres for around 36 km, crossing the Velay plateau from the mountain ridge of Ardèche. The first line was managed by the CFTM and commercially named Chemin de Fer du Vivarais (CFV), one of the former names of the railway network. It received the major part of the rolling stock and steam engines heritage. The second line was managed by Chemin de Fer Regional (CFR), an association locally organized for this circumstance with some initial technical help from CFTM. The first idea was to keep some cargo transportation beside tourism, but tourism quickly became the sole activity of the new Vivarais. Travellers increased regularly during the railway season, from April to October, offering one of the most authentic steam engine railway experiences in a nice and charming natural environment. Reputation of the line increased first in South-Eastern France, but also nationally and internationally. Many British amateurs made the trip to Tournon to enjoy the climb up to Lamastre in an authentic Mallet 030-030 along the perfectly natural and well preserved Le Doux gorge. The financial situation of the 1970s-1980s was positive due to maintenance skills of amateurs who kept the rolling stock in excellent condition. Indeed, they were the last generation 95 BEJUI et al., 2008.

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of steam power rail men in France. That was done by the non-profit association Sauvegarde et Gestion des Vehicules Anciens (SGVA), which was distinct from CFTM despite being the same group. SGVA owned the Vivarais rolling stock. Tourism was the field of the commercial company CFV, with the free contribution of old and experimented drivers of SGVA. This secured development, and produced benefits and some financial reserves. That in turn allowed for an ambitious purchase policy to develop the park of locomotives, diesel railcars and passenger cars of metric gauge, which came from other regional networks. Passengers were around 50,000 a year from the 1980s to the end of the century, rising to 60,000 during the 2000s. Commercial organization increased as well as the employees and young workers who replaced the steam amateurs from the first generation96. Figure 8 – A Billard diesel railcar passing a cutting inside the Le Doux River Gorge. Š Wikimedia Commons

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From the golden age of tourism management by volunteers to the structural changes of the 2000s The first important turning point anticipated by all the stakeholders was in 1985, with the end of public concession from the initial Vivarais CFD (1886). At that time, property of the line, stations and functional lands returned to public ownership. The two railway branches still in use were in a different position to negotiate this important step. CFTM, within a good management period was able to buy 96 BEJUI et al., 2008.


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the line in fairly good condition. On the Plateau, the situation of CFR was not so favourable, with reduced touristic traffic and limited means, lack of notoriety and no real funds. This small company was not able to pay the end of concession and it stopped its activity. The restarting of this line was a difficult challenge, first supported by the creation of a syndicate of municipalities purchasing the line and its stations (1991). Regular reopening was effective only in 2002 by Voie Ferrée du Velay (VFV), a new commercial and touristic association supported by the Syndicate. This first financial intervention of public authorities is noteworthy with the revival of a mixed economy at the local level and direct public support for investments. Generally speaking, local and departmental public authorities were traditionally reluctant for such involvement during the last decades of the twentieth century because they had limited budgets with other priorities than tourism. The group managing the Tournon-Lamastre line (CFTM-CFV) appeared as a flourishing company during that period. For instance, at the turn of the century, SGVA owned about 80 locomotives, railcars, passenger cars and wagons generally in good maintenance condition, and around 25% were classified as Historical Monuments by the Ministry of Culture, probably a unique situation for a local railway company. But indeed the situation was fragile, undermined by unavoidable trends. A new generation of salaried employees replaced the older professionals who were very capable and acted as volunteers, which increased fixed wages for the company. Another issue was the maintenance of the line, repairing rail tracks, reinforcing ballast and changing rails, repairs of masonries, etc. That was undertaken by the CFTM-CFV on its own funds creating significant expenses. On the other hand, touristic policy was pushed to maximize trains size with more passenger cars. Daily use of steam engines given their age and normal deterioration led to significant maintenance problems and issues that were nor reparable at the Tournon depot. At the beginning of the 2000s, it was clear that such management system was on the brink of disruption. A SEM (société d’économie mixte) was created in 2003 to bear some financial supports to CFTM, with involvement of Ardèche Department. The SEM quickly took the majority control of CFTM, mainly to insure line maintenance, but the rolling stock remained under SGVA ownership and maintenance. With the addition of technical problems for locomotives, the volume of fixed expenses for CFV management, the need for deep tracks maintenance, and also a latent conflict with SNCF for the use of its Tournon tunnel97 led CFTM-CFV to stop its activity and declare the failure of management (in October 2008)98. 97 CFTM-CFV had to pay an expansive annual toll for using the Tournon SNCF section, around 2 km mainly composed of a long tunnel. RFF-SNCF wished to stop metric traffic on this line normally devoted to intensive international cargo traffic. 98 CFTM was ruled by the public SEM. Public authorities accepted to pay for investment and conservation of the property, but refused to pay functioning and salaries for such type of activity, which was not considered as a public service.

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The present project for the Le Doux Line (or Mastrou)99

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At that time, some important conclusions became clear for restarting any form of sustainable management. All the potential stakeholders must work together for a common project with shared responsibilities. It was not so obvious with a range of individual attitudes, sometimes with political intentions. Ideas go from proposal to reopening the ancient public service with public funds to a limited management of around 15 km by a pure commercial company. However, a large majority of departmental deputies, local councils and SGVA members progressively reached a common view for the future with clear roles devoted to the different partners. Technically speaking it would be better to have traffic out of the SNCF section. That meant abandoning the Tournon station and depot, creating a new station at Saint-Jean, and the partial transfer of the depot to Lamastre. The local Communities of communes100 along the line agreed and voted financial support for this change, mainly viewed by the project for a new station at SaintJean-de-Muzols. Department of Ardèche and Région Rhone-Alpes regained the line property through the CFTM-SEM legacy and leased the line maintenance. The SGVA maintained its ownership of the rolling stock but probably with public support, e.g. for locomotives and passenger cars listed as historical monuments or for applying security rules for tourism transportation. Nevertheless, a difficult problem remained. The most damaged steam engines needed significant repairs on their tubular boilers. No French firm had kept such boiler repair work at a normal price. It was perhaps possible to have well fitted workplaces in Poland do the repair work, but transportation costs were significant. Commercial bidding was initiated for contracting with a professional tourism or transportation company, and a local consortium of professionals in tourism transportation gained the bid. At first, a rail bike trip was proposed during the Summer of 2011 to descend the Le Doux Gorge from the station of Boucieu to the station of Troye, for around 12 km among the most impressive part of the Valley with a regular slope around 20 mm/m. It was a real success, with a number of echoes in the newspaper and a visit from some TV and movies stars. The site was indeed famous for movies, with more than 20 films using the Vivarais line and its landscapes from the end of 1960s. Traveling up the Le Doux gorge was done by diesel railcars picking up the bikers and pulling the rail bikes. In 2010, the Community of Tournon region announced the project for the new terminal station. It was a project evaluated in 3,000,000 €, with land acquisition at the entrance of the gorge, involving the station itself, technical facilities for 99 Mastrou was the popular surname of the Le Doux Line coming from the ancient time of CFD. It is a contraction of something like The small train coming from Lamastre or Lamastrou – Mastrou in local language. 100 France is the European State with the smallest local administration by communes, meaning that all the ancient villages have mayors and local councils. Communities are a recent attempt to gather groups of communes to have common services, administration and financial management.


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rolling stock, a small museum and communication hall, a car park for more than 300 cars, and camping cars and buses. Other issues were to be implemented further on, e.g., fast food, housing for guards, etc.101 A complete opening was done after the station construction, in the beginning of Summer 2013. The project is also dependent on repairing the steam engines, even though the service may be secured by railcars and diesel locomotives. The consortium recently bought two diesel locos to other metric gauge networks. A new name was given to the line, without any historical justification but just for commercial reasons: Chemin de Fer de l’Ardèche. Figure 9 – The most recent attempt for revival: rail bikes. © http://velorailardeche.com

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Steam engine sustainable use remains a question today without an obvious solution102, but diesel traction and rail bikes seem to have a nice future. Another pending question not so easy to solve is the exact length of the line for future management. We have already mentioned the suppression of the Tournon-SaintJean section (4-5 km) for practical reasons. On the other side, the upper terminal station is not so clear today. For political and general economic reasons, all the stakeholders, mainly politicians, claim that Lamastre is the historical terminal 101 Journal de Tournon-Tain, n.º 30 (2010). 102 Intensive use with too heavy trains as it was done during the 2000s must be stopped due to conservation of steam engines issues. On the other hand a reasonable use of steam locomotives by capable drivers with regular maintenance could be operated compatibly with good preservation of that rolling stock.


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station for the Chemin de fer de l’Ardèche, which must remain the upper terminal station. Technically, it offers a large station with important facilities to supply Tournon as a depot. On the other hand, some people are reluctant to embrace this as a sustainable solution and suggest an intermediate station as a terminal point, like Boucieu at the upper end of Le Doux gorge. Mixed solutions will probably be experimented with some activities starting or stopping at Boucieu and reaching Lamastre, like rail bikes, or the grand train with steam or diesel locomotives. The future of management will indicate what is realistic and sustainable and what is not.

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REFERENCES ARRIVETZ, Jean; BEJUI, Pascal. (1986) – Les Chemins de fer du Vivarais. Grenoble: Presses et Editions Ferroviaires. BEJUI, Pascal; ETIEVANT, Christophe; PIOTTI, Vincent (2008) – Le reseau du Vivarais au temps des CFD. La Roche Blanche: La Regordane. Others books are mainly devoted to historical photos and anecdotes. BELOT, Robert (1998) – Aux frontieres de la liberte, Vichy, Madrid, Alger, Londres, (19421944). Paris: Fayard. BOUNEAU, Christophe (1997) – Modernisation et territoire, l’electrification du grand Sud-ouest…. Bordeaux: Université de Bordeaux III. BOZON, Pierre (1989) – Histoire du peuple Vivarois. Valence: Imp. Reunies, Valence. CARON, François (1997) – Histoire des chemins de fer en France. Paris: Fayard. CHOLVY, Gerard (1988) – Histoire du Vivarais. Toulouse: Privat. CHURET, Jacques (1984) – Le petit train jaune de Cerdagne. S. l.: Editions du Cabri COTTE, Michel (2003) – Le choix de la révolution industrielle. Rennes: PUR. COTTE, Michel; MULLER, Caroline (2002) – Le Train Jaune, dossier d’etude patrimoniale…. Montpellier: AME – Region Languedoc Roussillon. MACHEFERT-TASSIN, Yves; NOUVION, Fernand; WOIMANT, Jean (1980) – “Histoire de la traction electrique”. La vie du Rail, 1. MALLET, Anatole (1908) – Evolution pratique de la machine a vapeur. Paris: s. n. TISSOT, Laurent (2004) – Development of a Tourist Industry in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Neuchatel: International Perspectives. WIENIN, Michel (2000) – Le Train Jaune, un chemin de fer d’exception. S. l.: Editions du Patrimoine.

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1.6. Railways and tourism in Italy Stefano Maggi

Introduction This paper deals with the development of tourism and its relationship with railways, since the nineteenth century, when railway tourists were mostly foreigners. Tourists appreciated the cultural value of the railway integrated on a territory, because the train was fundamental in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for connecting towns and villages. The stations, railway depots and goods yards, and the scenery visible from the train windows represent an important added value for making the most in the marketing of a territory. Nowadays, old trains can be again of interest in the discovery of a territory. In contrast, new tram-trains may give an innovative image of the railway. As a case study, this paper will analyse a railway line in Tuscany and the attempt to develop historical trains as a re-use with cultural value on a line closed to normal traffic, the Orcia Valley railway Asciano-Monte Antico, in Tuscany. This railway was closed in 1994 and tourist trains have until now prevented the track from complete abandonment while contributing value to the valley, which became a UNESCO world heritage in 2004.

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THE ORIGIN OF TOURISM AND THE RAILWAYS

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The thermal baths once used during the Roman Empire were re-established in Italy during the nineteenth century. Tourism became a considerable phenomenon only after the second half of that century, lagging behind other European countries due to the Risorgimento process and independence wars hindering economic development. New tourist destinations spread out thanks to renewed interest in the countryside, and a return to nature rooted in Romanticism that had become very popular during the second half of the nineteenth century. At first, the beauty of mountains was appreciated, and like in other countries an Alpine Club was founded. The Italian Alpine Club (CAI) was set up in Turin in 1863, with the aim to boost both knowledge and studies about mountains in order to improve their accessibility both in northern regions and in other parts of the Italian peninsula103. In the same period, development of bathing resorts increased with subsequent growth of beach tourism. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century interest in tourism was limited to the upper-middle class and aristocracy mainly from abroad, a phenomenon known as the foreigner’s movement. A specific Italian association for the foreigner’s movement (Associazione Nazionale Italiana per il Movimento dei Forestieri) was set up in Rome in 1902. As Italy lacked widespread industrialisation and urbanisation, there wasn’t a middle class rich enough to spend money on holidays. For example, in 1903 hotels cost about 7-8 Italian liras per night with lunch and dinner included. Yet workers earned 2-3 Italian liras a day, spending their money on necessary articles104. However, the most perspicacious observers recognized that these resources could be open to significant developments. Maggiorino Ferraris, editor of the most important Italian review, Nuova Antologia, stated: “this is one of the biggest sources of wealth and profit of our country; however it will be even larger in the future… As everyone appreciates English people, who are able to exploit their iron and coal treasures in the subsoil, why shouldn’t Italy use its own sun, weather, sky and art resources with greater energy?”105. Most of the Italian railway network was constituted after national unification in 1861. Actually, in that year, Italian railway network measured only 2,700 km; in 1881 they measured 9,500 km, and in 1901 16,400 km. In 1921, the railway network reached an expansion of 20,500 km106. Before 1865, the management of the railway network was not uniform, as 103 MILA, 1965: 251. 104 BATTILANI, 2001. 105 FERRARIS, 1912: 697-698. 106 MAGGI, 2003: 126.


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it derived from different pre-unification experiences. Some railways belonging to the State in Piedmont existed at the same time together with the lines owned by various private companies, such as Strade Ferrate del Mediterraneo, Strade Ferrate Romane, and Strade Ferrate Meridionali. Every company received considerably different concessions from each other. In 1865, it was decided to entrust five companies with private investment, which had to be spent for the construction and exercise of the railways. However, this system almost immediately went through a crisis, forcing the State to spend large sums of money for debt control and the balancing of budgets. Consequently a long debate arose to find a new order, which was finally put into practice in 1885. With state ownership of the lines and permanent installations, and the rolling stock privately owned, it was decided to outsource the operation to three big companies. The peninsula was divided longitudinally with the intention of encouraging traffic between the north and the south of Italy in order to overcome the considerable differences between the two areas. The Societa per le Strade Ferrate Meridionali was entrusted with the eastern network and managed 4,300 km of railways in total, while the Societa per le Strade Ferrate del Mediterraneo was entrusted with the western network and managed 4,100 km. The third and final grantee company was the Societa per le Strade Ferrate della Sicilia, which had to manage 1,100 km of lines on the island. The grants of 1885 lasted for a period of sixty years, divided into three periods of twenty years. This system also failed and the State was forced to offer repeated financial hand-outs, until the nationalisation of 13,000 km of railways – the majority of the existing network – was achieved after a heated debate in April 1905, relatively early in comparison with the other European countries. A State Railway administration (Ferrovie dello Stato – FS) was created.

TRAVELS BY TRAIN FOR TOURISM While the railway network developed, the Grand Tour tradition exhausted itself. Travel to foreign countries by the European upper classes, such as visits to the Italian peninsula and its towns to learn both the language and to find traces of the Roman past, ended in the railway time. The last romantic travellers, such as John Ruskin and Henry James, who both used stage coaches and railways for their trips on the Italian mainland, showed a certain sense of regret toward the passing

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of the slow postal stage coach and individual travel based on great care107. A new standardized tourist movement would have taken its place, with the origin of a real industry strictly connected to it. The train, and the extra-urban tram that followed, were both decisive in encouraging an earlier form of popular tourism, the so called gita fuori porta (an excursion outside the town), which helped develop a wide network in Italy. It was a day or half-day trip beyond the town with the purpose of discovering ancient archaeological remnants or admire the beauty of nature. Thanks to the promotion of special trains with very low rates, village fairs developed along their routes. Foreigners, however, continued to be a large proportion of the tourist movement. The Italian railway companies introduced facilities in the 1870s with the aim of promoting pleasure travel, such as cut-rate tickets for tourist itineraries. Tourist tickets were also activated on long distances that allowed for a complete tour of Italy, across lines belonging to different railway companies. Moreover, cheap return tickets among many stations were suggested for the first time. This kind of ticket permitted travel from the last train of the day before the holiday until the second train of the day following the holiday. These tickets provided for a reduction of 25% to 35% according to the distances; however, they usually had a limited travel range (short and middle length itineraries)108. Besides, the government suggested companies adopt differential fares based on diminishing rates over increased distances. Such rates would replace flat rates, which were absolutely prohibitive for long distances. Companies disagreed with this proposal, fearing that a strong decrease in incomes could compromise budgets. The differential rate, however, was very important for developing tourism and encouraging new travel. Italy brought these measures into effect only in 1906, thanks to the State management of railways. Special competitions named stazioni fiorite (stations in bloom) were closely connected to tourism; the first in 1911 on the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unity. These competitions were designed to embellish stations with flowerbeds and award prizes to the best stations. World War I interrupted these competitions, but they returned in 1925 after the coming of fascism, in cooperation with tourist boards, such as the Italian Touring Club (TCI), the Italian Tourist Board (Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistiche – ENIT), and the Italian Federation of Agrarian Consortiums (FCA)109. It is important to remember that a lot of railway lines on the Alps and on the Apennine mountains had a marked attraction and potential for tourism, as they linked medieval towns to the railway network through wonderful landscapes. In 1919, a monthly magazine published by the Italian Touring Club, Le Vie d’Italia, stated: 107 BRILLI, 1986: 67-68. 108 GUADAGNO, 1991: 283. 109 TEDESCHINI-LALLI, 1927: 153.


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“We all know that nature is one of the fundamental factors which cause the tourist movement: however we also have to be well-organized. The salutary effects of climate, the influence exerted by altitude, the whispering woods and winds, the rushing waters and the beauty of landscapes are all precious elements: nevertheless if we don’t exploit these elements, they remain almost entirely sterile. We have to do our best to make the places – where nature more generously spread its gifts – accessible, comfortable and smooth. We have to make the customers’ stay here conform to their high standards of living, as these people are complex and may have different mentalities… Here we would like… to deal with a very particular aspect of the means of communication: we refer to the small accessory railway lines which are joined to railway networks and which precisely serve to approach the most interesting stations on the mountains: simple adherence railways of mountain or funicular railways, rack railways, cableways. There are lines, which leave the bottom of the valleys and reach the places with the highest panoramas, sometimes they reach passes and summits…”110. Even if shorter in comparison to Switzerland, Italy’s mountain tourist railway network was not modest. These infrastructures were built between the end of the nineteenth century and the first thirty years of the twentieth century, reaching several Alps and Apennine mountain resorts. These railway lines were engineering masterpieces, with only a few still working today due to the lack of awareness of their value.

THE TOURIST INSTITUTION After the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), the Italian Cyclists’ Touring Club (TCCI) was the first national association set up with tourist purposes. It was established in Milan in 1894 and based on the model of the English Cyclists’ Touring Club, with the aim of promoting bicycles both for pleasure and travel. In 1900, the name was changed to the Italian Touring Club (TCI) because of the increasing use of automobiles and trains for tourist activities. Cooperation between Italian Railways and the Italian Touring Club began in 1903. Railway lines guidebooks, edited by Ottone Brentani, were printed for the first time. As we can read in the introduction, they wanted to be “not a guide for towns and countries where you pass through, just the railway line guide book, in order to show and explain, in 110

GERELLI, 1919: 662.

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a simple way, only what can be watched by train”111. Then, between 1907 and 1921, a series of regional monographs for tourism and railways were published. They were dedicated to Apulia, Umbria, Abruzzo, Sicily, Piedmont, Latium and Emilia. A particular space was reserved for the railways in the first Italian guide published between 1914 and 1929 by the Italian Touring Club. The information in it was so accurate that they even advised passengers on where to sit in the carriage to best enjoy the sights112. Between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, railways had such an obvious, well-known and fundamental importance in Italian society, that several observers suggested to entrust FS with the responsibility of a national tourist bureau, with the purpose to promote and coordinate this growing phenomenon. In 1913 Maggiorino Ferraris, member of Parliament and journalist, proposed a public bureau, which could deal with tourist matters, which was to be put in action by the management of the State Railway.

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“Its own activity should (…) be realized in two ways: acting towards foreign countries and acting internally. Abroad the foreigner’s bureau should act especially thanks to a thick network of shipping and railway agencies… These agencies, in their turn, would take advantage of three means to perform their action: advertisements, free information, ticket selling… In-country, the tourist railway bureau should take charge of all the factors which contribute to promote, enlarge and to make the foreigner’s and travellers’ movement easier, such as railway and postal utilities, hotels, museums, public security. So, I suggest the institution of a Tourists’ Movement General Council in care of the general management of the State Railway, on which Ministries could be represented, together with the greatest national associations, the Chambers of Commerce, the municipalities, which have a wide touristic movement (…). Only the Ferrovie dello Stato have or can have this wide network of executive agencies abroad and in country, which is essential for a practical and profitable work”113. Filippo Tajani, one of the most well-known railway scholars114, observed that it was inopportune to entrust the FS with a national tourist board. They, he wrote, “have in their hand the basic mean to promote tourism (…). A journey brings with it, not only great attractions around it, but also an amount of discomfort: railways have to reduce them to a minimum”. In order to obtain this result, it was 111 TOURING CLUB ITALIANO, 1905: 2. 112 VOTA, 1954: 149. 113 FERRARIS, 1913: 149-150. 114 University Professor in Milan at Politecnico.


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necessary for the main stations to find an interpreter who could give information to the passengers in different foreign languages. The train crew had to be “provided with a suitable, clean and neat uniform”. They had to learn to look after their travellers in the same way a shop assistant looks after his regular customer. They had also to check tickets, “being strict with cheats and understanding towards people unaware of the difficult fare rules”. In this way, so thought Tajani, “the railway will bring an invaluable contribution, with a result otherwise unimaginable even spending a lot of money for advertising”. He also proposed a change in a long-held political view: “Nowadays railway advertising is meant as a sort of advertising of our country’s beauties. This is based on an apparently persuasive argument. Spreading the knowledge of Italian natural and artistic beauties, foreigners are so tempted to come to Italy: so railway travellers increase and the aim of advertising is achieved. However this way of thinking is too reductive. Our country’s beauties are known even in Lapland; even hotelkeepers in Switzerland agree on this. As it is a long travel to Italy, we must tell them that they can see all those extolled Italian beauties without a great amount of money and, above all, with no great discomfort at all. We must tell them that when they come to Italy… they will not find there Stendhal’s stage coach, on the contrary they’ll find there a great amount of comfortable and express trains, wagon-lits and restaurants, provided with electric lighting, and favourable prices”115. The debate on the necessity of a national office for tourism and entrusting FS with it remained unresolved for many years. However, in the meantime some important prescriptive agreements were brought about. The first law on this subject was issued in 11 December 1910 (law 863). This provided some communes with the power to impose a visitor’s tax in their municipal territory to those tourists staying there more than five days. Of course these communes had to be marked out by their importance in being health-resorts or seaside resorts. This tax had only to be used to finance necessary works, in order to improve tourist facilities. The tax for staying was then extended by an ordinance on May 1920. After World War I, Italy realized the economic importance of tourism and set up a committee to study and work out development proposals in hotel trade and tourism. It considered the feasibility of a public organization for tourism, and based upon the committee’s report ENIT was approved in 1919. ENIT’s main tasks were integrating private enterprises for cultural and advertising promotion 115 TAJANI, 1917: 153.

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in Italy and elsewhere, supervision on hotel activities, and the gathering and elaboration of statistic-economic information. ENIT cooperated with FS and the Italian Touring Club, offering advertising brochures and taking part in tourist exhibitions with its own stands. On December 1923, both administrations drew up a nine-year agreement “about the management and running of Offices for Travels and Tourism in Italy and in foreign countries (…), about information service to the public, about the selling of railway tickets and about the issuing of some common advertising material”.

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In August 1926, ENIT and FS constituted the CIT (Italian Tourism Company), which managed the offices for travel and tourism located in stations and harbours. FS, on the other hand, managed the offices for travel development, public information and railway ticket sales. CIT had the task to spread advertising materials issued together by ENIT and FS, such as booklets translated in many languages and the Rivista Mensile di Propaganda, whose circulation was more than 30,000 copies (after, their circulation increased up to 50,000 copies) for the English, French and German edition. The first copy was printed in January 1933116. Italy’s Fascist Regime took many other initiatives in this field. The Italian people and foreigners were encouraged to travel through favourable fares, and above all by establishing special trains for tourists only.

TOURIST TICKETS AND POPULAR TRAINS In the early 1930s, FS reported a significant decline in train travel, due to both the global economic crisis and increasing competition from automobiles. FS implemented long-distance express trains to counteract the effects of the crisis. In 1932, they also began operating very short trains consisting of two or three carriages and no luggage van, so as to increase the average speed thanks to prompt starts and stops. In the spring of 1931, the Ministry of Communications granted special discounts for some destinations. These discounts were intended for families traveling to thermal or seaside resorts, foreigners from other countries, and Italians traveling to the Dolomites117. FS also set up one of the first special tourist trains from Rome to the Abruzzi Appennines for skiing. It would leave Rome on a Saturday at 1 p.m. and return on Sunday shortly after midnight. The train of116 MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI, 1927-1929: 9. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI, 1932-1933: 15. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI, 1933-1934: 12. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI, 1934-1935: 12. 117 Le Vie d’Italia: Notizie ed Echi, XXXVIII (1932), no. 7: 274.


Stefano Maggi

fered free freight for its luggage van, which was equipped with ski supports118. In 1931, FS issued round-trip tickets for foreign tourists, but they could only be used on specific routes within the FS railway network119. Sunday and holiday return tickets came into operation with a reduced fare of 40% for some important tourist or historical places. These tickets were valid from Saturday till Monday120. However, the weekend as we know it today didn’t exist. Until 1935, people worked a regular eight hours on Saturday, and even the institution of the so-called fascist Saturday, the second day of rest, didn’t substantially change habits. Nevertheless, the fascist regime together with Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (the Fascist institution for workers’ free-time activities) successfully organized mass entertainment on Sundays and on holidays. People of all ranks participated in this institution. The Dopolavoro membership card allowed discounts on travel, magazine subscriptions, tickets for cinema, theatre, dance-halls and football matches121. The trend of the Fascist Regime sought to provide amusement for the people in order to create consent, through the availability of very cheap trains. In August 1931, the so-called popular trains began operating at the most important Italian railway stations. These were special trains with only third class tickets and discount of up to 80% on the standard rate. This promotion had no precedent thus allowing thousands of Italian people to travel by train for the first time. Le Vie d’Italia, briefly explained its accomplishment rules: “Special trains with only third class carriages, leaving the main cities, can be organized on every holiday: these are trains for pleasure trips to some resorts chosen between the most interesting ones from a tourist, historic or folkloristic point of view. Departure is usually between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and return is within midnight of the same day, in order to give travellers the opportunity to spend the whole day at the chosen resort… The communication of the trip is given a week before, on Monday, and tickets go on sale the same day… Cut price tickets are valid only for this special train or this pleasure trip: this means, mind you, that if traveller misses that train for any reason while going or coming back, he cannot get onto any other train even paying the difference, and he cannot have any refund at all: these rules are explainable if you think that transport is made with very special conditions and cut prices… Special trains are always express trains”122. 118 Le Vie d’Italia: Notizie ed Echi, XXXVII (1931), no. 3: 113. 119 Le Vie d’Italia: Notizie ed Echi, XXXVII (1931), no. 8: 342. 120 Le Vie d’Italia.Notizie ed Echi, XXXVII (1931), no. 8: 342. 121 VENÈ, 1988: 221-223. 122 Le Vie d’Italia. Notizie ed Echi, XXXVII (1931), no. 9: 383-384.

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The popular trains were used with the political and social aim of creating a new influx of travellers to climatic, seaside, historical or artistic resorts. The results were very good. In August-September 1931, 459,000 travellers made 415 round-trips on special trains and 80 round-trips on customary trains123. The season of popular trains began on 5 June 1931 and ended on 18 September of that same year. During this time, there were 17 days of pleasure trips, with an average of 58 trips per day. In comparison with the previous year, there was a wider development of mainline trains, with the addition of a second-class service for night trains. Almost all trains left their stations full with travellers. In all, there were 948 round-trip special trains, 834,000 travellers and an average distance travelled of 485 km, and 152 round-trips on ordinary trains when travellers were few and special trains weren’t necessary124. The success of popular trains continued over the next few years, with 864,000 travellers in 1933 and 1,030,000 in 1934. Popular trains were important because they permitted the spread of mass tourism in Italy, allowing thousands people to reach holiday resorts for the first time. However, this phenomenon was largely limited to those living in big cities and working in factories and offices. People living in the country and in small cities had to wait until after World War II to gain the right to vacation125. In the period of the golden age (1955-1965), most Italians enjoyed the status of being tourists. However, with the rise of automobile travel, the train lost the social and economic role it had developed for over a century. The automobile was growing as a consumer good, eventually leading to the demise of many railway lines. Even the most beautiful railway lines located where tourism was increasing couldn’t be saved. Only at the end of the twentieth century, did a movement concerned for the safeguard of tourist railways begin to spread.

TOURIST RAILWAYS AND VINTAGE TRAINS: THE NATURE TRAIN IN TUSCANY Italy’s historic trains developed independently of the railway preservation movement, which was establishing itself in some European countries, and little known outside those countries. During the 1980s and the 1990s the demand grew for steam trains by groups who would charter them for special occasions, at times on the secondary railways, at other times on the national network for travelling into the countryside. 123 MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI, 1932: 123; CECINI, 2014: 113-139. 124 Le Vie d’Italia. Notizie ed Echi, XXXVIII (1932), no. 11: 417-418. 125 DEGL’INNOCENTI, 1993: 205-222.


Stefano Maggi

A lack of knowledge of what was happening abroad led to the demolition of a great deal of historical trains, especially after the asbestos scandal during the mid 1990s, when it became known that this mineral fibre was linked to cancer among factory workers where it was manufactured. Given that this material was used as an insulator, a great deal of the old rolling stock was demolished. Above all, a culture of industrial archaeology has failed to develop until recently, due to the emphasis on roman and the medieval history as the most important to Italy’s historical legacy. Consequently, the vintage train was not seen as a relic of history, but rather as an old scrap, just as the old railways that were being closed to the traffic have been considered ruins126. These are the reasons why railwaymen, local administrators and railway enthusiasts have a tepid conception of a preserved railway. In fact, attempts to build a preserved railway are very rare all over Italy. Rather than preserved railways they can be qualified as tourist railways; railways closed to the ordinary traffic on which tourist vintage trains run. A few of these lines belong to a local railway company, the Sardinian Railways, where the Trenino Verde della Sardegna runs primarily during the summer, operated by normal rolling stock and for charter trains by old carriages and steam locomotives on the lines closed to normal traffic, e.g., Mandas-Arbatax, Isili-Sorgono, Macomer-Bosa, Nulvi-Palau. Other local companies sometimes run historical trains on rail tracks open to ordinary traffic, such as the Domodossola-Locarno railway near the Swiss border, the Genua-Casella company, the LFI on the lines Arezzo-Stia and Arezzo-Sinalunga. A turning point in the promotion and management of historical trains was occasioned by the establishment of the State Railway Foundation (Fondazione Ferrovie dello Stato) in March 2013. The Foundation was established as part of the Italian State Railways Group to preserve, develop and deliver to the benefit of future generations a wealth of history and art, a symbol of national progress127. The FS (by their Fondazione) run some vintage trains all over the peninsula on lines opened to normal traffic for special occasions like village festivals. Moreover, the FS operate four tourist lines, closed to normal traffic, where a tourist service runs for a few days a year with the support of voluntary associations: -

the Railway of Basso Sebino from Palazzolo sull’Oglio to Paratico / Sarnico on the shores of Lake Iseo; the Railway of Val d’Orcia from Asciano to Monte Antico in the charming landscape of the Crete Senesi, where the Nature Train runs; the Railway Park from Sulmona to Castel di Sangro, the second highest in Italy after the Brenner Railroad through the woods at the foot of Mount Majella;

126 MAGGI, 1997: 34. 127 Please visit www.fondazionefs.it/ffs/Chi-Siamo (accessed 4 May 2016).

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-

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the Railway of the Temples from Agrigento Bassa to Porto Empedocle in Sicily, including the temples of Ancient Greece (UNESCO World Heritage). The tourist train service on the Siena-Asciano-Monte Antico-BuonconventoSiena line dates back to 1990, when on this route a rail ring of particular interest was discovered, during a period of spreading environmental sensitivity. The tracks run into the woods and along river embankments into areas that cannot be reached with roads in the place where the Natural, Artistic and Cultural Park of the Val d’Orcia had already started to be designed. The Siena Provincial Council resolved to finance what appeared as an innovative enterprise in the Italian panorama by implementing a new way of combined train travel and trekking, hence, the so-called Nature Train. Unfortunately, soon after the opening ceremony in September 1991, the project was abandoned, leaving the most interesting section of the rail ring between Asciano and Monte Antico closed to the ordinary rail service until September 1994. The protests that ensued with the closure of the railway line moved the Siena Provincial Council and the State Railways to re-launch the Nature Train project, which originally was a charter train, managed by a travel agency. The system that was achieved without a plan or an international comparison did not, however, meet the coveted success. As a result, the voluntary association Val d’Orcia Railway (Ferrovia Val d’Orcia) was created in 1996. Through an agreement with the State Railways, it began running a service similar to the Basso Sebino Railway in northern Italy. In Siena, a group of volunteers were put together, who were neither environmentalists nor railway enthusiasts like those of the Basso Sebino Railway. They were, instead, retired railwaymen forced into early retirement due to the State Railways restructuring process. Therefore, since 1996 the Nature Train was characterized by the implementation of a regular service in some nonworking days during the months of May, June, September, October and November on the Asciano-Monte Antico route, called Val d’Orcia Railway128. Ever since, the service has been operating with old diesel-rail cars, and steam engines with vintage wagons dating back to 1910s and 1920s. The timetables have been arranged to make it possible to arrive by ordinary trains at Siena, Asciano and Monte Antico, so that the tourist train can be reached from the large urban areas of Florence and Rome, and from the seaside around Grosseto. The cost of the trains was partly borne by the Siena Provincial Council, and in the last years by the municipalities along the railway, with a daily grant, because it was impossible to cover the costs of the service through normal State railwaymen operations. The project’s philosophy, as stated by the name given to the line, Val d’Orcia Railway, was to give life to a proper tourist and preserved railway, instead of running some trains with no specific connection to the infrastructure. The territory of the Val d’Orcia, where the Nature Train travels, became in 2004 UNESCO World Heritage 128 MAGGI, 2004: 9-10.


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The Nature Train is still operating in the year 2016, with passengers from abroad, after 21 years129.

REFERENCES BATTILANI, P. (2001) – Vacanze di pochi, vacanze di tutti. L’evoluzione del turismo europeo. Bologna: Il Mulino. BRILLI, A. (1986) – Viaggiatori stranieri in terra di Siena. Roma: De Luca. CECINI, S. (2014) – “Il treno per tutti. Gli italiani in gita con i treni popolari. 1931-1939”. Dimensioni e problemi della ricerca storica, 2, p. 113-139. DEGL’INNOCENTI, M. (1993) – “La villeggiatura: un diritto per tutti”. Il Risorgimento, vol. XLV(2), p. 205-222. DI MAURO, L. (1985) – “L’Italia e le sue guide turistiche dall’Unita a oggi”. In Storia d’Italia, Annali. Torino: Einaudi, vol. V, p. 369-428. FERRARIS, M. (1912) – “Per le industrie termali e climatiche d’Italia”. Nuova Antologia, 968, p. 697-703. FERRARIS, M. (1913) – “Di un ufficio di Stato per il movimento dei forestieri”. Nuova Antologia, 985, p. 146-151. GERELLI, A. (1919) – “Le ferrovie di montagna nei dintorni di Bolzano”. Le Vie d’Italia, III(11), p. 661-668. GUADAGNO, W. (1991) – Ferrovie ed economia nell’Ottocento postunitario. Roma: Cafi. MAGGI, S. (1997) – In treno per diporto. Dal turismo ferroviario alle ferrovie turistiche. Siena: Esperienze e prospettive. MAGGI, S. (2003) – Le ferrovie. Bologna: Il Mulino. MAGGI, S., ed. (2004) – Travelling on the Nature Train. An historical and landscape guide with 8 travelling itineraries. Siena: Nuova Immagine. MAGGI, S. (2011) – “Treni d’epoca. Ritorno al future”. Rivista del Turismo, 4, p. 10-16. MILA, M. (1965) – “Cento anni di alpinismo italiano”. In ENGEL, C.E. – Storia dell’alpinismo. Torino: Einaudi, p. 249-353. 129 http://www.terresiena.it/it/trenonatura.

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MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI. Amministrazione delle Ferrovie dello Stato (1932) – Relazione per l’anno finanziario 1931-32. Roma: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI. Ferrovie dello Stato (1927-1929) – Relazioni per gli anni finanziari 1927/29. S. l.: s. n. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI. Ferrovie dello Stato (1932-1933) – Relazioni per gli anni finanziari 1932/33. S. l.: s. n. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI. Ferrovie dello Stato (1933-1934) – Relazioni per gli anni finanziari 1933/34. S. l.: s. n. MINISTERO DELLE COMUNICAZIONI. Ferrovie dello Stato (1934-1935) – Relazioni per gli anni finanziari 1934/35. S. l.: s. n. TAJANI, F. (1917) –“Le ferrovie dello Stato e il movimento dei forestieri”. Le Vie d’Italia, I(3), p. 149-154. TEDESCHINI-LALLI, E. (1927) – “Per l’estetica delle stazioni ferroviarie”. Le Vie d’Italia, XXXIII(2), p. 153-158. TOURING CLUB ITALIANO (1905) – Guide di linee ferroviarie. Milano-Genova: Milano.

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VENE, G.F. (1988) – Mille lire al mese. Vita quotidiana della famiglia nell’Italia fascista. Milano: Mondadori. VOTA, G., ed. (1954) – I sessant’anni del Touring Club Italiano. Milano: s. n.


2. NEW APPROACHES TO OLD RAILWAYS


2.1. Opening of mountainous and peripheral regions by main and branch railway lines GĂźnter Dinhobl

INTRODUCTION Railways in peripheral and mountainous regions are often branch lines that opened up these regions to the main railway network. They were built in the second half of the nineteenth century for trade, but some solely for tourism. It is remarkable that innovations often took place at these lines: adopting regulations enabled planners to build and operate railways easier and cheaper, as new technologies decreased the cost. But even when building costs were cheaper, in the long run many of these lines were economically unsuccessful when evaluated as isolated lines. On the other hand, they have been very important for these regions in the more general sense of opening up to the world economy. Some of them were closed in the early twentieth century, while others closed in the second half of that century, when road traffic increased and shifts in passenger and freight traffic from rail to road took place. Some branch lines still survive due to becoming touristic railways or being taken over by railway enthusiasts. While the former become new railways, the latter tend to save the old railway equipment and knowledge necessary to operate them. This paper will give an overview of both past and present branch lines, their opening in peripheral and mountainous regions, and their vast innovative diversity of innovations. It summarizes experiences of today’s branch lines with examples from Austria, Switzerland, France and India.

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MAIN LINE BUILDING: THE SEMMERING CASE

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Nevertheless, the first railways in mountainous and peripheral regions have been main railway lines: Semmering pass in Austria, St. Gotthard in Switzerland, Mont Cenis in France/Italy, Giovi in Italy, Pennine in England or the Baltimore & Ohio across the Alleghenies in the United States of America are all main lines which lead across mountains areas. In all cases, these lines are sections of longer lines that connect bigger cities and/or harbours, linking distant economic centres. In the case of the Semmering line, which today is a UNESCO World Heritage site130, several aspects came together. The route’s design engineer, Carl Ghega131, applied what he had learned after a study tour in England and the United States to artificially stretch the length of the line along the side valleys, which provided a suitable route exclusively for locomotive operation. By comparison, the direct route between the two cities Mürzzuschlag and Gloggnitz is 21 km while the railway line is approximately 42 km! The decision to build such a line took place at a time when cable inclines in Europe and North America were built to overcome mountainous regions. That was the reason why the Austrian Engineer and Architect Association argued heavily for cable inclines rather than waste money building such “stupid serpentines”132. Nevertheless, the Semmering line was so successful that it is still in operation as a main line from Vienna to Italy and Slovenia. It carries around 170 trains a day and more than 10,000,000 tons of freight a year. The first state plans to build a railway in the wider Semmering region date back to the early 1840s, when the state decided to build a line from the capital Vienna to Trieste at the Adriatic Sea. The first draft of several route variations was finished in early 1844. In 1846-1847, the route design was reworked to reduce building costs. Before a final decision was made, the state also observed and evaluated the best railway technology for mountainous areas. The Revolution of 1848 put many workers in Vienna out of work. The State administration looked for construction projects, which were ready-to-start, similar to today’s program of economic measures to overcome a downward trend. In early 1848, both the river control of the Danube river in Vienna and the Semmering railway project were in discussion. The decision was made to build the railway line to Trieste, and even in 27 June 1848, the first call for tender for the first section had been published133.

130 Please visit whc.unesco.org/en/list/785 (accessed 29 June 2014). 131 Born in Venice, his early works were on mountain roads in the Southern Alps. 132 SCHMIDL, 1849: 220. 133 DINHOBL, 2003. ARTL, et al. 2004.


Günter Dinhobl

Figure 1 – Semmering railway with express train (left) and electric railcar on the narrow gauge line Payerbach-Hirschwang LBP-H (right). Photo by author

Finally, ten contractors were commissioned to build the substructure into 14 sections divided between tunnels and bridges. The State railway administration employed a group of one chief engineer and 27 engineers to oversee the Semmering line project. Probably the most impressive section of the Semmering line is the Spieß-Heidensteiner-Kalte Rinne section. It contains two of the huge two-story viaducts, one of which, the Kalte-Rinne-viaduct, represents the highest of the whole line at 46 m in height and 182 m in length, and with a curved double track of only 180 m radius. The building contractor for this section was the Italian company of Ferdinand Tallachini, which was highly experienced in alpine road construction and early railway building in the Italian, Austrian and Czech regions of the Habsburg Empire since 1838. It was Tallachini who initiated a visualisation that was really outstanding at that time. A portfolio dated in 1854 contains 14 lithographs worked out by the Hungarian artist Emerich Benkert, showing in a very exactly way the construction of the section built by Tallachini134. And exactly 20 years later, the poet Ferdinand Saar published a novel of impressions of the daily life of the navvies of the Semmering line named Die Steinklopfer (the stonemasons).

THE COMING OF BRANCH LINES To get a better understanding of the coming of branch lines, one has to keep in mind the railway periods. In the case of Austria, railway history usually is divided into periods of ownership: the first private railway period until 1838, fol134 TECHNISCHES MUSEUM WIEN & MARKTGEMEINDE REICHENAU AN DER RAX, 2004.

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lowed by the first state railway period until 1858, replaced by the second private railway-period until 1877, which then was followed by the State railway period up to World War I. However, as far as the responsibility of management is concerned (State or private initiative), there are only two periods: the first private railway period and the first State railway period, which replaced the former and finally implemented State policy demands because all railway concessions were exclusively given by the State135. But when we focus on the opening of regions, the periods look a bit different. The foundations of the mainline network, also called corridor-network, were planned, built and finished in the early 1860s. The extension of the corridornetwork was implemented subsequently in Europe. Since the 1880s, this was accompanied by a refinement of the network with branch and secondary lines.136 In comparison to the corridor-network main lines, branch lines are simpler. The route design and railway technology were allowed to be as cheap as possible. In 1880, Austria enacted a special law dedicated to the building and operation of Lokalbahnen (local branch lines). For the first time in the Habsburg Empire, this regulation enabled the use of narrow gauge rails (760 mm) to reduce costs137. Figure 2 – Evolution of Austrian railway network

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135 KLENNER, 2002. 136 ROBINSON, 1991: 5. POHL, 1989: 229. 137 DINHOBL, 2006: 79-96.


Günter Dinhobl

Within the Semmering Railway we find examples of such branch lines, for example, a narrow-gauge line from Payerbach to Hirschwang with a length of around 6 km, built in 1918 to enable an easy way of transport from and to a paper mill. The line was quite cheap because of the narrow gauge (760 mm), and highly innovative at that time because of the exclusively electric operation. The rolling stock of this line was composed of reused rail equipment from the Karawanken railway tunnel in southern areas of Austria, with a voltage of 500 V (direct current). Shortly after World War I, a completely new cable railway was opened in 1923 to the top of Rax Mountain. It served as a beautiful extension for tourism in combination with the introduction of public traffic. The railway company Lokalbahn Payerbach-Hirschwang (LBP-H), therefore, ordered several special electric power cars and coaches exclusively for passenger transport, which came in operation in 1924138. Figure 3 – Narrow gauge line Payerbach-Hirschwang (LBP-H): early electric locomotive with passenger coach (left) and electrical power converter control unit (right). Photos: www. lokalbahnen.at/hoellentalbahn • 127

Another example of the wider Semmering region is the Schneebergbahn, a rack railway up the Schneeberg mountain. It starts at a level of 577 m above sea level and reaches 1795 m above sea level with a route length of around 10 km. This exclusively touristic rack railway has been in continuous steam operation for over 100 years since its opening in 1897. One remarkable aspect of this line is the limestone in the area, which prevented the steam engines from getting an adequate water supply. To solve this problem, special water trains were used to haul water uphill to the water stations every day139! Other examples140 in Austria include the Mariazeller railway or the Ybbstal 138 SCHIENDL & STROBL, 1986. 139 NIEL, 1967. 140 For an overview of narrow gauge railways in Austria see: KROBOT et al., 1975. PAWLIK & STRASSLE, 2008.


New uses for old railways

railway. While the first one is still in operation today as an early example of electrification141, the second one was closed a few years ago except for a short section as a museum railway142.

DECLINE OF BRANCH LINES

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Branch lines began their decline after World War II with the corresponding rise of the automobile. LBP-H closed its passenger transport in 1963, selling its electric power cars, but maintained freight transport to the Hirschwang paper mill by narrow gauge railway until 1982. Even in 1979, the Austrian Local Railway Association (ÖGLB) started to operate nostalgic trains on this narrow gauge line in the summer season. All freight to the paper mill is transported today by road with lorries, while busses carry out all the local passenger transport. The Schneebergbahn was in daily operation between 1925 and 1980, except in the winter when the higher section could not be operated due to heavy snowfall and/or snowdrifts. Six steam engines were used on this line, each train with two coaches, in addition to water tank wagons for bringing water to the steam engines, and a rotary snow machine. Figure 4 – Schneeberg rack railway in action: diesel rotary with steam locomotive working in the reopening of the line in spring. Photo by author

141 Please visit www.noevog.at/de/mariazellerbahn (accessed 25 June 2014). 142 Please visit www.lokalbahnen.at/bergstrecke (accessed 25 June 2014).


Günter Dinhobl

RE-COMING OF BRANCH LINES In the meantime, the touristic potential of the LBP-H was recognised, and railway operations took place on weekends from spring through autumn. The volunteer interest group rebuilt one electric power car on the basis of the original frame and bogies. The whole infrastructure system – in particular the devices that provide the line with electrical power (converter, control desk, overhead wire) – is very authentic and still in use to show the function of early electric (railway) traction143. The Schneeberg rack railway line today is only in operation from April to October. New diesel trains have been in service since 1996, replacing the long steam train period, with the exception of one steam train, which is left to operate only on special days144. Numerous railways in peripheral and mountainous regions that have attracted attention in the recent years can also be found outside Austria. In Switzerland, for example, the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula-Bernina cultural Landscape is like a perfect symbol of a railway network in a peripheral and mountainous region. The lines were opened in 1903-1904 (Albula) and 1910 (Bernina). While the Albula line was dedicated for steam operation, the Bernina line was designed for electric operation since its beginning. Famous express trains like the Glacier Express have passed the Albula line since the 1930s. Nowadays, approximately 80 per cent of traffic of the Rhaetian railway is tourism-based. The Rhaetian railway became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008145. The Jungfrau Railway is probably the most known mountain railway in Switzerland. It was built in 1912 as an electric rack railway with metric gauge and led to the Top of Europe at 3,471 m above sea level. The mountain area where this line operates, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, is a listed UNESCO World Natural Heritage146. An example from southern France is the Train Jaune (analysed in this volume by Michel Cotte), which was built between 1903 and 1910 with metric gauge and also electrically operated (by third rail) since its beginning. The hydropower plant which provides the railway with electricity is still in operation, and some years ago there had been also discussions to apply for a World Heritage site. In Asia, the Mountain Railways of India illustrate that branch lines outside of Europe also face an uncertain future. While closures of branch lines still happen, the most important lines are today listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Mountain Railways of India lead to hill stations and contain the Darjeeling railway (built in 1881, gauge 610 mm, UNESCO World Heritage since 1999), the 143 Please visit www.lokalbahnen.at/hoellentalbahn and www.lokalbahnen.at/hoellentalbahn/ summary_e.htm (accessed 25 June 2014). 144 Please visit www.schneebergbahn.at/ (accessed 25 June 2014). 145 RHATISCHE BAHN, 2008. BOSCH, 2005; CAMINADA, 1980. Please visit whc.unesco.org/en/ list/1276 (accessed 29 June 2014). 146 Please visit whc.unesco.org/en/list/1037 (accessed 29 June 2014).

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Nilgiri railway (built in 1899-1908, rack railway, metric gauge, UNESCO World Heritage since 2005) and the Kalka-Shimla railway (built in 1903, gauge 762 mm, UNESCO World Heritage since 2008)147. Figure 5 – Mountain railways of India: double loop of Darjeeling Himalayan railway. Photo by author.

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South America with the mountain range of the Andes is another example where railways in peripheral and mountainous regions serve as a tool for regional development. In Ecuador, for example, the line from Guayaquil at the Pacific coast to the capital Quito at 2,850 m above sea level is an impressive example of railway building in South America. The metric gauge route was opened in 1908, enabling the rise of Ecuador by connecting the highlands with the port of Guayaquil and subsequently to the global economy. The most spectacular section of this line is the Nariz del Diablo (devil’s nose), where the track route leads in a zigzag to overcome the steep slopes148. In the 1990s the competition with road transport led to a decline of rail transport. But since 2008, the line has experienced a renaissance when president Rafael Correa149 declared railways as symbol of national unification. Today a re-opening of the entire line shall take place, which will include several touristic trains at different sections.

147 Please visit whc.unesco.org/en/list/944 (accessed 29 June 2014). 148 FAWCETT, 1967: 276-284. 149 Please visit www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/10142822/Ecuadors-railway-in-the-sky. html (accessed 20 June 2014).


Günter Dinhobl

CHALLENGES AND CHANCES OF BRANCH LINES TODAY The future of branch lines faces both challenges and opportunities. One opportunity for branch lines is that authentic railway technology might survive the pressure of modernization. On the other hand, the challenge is to ensure a safe and secure railway operation with proven technologies that are no longer stateof-the-art. Another opportunity is to test unconventional, new and innovative technologies as they did a hundred years ago, when the modern electro-mobility was tested for the first time at branch lines. Which kind of railway operation shall be implemented also needs to be taken into consideration. Should it be a branch line for leisure or for regular railway operation? In the first case, the framework is given by something like leisure competition and adventure society. Probably the most difficult challenge in this case is promoting an outstanding perception and experience, which implies the chance to preserve authenticity (of the system) as an adventure in time. On the other hand, today’s standards for (historical) railways are a challenge for out-dated technology, in particular for mainline standard gauge railways. This provides opportunities to keep historical knowledge of technology in mind, both its use and maintenance. To be honest, it is yet undecided if the demand for stateof-the-art technology will be an opportunity or a hindrance for branch lines. There is a pressing need for (local) people with a wide range of skills to volunteer their time. While the challenge is to build awareness in each region, the opportunity to (re-)create an identity of a region is something to be proud of. Finally, this leads us to probably the most important issue of challenges and opportunities: safeguarding the railway line completely to guarantee a memory for the future in all aspects. Otherwise it will become a memento for the future like the wagon of a narrow gauge forest railway at the southern section of the Semmering line near the village Steinhaus – a memento for the shift to less energy efficient modes of transport. Figure 6 – Former forest railway near Steinhaus in the Semmering region: a memento for the future. Photo by author

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REFERENCES ARTL, Gerhard; GÜRTLICH, Gerhard H.; ZENZ, Hubert, eds. (2004) – Vom Teufelswerk zum Weltkulturerbe. 150 Jahre Semmeringbahn. Wien: s. n. BOSCH, Robert (2005) – Glacier Express. Die Welt des Glacier Express – The World of the Glacier Express. Zürich: s. n. CAMINADA, Paul (1980) –Der Bau der Rhatischen Bahn. Zürich: s. n. DINHOBL, Günter (2003) – Die Semmeringerbahn. Der Bau der ersten Hochgebirgseisenbahn der Welt (Reihe Osterreich-Archiv). Wien: s. n.

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DINHOBL, Günter (2006) – “‘... die Cultur wird gehoben und verbreitet’. Eisenbahnbau und Geopolitik in Kakanien”. In Hars, Endre; Müller-Funk, Wolfgang; Reber, Ursula; Ruthner, Clemens, eds. – Zentren, Peripherien und kollektive Identitaten in OsterreichUngarn. Tübingen; Basel: A. Francke Verlag, p. 79-96. FAWCETT, Brian (1967) – Die Andenbahnen. Zürich: s. n. KLENNER, Markus (2002) – Eisenbahn und Politik 1758-1914. Vom Verhaltnis der europaischen Staaten zu ihren Eisenbahnen. Wien: s. n. KROBOT, Walter; SLEZAK, Josef Otto; STERNHART, Hans, eds. (1975) – Schmalspurig durch Osterreich. Wien: s. n. NIEL, Alfred (1967) – Der Schneeberg und seine Bahn. Wien: s. n. PAWLIK, Hans Peter; STRASSLE, Markus (2008) – Schmalspurig durch Osterreich: Aktuelles und Nostalgisches. Wien: s. n. POHL, Hans (1989) – Aufbruch der Weltwirtschaft. Geschichte der Weltwirtschaft von der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis zum I. Weltkrieg. Wiesbaden: s. n. RHATISCHE BAHN (2008) – UNESCO Welterbe. Rhatische Bahn in der Landschaft Albula/Bernina. Chur: s. n. ROBINSON, Ronald E. (1991) – “Introduction. Railway Imperialism”. In DAVIS, Clarence B.; WILBURN, I.; KENNETH, E. eds. – Railway Imperialism. New York; Westport; London: s. n. SCHIENDL, Werner; STROBL, Hans (1986) – Die Lokalbahn (LBP-H) und die Museumseisenbahn Payerbach- Hirschwang. Hirschwang: s. n.


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SCHMIDL, Eduard (1849) – “Memoire über die Semmering-Frage, 1. Theil”. Zeitschrift des Osterreichschen Ingenieur-Vereines, 19, 20, 21, p. 154-190. TECHNISCHES MUSEUM WIEN; MARKTGEMEINDE REICHENAU AN DER RAX, eds. (2004) – Faszination Semmeringbahn. Wien: Technisches Museum Wien.

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2.2. Exploring cultural landscape with old railway tracks Stefan Brauckmann

INTRODUCTION Old railway lines have a particular charm. Routes and structures were dependent on their earlier economic or military importance, as well as on the technical possibilities available at the time of their construction. The building of a railway line initially has a considerable impact on the landscape. Today, however, branch lines in rural areas in particular are described as beautiful by many people due to their routing and structures. The railway has not only become a part of the landscape, but in many instances was also responsible for making this landscape accessible to a wider public in the first place. Many of these branch lines have now ceased to operate, either fully or at least for passenger transport. They no longer provide an economic stimulus. The question arises as to whether such railway lines can be put to a different use, and if so, how. Here, the focus is not just on the railway line itself, but also on its (former) function as a regional network. The tourism sector in particular promises economically interesting possibilities as far as reactivation or alternative utilisation is concerned. A German tourism business, the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg (Ratzeburg Adventure Railway), will be presented here as an example of successful network creation. The presentation will then be followed by an exploration of ideas on how to increase the tourism potential of the Tua railway.

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DECOMMISSIONED RAILWAYS AND THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE Railway lines can be distinguished by their morphological characteristics. Main lines are characterised by their routing, which is as direct as possible. This requires larger-scale interventions in the landscape, which remain visible in the form of cuttings, bridges and tunnels even after the tracks have been taken up. Local railway lines are constructed much less elaborately. Yet, due to the typical morphological characteristics, nearly half of the line can still clearly be made out even after dismantling (see table 1). In upland or mountainous regions, it can be expected that such lines have even more pronounced morphological characteristics150. Table 1 – Morphologic characteristics of abandoned railways in Northern Germany151

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Light Railways

Branch Lines

Enbankment

26,1 %

39,4 %

41,3 %

Cutting

16,4 %

20,2 %

21,8 %

Half Cutting

3,8 %

7,8 %

7,9 %

Edge

3,1 %

2,0 %

6,8 %

Bridges

0,4 %

0,5 %

1,2 %

49,7 %

69,9 %

79,1 %

Total

Main Lines

The possibilities for alternative use of the lines are considerably restricted by the linear structure imposed by the sites’ characteristics and configuration. It is often the case that only a few sections can be put to interesting economic use, while the majority remain little or unused152. For this reason, we had argued that a decommissioned railway line should be used cohesively where possible. Here, the presentation focused on tourist routes such as walking and cycling trails153, heritage railways and draisine lines. The aim of such tourism-focused utilisation should target preserving local relicts of industrial history and generating added value for the local economy. Furthermore, preserving the infrastructure, or at least the rights of way, can make for easier eventual reactivation of the railway line. Lines which can be utilised by draisines offer the advantage of being rela-

150 MARTINS et al., 2012. 151 BRAUCKMANN, 2010: 186. 152 BRAUCKMANN, 2012a. See also BRAUCKMANN, 2012b. 153 For example, the Via Verdes in Spain: www.viasverdes.com/en/principal.asp.


Stefan Brauckmann

tively cost-efficient to operate154. Positive effects for the accommodation sector, transport sector and local food businesses have also been recorded155. In order to enhance tourists’ experience of the landscape, their individual elements should be preserved and foregrounded in a targeted fashion. Additional information should also be provided to increase the readability of the landscape (Lesbarkeit der Landschaft)156. The diagram below (figure 1) serves to clarify the interactions involved in utilising a cultural landscape. Here we find three key words: tangibility, presentation and accessibility. -

-

Erlebbarkeit – tangibility means the ability to engage with the landscape. This also includes the emotional evaluation of the landscape and its culturally determined ascribed uses; Inszenierung – presentation means the targeted highlighting of individual elements. This can also be achieved through the restoration of landmarks or through creative land art. Alongside such large-scale presentations, smaller measures, such as the creation of viewpoints onto smaller landscape elements, could already serve to shift the focus and thus make possible a new, more intensive view of the landscape. Zugänglichkeit – for its part, accessibility encompasses two areas: firstly, physical accessibility, i.e., the provision of access to people with disabilities and removing as many barriers as possible; and secondly, intellectual accessibility, i.e., the ability/desire to intellectually engage with the place.

These three key words can considerably enhance tourists’ experience of the landscape, and thereby its popularity. This is why the alternative utilisation of a former railway line for tourism purposes requires an appropriate degree of planning. Figure 1 – How to increase the experience of cultural landscape. Schematic view157

154 See Cotte paper in this volume. 155 BINGESER et al., 2002. 156 SCHLEGEL, 2006. 157 BRAUCKMANN, 2010: 7.

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ERLEBNISBAHN RATZEBURG (RATZEBURG ADVENTURE RAILWAYS)

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The Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg provides a good example of a tourist railway line that enjoys high customer popularity (with around 50,000 visitors each year), strengthens the local economy, and preserves the cultural landscape158. Since its foundation in 1996, the business has developed into one of the largest tourism providers in the Duchy of Lauenburg region. Due to its proximity to Hamburg (population 1,900,000) and its varied ice-age landscape, this region is an important local recreation area. A particular feature of the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg, even in comparison to many other draisine line operators, is the fact that draisine rides account for only a portion of the value chain. A complementary range of services has been established around the draisines, such as catering, accommodation and entertainment. In addition, other means of transport are used, such as bicycles and canoes. The aim is to provide a networked and varied offering for an entire day’s outing. The Zwei-Gleise-Reise (Two-Rail Tour) is an example of the commercially successful offerings provided by the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg. At a cost of 9.50 € per person, tourists can experience the cultural landscape together with both the local and railway histories159. The tour begins at Ratzeburg railway station, which is located around 2 km from the historic city centre and served hourly by regional trains. The railway station is also within the tariff zone of the Hamburg Transport Association (HVV), so that it can be reached directly from Hamburg at little cost. The listed station building dates from 1852 and features a late neoclassical plaster facade160. It contains a restaurant, an office and accommodation for the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg’s seasonal staff. Draisines are operated on the single-track line according to a fixed schedule, which allows for a change in direction every two hours. So when draisines are due to arrive from the direction of Schmilau, the Zwei-Gleise-Reise begins allocating bicycles. The bicycles are stored in an old freight wagon parked at the old platform of the Kaiserbahn (Imperial Railway), whose passenger transport service was decommissioned in 1962. The bikes allow visitors to explore the branch line once operated by Ratzeburger Kleinbahn AG, a company which operated an 18.3-km-long, standardgauge connection service from 1903 to 1934. In terms of relicts, the ride to the Küchensee lake provides views of a deep cutting, the listed Ratzeburg Stadt station built in the art nouveau style, an elaborate embankment that divides off the Küchensee, and a listed yet redundant footbridge made of early steel-reinforced concrete161. 158 BUNDESAMT FUR BAUWESEN UND RAUMORDNUNG, 2003. 159 Please visit www.erlebnisbahn-ratzeburg.de (accessed 15 April 2016). 160 ZEIGER, 1983. 161 BRAUCKMANN, 2010: 224.


Stefan Brauckmann

However, because most customers have not come to see railway relicts, they are invited to leave the former railway line in order to visit such sites as the baroque market square, Ratzeburg Cathedral (built in the brick Romanesque style) or the Ernst Barlach Museum. As they continue their journey towards Schmilau, the tourists reach the Schaalsee (see = lake) canal162. The canal was built in the 1920s as part of a work-creation scheme, both to serve the first and only hydroelectric power plant in Schleswig Holstein and to make it easier to transport agricultural goods (in particular sugar beets) in a region lacking in infrastructure. In the mid-1920s, the canal was also a popular destination with day-trippers. Ratzeburger Kleinbahn AG catered to their needs by operating the Schaalseekanal Hafen (Hafen = harbour) railway station on weekends and public holidays. From here, visitors had a direct connection to either an excursion steamer or the trains to Lübeck and Hamburg travelling in the opposite direction. The remains of the harbour can still be viewed on the site today. The mill at Farchau is in the vicinity, and represents another popular destination. The old water mill by the Küchensee, which is used as a hotel and restaurant, is also the mooring place for the Erlebnisbahn’s canoes and dragon boats. From this point, the distance to the village of Schmilau (550 inhabitants) is around 2 km. The village’s name indicates that it was founded by Slavs, as is typical of many villages east of the Elbe. The station building is located on the western edge of the village, and is today a private residence, whereas the rail yard of the former freight terminal serves as the headquarters of the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg. This is the starting point not only for the small, lever-operated draisines (for a maximum of six people) heading towards Ratzeburg, but also for the large, lever-operated draisines (for a maximum of 14 people) and pedal-operated draisines (for two people) heading towards Hollenbek, which is close to the former border between East and West Germany. The tracks also have a number of wagons, which serve as offices, staff accommodation, holiday homes, a restaurant, conference room, workshops, storage area and party room. The outdoor areas offer the chance to try out artistic bicycles, barbecue on a narrow-gauge locomotive once used on an agricultural railway, or play chess using figures made of rails. It is interesting to note that the company is clearly different to a heritage railway operation, which seeks to conserve and present individual vehicles as authentically as possible. In this regard, the Erlebnisbahn is the direct opposite: steel sleepers have been turned into benches, and railway workers’ wagons transformed into colourful holiday homes. In a very special and unexpected way, this makes the individual relicts stand out for laypeople too. This is par162 GOLDAMMER, 2003.

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ticularly important for people who do not see themselves as railway enthusiasts. From the station at Schmilau, the journey then continues on a small, leveroperated draisine, travelling on a 4.5-km-long section of the former Kaiserbahn towards the final destination at Ratzeburg railway station. Opened in 1890, the main line provided a direct connection between the capital city of Berlin and the naval harbour in Kiel. Due to the East-West divide within Germany, the importance of this line was diminished and gradually decommissioned. It features the morphological characteristics to be expected of a former main line. In terms of civil engineering structures, the listed bridge made of steel-reinforced concrete, believed to be the first of its kind, is particularly worthy of note. Shortly before reaching their destination in Ratzeburg, visitors will see the former approach signals together with their signal box. This was still in operation until recently and could be viewed by the public. Options for preserving this technology for visitors are currently being explored. The former roundhouse is in a considerably worse state of repair. It has been in use as a stable for many years now, and together with its adjacent accommodation facility is increasingly deteriorating. Due to the flanking vegetation, the roundhouse can barely be made out from the tracks. In terms of alternative uses for the roundhouse, plans have been considered for installing a gym, as well as using the decommissioned freight yard for sporting draisine races. The draisine ride terminates at Ratzeburg railway station. Here, before they head home, guests have the opportunity to barbecue under tall lime trees on the former platform for long-distance trains. Even though the economic success of the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg is dependent on many factors that rarely come together so fortuitously, i.e., the creativity displayed by the company’s management, the location of the line within the immediate vicinity of a city with nearly 2,000,000 inhabitants, an appealing landscape for tourists, and the condition and characteristics of the infrastructure, the Erlebnisbahn can serve as a model for less elaborate concepts that are adapted to local conditions. What seems particularly important is that the experience or story of the historical railway line, which can be explored with unusual vehicles is complemented with additional offerings. Thus the aim should not only be to attract visitors to the railway line, but also to highlight ways to show which places and sites can be discovered off-route. This reinforces the positive economic effects and the local population’s approval for this special form of alternative use.


Stefan Brauckmann

TUA RAILWAY Bearing in mind the example of the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg, this paper will now examine the potential ways in which the Tua Railway could be similarly utilised. These will of course only be initial ideas, briefly outlined on the basis of a tour of the area in October 2012 and some lectures given at past conferences. An exact concept would require considerably more work, particularly one which provided precise economic details. First of all, the line would need to be accurately mapped163. What are the morphological characteristics? What sort of structures are there, and what is the state of preservation of each of these? At what points are small relicts such as kilometre stones or signals to be found? In addition, subjective impressions would need to be recorded. Where can interesting viewpoints and special landscape features be found? It would also be necessary to evaluate what kind of tie-in points exist in the vicinity of the line. What is the tourism potential offered by the places that were once connected to the railway? What industry branches and historic events have shaped the surrounding cultural landscape, and what opportunities exist for viewing these? The answers to these questions can only be established through an exact analysis of the local conditions. The spatial information gained in this way should then be linked with GPS coordinates and evaluated using a geographic information system (GIS)164. Such an analysis exceeds the scope of this paper. In what follows, I will outline the initial considerations for the 17.8-km-long section between Tua and Tralhão. This stretch includes the area particularly affected by the embankment dam project. Economically efficient operation requires the optimal deployment of both staff and vehicles. This is why the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg works with two staffed main railway stations and offers a variety of tours tailored to individual customers’ requirements. These include tours from A to B and back to A using the same modes of transport, as well as circular tours using a variety of transport modes running clockwise or anti-clockwise according to a fixed schedule. This results in the vehicles returning to their starting point without any additional staffing requirements. In the case of the Tua railway, it must be considered whether a circular tour using only muscle power, as offered in Ratzeburg, is a good idea in view of the gradient, or whether this would deter too many potential customers. This problem could be solved by using two independent starting points at the respective ends of the line. Tours from A to B and back the same way would then be the rule. As a special offer, it would then also be possible to provide the opportunity to discover the entire line if this option were to be organised in such a way that an equal number of tourists book this tour at either end. 163 See Lourenço et al. paper on this book. Also: OLIVEIRA, 2011; VIEIRA et al., 2012; VIEIRA et al., 2013. 164 FONTANA, 2012.

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Tua railway station is without a doubt the ideal starting point. A railway museum could be opened here165. This museum could show how passenger transport has influenced demographic development166, and which goods were transported on the railway and produced or conveyed in the surrounding area167. The museum building could also serve as the headquarters for a tourism company similar to that of the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg. People can reach Tua in their own car as well as by taking the train from Porto or Pocinho, or via an excursion boat on the Douro. The railway station is already surrounded by restaurants and hostelries, which should be incorporated into the offerings. The vineyards and fruit juice producers are also of interest, and could form the basis of combined sightseeing tours. Here, it is particularly the combination of physical activity, intellectual engagement with local history, and culinary pleasures that is worth highlighting. Some of the historical wagons on the grounds of the railway station could be converted into restaurants or accommodation. In addition, an access route should be created running directly from the station to the soon-to-be-created reservoir via the old railway line. Moorings for boats would be constructed at the reservoir. For this access route, either the tracks would be removed and a cycle path created, or the tracks would be retained and used for a large, lever-operated draisine, a motorised draisine or historic trains. The first of these options has the advantage that customers can reach the reservoir by themselves and in small groups. The second option would be more costly, but certainly more attractive to many customers as well. The staff employed for this option could also oversee passenger safety at the bridge (Viaduto das Presas) and the tunnel (Túnel das Presas), and help with the boats. An interim stop could be planned along the 3-km-long section168 so that customers can take photographs of the embankment dam as well as of the line with the viaduct and tunnel. At this point, customers could be provided with additional information about the engineering work of the railway pioneers Antonio Xavier de Almeida Pinheiro and Dinis Moreira da Mota169, as well about the modern-day construction of the embankment dam. This section would end by the embankment dam, where a difference in altitude down to the level of the reservoir would have to be overcome170. A landing stage should be built by the reservoir, either large enough for excursion steamers or offer the possibility to store and launch smaller boats, such as canoes or kayaks. This option would be of particular interest to smaller user groups seeking physical activity. A similarly configured mooring place could then be built to the north, which would be reached by travelling across the reservoir. A crossover point to the former 165 NOVAIS & CARVALHO, 2012. 166 BEIRA, 2013. SALGADO, 2012. 167 LAGE, 2012. 168 ESTEVES et al., 2012: 354-365. 169 CORDEIRO, 2011. 170 GONÇALVES & LOURENCO, 2012: 344.


Stefan Brauckmann

railway line would have to be created here. This section would be controlled from the second starting point, which would first need to be analysed for its suitability from a transport aspect. A connection to the Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela network would be ideal, e.g. through the reactivation of the railway line to Abreiro or even Brunheda. At this point, guests could then hire pedaloperated draisines. If the starting point cannot be reached by rail, it would again be necessary to analyse whether the section from the last railway station to the starting point of the draisine tour should be turned into a cycle trail, and if railriders should then be used (see Barbosa et al. paper in this volume). Otherwise, conventional draisine models designed for tourists would seem more practicable171. Here, the models would need to fulfil various criteria: they would need to be light enough for customers to easily lift them off the rails to prevent blocking the line when taking a break, and so that customers can independently turn the draisine around for returning to their starting point. Depending on their physical fitness and motivation, this would allow different groups to choose how much of the stretch to explore. This approach is the one pursued by Naturparkdraisine Dargun (Dargun Natural Park Draisine)172. The Naturpark Draisine has fixed hand-over times between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and fixed return times between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The right of way changes at 2 p.m., so that draisines returning to the starting point no longer have to be lifted off the tracks. A general observation made by German draisine operators is that most customers using pedal-operated draisines only want to complete an overall journey of 20 to 25 km, or around two to three hours; many customers using lever-operated draisines are already satisfied after 10 to 15 km. Along with the weight of the draisines, good transmission power is also an important consideration, so that they can be moved with the least possible amount of effort. However, it is also important to ensure that, depending on braking power, maximum speeds of 8 to 15 km/h are not exceeded during unaccompanied tours. Otherwise, there is considerable danger of derailment and collision, as many customers like to test out maximum speeds, yet underestimate the rails’ low adhesive forces. Special sport draisines with speeds of up to 30 km/h could then be used for sporting events with experienced participants. The conventional models should be designed for a variety of group sizes. The most suitable standard model is a rail-bike that requires two people to pedal it and provides space for two passengers. A model with four drivers and six passengers could be reserved for larger groups. In general, adequate storage space and sun protection should be provided on both models. The Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg additionally equips all its draisines with a first-aid kit and a sufficient quantity of non-alcoholic beverages. The line should feature clear signage for orientation purposes and to sign171 BAUER, 2005. 172 BRAUCKMANN, 2010.

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post vantage points. The historical kilometre stones and railway signals, which are partially preserved along the line, are suitable for this purpose. Information boards or GPS-supported information systems for smartphones could provide additional references to sights along the line. The line should also feature areas where the draisines can be parked alongside the main line so that tourists can take a picnic break, see a nearby sight or do some fishing. The preserved station buildings could serve as shelters if fitted with sleeping facilities, a fresh water supply, toilets and refuse bins. Barbecue areas or cooking facilities with the necessary utensils would also need to be provided. The station buildings would also need to advertise their function for each respective location. In order to increase the networking function between the draisine line and the surrounding places, a type of treasure hunt could be offered which provides repeated incentives to go off-route. Targeted investment in local attractions, such as the springs at Sao Lourenco173 could generate positive feedback effects for the success of the draisine line. In general, public funding is also available for such measures, e.g. from the EU’s Leader Programme (links between actions for the development of the rural economy). Public funding would certainly be required for restoring the line for operating draisines, carrying out safety measures to prevent rock falls, and financing the purchase of the necessary equipment. Thereafter, however, it should be possible to operate draisine tours in a way that covers running costs and achieves positive effects for local tourist and agricultural businesses. The more individual stakeholders cooperate with one another and allow themselves to be networked by the former railway line, the better the prospects of economic success are for each individual business. Against the backdrop of the pioneering spirit that created the railway line in Trås-os-Montes, a region with a historical lack of infrastructures, fresh courage seems to be required in order to revitalise the historic railway line.

CONCLUSION The landscape of the Tua valley offers a host of attractions. These include the rural social and economic infrastructure. The region offers as yet untapped potential particularly with regard to the burgeoning individual tourism sector. Instead of large-scale resorts of the kind found by the coast and in ski areas, smaller facilities should be promoted here. This supports not only small businesses but also the existing local economy and tourism infrastructure. The embankment dam currently being constructed will change the landscape. 173 SANTOS & CORDEIRO, 2012.


Stefan Brauckmann

The railway line from Foz-Tua to Mirandela has been inoperative since 2008, as a section of it will be in the flooded area. These changes do not necessarily represent a disadvantage, however, but can instead be used as the impetus for planning new potential uses of the cultural landscape and attracting a new mix of visitors. The former railway line nestling in the heart of the Tua Valley should be made more accessible to tourists and locals alike by means of various modes of transport (heritage railway, boat, draisine, bicycle) so that they can use these historic rails to explore this unique cultural landscape.

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REFERENCES BAUER, Daniela (2005) – Neues Leben auf alten Gleisen. Draisinenbahnen als Teil des touristischen Angebots in Deutschland: Hannover: Leibniz University. BEIRA, Eduardo (2011) – “Tua Valley: How Different is it now? An Introduction to Population Dynamics (1864-2011)”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 119-131. BINGESER, Julia et al. (2002) – Projektdokumentation Fahraddraisine im Glantal. Kaiserslautern: Technical University Kaiserslautern. 146 •

BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2010) – Eisenbahnkulturlandschaft: Erlebbarkeit und Potentiale. Stuttgart: Steiner. BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2012a) – “Draisine Tourism in Germany. Ideas for the Tua Line?”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 441-453. BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2012) – “Utilising Tourist Draisines as a Method to Conserve Railway Heritage”. In Actas del VI Congreso de Historia Ferroviaria. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. BUNDESAMT FUR BAUWESEN UND RAUMORDNUNG, eds. (2003) – Best Practices “Neue Urbanität auf alten Bahnflächen”. Projektaufruf “Vom Reißbrett aufs Gleisbett”. Bonn: BBR. CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes (2011) – “The Man behind Tua Railway: Chief Engineer Dinis Moreira da Mota”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 279-300. ESTEVES, Joao Sena et al. (2012) – “Gaining insight Tua Railway Line through interactive Experiments”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 357-376.


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FONTANA, Dominic (2011) – “Railways: Industrial and Maritime Archaeology, Geographic Information Systems, History and Culture”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 373-381. GOLDAMMER, Götz (1997) – Der Schaale-Kanal: Relikterforschung historischer Binnenkanäle zwischen Elbe und Ostsee. Stuttgart: Steiner. GONÇALVES, Bruno; LOURENÇO, Paulo B. (2012) – “Lifecycle Analysis of Infrastructures Application to Tua Rail Track”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 337-354. LAGE, Maria Otília (2011) – “The Significance of the Tua Valley in the Context of the Portuguese Wolfram Boom”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 19-42. MARTINS, Lurdes et al. (2012) – “The Engineering Design of the Tua Rail Track: Evidence from the Archives”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 271-289. NOVAIS, Teresa; CARVALHO, Jorge (2012) – “Designing NMFT: An Essay on Memory and Contemporaneity through architectural Design”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 377-389. OLIVEIRA, Maria Manuel (2011) – “Narrative(s) on the construction of the landscape: the Tua Valley Memory Center”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 141-147. SALGADO, Conceicao (2012) – “The Tua Line. A Route for Emigration in the District of Braganca”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 33-47. SANTOS, Fátima; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes (2012) – “One Day, Sao Lourenco would be the Riviera of Tua Valley”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 101-111.

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SCHLEGEL, Karl (2006) – Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit. Über Zivilisationsgeschichte und Geopolitik. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer. VIEIRA, António, CORREIA, Marta; LOUREIRO, Henrique (2012) – “GIS for Tua Valley”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, 13-31. VIEIRA, António; PIMENTA, Eduarda; LOURENCO, António Pedro (2013) – “Changes in Land use in the Tua Valley during the 20th Century: A GIS based approach”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, 107-124. ZEIGER, Klaus (1983) – Die Hochbauten der Personenbahnhöfe der ehemaligen LübeckBüchener-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft von 1850-1937. Berlin: Technical University Berlin.

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2.3. Vanishing tracks: short history of a cancelled line Ivona Grgurinović

INTRODUCTION On 17 December 2013 the online edition of the Croatian national daily Slobodna Dalmacija published a news article titled Train between Sarajevo and Ploče cancelled after 128 years (Slobodna Dalmacija). Conveying the concerns of railway workers voiced by the trade union representative, the article reported that the “last direct train has departed from the station in Ploče174; in the future only local trains will operate from Metković to Ploče and back. The fears of railway workers have materialized, the decades-long tradition ended, and Ploče and Metković are no longer connected to Bosnia and Herzegovina by train”. Figure 1 – The Ploče-Sarajevo railway

174 Ploče is a town in the southern Adriatic coast of Croatia, located at the delta of the Neretva river. It is a young town, established around the port that first started operating after World War II, although plans for the building of the port in this location started in the 1930s. SMOLJAN, 1996.

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Because the Metković station is so near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it had the status of a border crossing for 128 years. After the cancellation of the train, Metković lost this status and is no longer connected to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trade union representative, Mario Cigić, also emphasizes that this will deepen the isolation of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County175, the administrative unit of which both Ploče and Metković are a part. Cigić refutes the claim that the inability of the Croatian Railway Passenger Transport division to reach an agreement with the Bosnian railway company, including the lack of engines and coaches, required the shutdown:

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“‘Passenger Transport keeps telling us they can’t reach an agreement with the Railways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I know from reliable sources this is not the case and the problem is not in the Bosnian railway company. The argument about the lack of engines and coaches is also not relevant, let them give us back the three engines and the electric train that was transported via Rijeka to Zagreb during the Croatian War of Independence, where it still operates. They gave us a diesel engine for passenger transport, although the railroad is electrified, and since this is an old composition, in case of a breakdown the passengers will have to be transported by buses,’ says Mario Cigić, representative of the Railroad Engineer Trade Union of Croatia, adding that this is not the line with the smallest number of passengers either”176. The article also reports that this line was actually included in the preliminary timetable issued a month earlier, supposing this was done due to public pressure that saved the line the previous year. The pressure, however, was unable to save it this time around: “the line was cancelled despite the furnished platforms and stations and the reconstructed tracks from Ploče to Metković, which enables a speed of 110 km/h. It also sounds strange that this line operated from Ploče to Žitomislić177 throughout the War of Independence, while today it is supposed to be impossible. The railway workers thus fear the loss of 175 According to him, this county, the southernmost county in the country, is the most isolated in Croatia. This is in part because the territory of Croatia (and the territory of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County) is “interrupted” by a short stretch of Bosnian-Herzegovinian territory, so in order to get to Dubrovnik from e.g. Ploče or Metković and back, one needs to cross an international border twice. This fact very often complicates the lives of the residents of this county, including those from Ploče and Metković, since they gravitate toward Dubrovnik, especially for healthcare and education purposes. 176 Slobodna Dalmacija, 17 December 2013, 9:49, available in www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/ Dubrovnik/tabid/75/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/230568/Default.aspx. 177 A village in Bosnia and Herzegovina near the town of Mostar.


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jobs, especially those in the passenger transport sector, cashiers and ticket collectors”178. Amid repeated reports of the company’s unprofitability, its corrupt, politically installed management, nepotism, layoffs, etc., what appears as just a vignette in a seemingly endless stream of negative PR on the Croatian Railway in fact unravels as an intersection of a number of (hi)stories of mobility (and mobility infrastructures): the volatility of mobility infrastructure hierarchies, the declining role of the railway, the intertwined development of a town and a port, the falling in and out of the mobility map of a country related to changing mobility patterns (especially related to tourism) and the effect of all of this on the social structure of a town, the (immobile) human infrastructure of mobility (workers in the port of Ploče and railway workers), personal narratives of and related to mobilities, to name just a few. This paper will merely scratch the surface of these possible directions, sketching out some of the points, both geographically (concentrating only on one end of the Ploče-Sarajevo railway) and thematically. It is the result of several interviews with actors of mobility, whose (hi)stories relate in different ways to the PločeSarajevo railway, and the tour of several sites en route from Ploče to Metković. It aims at laying the foundation for wider research of the interplay between mobility infrastructures and the local social dynamics on the one hand and, more comprehensively, into the social and cultural history of the railway in Croatia on the other. I will provide an overview of the history of the Ploče-Sarajevo railway and fragments of personal experiences of using and working on the train, or in the port of Ploče. The history of the Ploče-Sarajevo railway is also inseparable from the history of the port of Ploče, a major, long-term employer in the area, with its own turbulent history of restructurings and other economic, social and political upheavals. While there is a number of works that explore the history of the port of Ploče from the point of view of transport science179, there is, to my knowledge, no research of the micro-social significance of the Sarajevo-Ploče train, the port of Ploče, or of the passenger transport that would approach the history from the perspective of the inhabitants, workers or users. Existing works focus mostly on freight traffic and the significance of the railway connection for the industry of former Yugoslavia and, understandably, the port of Ploče as a freight traffic hub. This is projected to be one of the most important aspects of future research.

178 Slobodna Dalmacija, 17 December 2013, 9:49. 179 STIPETIĆ ET AL., 2006. DUNDOVIĆ ET AL., 2005. DUNDOVIĆ, ET AL., 2006.

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THE PLOČE-SARAJEVO TRAIN: “ONE HALF IN THE AIR, THE OTHER IN THE DARK”

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Just like the history of the railway in what is today Croatia, the history of the Ploče-Sarajevo train began under the imperial aegis. The construction of what would later become the standard gauge railway between Ploče and Sarajevo began as a narrow gauge railway between Metković (in what is today Croatia) and Mostar (in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina) under Austria-Hungary. This first section (Metković-Mostar) was opened in 1885 after some years of struggle regarding the route180. The purpose for constructing the railway was more geopolitical and economic than anything else, and it still holds economic significance after the cancellation of the passenger line181. After the first section was opened in 1885, there followed the Mostar-Ostrožac section in 1888, Ostrožac-Konjic182 in 1889 and Konjic-Sarajevo in 1891. According to a brochure published by the Yugoslavian Railway just before the opening of the standard gauge railway PločeSarajevo, “the technical elements of the [Metković-Sarajevo] railway were well below normal standards for a railway of this type”183. The same brochure also cites economic reasons behind the need to construct a standard gauge railway to the port of Ploče (as the nearest sea port), since the narrow gauge railway, especially its most challenging part, the Bradina-Konjic section, was unable to accommodate the increasing demands of rapid post-war industrialization184. This section was the most difficult in terms of both construction and driving. As one of my informants (a train operator) points out, the whole section between Ploče and Sarajevo is notorious among engine drivers. This is no surprise if one takes into consideration that this section includes 106 tunnels and 71 bridges185 along the 196-km long route, or, as my informant said, relating a saying among engine drivers: “one half in the dark, the other one in the air”. During World War II, parts of the railway as well as the port of Ploče remained operational, serving mostly the Italian and German occupation forces. Immediately after the war ended, the damaged parts of the railway were recon180 JUZBAŠIĆ, 1974. 181 The port of Ploče and Sarajevo and other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still connected by freight traffic. A passenger train now leaves from Čapljina (a town near the border between Croatian and Bosnia and Herzegovina) to Sarajevo and further to other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of my informants, living in Metković and studying at the Mostar University, reports driving by car to Čapljina (as it is near Metković) and then taking the train to Mostar. So, in some aspects, the importance of the train, albeit in a somewhat shorter form, still persists. 182 Mostar, Ostrožac and Konjic are towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 183 Pruga Ploče-Sarajevo. 184 Other authors also emphasize the increasing industrialization and the need to connect the inland industrial centers (especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina) to the nearest sea port as the primary argument. Cf. SMOLJAN, 1996. 185 Pruga Ploče-Sarajevo.


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structed, and traffic resumed as early as 15 July 1945186. On 5 November 1966, the Ćiro train – whose slow progression towards Sarajevo and back still lives in the memory of some of my informants – had its final ride on these narrow gauge tracks. The railway was rebuilt as standard gauge beginning in 1958 and opened on 27 November 1966187. The construction of the railway was in parallel to increase investments in the infrastructure of the port of Ploče188. In 1969, electric trains started operating between Ploče and Sarajevo189. Figure 2 – First electrical-operated train arrives at the Ploče railway station, 30 May 1969190

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From 1992 to 1996, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia interrupted both freight and passenger traffic between Ploče in the newly independent state of Croatia and Sarajevo in the newly independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Only local trains operated from Ploče to Žitomislić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) during this period191. Although freight composed the bulk of traffic on this railway, the number of passengers transported through the Ploče train station alone speaks to the significance of the town’s history for the mobility of people as well. In general terms: “Every day 15 trains come and go [from the train station in Ploče], seven of them direct trains. There were direct coaches (whole year round) from Dortmund, Munich and Cologne, and at the peak of the tourist season from Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Novi Sad, Subotica and Osijek, which means that Ploče is, from the point of view of the tourism industry, indeed a traffic hub, since domestic and foreign travelers chose this route to the coast. We should also mention the regular trains from Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade, via Sarajevo to Ploče. In 1969 over 900,000 people bought a 186 JURIĆ, 2009: 124. 187 STIPETIC, ET AL. 2006: 423. 188 SMOLJAN, 1996. 189 JURIĆ, 2009. 190 JURIĆ, 2009. 191 JURIĆ, 2009.


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train ticket at the train station in Ploče, not including the direct lines. Until August 1970 593,782 passengers bought tickets, meaning that at that time Ploče was one of the busiest tourist towns (…). The bus station received over 100 regular and around 30 seasonal bus lines”192.

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According to my informant, before the drop in passengers, there used to be between 500 and 1,000 passengers per train on this line, including students, workers, and tourists during the tourist season. For some, the train was also a means of livelihood. An older woman from a village near the town of Metković, who used to be a farmer, recalls traveling from Metković to Sarajevo to sell vegetables at one of Sarajevo markets for almost 20 years. She recalls traveling during the time of the narrow gauge railway, on a train moved by the popular (and slow) Ćiro engine. Many people from her village earned their livelihood this way193. Because the port of Ploče was one of the major employers in the area (also a part of the national railway system), port workers and the members of their families had a right to free train tickets. My informants related nostalgic memories of the Ploče railway station bustling with people, especially during the tourist season (“the grass that grew in front of the railway station virtually disappeared, it couldn’t grow under the feet of so many passengers that came in and out of the station”) as well as related nostalgia for the excitement that a multitude of people brings to a small town life. Through the filter of memory, nostalgic vignettes emerge of the best ice cream eaten among the happy hustle and bustle of what appeared as carefree tourists from the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also Germany and Austria, of a swarm of people moving around town leaving for the nearby islands or tourist resorts, of general liveliness. Figure 3 – The once-famous café and ice-cream parlor at the Ploče railway station, now abandoned (photo by author).

192 SMOLJAN, 1996: 192. 193 There was a whole elaborate grey-economy system of accommodation in Sarajevo that served these daily/weekly-mobile market vendors as well as the vendor’s own system of earning more money and choosing the best market for the purpose that deserves a separate study of local micromigratory patterns and strategies.


Ivona Grgurinović

As we can see, the Ploče railway station was very busy, with many people passing through the town seasonally but also out of season (workers, vendors, regular passengers, students). Taking into consideration the population of the town194, the numbers are even more striking. The present state of the Ploče railway station strikes a stark contrast with the memories of my informants, empty and almost abandoned, save for a lone clerk selling tickets for the few buses that depart from the station instead of the trains: Figure 4 – Waiting-room entrance (photo by author).

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Figure 5 – Empty waiting room (photo by author).

194 In the 2001 census, Ploče had 10,834 inhabitants, and in the 2011 census 10,415 inhabitants, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (www.dzs.hr).


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Figure 6 – Empty train timetable board (photo by author).

Figure 7 – Empty platforms (photo by author).

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Figure 8 – Outside wall of the railway station (photo by author).


Ivona Grgurinović

In part, the story of the decline of the Ploče train station (and the cancellation of the Ploče-Sarajevo train, as well as other trains from and to the Ploče train station) is part of the recent history of restructurings of the Croatian railways. The restructuring of the national railway company, Hrvatske Željeznice (Croatian Railways), started in the early 2000s with two legislative acts195, the aims of which were to harmonize the national legislation with EU laws as part of Croatia’s EU accession negotiations196. The first was the 2003 railway act, which aimed at liberalizing the railway market and should be viewed in the context of more recent European liberalization of the railway market197. The second was the act on the partition of Croatian Railways, which lead to the fragmentation into five separate companies, which seems like standard procedure toward easier privatization. In more recent times, the Croatian Railways has seen extensive cuts in the number of lines, accompanied by, or in some explanations caused by, the cut in jobs. Also, there has been a campaign on the part of the government and the ministry of transport in the last several years, presenting the Croatian Railways as an excessive burden on the already bleeding budget, accompanied by painting a picture of the State-led railway as inefficient, slow, technologically out-dated, etc. Such a negative campaign, combined with the everyday delays in local and regional trains (related to neglected infrastructure as well as layoffs), has contributed to a general atmosphere of alienation of railway passengers and the railway itself as a common good. These structural changes, the division of the company, cuts, etc., are also accompanied by the liberalization of the railway market, which is well underway in cargo transportation and pending in the transport of passengers.

CONCLUSION The aim of this short historical overview of the Ploče-Sarajevo train is to lay the groundwork for future comprehensive research into the mobility patterns in the region and documenting the social history of the line along its route. At this initial point, it focuses only on the Croatian end of the line, briefly mapping out the trajectory of mobility from a town that used to be a bustling hub of mobility to the images of its deserted train station. The deserted train station does not only tell the story of a cancelled train line, but also of changing mobility patterns and the falling from grace of the railway in Croatia in general. 195 SUĆESKA, 2015. 196 Croatia was admitted in the EU in 2013, after almost eight years of negotiations. 197 I will just briefly single out the case of Great Britain, where the controversy over the privatization of the railway continues still today, after over 20 years since the privatization; and the case of France, where the SNCF is still State-owned but under a lot of pressure over the years (fragmentation of the company, deterioration of worker’s rights, etc).

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REFERENCES DUNDOVIĆ, Čedomir; KESIĆ, Blanka; KOLANOVIĆ, Ines (2005) – “Značenje i izgradnja prometnih koridora u razvitku luke Ploče”. Pomorski zbornik, 43, p. 113-130. DUNDOVIĆ, Čedomir; KOLANOVIĆ, Ines; ŠANTIĆ, Livia (2006) – “The impact of European traffic policy and traffic routes on the development of the ports of Rijeka and Ploče”. Promet – Traffic & Transportation, 18, p. 111-116. JURIĆ, Ivan (2009) – “Izgradnja željezničke pruge dolinom rijeke Neretve”. Hrvatski neretvanski zbornik, 1, p. 99-127.

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JUZBAŠIĆ, Dževad (1974) – Izgradnja željeznica u Bosni i Hercegovini u svjetlu austrougarske politike od okupacije do kraja Kállayeve ere. Sarajevo: Akademija nauka i umetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine. PRUGA Sarajevo-Ploče (s. d.). Belgrade: Zavod za novinsko-izdavačku i propagandnu delatnost JŽ. SMOLJAN, Ivo (1996) – Luka Ploče. Ploče; Zagreb: Luka Ploče; AGM. STIPETIĆ, Antun; BAGIĆ, Željko; STARČEVIĆ, Martin (2006) – “Influence of Railway on the Development of the Port of Ploče”. Promet – Traffic and Transportation, 18:6, p. 423-428. SUĆESKA, Alen (2015) – Podijeli pa vladaj. Kako je rastrojen HŽ. Available on: http://lupiga.com/vijesti/podijeli-pa-vladaj-kako-je-rastrojen-hz (visited on 17 August 2015).


2.4. Remembering railway’s past, conjuring up its future: what rail hikers have in mind while walking on rusty tracks Peter F. N. Hörz

FROM REUTLINGEN-BETZINGEN TO GÖNNINGEN “So, what do you think about me now?”198 – asks the young man called Thomas199 and without waiting for my answer he adds200: “I’m sure you think I’m crazy, right?” And just as if he had to brace himself in order to be able to cope with the expected response, he takes a hearty bite of his pretzel. My eyes are wandering along my soaked pants legs down to my dirty boots while I’m carefully evaluating the idea of normalcy. Then I hear myself explaining that from the perspective of the cultural anthropologist normalcy is a relative magnitude. While I am pouring tea from my thermos into a cup, I keep thinking that Thomas is actually quite normal. He is 26 years of age and works in mechanical engineering. He has a girlfriend and a strong belief in conservative family values, and before he became a voter of the green party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) “because of […] their better [railway oriented] transportation policies”, Thomas voted for the Christian democrats (CDU). His girlfriend however thinks, as she states laughing when she 198 Here and in the following lines, I am referring to a narrative interview conducted while and after hiking on the former railway line from Reutlingen to Gönningen on 22 September 2012. 199 All individual names in this text are aliases. 200 Being aware the discussions about this topic in Social and Cultural Anthropology, I am using the ethnographic present in this text, when referring to observations or interviews conducted during my fieldwork. Cf. HASTRUP, 1990.

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picks us up with her car at the end of our trip, that Thomas is “definitely nuts”. As his question indicates, even Thomas himself expects to be assessed as not quite normal – because Thomas is a rail hiker and therefore representative of a group of men who consider themselves as particularly strange, even within the context of the strange global community of railway enthusiasts. At the time of our lunch break on that Saturday in late September 2012, a 15 km long hike is already lying behind us. Surely not a normal hike, rather a steeplechase on the route of the former railway line from the city of Reutlingen (Baden-Württemberg) to the village of Gönningen. Punctually at seven o’clock in the morning we have set off at the former station of Reutlingen-Betzingen; by the time of our lunch break at the foot of the Swabian Jura it is almost noon – rail hiking is definitely not the fastest way to move onwards. This is because large stretches of the railway embankment turned out to be an almost completely overgrown ballast bed, and even where tracks, or at least sleepers, are still present, no forceful step is possible, only an arduous scurrying from sleeper to sleeper. Furthermore an abandoned railway line offers plenty of sights, which must be considered carefully and recorded photographically. At least at some places one can easily spend fifteen or twenty minutes in contemplation… Already after 300 m distance from our starting point, I am becoming aware that what we are doing here is at least sometimes an administrative offense because Thomas passes bravely by the No Trespassing sign placed next to an old bridge in the suburbs of Reutlingen, which would cause all rational people to beat retreat. But here two irrational beings met: a rail hiker and an anthropologist with an interest in rail hikers. The bridge has no railing and no constant floor, so surefootedness is beneficial… The route guides us along the forest and has partially become forest too. In the middle of the undergrowth we interrupt our arduous path to consider the leftovers of a switch box that activated the flashing lights of a railway crossing, when the line was still in use. The forest thins out; we are hiking a slope. In this section of the line, as Thomas explains with reference to his talks with aged locals, it had been a popular young boys’ prank to put soft soap on the tracks in order to see the driving wheels of the small steam locomotive snap. Apparently the undefined space, as it occurs to me in this moment with reference to French ethnologist Marc Augé201, turns into a place by linking narratives with the spatial assemblage…

201 AUGÉ, 1995.


Peter F. N. Hörz

Figure 1 – Surefootedness is beneficial: the bridge crossing the Breitenbach stream next to the station Reutlingen-Betzingen. Photo: Hörz

Figure 2 – Worth to interrupt the hike: leftovers of a switch box connected with the flashing lights of the railway crossing at Reutlingen-Markwiesenstraße. Photo: Hörz

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We are reaching the station of Ohmenhausen, a suburb of Reutlingen with a mostly rural character. The station building and parts of the former track installations serve as a single-family-home today. But since the owners of the premises are devoted to railway nostalgia, they not only turned the building into their home and the former track installations into a garden, but created a railway related idyll by installing old semaphores and two boxcars built in the early twentieth century on a short track bed in front of the building. As Thomas states, he would love to own a place like this, or much more to own his own railway – not in a 1:30 or 1:87 but in a 1:1 scale! Yet playing with rail equipment is costly and extravagant, as soon as the toy train is a real train carrying freight and passengers. Being asked why he is not an active member of one of the numerous rail fan associations in southwest Germany, which are operating nostalgic trains on private lines or on


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the network of Deutsche Bahn, Thomas states that he is not the type for becoming a club member, since memberships always require the individual’s disposition for compromises. As a rail hiker however, as he states, “I have everything in my own hand”. But what does everything mean in this case, and what does it mean when he says that this everything is in his own hands? At the former station of Mähringen, we remain in silence for a perceived eternity. Here I ask myself what Thomas has in mind while he is starring at the landscape, and finally I dare to ask. Only hesitantly first, then a little more fluent, I am told that Thomas’ photo collection comprises a picture taken at this place in 1979. This picture shows a freight train consisting of a railcar and one single boxcar, as it is passing the station of Mähringen. And when he looks at the station now, as Thomas explains, he could – while remembering the assemblage of the picture – precisely imagine “how things worked back in those days” and “what was shut down in the early 1980s comes to life again”. Apparently hiking on rusty tracks makes the past turn into present… We are reaching the former station of Gomaringen, which used to be a railhead, that is to say, every train had to take switchback by a heavy-handed shunting manoeuvre. The station building itself serves as restaurant today and the extensive track installations, which existed here, are long gone. Yet we remain standing in silence again at this rather inhospitable place, because Thomas, who knows the old track diagram by heart, as he admits, is “playing through” the shunting manoeuvre. While he is staring at the place, which used to be the track sector of the station, he is acting out this procedure in his mind. Later, when having our lunch break, I ask Thomas what he thinks about the revitalization of the line – a perspective, which seems to be realizable within the context of the light rail project Regionalstadtbahn Neckar-Alb202. “At this project”, Thomas states, “I’m looking with a laughing and a crying eye”, because on the one hand every project that aims to revitalize abandoned railway lines is a good project for reducing road transportation, which was a “dictate of the moment”. On the other hand, Thomas is well aware that this project is not meant to restore the old times of the homely steam operated secondary railway line he has in mind while hiking along its more or less overgrown ballast bed. And when pondering the advantages and disadvantages of rail transportation as it appears in the twentyfirst century, he comes to the conclusion that he prefers the rail transportation as “it 202 The Regionalstadtbahn Neckar-Alb is a project launched in the 1980s by environmental activists and currently mostly promoted by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and the counties of Reutlingen, Tübingen, and Zollernalb as well as by some major cities in the area. Referring to the well known Karlsruhe model of light rail transit, it aims to use existing lines of the heavy rail network of Deutsche Bahn, reactivated branch lines shut down in the 1970s and the 1980s and projected tram lines in the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen to create a new light rail system in the region in order to provide services for commuter and leisure traffic. At this stage the funding of the 1,000,000,000 € project seems realistic. For further information about the project visit http://www. rvna.de/,Lde/Startseite/Materialien/Machbarkeitsstudie+RegionalStadtBahn.html (visited on 10 February 2016).


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used to be”. In this respect, hiking on abandoned railway lines becomes a ritual of remembrance, and the material and spatial leftovers of the closed line’s infrastructure and superstructure become memorials of times when railway employees were really qualified men, engines and railcars were working properly and trains were operated as scheduled. “Nowadays”, as Thomas says, “a single malfunction of the door closing mechanism of a modern suburban train disorganizes the rail operation of a whole network for half a day”, and since the highly streamlined contemporary way of rail operation lead to a policy of a “deliberate constant shortage of manpower on all fronts [engine drivers, conductors, maintenance staff], even the merest coincidence leads to major troubles for the passengers”. In the east of Gomaringen we are loosing our way since the route of the former line has been overbuilt. We are lost for some time traversing a cornfield. Finally we rediscover the route, continuing our troublesome way on the ballast bed. In the village of Bronnweiler, the former route turns into a paved bicycle path with the result that our hiking becomes easier and much faster. But Thomas is impatient with all of that because for him this easy way to move onward is not rail hiking but rather a meaningless walk on a path with a low inclination angle. While the average cyclist or pedestrian might consider the paved path a beneficial facility, for Thomas it is just an act of barbarism to alienate the former railway line by bituminizing its route. On the one hand, this is because Thomas assumes the line to be definitely lost for an eventual redevelopment of rail transportation, which seems more likely as long as the leftovers of the route still have the character of the ephemera. On the other hand, paving the route of an old railway line means destroying its character as lieu de mémoire203 recognized by and accessible for an exclusive community of initiates only… Figure 3 – A railway related idyll: the former station of Ohmenhausen serves as a singlefamily-home today. Photo: Hörz

203 Cf. NORA, 1989.

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Figure 4 – Playing through the shunting manoeuvre at the original location. Where the cars are parked today there used to be the extended track installations. Photo: Hörz

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ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH ON BALLAST BEDS The tour with Thomas was not the only one I have undertaken with a rail hiker, but it was the first I undertook during my research carried out in 2012-13204, and this tour was interesting insofar as it made me discover an area which is quite familiar to me from a different perspective. Altogether I undertook seven hikes on abandoned railway lines with a total of eleven informants. The youngest rail hikers were 12 and 13 years of age, practicing rail hiking frequently with the father of one of the boys, and my oldest respondent was a 73-year-old dentist from Berlin. All my respondents were male and stated to not know any female rail hikers. Generally speaking, they represented the middle class and a wide range of professions. Being very well aware of the fact that rail hiking occurs in many European and North American countries, and probably almost everywhere where transportation policies of the second half of the twentieth century led to a substantial down sizing of the railway networks, I limited my research to Germany – mostly for practical reasons. Considering my respondents’ places of residence and their interest in certain shut down lines, my research directed me to different places all over the country. For instance, I visited the dismantled main line from Berlin to the island of Use204 My research on rail hiking was launched by my work as the leader of a teaching-researchproject on popular appropriations and performances of rail transportation in the MA-program of the department of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Cf. Hörz, 2016.


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dom, which was closed right after World War II for political reasons, the former narrow gauge line from Greifswald to Wolgast at the Baltic coast, which was dismantled and transferred to the Soviet Union as reparation payment, and the line from Wilkau to Carlsfeld in Saxony – a line of which a short section has been reconstructed recently as a nostalgic tourist railway. Table 1 – Hiked lines and respondents205 Date

Former line, hiked section

Accompanied rail hikers

22.09.2012

Reutlingen–Gönningen (section: BetzingenLokalbahn–Gönningen, 14,5 km)

Thomas (26, mechanical engineer)

27.10.2012

Schleswig–Süderbrarup (section: Scholderup–Süderbrarup, 12 Km)

Harald (43, civil servant)

23.03.2013

Wilkau-Haßlau–Carlsfeld (section: Rothenkirchen [Sachs.]–Schönheide Süd, 12,5 km)

Robert (52, commercial clerk) • 165

Jürgen (47, electrician) 13.04.2013

Falkenstein–Oelsnitz (Vogtl.) (section: Falkenstein–Untermarxgrün, 19 km)

Michael (13, Jürgen’s son, student) Alexander (12, Michael’s schoolmate, student)

10.05.2013

(Berlin–) Ducherow–Swinemünde (section: Ducherow–Kamin, 11 km)

Bruno (73, retired dentist)

12.05.2013

Greifswald–Wolgast (section: WieckEldena–Seebad Lubmin, 24 km)

Sven (24, student), Andreas (22, male nurse)

25.05.2013

Sigmaringen–Krauchenwies, 9 km

Holger (49, graduate engineer, self employed bicycle dealer)

Hiking as a research strategy in this case was certainly not understood in the sense of German ethnographer Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, who proclaimed hiking as an ethnographic method to study the country and its people – while actu205 In this table, all references to statements or actions of my respondents are based on narrative interviews conducted during our trips or right after their termination. In all cases observations and statements were recorded in field notes, written down on the same or following day.


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ally using the railway himself206. To a greater degree my research strategy was influenced by John O. Stevens’ ideas on awareness and experience207, inspired by Birgit Dorner’s concept of the “cognitive walk”208, and aimed to establish copresence where the spatio-temporal phenomenon of rail hiking is taking place. Thereby I did not have the illusion of experiencing exactly what my respondents were experiencing, but rather assumed that my co-presence allowed me to not only do participant observation but to discuss the observed practices and to ask questions about instantaneous emotions and thoughts in situ. In order to come to an understanding of the leisure-time-activity of rail hiking, I’m basically referring to the concepts of play and game as developed by George Herbert Mead, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hans Ulrich Gumbricht and Natascha Adamowsky209. This is because I am proceeding on the assumption that rail hiking is a play in which, as Cornelius Castoriadis writes in his work on the imaginary, “the imagination helps to make somebody or something present, who or which is not present”210. And as we have learned from Thomas and his reenactment of the shunting manoeuver at the station of Gomaringen, this understanding of rail hiking as a “play” in which the actor is reenacting what he either remembers from his own experience or what he knows from books, pictures or videos about railway history, is quite standing to reason.

EXCURSIONS TO DIFFERENT RAILWAY UNIVERSES Considering my hiking with Thomas, it is obvious that the leisure time activity of rail hiking, which is still an uncommon phenomenon notwithstanding its rising trend in the media211, is not just a variety of on-trend sports such as Nordic Walking or Parcours. It is a ritual of remembrance focused on the history of rail operation as well as a playful handling of knowledge on railway history. In their practice, rail hikers are at the same time amateur archaeologists of railway history, historians of technology and economy, collectors of the oral history of the small and insignificant aspects of rail transportation, and preservers of the railway related communicative memory. In this respect, they share at least some interests and activities with many rail fans. But different from normal rail fans, the rail hiker takes the knowledge he gained from books, videos, or oral history out 206 RIEHL, 1928. RIEHL, 1925. SCHMIDT, 1959. 207 STEVENS, 1975: 19. 208 DORNER, 2002: 37. 209 German language actually makes no difference between play and game. Both activities are always called spielen, which means that one has to understand the exact meaning by considering the context in which the expression is used. 210 CASTORIADIS, 1997: 218. 211 Cf. BÖLSCHE, 2016.


Peter F. N. Hörz

to the places where he finds the leftovers of abandoned railway lines in order to sensually experience his imaginations of a glorified past. Thereby it is in the nature of things that this experience can only be gained by an activity for which the expression hiking almost seems deficient; after all, hiking as a physical activity is only the precondition to what actually happens while rail hikers are moving along their stony paths. Rail hiking is a play in which the train path serves as a stage and the leftovers of railway infrastructure as requisites, and in which the scenario consists of the hiker’s imagination of the past – an imagination, which refers to his knowledge on railway history and the narratives about the railway’s past. As a matter of course, this past is considered to be a better era, since the railway lines on which the hiker practices his ritual of remembrance were still under operation and the railways’ dominating position on the transport market was undisputed. In the course of this it is also contemplated what would be the conditions of the return of the old times, or how to integrate at least certain aspects of the golden age of rail transport into the contemporary reality of transportation. This is true to a certain extent with all my informants, but it is especially true in case of Holger, an environmental activist with ambitious goals regarding the improvement of rail services. As a graduate engineer and self-employed bicycle dealer, Holger hikes frequently on abandoned lines that are, according to his plans, subject to reconstruction. Therefore, he is not only looking for historic leftovers and debouching in nostalgia while hiking but also looking for the right places where new stations should be built to meet the requirements of the settlement development of the last 30 or 40 years, and for the geographic preconditions for the construction of private sidings to serve recently developed industrial sites. As we walk on the embankment of the former connection between Sigmaringen and Krauchenwies (Baden-Württemberg), it is little surprise that Holger constantly pontificates about the necessity of the line’s reconstruction in order to provide a new express passenger service from Ulm to the Western Lake Constance region and further to Zurich. While he stares at the 120 m long old iron bridge crossing the upper Danube river, it seems as if brand new tilt-technology railcars – “a properly working derivative of the [delicate] 612-class [diesel railcar]” – that exist in Holger’s mind only, are already crossing the bridge, that might be moss-covered today but, as he states, could be “easily renovated”. Taking this into account, it becomes clear that rail hiking is definitely not an activity for those who are looking for new railway-related activities because they are tired of visiting railway museums. In contrast to the preoccupation with (railway) history typical for museums, where the preserved material serves as a didactic

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means for historical education in the present212, the worn-out materials of the rail hiking experience serve as stimuli for nostalgic reminiscences on the one hand and for projections of the future on the other. Before, during and after their hikes, the rail hikers’ thoughts are revolving around questions of what would have happened if thousands of kilometres of railway lines which were closed since World War II still existed213, or of what would happen if transport policies changed dramatically towards a comprehensive revival of rail transportation. In this respect, the ritual of nostalgic remembrance could also be understood as a practice of conjuring up the railway’s future; for in rail hiking, the remembrance is also linked with projections of what could, should, or maybe even will eventually happen in the future. The scenarios invented by the actors in this context range from the end of the global deposits of mineral oil, as expected by Bruno, who claims that not only the classy old main line from Berlin to the island of Usedom (Baltic Sea) but more or less all shut down lines in the country should be reconstructed on the basis of an economic stimulus plan, to the broad realization, eagerly anticipated by Robert, that the abandoned narrow gauge line from Wilkau to Carlsfeld in the Vogtland area must be rebuilt in its full length of 42 km in order to develop a tourist attraction in that structurally weak area. In the course of this scenario making, it depends on the taste of the individual rail hiker and his knowledge about historic or contemporary rail operation what exactly is imagined, experienced and performed while walking along the stretched out authentic location of past rail transportation (past, which era of the past, alter present or future). Surely, one may argue that some of these scenarios are far from being realistic, which is to say, feasible under conditions of current traffic policies and the budgetary situation in the public sector. On the contrary, one may argue that rail hiking is actually about playing and about creating alternate realities, no matter if they are referring to the past, the present or the future, and one may further argue that in this play just about anything goes! And don’t be deceived – for all the scenarios explained by my respondents, there is more existing precedence appropriate to legitimize the hikers’ phantasies as one may expect! After all, there are already examples for the reconstruction and re-commissioning of closed local railway lines, which could be claimed as precedence for the reconstruction of other lines214. There are 212 According to German/Austrian European Ethnologist Konrad Köstlin, historical museums are generally meant to preserve and present worn-out objects of bygone days, whereat it is clear that the objects are out-dated and not in everyday use any longer. KÖSTLIN, 2001: 456. 213 According to information provided by Dr. Ursula Bartelsheim, staff member of the Deutsche Bahn-Museum in Nürnberg the West German railway network was downsized from a total length of 30,000 km in 1951 to 24,000 km in 1993, which equals a total of 4,100 km of lines closed within 42 years. After the unification of Deutsche Reichsbahn (GDR/East Germany) and Deutsche Bundesbahn (FRG/West Germany) in 1994 the total length of the network was 41,400 km in comparison to 33,400 km in 2014, which means that within two decades another 8,000 km of railway lines were closed. These data, however, are only referring on the network owed by the federal state. 214 Some successful examples of the reconstruction and reopening of closed branch lines are to be found in the Stuttgart area (Baden-Württemberg): Metzingen-Bad Urach (10 km, passenger service


Peter F. N. Hörz

examples for the rediscovery of old steam engines somewhere overseas215 or of old German coaches somewhere in Russia216, which provide evidence for ideas of the restoration of lines long gone and their afterlife as tourist attractions. And, last but not least, there are examples for the new construction of steam locomotives according to historic models, with the result that even the most adventurous ideas of the resurrection of historic rail operation can be justified by the reference on the activities of the steam locomotive works in Meiningen (Germany)217.

PLAY AND GAME Considering what was said in the previous sections, the things that rail hikers are longing for have become tangible reality already; some of the dreams rail hikers are dreaming appear at least a little less naive. But being obsessed with realism is in any case not what rail hikers are targeting, as long as they keep their imaginations, hopes and nostalgic ideals secret. If the play with the imaginary is shared with other people, such as other rail hikers, with other normal rail fans or especially with innocent bystanders, it has to become more representative. Therefore, it is necessary to lean one’s own imaginations to those of others, to use credible arguments and to objectify the imaginary in order to prove that what is imagined is not completely impossible. In this case, it is about the “serious games of competition among men”, as Pierre Bourdieu called it218, and it is about what George Herbert Mead calls game, which means a success-oriented activity abandoned in 1976 and reopened 1999 after a 20 year long struggle mostly carried out by a local initiative); Böblingen-Dettenhausen (17 km, passenger service abandoned in 1966 and reopened 1996 due to the political pressure coming from locals); Tübingen-Herrenberg (21 km, partly closed and abolished in 1966 and reopened 1999 due to the initiative of local politics. For further information see the following websites: www.erms-neckar-bahn.de/, www.schoenbuchbahn.de, and www.ammertalbahn.de (visited on 13 February 2016). 215 Four steam locomotives (HG 3/4, 1, 2, 8, 9) of the spectacular Swiss tourist railway Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke, which were sold to Vietnam in 1947, have been rebought and retracted to Switzerland in 1990, two of them are currently working. Cf. www.dfb.ch/index.php?id=162&L=0 (visited on 13 February 2016). 216 For example two coaches of the line Greifswald-Wolgast, which were transferred to the Soviet Union as reparation payment after World War II, have been removed to their place of origin after their rediscovery close to Moscow in 2007. The coaches are placed at the village of Lubmin as a monument, remembering the glorious days of the narrow gauge line. Cf. Energiewerke Nord GmbH: Rekonstruktion von zwei Wagen der RGW. N. P. 2010 (leaflet edited by the main sponsor of the reconstruction project). 217 Being well known as one of the few remaining repair shops for steam locomotive, the steam locomotive works in Meiningen (Dampflokwerk Meiningen) recently draw in the attention of rail fans when building two brand-new steam locomotives according to construction schemes from 1881 and 1932 for the purposes of nostalgic tourist railways in Germany. For information on the locomotive works visit www.dampflokwerk.de (visited on 13 February 2016). 218 BOURDIEU, 2002: 203.

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based on rules generally known. Needless to say, this behaviour is widespread in leisure time activities and well recognized in society too. When it comes to play, however, things are slightly different, not least because in Mead’s developmental psychology play describes typical behaviour of young children, which means that play is hardly ever considered to be an adult’s behaviour. In Mead’s theory, play means the imitation of the behaviour of what the author calls the “significant other”219. The child in this case refers on his or her construction of the other and temporarily becomes the other in his or her own imagination. Subsequent to my fieldwork – especially to the statements of my respondents, explaining that they are experiencing “mental cinema” (Thomas, Robert, Bruno) while they are hiking or that they are “playing through” a certain rail operation manoeuver in their minds when standing on an original site or somewhere underway – I understand rail hiking as a kind of play which occurs among adults. In this play, the significant other might be a passenger of the early twentieth century, an engine driver of the 1970s or a conductor of the Royal Saxonial Railway. When Thomas, for instance, is contemplatively standing at the Gomaringen station while he is shunting in his mind, he delves into something he has partly learned from books and pictures, partly by hearsay, and links what he learned to the place he is experiencing with his mind and body at that very moment. And he is doing this from a perspective, which could be the one of an observing camera operator, an engine driver or the powerful executive director of the railway company, which used to operate the line. When Bruno is moving his arms rhythmically while we are hiking on the overgrown path of the old main line from Berlin to the island of Usedom, it is not Nordic Walking without sticks but the imitation of the coupling rods moving in a Prussian steam locomotive as it is dragging its semi-fast train to the island, as the retired dentist tells me with a big grin. Still laughing and prefaced with the sentence “don’t worry, it’s ok if you think I’m crazy!”, he furthermore explains that “right now I am switching between the role of the engine driver and the stoker and eventually I am the Prussian ‘P8’ carrying my semi-fast train to the Karmin lifting bridge and further to Heringsdorf [Usedom island]”. But even, when the aspect of play is less obvious, when it is carefully hidden behind phrasings like “having mental cinema”, or “here you can imagine, how it would look alike, if the line would be reopened”, we are still dealing with what Mead calls play. This play however has to be played secretly because it is considered to be inappropriate for an adult man, who knows, as Sigmund Freud stated, “that it is expected from him [by his/her social environment], not to play or to fantasize, but to act in the real world”220. But what does playing and phantasizing mean after all? What does it mean to eventually be acting in the real world? And isn’t it simply the characteristic of the behaviour called play that it is an 219 MEAD, 1969. 220 FREUD, 1907-1908: 718.


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examination of so called realities, which are, according to Cornelius Castoriadis, always necessarily products of our imagination? Ultimately I think it is just the major characteristic of what Mead calls play that it is never play only but always reality as well – on the one hand, reality as the activity of play itself, on the other hand, reality as the imagination of the real. After all, the trains that are operated in the hikers’ minds when being underway on the abandoned lines are the product of what the individual memorizes from its own past or what the individual has learned from books or hearsay about the reality of rail transportation in the past or in other places. Hence what happens in the rail hikers’ minds when hiking on rusty tracks is a flip-flopping between the phantasy realities of the play and the realities of those who are not playing, something that prompts Hans-Georg Gadamer to hypothesize that there is no play per se, but rather a playful handling of certain extracts of different realities in the individual’s imagination221. Realities in this case were learned from pictures, videos or hearsay, or read up on historic or contemporary rail operation, and are concealing the spatio-material reality experienced while hiking on the actual location. Thus, rail hiking could be understood, with reference to Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, as the deliberately provoked consilience of aesthetic experience and the abruptness of the momentous event222. Likewise, rail hiking is, as Natascha Adamowsky argues in her work on play and cognition, a pendular movement between the apperception of the concrete sensory on the one hand and the dissociating abstract on the other.223 According to Adamowsky, this pendular movement fosters a process of cognition that is entangled with the perception of the actual and memory and starts from the emergence of something that serves as a stimulus224. Considering this, the rail hiker, as he plays with the remembrance of the past, is giving space to the epiphany of things long gone and reorganizes these things in the present. He embodies these things when playing the roles of railway men or acting as the locomotive, and describes these things to himself while watching mental cinema or playing through a certain manoeuver of rail transportation, and last but not least, he conceives alternative realities regarding rail transportation. In the course of this, he is at the same time producing models of something and models for something225. With that said, the practice of rail hiking implies the individual’s dissociation of what is today and the imaginary production of what used to be, what could be if today was different, what may be in the future or what may never happen.

221 GADAMER, 1990: 111. 222 ADAMOWSKY, 2005: 15. 223 ADAMOWSKY, 2005: 15. 224 ADAMOWSKY, 2005: 15. 225 ADAMOWSKY, 2005: 15.

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REFERENCES ADAMOWSKY, Natascha (2005) – “Spiel und Wissenschaftskultur. Eine Einleitung”. In ADAMOWSKY, Natascha, ed. – “Die Vernunft ist mir noch nicht begegnet”. Zum konstitutiven Verhältnis von Spiel und Erkenntnis. Bielefeld: s. n., p. 11-30. AUGÉ, Marc (1995) – Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London; New York: Verso. BÖLSCHE, Jochen (2016) – “Draisinenfahrer und Bahnlatscher: Auf dem Abstellgleis”. Spiegel Online. Available on www.spiegel.de/reise/europa/draisinenfahrer-undbahnlatscher-auf-dem-abstellgleis-a-633683.html (visited on 13 February 2016). 172 •

BOURDIEU, Pierre (2002) – “Die männliche Herrschaft”. In DÖLLING, Irene; KRAIS, Beate, eds. – Ein alltägliches Spiel. Geschlechterkonstruktion in der sozialen Praxis. Frankfurt: s. n., p. 153–217. CASTORIADIS, Cornelius (1997) – Gesellschaft als imaginäre Institution. Entwurf einer politischen Philosophie. Frankfurt: s. n. DORNER, Birgit (2002) – “Wahrnehmungsspaziergang. Methoden der Erwachsenenbildung in der Praxis”. Erwachsenenbildung, 48:1. FREUD, Sigmund (1907-1908) – “Der Dichter und das Phantasieren”. Neue Revue. Halbmonatsschrift für das öffentliche Leben, 1, p. 716–724 GADAMER, Hans-Georg (1990) – Wahrheit und Methode: Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik. Tübingen: s. n. HASTRUP, Kirsten (1990) – “The Ethnographic Present: A reinvention”. Cultural Anthropology, 5:1, p. 45-61. HÖRZ, Peter F. N. (2016) – Eisenbahn Spielen! Populäre Aneignungen und Inszenierungen des Schienentransports in großen und kleinen Maßstäben. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen. KÖSTLIN, Konrad (2001) – “Versuchte Erdung. Oder: Der ‘jüdische Beitrag’ zur Wiener Kultur”. In RAPHAEL, Freddy Raphael, ed. – ‘...das Flüstern eines leisen Wehens...’ Beiträge zur Kultur und Lebensweise europäischer Juden. Konstanz: s. n., p. 451-466. MEAD, George Herbert (1969) – Sozialpsychologie. Neuwied: Luchterhand.


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NORA, Pierre (1989) – “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux De Mémoire”. Representations, 26 Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory, p. 7-24. RIEHL, Wilhelm Heinrich (1925, reprinted 1869) – Die Naturgeschichte des deutschen Volkes als Grundlage einer deutschen Sozial-Politik. 4.2. Wanderbuch. Stuttgart: s. n. RIEHL, Wilhelm Heinrich (1928, reprinted 1865) – Ein Gang durchs Taubertal. Berlin: s. n. SCHMIDT, Leopold (1959) – Die Entdeckung des Burgenlandes im Biedermeier (Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten aus dem Burgenland 21). Eisenstadt: s. n. STEVENS, John O. (1975) – Die Kunst der Wahrnehmung. Munich: s. n.

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2.5. Dismantling an old rail track: opportunities in the Tua Valley Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

INTRODUCTION The value of ancient buildings has long been attributed to their varying uses over time, allowing for successive structural changes to fulfil new functions. Lack of use would condemn such ancient structures to ruin, often with the building’s stones being reused elsewhere. Presently, modern societies understand built cultural heritage as an everlasting landmark of culture and diversity, left to the current generation to deliver in good shape for generations to come. This act of culture poses high demands to engineers because deterioration is intrinsic to life (as an example, the expected lifespan of a modern building is fifty years). Only during the past few decades has the idea of conserving and reusing old and ancient buildings become appealing for the market. In fact, the present policy is not only to preserve, but also to make buildings and the whole historic part of the cities alive, functioning and appealing to local inhabitants and tourists. It is the unique atmosphere of narrow streets and historic squares that provides the cultural heritage of city centres its shared meaning for the local population. The value and authenticity of the building heritage cannot be based on fixed criteria, because the respect due to all cultural properties also requires that its physical heritage be considered within the cultural context to which it belongs. Due to environmental factors such as earthquakes, soil settlements, traffic vibrations, air pollution, microclimate, and the fact that many old buildings and

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historic centres were not subjected to continuous maintenance, a large part of this heritage is now affected by structural problems, which menace the safety of buildings and people. European countries have developed valuable experience and knowledge in the field of conservation throughout the years. Recently, large investments have been concentrated in this field, leading to impressive developments in the areas of inspection, non-destructive testing, monitoring, and structural analysis of historical constructions. These developments, and recent guidelines for reuse and conservation, allow for safer, economical and more adequate remedial measures. This paper addresses the multiple opportunities for such conservation and reuse measures that present themselves with the projected dismantling of the Tua valley railway.

ICOMOS RECOMMENDATIONS

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Cultural heritage buildings by their very nature present a number of challenges in conservation, diagnosis, analysis, monitoring and strengthening that limit the application of modern legal codes and building standards. Recommendations are desirable and necessary to ensure rational methods of analysis and repair methods appropriate to the cultural context. To that end, The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has prepared recommendations intended to be useful to those involved in conservation problems. These recommendations contain Principles that lay out the basic concepts and guidelines for designers to follow in their conservation and restoration efforts226. The principles entail: General criteria, Research and diagnosis, and Remedial measures and controls. A multi-disciplinary approach is obviously required. The peculiarity of heritage structures, with their complex history, requires the organization of studies and analysis in steps that are similar to those used in medicine, e.g., anamnesis, diagnosis, therapy and controls, corresponding respectively to the condition survey, identification of the causes of damage and decay, choice of the remedial measures and control of the efficiency of the interventions. Thus, no action should be undertaken without ascertaining the likely benefit and harm to cultural heritage buildings. A full understanding of the structural behaviour and material characteristics is essential for any project in cultural heritage buildings. Diagnosis is based on qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative approach is based on direct observation of the structural damage and material decay 226 ICOMOS, 2001.


Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

as well as historical and archaeological research, while the quantitative approach requires material and structural tests, monitoring and structural analysis. Often, the application of the same structural safety levels used in the design of new buildings requires excessive, if not impossible, measures. In these cases, other methods appropriately justified, may allow different approaches to structurally sound buildings. Therapy should address root causes rather than symptoms. Each intervention should be in proportion to the safety objectives, keeping intervention to the minimum necessary to guarantee safety and durability and with the least damage to heritage values. The choice between traditional and innovative techniques should be determined on a case-by-case basis with preference given to those that are least invasive and most compatible with heritage values, while remaining consistent with the need for safety and durability. At times, the difficulty of evaluating both the safety levels and the possible benefits of interventions may suggest an observational method, i.e. an incremental approach, beginning with a minimum level of intervention with the possible adoption of subsequent supplementary or corrective measures. The characteristics of materials used in conservation work (in particular new materials) and their compatibility with existing materials should be fully established. This must include long-term effects, so that undesirable side effects are avoided. A combination of scientific and cultural knowledge and experience is indispensable for the study of cultural heritage buildings. The purpose of all studies, research and interventions is to safeguard the cultural and historical value of the building as a whole, and structural engineering provides scientific support necessary to obtain this result. The evaluation of a building frequently requires a holistic approach considering the building as a whole rather than just the assessment of individual elements. The investigation of the structure requires an interdisciplinary approach that goes beyond simple technical considerations because historical research can discover phenomena affecting structural behaviour that only historical analyses can address. Knowledge of the structure requires information on its conception, on its constructional techniques, on the processes of decay and damage, on changes that have been made and, finally, on its present state. In general, the process towards the definition of remedial measures should include the following steps: (a) acquisition of data: information and investigation; (b) historical, structural and architectural investigations; (c) survey of the structure; (d) field research and laboratory testing; (e) monitoring (see figure 1). Diagnostic and safety evaluations of the structure are two consecutive and related stages on the basis of which the effective need for and extent of treatment measures are determined. If these stages are performed incorrectly, the resulting decisions will be arbitrary, that is, poor judgment can result in either conserva-

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tive and heavy-handed conservation measures or inadequate safety levels. Any assessment of safety is seriously affected by the uncertainty attached to research data (actions, resistance, deformations, etc.), models, assumptions, etc., and by the difficulty of representing real phenomena in a precise way. Figure 1 – ICOMOS methodology

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The proposed methodology stands in stark contrast with past methods and understanding, in which conservation was warranted by the powerfulness of the interventionist approach used. Blind confidence in modern materials and technologies, coupled with a mistrust towards original or ancient materials and existing resources, the value of ancient structures and structural principles was not recognized. The importance of previous studies was not fully recognized, and significant negative experience accumulated (see figure 2a). The modern understanding respects the authenticity of the structure and structural principles governing its response, believes that conservation should lie on knowledge and understanding of the nature of the structure and real causes of possible damage or alterations, adopts respectful interventions (minimal, nonintrusive and reversible), gives importance to knowledge (comprising historical, material and structural aspects) and assumes that studies prior to intervention are multidisciplinary tasks requiring the cooperation of historians, architects, engineers, physicists, among others (see figure 2b).


Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

Figure 2 – Two different approaches towards conservation: (a) past understanding; (b) present understanding

CHARACTERIZATION OF THE BUILT HERITAGE In the submerged area The analysis of historical masonry constructions is a complex task as geometry data and information about the inner core of the structural elements are usually missing. Characterization of the materials’ mechanical properties is difficult and expensive given the large variability of workmanship and use of natural materials. Significant changes in the core and constitution of structural elements can occur as well, which is often associated with long construction periods, unknown construction sequence and structural damage, and the failure to follow regulations and building codes. The consideration of these aspects is complex and calls for qualified analysts that combine advanced knowledge in the field and engineering reasoning, as well as a careful, humble and time-consuming approach. Several methods and computational tools are available for assessing the mechanical behaviour of historical constructions227. The methods utilize different approaches resulting in: different levels of complexity (from simple graphical methods and hand calculations to complex mathematical formulations and large systems of non-linear equations), different availability for the practitioner (from readily available in any consulting engineer office to scarcely available in a few research oriented institutions and large consulting offices), different time requirements (from a few seconds of computer time to a few days of processing) and, of course, different costs. 227 LOURENÇO, 2002. LOURENÇO et al., 2011.

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The first approach following the Foz-Tua dam project was to identify and survey the built heritage in the area to be submerged228 followed by the characterization of the bridges in the Tua valley229. The Tua railway is a 54.1 km stretch of track between S. Mamede do Tua and Mirandela (see figure 3a) with fifteen train stations and stops all scheduled to be dismantled (see figure 3b). The built heritage of the railways in this area includes steel bridges, tunnels and several train stations and trains stops, with the latter consisting of smaller buildings. The built heritage to be submerged in the flooded area includes four strain stations/ stops, 25 houses and 33 other assets (see figure 5). The assets found in the region demonstrate the resilience of local populations and their attempts to take advantage of the natural resources of the valley. The area has scarce human influence and the number of assets affected by the construction of the dam is relatively small. Over the years, these assets were neglected and abandoned, being today heavily deteriorated. With the construction of the new dam, the submerged or demolished assets include houses, shelters, barns, kilns, mills, retaining walls and wells, besides the railway infrastructure. The stations and stops are an important component of the Tua railway, reflecting the construction techniques used at the time. A significant part of the work of Paulino focuses on those buildings and includes the geometric survey, the survey of the construction techniques and a photographic record, including the completion of a form for each building230. The Tua railway line has seven train stops and eight train stations. The survey encompassed only stations/stops in the submerged area of the Tua dam, thus excluding the station of S. Mamede do Tua. During the collection of field data, it was possible to observe that the buildings are abandoned but the condition is usually fair, with recent rehabilitation of many of the buildings. An example of the forms prepared is given in Figure 6. Figure 3 – Tua rail track: (a) map between S. Mamede and Mirandela; (b) list of stations and stops

228 PAULINO, 2011. 229 LOPES, 2011. 230 PAULINO, 2011.


Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

Figure 4 – Tunnel of Presas and Tralhariz station

Figure 5 – Affected built heritage in the Tua valley due to the construction of the dam: (a) train stations/stops; (b) houses; (c) other assets.

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The survey confirmed that the height of the stations are the same and the in plan areas are very similar, with the exception of the Cachão station (with two stories) and Mirandela (with two stories and an in plan area five times higher than the other stations). As described in the specification and justification of the railway, given the fact that the line would serve small villages only, with some


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exceptions, there was no need to build stations for a large number of passengers. At that time, there were great expectations in terms of the agricultural and industrial development for Cachão, and the station was conceived for a large industrial complex, being larger than the regular station typology. The station of Mirandela was at the end of the railway. It had a higher population density and was expected to serve as a traffic node for future lines, so it was also a larger station. Apart from these two exceptions, there is a common pattern for the train stations with a height of 3.7 m, a length of 12.3 m, and a width of 6.1 m. The width of the doors (three of them in the main façade) is 1.2 m, and a gable roof is placed on top with an interlocking clay double roman tile, called Marseille tile in Portugal. The typical train stop is similar to the station, with the only differences consisting of the length of the building at 6.1 m and having only two doors in the main façade. Figure 6 – Examples of the forms prepared for each train station and stop.

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With the objective of selecting the assets for future study and testing, several other assets were characterized in detail, taking into account three main parameters: in-plan area, condition and relevance of the construction for the region. It was assumed that the minimum size of the buildings to be considered for further studies was an in-plan area of 15 m2, representing a condition of Good, on a scale of Good, Moderate Decay, Strong Decay and Ruin, and a typology of mills, houses and barns. Finally, sixteen assets were selected and characterized with a form similar to that used for the train stations. These assets will be tested on site aiming at obtaining the mechanical and physical response of traditional buildings in Portugal, allowing for better assessment of existing masonry buildings and their proper conservation.

WORKS PLANNED AHEAD Several works are planned ahead as other engineering contributions to the Nucleus of Memory of the Tua valley. The first contribution is to develop an asset management system for the new Tua mobility system, including a funicular, a


Paulo B. Lourenço • Graça Vasconcelos • Lurdes Martins

boat and a train in the remaining part of the rail track. This management system will include an inspection and diagnosis system, with paper-free forms, and a life cycle analysis cost model, including risk based knowledge approaches. Over the past few years, the scientific community has been directing substantial efforts to investigating and developing tools to support the management of infrastructures. The main idea behind this is to improve the existing management systems to streamline the management process, with the overall objective to obtain significant efficiency earnings. These efforts intersect all the types of infrastructure and management models being designated by Asset Management. In a broad sense, Asset Management is the application of a systematic process of operation, maintenance, and upgrade of assets in a sustainable way (considering the financial, social and environmental aspects) regarding its inherent life cycle. The need to manage an infrastructure in an effective way led to the development of computerized tools. The US Federal Highway Administration has developed the software PONTIS that comprises advanced functions for inspection, conservation, and management of bridges, e.g., Cambridge Systematics231, among many other bridge management systems. With the continuous developments in open computing technologies, the trend is to adopt computer management systems and geocoding of assets. Inspection processes and techniques applied are quite differently depending on the infrastructure. Today, there are operators applying cutting-edge technology in their inspections, for example, laser scanning for comparing subsequent layers of the structure to detect displacements, or the use of fibre optics to detect embankment failures. Regarding prioritization of interventions, usually no automatized systems are available. After an inspection, if an anomaly is detected that justifies an intervention, the inspection team generates a report where the required intervention is proposed. Risk management and life cycle cost analysis of infrastructures are not normally considered by operators, so there is much room for improvement, and it is expected that state-of-the-art approaches can be developed for the Tua valley transport infrastructure (see figure 7). Figure 7 – Tua new transportation system asset management: (a) a possible inspection form; (b) a life cycle analysis model to be developed

231 CAMBRIDGE SYSTEMATICS, 2011.

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Another contribution is through promoting engineering and technological knowledge by creating an open lab where visitors can learn about railway construction more generally and in the Tua valley. Ideas currently being developed and tested include a scaled-model railway with distinctive railway elements (e.g. tunnels, bridges and stations), a detailed history and technical description of bridge construction, interactive demonstrations of a dangerous curve and tilting train, a masonry bridge that can be built by the visitors, demonstrations of how different railway equipment work and interactive software (see also figure 8). Figure 8 – Possible ideas for an open lab on engineering and construction technologies: (a) how to build a masonry arch (Science Museum, UK and BBC); (b) how to build a bridge (Kongregate software and K’nex); (c) build your own train station (Teifoc); (d) drive your own train (NRM, UK).

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CONCLUSIONS The project of the Tua dam, involving the University of Minho, MIT and EDP, will allow us to learn from the history of buildings in the valley, the rail track and the local bridges, to learn from testing the built heritage that will be demolished or submerged by the dam, to use the new transportation infrastructure to validate and improve Life Cycle Assessment models and promote technical contents to the general public using hands-on and computer based technologies. The present paper presents a first contribution to the project from a civil engineering perspective.

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REFERENCES CAMBRIDGE Systematics (2011) – PONTIS Release 4.5. Washington, D. C.: AASHTO. Available from www.camsys.com/pro_inframan_pontis.htm. ICOMOS (2001) – Recommendations for the analysis, conservation and structural restoration of architectural heritage. Available from www.icomos.org/en/charters-and-texts. LOPES, L. A. V. (2011) – “Pontes e linha do Tua: História, construção e valor”. Guimarães: University of Minho. MSc dissertation. LOURENÇO, Paulo B. (2002) – “Computations of historical masonry constructions”. Progress in Structural Engineering and Materials, 4(3), p. 301-319. 188 •

LOURENÇO, Paulo B.; MENDES, N.; RAMOS, L. F.; OLIVEIRA, D. V. (2011) – “Analysis of masonry structures without box behavior”. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 5, p. 369-382. PAULINO, R. F. C. P. S. (2011) – “A linha do Tua: história, construção e levantamentos”. Guimarães: University of Minho. MSc dissertation.


3. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS


3.1. Redesigning the classical Railrider: a transportable prototype for modern ages Carlos Barbosa • João Figueiredo • Jorge Marques • Lídia Teixeira • Miguel Oliveira • Eduardo Beira • António Araújo

INTRODUCTION Railbiking, for those unfamiliar with this type of activity, involves modifying a bicycle to ride atop rail lines232. The rail-bike was initially used by railroad companies for track checking and moving workers at work sites as well as for assisting damaged locomotives. Telegraph companies also used the rail-bike to maintain telegraph lines that often followed railways. In the American Midwest and other regions with sufficient winds, workers using the rail-bike sometimes put up sails to power them along the tracks233. Unfortunately, the rail-bike design/development/production went into decline with the advent of internal combustion engines and the automobile. Since the last century there have been more and more railway lines closing, mostly because of the increased popularity of the automobile, public transport services, as well as the improvement of roads and population declines in certain regions. Nevertheless, some designers, experimenters and rail enthusiasts have kept the concept alive for the last 90 years, and today there is a resurgence of interest in railbiking. The Portuguese railway network began to be built relatively late, and its pace of development was slow. In 1910, the railway network had 2898 km, connecting the main urban centres of the country234. Between the mid-80s and the beginning of the 90s, several railways in Portugal were closed down as a result of strong competition between public and private road transportation, especially due to 232 McNEEL & HOFFMAN, 2011. 233 ROHDE, 2006. 234 ALEGRIA, 1990.

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increased investment in road construction together with reduced investment in modernizing railways and associated equipment235. In Portugal there are currently more than 750 km of abandoned rail lines that have been used on a non-regular basis by groups who are fascinated by trains and railways and organize tours using new or historical trains. This activity has grown in Portugal, especially on the Douro, Corgo and Tua railways236. The Portuguese Railway Company (CP) and the National Railway Network (REFER) have removed several sections of these unused railways, making it impossible to use old trains, modern light trains or even rail bikes, forever destroying these unique structures. Transformation of disused railways into greenways (e.g. cycle-ways, path-ways, eco-ways, and so on) has been an alternative plan to this old and huge patrimonial value. The 14.1 km cycle-way from the parish of Mesão Frio (Guimarães) and Foz (Fafe) is a good example of this transformation. According to Brauckmann, preserving railway infrastructure and unique technical heritage for future generations is a growing problem, especially in rural areas, and its reactivation is easier and more cost effective if the right-of-way is preserved237. Most of the unused railways are already part of the region and cannot be dispensed with. So, what to do with the unused lines in Portugal? Could there be a way to conciliate the opposing positions and provide some fantastic railbiking tours without destroying the railway legacy? In our perspective, the RBA would help increase tourism and, consequently, improve local economies. According to Brauckmann, a new and cheaper way to save historical railway tracks is to implement rental companies for draisines (e.g. rail-bike)238. The German draisines market for tourist purposes is still booming. Currently, 250,000 tourists each year visit the 30 German draisine tracks239. In this context, the RBA would offer the perfect solution to all bicycle lovers that want to experience new exciting moments over unused railway lines. “Imagine gliding along on ribbons of steel, through breathtaking open space, enjoying the pristine air, the abundant wildlife, and the silence. Your ride is as smooth as glass – and there’s no traffic. Your hands are free to take pictures or enjoy your lunch. Your path is never steep. Where there’s a hill, you go around it or through a tunnel. Where there’s a river, you go over a bridge. Breathe deeply, relax, enjoy (…) No, you’re not dreaming. You’re Railbiking!”240. 235 SARMENTO, 2002. 236 SARMENTO, 2002. 237 BRAUCKMANN, 2012. 238 BRAUCKMANN, 2011. BRAUCKMANN, 2012. 239 BRAUCKMANN, 2012. 240 MELLIN, 1996.


C. Barbosa • J. Figueiredo • J. Marques • L. Teixeira • M. Oliveira • E Beira • A Araújo

Because of its peculiar and interesting characteristics, this product would represent an interesting profit opportunity for local authorities. A successful promotional campaign could bring new tourists to the region, increasing local sales, being a factor in the region’s promotion, and helping the dialogue on railway heritage. The RBA project was sponsored by the FOZTUA project and presented on the second international interdisciplinary meeting about the memory of the Tua valley and the Tua railway. The FOZTUA project is a joint interdisciplinary project in collaboration with MIT (USA) and the University of Minho (Portugal), sponsored by EDP to study, preserve and disseminate the memory of Tua valley and Tua railroad241. The RBA project was developed under the Product Design and Development (PDD) framework and Technology Evaluation and Selection (TES) courses within the EDAM (Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing) MIT Portugal Program focus area. We have followed the courses’ syllabi directly as well as the PDD manual242 to efficiently achieve the forecasted results.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS This work aims to summarize a sequence of steps that led to the final product. We organized a structure and creative method for integrating these steps in moving forward to a product development process. This method was successfully applied by the product development team as a starting point for the creation of the RBA. This subchapter presents a step-by-step approach regarding the decision-making process through all the product development phases, beginning with the perception of the market opportunity and ending in the production, testing and refinement of the first prototype. The business plan is still under study. Planning This phase encompasses a corporate strategy and assessment of technological developments as well as market objectives. The main output is the project mission statement characterized by key issues presented below in table 1.

241 McCANTS et al., 2011a. McCANTS, et al., 2011b. 242 ULRICH & EPPINGER, 2003.

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Table 1 – Mission Statement Key issues Product description Benefit proposition

Key business goals

Target market(s) for the product Assumptions Stakeholders 194 •

Description • It adapts to a common bicycle, allowing it to ride (or cycle) over unused railway lines. • To enjoy a safe and leisurely ride along spectacular scenery on unused railway tracks. • Increase the possibility of conservation/reactivation of the railway heritage. • The product will hit the market during the first semester of 2013. • The plan is to introduce our product in the Portuguese market and achieve in the first year, 5% of the leisure, adventure and tourism companies. • Launch the product into external markets by the end of 2014. • Railway, tourism and leisure companies. • It adapts to the most common bicycles on the market. • It is used in the abandoned railway infrastructures. • Portable and easily assembled. • Bicycle designers and manufacturers. • Railway, tourism and leisure companies. • End users.

Initially two target markets were considered – end users and leisure/adventure companies – in order to grasp the product acceptance by potential markets. Two online surveys (one for each market) were performed to first pick up customers’ reactions to such a product. The definition of the target market and its needs was an essential issue in achieving a successful product. After researching the legislation on railway use, we found that using rail tracks for the purpose of personal amusement is an illegal act. The rail lines, used or unused, are state property – REFER’s responsibility – and their possible use has to be managed directly by REFER or local authorities. This was a very important constraint, which drove us to the non-end users market, i.e. our target market, service companies. The defined target market enrols potential service companies (e.g. railway companies, tourism and leisure companies, municipalities, etc.) that can organize activities such as railbiking. As mentioned above, the online survey was designed to understand companies’ perception of the RBA. The results were quiet interesting: 96% of the inquired companies found the idea very interesting or interesting, 75% expressed interest in buying the RBA for providing a cycle tourism service, and 52% did not have knowledge of similar products. Such results represent a good potential business outlook. Additionally, the online survey results for end


C. Barbosa • J. Figueiredo • J. Marques • L. Teixeira • M. Oliveira • E Beira • A Araújo

users revealed that 78% (of 146 respondents) would like to use/try the railbiking activity. Concept development In this phase, the needs of the target market must be identified, and alternative product concepts generated, evaluated, and selected (one or more concepts) for further development and testing. After analysing and crossing the answers from both surveys, the following customer needs and target specifications are presented in table 2 in a hierarchical list (by order of importance). Table 2 – Customer Needs and Target Specifications Customer needs 1. 2. 3. 4.

Target specifications

RBA is adaptable to different bicycle models (very important) RBA is easily assembled (very important) RBA is easily transported (very important)

1.

RBA is light (very important)

4.

2. 3.

16” and 26” wheels mountain/touring bicycles Less than 3 minutes 1800x1100x250 mm {or 800x400x150 mm (solution still under development)} Up to 35 kg

Knowledge about the customers’ needs allowed the team to identify the final product specifications and select the most adequate concept. Afterwards, the target market needs were translated into engineering needs, i.e. the target specifications were established, providing a precise explanation of what the product has to guarantee. With this background, generating the concepts took place. The goal here was to methodically explore the space of product concepts that may address the established target specifications. It included a mix of external benchmarking and patent searches, creative problem solving with brainstorming meetings, and systematic exploration of the various solution fragments (concept sketches) generated by the development team. Examples of competitor’s products are given in figure 1 and a few patents can be accessed elsewhere243.

243 Patent Numbers: 7.861.658 B2; 5.461.984; 4.230.46. Available at: http://www.google. com/ patents.

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Figure 1 – Examples of competitor products: Federatión des Velos-Rail de France; Railbike Tours, Inc.

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Among the 20 concept sketches, we selected the most suitable ones based on decision matrices as well as on screening and scoring processes. The output of such a process considered two concept clusters: i) bikes are positioned directly in the rail line, clamped and held vertically on skate-like structures; and ii) considers a platform, where bikes are positioned and clamped by using front and rear brackets. The latter, presents an interesting solution regarding the movement transmission, which is further explained. Finally, the ultimate decision rested on this second concept mainly for safety and stability/robustness reasons.


C. Barbosa • J. Figueiredo • J. Marques • L. Teixeira • M. Oliveira • E Beira • A Araújo

System-level design & detail design After the concept screening, evaluation and selection, the final solution presented itself, and at this stage all product specifications were completely defined. The system level design helps us to define the product architecture and decompose it into major subsystems and components. As a relatively simple product, the RBA can be split into the following major subsystems: i) the platform, where the users and the bicycles stand; ii) the front bracket system, that holds the bicycles on the platform; iii) the rear bracket system, that holds the bicycles on the platform and allows the power transmission from the bike’s wheel to the RBA transmission system; iv) the power transmission, that transmits the user effort to the drive wheels in contact with the rails. During the system level design, all the target specifications were continuously discussed in the development of each sub-assembly in order to achieve the product goals. At this stage, product modularity and subsystem integration were assessed and selected for efficiency, stability and safety. The identified needs for keeping the RBA simple, easily transported and assembled led to a very modular architecture where most of the subsystems can be effortlessly detached, allowing the users to transport it in a car trunk. Figure 2 – Railbike adaptor. 3D concept (left) and main sub-systems (right): 1) platform; 2) front bracket system; 3) rear bracket system; 4) power transmission

In order to reduce development time to a minimum, a concurrent design approach was used. All team members cooperated in different tasks for all subsystems in order to achieve the final product specifications in a timely manner. On the detail design stage, every component of the product was fully detailed and characterized in terms of geometry, materials and fabrication processes. The

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most critical parts of the RBA were studied and developed with the help of some powerful software packs – CAD/CAE and other tools – that proved to be extremely important in terms of the design efficiency, helping reduce the total development and testing time due to the assertiveness of the design choices. At this stage, a close cooperation with different material suppliers helped the team understand the manufacturing costs and process limitations of the alternative production and raw material solutions for each component. From the very beginning, the design for manufacturing and assembling methodology was applied aiming at minimizing the material and production costs.

TESTING AND REFINEMENT The product development process resulted in the first physical prototype (prototype#α1), which was tested and experimented on more than 11 km of unused rail tracks. This prototype is illustrated in figure 3. 198 •

Figure 3 – Different perspectives of the physical prototype#α1: first assemblage (left); final prototype#α1 (right)

After the first test – performed on 200 m of rail lines – the wheels’ shafts made of aluminium revealed low resistance capacity, which necessitated a materials change to steel. Rear supports also needed some lateral reinforcement to increase the fixation performance. After those changes, another test was carried out along 11 km in real conditions. The prototype demonstrated an excellent performance and robustness. Despite the good results, our product must be even more portable. The RBA fits in a car’s trunk, however, such trunk space needs to be wide and the back of


C. Barbosa • J. Figueiredo • J. Marques • L. Teixeira • M. Oliveira • E Beira • A Araújo

the rear seats must fold. The idea is to allow transportation of the RBA in a majority of hatchback car trunks. At the moment, this question has been addressed. A tripartite and foldable platform has been developed, reducing its absolute dimensions (width and length), see the 3D prototype#α2 in figure 4. A small disadvantage is forecasted due to the need of removing the front bicycle’s supporting arm and the transmission set. Nevertheless, the assembling process of such subcomponents takes approximately 4 minutes. The portability increases, but the onsite assembly time increases as well. Figure 4 – Tripartite and foldable RBA (3D prototype#α2): tripartite 3D prototype#α2 (left); foldable RBA solution (right)

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Business and strategy Our market enrols potential service companies (e.g. railway companies, tourism and leisure companies, municipalities, etc.) that can organize activities such as railbiking. In this context, the service will be recommended to tourist groups (end-users). Those companies will supply a service using the RBA to, for instance, individual bike users who have an interest for new activities and new tracks, or families who want to have some nature experience. The team has decided to put the product on the market. As a new company, with a different and innovative product, our relation/interaction with the customers will be very close and informal. Indeed, we are giving our customers the opportunity to offer an innovative service/experience to their clients. Our idea is to be very close to the customers, maintaining a continuous contact with the RBA’s onsite application. We assume that a close relationship with our customers and their clients will promote synergetic effects in terms of product/service improvements.


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A very important source of revenues may come from RBA exports. Due to the unique characteristics of the RBA, it is very easy to adapt the RBA’s concept to other countries’ specifications. Special features can be easily incorporated into the RBA to comply with their national regulations. Thus, the RBA market can be expanded. We expect to generate other revenue sources from a line of accessories that can be readily assembled on RBAs. Moreover, some components will face wear, e.g. rolls and wheels, and will need to be replaced. After three years, we could expect a small share of our company’s revenue coming from spare parts. The RBA offers a solution that allows a regular bike to cycle on unused railways. There is no other solution on the market with higher (or at least the same) safety level and as user friendly as the RBA. This acknowledgement led to the preparation and submission of a patent that protects the RBA design. Our product is a very good and simple solution. Thus, having it patented grants our company the legal right to offer a unique solution to the market. This is an important resource that will allow the company differentiation from competitors and place our product at a price level that ensures our company’s profitability. 200 •

RESULTS The customer needs were identified by means of online surveys. Our team translated them into engineering needs (target specifications). Concerning the first need of adapting different bicycle models to the RBA, the prototype presents very good adaptability on both rear and front fixations. Despite this, some minor improvements must be done to adapt the 16’’ and 26’’ bike wheels at the same time. Relative to the second identified customer need of easy assembly, the prototype is very easy and fast to assemble as well as plugging bikes on the RBA; no longer than 3 minutes are required to fix both bikes. Relative to the prototype#α2, and despite no current testing, it is clear that it will not be as fast as the prototype#α1. Concerning the third need of easy transportability, a trade-off occurred compared to the previous need. The foldable characteristics of prototype#α2 allow it to be transported easier than prototype#α1. The last need of being light weight has still not been totally achieved. In order to transform the RBA into a lighter product, new materials must be considered and more structural simulations must be performed. Some parts could be redundant and in this way, eliminated.


C. Barbosa • J. Figueiredo • J. Marques • L. Teixeira • M. Oliveira • E Beira • A Araújo

CONCLUSIONS The sequence of steps that led to the development of a vehicle (prototype) to adapt a pair of common bicycles enabling a ride over unused railways was not a straight-line process. The path had some breakthroughs and setbacks, as expected. Each phase of the NPD process was followed according to Eppinger244 and the guidelines revealed themselves very interesting, valuable and useful. Besides the technical process of the product development, the enthusiasm of the team lies on the social dimension, i.e. in helping to preserve the railway heritage, giving some life expectancy to the hundreds of kilometres of unused Portuguese rail lines and promoting the economy of some rural regions by means of rail biking activities. Indeed, according to Brauckmann245 preserving railway infrastructure is easier and more cost effective if the right-of-way is preserved as well as the implementation of a rental company for draisines (e.g. rail-bike). Our target market enrols potential service companies (e.g. railway companies, tourism and leisure companies, municipalities, etc.) that can organize some activities such as railbiking. The online survey results revealed that 96% of the inquired companies found the RBA concept very interesting and 75% of these companies have shown interest in buying the RBA to provide a cycle tourism service. Moreover, the results of the online survey for the end users revealed that 78% (of 146 respondents) would like to use/try the railbiking activity. The RBA was designed and developed based on the target specifications defined by customers and end users. The technology involved in the RBA is not innovative. However, the final concept presents differentiated solutions compared to competitor products. The power transmission and adaptability level grants an added value to the RBA. The manufacturing processes are simple and cheap. The RBA resulted in a modular architecture where most of the subsystems can be effortlessly detached. The identified customer needs were not entirely addressed, but the achieved results were generally positive. Some trade-offs were faced due to the tight specifications defined by the customers. This is a result of trying to keep manufacturing easy and cheap, a light weight product, portable and safer, and accessible at an affordable price. The developed prototype was very easy and faster to assemble. The first tests were very encouraging and helped the product development team to understand the changes needed to improve the performance of the RBA. The portability and adaptability issues as well as the weight and the costs of the final product still need to be improved. Our main limitations rested in the lack of time (c. four months) and financial 244 ULRICH & EPPINGER, 2003. 245 BRAUCKMANN, 2011. BRAUCKMANN, 2012.

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resources to immediately idealize/design/build/test new or developed prototypes. Hence, further developments should gather more financial resources for the project. The search for business partners and investors could be a good approach. Due to its peculiar and interesting character, the RBA could represent an interesting profit opportunity to all participants. Successful promotional campaigns could bring new tourists to the rural areas, become a factor of regional promotion, and support the railway heritage conversation.

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REFERENCES ALEGRIA, Maria Fernanda (1990) – A Organização dos Transportes em Portugal (18501910). As vias e o tráfego. Lisboa: Centro de Estudos Geográficos. BRAUCKMANN, Steffan (2011) – “Draisines and Tourism: New Perspectives on Historical Railway Tracks”. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), Berlin: T2M. BRAUCKMANN, Steffan (2012) – “Utilising Tourist Draisines as a Method to Conserve Railway Heritage”. In Actas del VI Congreso de Historia Ferroviaria. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles. McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENCO, Paulo B. (2011a) – “About the FOZTUA Project”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. VIII. McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENCO, Paulo B. (2011b) – “About FOZTUA International Conferences”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENÇO, Paulo B., eds. – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. IX-X. McNEEL, J.; HOFFMAN, P. (2011) – “The Adventure of a Lifetime: Railbiking Across Patagonia”. Adventure Cyclist, June, p. 10-17. MELLIN, B. (1996) – Railbike: Cycling on Abandoned Railroads. San Anselmo, CA: Balboa Publishing. ROHDE, M. (2006) – Railbike Tours, Inc. [S. l.]: [s. n.]. Available from www.railbike.com/ history.htm. SARMENTO, J. (2002) – “The Geography of “Disused” Railways: What is Happening in Portugal?”. Finisterra, XXXVII(74), p. 55-71. ULRICH, K.; EPPINGER, S. (2003) – Product Design and Development. London: McGraw-Hill.

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3.2. The Old Road: reusing, interpreting and commemorating an abandoned railway in southern England, 1964–2015 Colin Divall

INTRODUCTION This paper explores what happened to an abandoned railway in southern England, closed as part of the widespread Beeching cuts in the 1960s and early 1970s. I make no claim for typicality: a lot of railways closed in the UK in the wake of the 1963 Beeching Report, a consequence not only due to the rapidly growing preference for road transport after the Second World War but also of poor network planning and subsequent ‘over-building’ in the nineteenth century246. Indeed, it is quite possible that no other once-industrialized country has closed such a high proportion of its network as the UK, amounting to some 11,000-route miles (17,500 km) by the 1980s247. By then almost every part of the UK was criss-crossed by abandoned trackbeds, weaving through all kinds of landscapes from heavily built-up cities and rural agricultural districts to remote, sparsely populated semi-wilderness. The example sketched here, the central section of the Southampton and Dorchester Railway (the Old Road), closed in stages between 1964 and 1977, cannot hope to capture all the uses to which these trackbeds have been put. It does illustrate two points however: first, that much depends on the pattern of land ownership after closure, which until privatization in the mid-1990s was driven largely by the desire of British Railways (BR) (British Rail from 1965) to sell off 246 The Report was named after its main author, Richard Beeching, chairman of British Railways (1961–65). BRITISH RAILWAYS BOARD, 1963. CASSON, 2009. LOFT, 2006. 247 BIDDLE, 1990: 251.

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redundant assets as quickly as possible, either to raise much-needed income for investment or to avoid future liabilities248; and second, that because railway lines often straddle administrative borders, the geography of regional or local governance can be an important influence on the fate of trackbeds.

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Although initially promoted in the early 1840s by a local solicitor, Charles Castleman, and constructed by a nominally independent company, the Southampton and Dorchester Railway (SDR) was in practice a 60-mile (96 km) westward extension through the geographical and administrative counties of Hampshire and Dorset, on the London and South Western Railway’s (LSWR) mainline from the capital to the port of Southampton. Opened in June 1847 and bought outright soon after by the LSWR, the SDR was at first tied up with the LSWR’s ambition to reach still further west to Exeter. By the late 1850s the SDR no longer featured in these plans; instead, the railway had been extended southward to reach the harbour and fashionable seaside resort of Weymouth, using the Great Western Railway’s new line from the north249. The SDR’s colloquial names, Castleman’s Corkscrew or the Water Snake, reflected its circuitous route. It ran inland from Southampton through the ancient royal hunting grounds of the New Forest, passed about 7 miles (11 km) north of the seventh-century coastal borough of Christchurch in order to serve instead the small inland market towns of Ringwood (Hampshire) and Wimborne (Dorset) and then turned south towards the port of Poole, inconveniently served by a short branch line. The main route finally went westwards again through another small town, Wareham, and across the central Dorset heathlands to the county town of Dorchester and the junction with the GWR. This was sparsely populated country with at best mixed agricultural prospects and little industry, although high-quality clay and building stone had long been exported domestically from Dorset, largely by sea. The railway was built cheaply with only a single track for most of its length and extensive use of wooden structures. Traffic was good enough however to require a double track to be completed throughout by 1863, with additional business generated by branches from Brockenhurst to Lymington (1858), and from Wimborne to the market town of Blandford (1860), and then to Salisbury (1866). This line was later extended as the Somerset and Dorset Railway to the harbour at Burnham on the Bristol Channel (1863) and eventually the city of Bath (1874)250. These new lines turned Wimborne into the most important station operationally on the SDR 248 BIDDLE, 1990: 251-263. 249 WILLIAMS, 1968, VOL. 1: 48-98. COX, c. 1980. LUCKING, 1968: 4-24. 250 In 1875 the Somerset and Dorset became the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, in which the LSWR was a partner with the Midland Railway.


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for at least two decades. A short branch from Ringwood to Christchurch, opened in 1862, proved still more significant when extended in 1870 to serve the rapidly developing up-market seaside resort of Bournemouth251. Bournemouth’s popularity was a key factor in the decline of the central section of the SDR. In 1893 the LSWR opened the last link in a coastal route from Lymington Junction, just west of Brockenhurst in the New Forest, through Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, re-joining the original line at what now became Hamworthy Junction. Other developments at roughly the same time strengthened the importance of this coastal route: the Somerset and Dorset had reached Poole (1872) and then Bournemouth (1874) over new lines, once Wimborne had been bypassed in 1885-86, that for all intents and purposes crossed the original route at New Poole Junction (later Broadstone), south of Wimborne252. In sum, by the early 1890s the section of the SDR between Lymington and Hamworthy Junctions had become a secondary route served largely by local trains, although before the First World War it continued to carry a few year-round through passenger trains to and from Weymouth – the last in the London direction did not disappear until the late 1920s – as well as allowing freight trains to avoid the sharper gradients around Bournemouth. Not surprisingly this central section became known as the Old Road by railway workers, a name which at least in later years was also used for the short length of the 1872 line between Broadstone and Poole: by the latenineteenth century virtually all the year-round local passenger services on the Old Road worked over this section to and from Bournemouth. Figure 1 – The Old Road and other railways around Bournemouth at their maximum extent, c. 1933. Source: Derived from SR Passenger Timetable (Summer 1935).

251 LUCKING, 1968: 25-31; WILLIAMS, 1973: 152-79; POPPLEWELL, 1974: 15-167. 252 LUCKING, 1968: 42. WILLIAMS, 1973: 171 AND 178, ATTHILL, 1985: 66-67.

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Local traffic declined quite sharply between the world wars as bus services developed, particularly around Bournemouth, although the growing popularity of seaside holidays and day trips meant that the Old Road could be busy in high summer with both local and longer-distance traffic. The Southern Railway, which owned the line from 1923, attempted to meet bus competition by opening a new basic station (or halt) at Ashley Heath just west of Ringwood in 1927, and another at Creekmoor on the 1872 line to Poole in 1933. It is much more difficult to get a sense of local freight traffic, although all five stations on the Old Road (Broadstone, Wimborne, West Moors, Ringwood and Holmsley) retained public facilities, and these were also provided at Ashley Heath. There were cutbacks nevertheless: although the Old Road remained largely intact, two of the branches closed to all traffic – the first couple of miles of the Wimborne-Blandford section of the Somerset and Dorset in 1933 (strictly speaking this was not wholly the Southern’s responsibility) and Ringwood-Christchurch in 1935. Such outright closures were very rare on the Southern, which seems to have opted to retain routes of questionable commercial value if they provided operational flexibility. The usually very lightly used section between Broadstone and Hamworthy Junction was one such case, but to save money it reverted to single track in 1932. During the Second World War the Old Road was well used; indeed a railserved military petroleum depot, opened in 1943 at West Moors as part of the preparations for the invasion of France, was to keep part of the line open for goods traffic for another 30 years. The Old Road’s value as a diversionary route, particularly when it came to summer passenger traffic, also helped to keep the line open during the 1950s even though its commercial viability was doubted by the postnationalization operator, BR’s Southern Region. Various proposals to modernize the route by using either electric or diesel trains came to nothing, as did a suggestion to save money by partial reversion to single track. In short, by the time the Beeching Report was published, the Old Road was already high on the Southern Region’s list of lines likely to close. The initiation of statutory closure procedures for passenger trains in the wake of the report was little more than a formality253.

CLOSURE, 1964–77 The closure proposals were considered with similar plans for BournemouthSalisbury trains, which shared the Old Road as far as West Moors. The Southern Region’s case was simple and ostensibly devastating: both lines were lightly used for most of the year, with passenger revenue heavily outweighed by the costs 253 The National Archives (hereafter TNA). Renewal of Track on Lines under Consideration of Closing. AN117/6; Branch Line Closures: General. AN177/15; Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services: Southern Region: Salisbury-Fordingbridge-Bournemouth’. MT124/777.


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of operating trains, staffing stations and maintaining track and signalling. Although as Terry Gourvish, BR’s official historian, has remarked more generally of Beeching-era closures, there was “little incentive for the regions to provide carefully formulated data”, there is little reason to doubt that the Old Road lost a lot of money. BR’s final estimate was over £100,000 at 1963 prices, which would have been greater still if the passenger services had been allocated more than their marginal costs for track and signalling (that is, the additional costs over and above provision for freight trains)254. As protestors pointed out, there was certainly scope for cost-savings through rationalizing infrastructure, for instance by automating the numerous level crossings, which in combination with the more frequent, faster and arguably more comfortable services made possible by using diesel trains would have reduced the deficit, possibly quite considerably. Some of these measures had already been successfully adopted on another rural line in Hampshire, Andover-Romsey, but even so the line still lost money and was being considered for closure at the same time as the Old Road255. In any case, such measures would have required investment on a scale that was simply unavailable to BR, and given that central government was determined to reduce the railways’ annual losses, the withdrawal of passenger trains (over both the Old Road and Salisbury routes) on and from 4 May 1964 was virtually a foregone conclusion256. The Old Road was also closed to freight trains between Ringwood and Lymington Junction on the same date. Given the trackbed’s later history, it is worth briefly considering the objections to closure put forward by one of the two principal local authorities, Dorset County Council (DCC). Its case now reads as a curious mixture of the obsolescent and the prescient, but for our purposes the most telling point was the argument that future large-scale development in south-east Dorset, and what was then south-west Hampshire (much of which was to become part of Dorset in 1974) around the Poole/Bournemouth/Christchurch conurbation, would likely promote rail usage over the coming decade257. The statutory body hearing public objections – the South Eastern Transport Users Consultative Committee (TUCC) – found this argument unconvincing while at the same time admitting that “they were not really qualified to judge”, a caveat that was largely ignored when the same point was later briefly discussed by bureaucrats in central government be254 GOURVISH, 1986: 436. TNA. Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services: Southern Region: Brockenhurst-Ringwood-Bournemouth. MT124/775. 255 BRANCH LINE INVIGORATION SOCIETY, 1963. ST. JOHN THOMAS, 1963. TNA. Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services: Southern Region: Romsey-Andover. MT124/776. 256 The statutory procedure for Broadstone–Hamworthy Junction was almost certainly not carried out. DIVALL, 2016. 257 Dorset History Centre (hereafter DHC). DCC. County Development Plan: Written Statement (1955), D.1405/2/2/1. TNA. Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services... Salisbury-FordingbridgeBournemouth. Report of the Transport Users Consultative Committee... (5 November 1963) and Letter, A. C. Templeman, Clerk DCC, to Secretary MoT (26 July 1963).

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fore recommending closure to the Minister of Transport258. While these officials admitted that significant population growth along the Old Road was likely to occur over the next 20 years, they argued that since the region was not intended to house London-bound commuters (not unreasonably, since the metropolis was over 100 miles away), the railway was unlikely to be very useful259. This ignored the Old Road’s potential to relieve what was already recognized locally and by the TUCC as traffic congestion in Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, and, as it turned out, badly – if understandably – misconstrued how long-distance commuting would emerge over the next four decades. Once passenger trains had disappeared and the Somerset and Dorset closed its lines to passengers in March 1966 (goods finished in January 1969), the Old Road was left with a handful of parcel and freight trains worked from Poole over the 1872 line, which gradually disappeared as traffic moved to the roads or BR sought further operating efficiencies by reducing the number of terminals. The line beyond the military depot to Ringwood closed in August 1967; that between Wimborne and the depot was taken out of use in October 1974 (the last trains ran earlier that summer); and the rest of the line via Broadstone to Poole shut in May 1977. The other remnant of the Old Road, strictly called, from Broadstone to Hamworthy Junction, had almost certainly closed as a through route in June 1966, with a final stub from Broadstone shutting in 1973.

DESTROYING THE TRACKBED, 1965–85 As already noted, it was common procedure for BR to sell off redundant infrastructure, precluding any realistic prospects of future re-opening. In order to placate critics in the immediate aftermath of the Beeching Report, BR was required to secure ministerial approval to remove track, and there were occasions – such as with the Romsey-Andover line – where it was told to retain assets for a few years. But the Old Road enjoyed no such stay. The track beyond Ringwood through the New Forest was quickly removed in 1965, although a legal quirk meant that apart from minor line-side properties the land reverted shortly thereafter to the original landowner, the Crown, preserving by far the greater part of the trackbed260. Elsewhere, rails were lifted within a few weeks or months of closure at most, with further, often serious, destruction of infrastructure following soon after. For example, the trackbed west of Ringwood was breached in about 1968 258 TNA. Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services... Salisbury-Fordingbridge-Bournemouth. Report of the Transport Users Consultative Committee... 259 TNA. Withdrawal of Unremunerative Services... Brockenhurst–Ringwood–Bournemouth. 260 British Railways (Residuary) Board Archives (BRRBA). London and South Western Railway (LSWR) Terrier No. 8 (Southampton & Dorchester Railway, Lymington Junction to Hamworthy Junction).


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when the trunk road towards London (the A31) was rebuilt as a dual carriageway, a massive embankment replacing a bridge. Similarly the Old Road’s most significant engineering structure, a viaduct across the River Stour at Wimborne, was demolished in early 1978, well under a year since the last goods trains ran261. This immediately halted nascent plans by a local group to take over the line as a heritage operation. Figure 2 – The River Stour viaduct (Bridge 76), Wimborne, April 1974. Demolished 1978.

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BR, through its subsidiary the British Rail Property Board, was equally keen to raise whatever money it could from land sales: while a narrow trackbed running through agricultural land or forestry was normally of little value to anyone but the adjacent landowners, in a rapidly developing area like that north of Bournemouth, larger sites such as former stations had considerable potential for housing, light industry or other commercial activity. BR’s preference was to sell off large tracts to local authorities or other interested parties, and while this might largely preserve the integrity of the trackbed for a time, there was of course no guarantee what would happen once the new owner sought to exploit the land. Local authorities – which usually meant county councils – always had the first option to buy the land for re-use as roads or other purposes, and, as I shall detail shortly, Hampshire and Dorset County Councils did buy long stretches of the Old Road (including the 1872 extension to Poole). On the other hand, critical plots of land were soon sold to property speculators and developers or private individuals, particularly between Ringwood and Wimborne, fragmenting the trackbed. While a comprehensive reckoning is impossible with presently available sources, 261 Ordnance Survey [OS], One-Inch Map of Great Britain 7th ser., Sheet 179 (Bournemouth) (1966 and 1971 edns); 1:50 000 Landranger Series, Sheet 195 (Bournemouth and Purbeck) (1982 ed.).


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it is clear that BR did make useful, although not huge, sums from such sales. For instance, the site of West Moors station plus ancillary land was sold, almost certainly in the late 1970s, for £35,000. Other long stretches of the roughly 5-mile (8 km) route between Wimborne and West Moors were sold at about the same time to two or three property interests, on which some were built while other smaller plots were bought by adjacent householders for garden extensions. Still other short lengths of a few hundred yards were incorporated into what was then farmland while other disconnected sections survive as informal footpaths more than 40 years after abandonment. By 1985, very little if any of the Old Road trackbed remained in BR ownership262. Although with hindsight it is easy to regret this fragmentation, it is hard to identify a contemporary body that could, or should, have taken the view that the prospects for future re-use were worth the costs of keeping an asset so recently declared redundant. As already explained, BR was in no position to do so, and likewise central government, in the form of the ministries for transport, local government and housing, had also decided that the route had few long-term prospects. Shortly after the Old Road closed the incoming Labour government started to give much greater emphasis to regional economic planning, but this made no difference – the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s South East Study, published in 1964 and reviewed in 1966, did not see a future for the Old Road. Nor did the Economic Planning Council and Board for the South West Region, bodies jointly responsible from 1965 for the western fringes of the area traversed by the line, see a future for the Old Road. They did consider the prospects for lines that had not yet closed, but on the incomplete evidence I have seen they did not look at closed routes; arguably they should have, although that is not to say that the verdict would have been any different263. In fact the most comprehensive reviews were carried out from 1964 by a consortium of local authorities keen to integrate land-use and transport planning for the Poole/Bournemouth/Christchurch conurbation, and it is worth looking briefly at these plans to understand why the Old Road trackbed was allowed to fragment.

TRANSPORT RE-USE? 1965–89 The Old Road is an interesting case in terms of the history of regional land-use and transport planning since, as already hinted, it straddled the boundaries between the English south-east and south-west regions. This fact had probably weakened the local authorities’ response to the closure proposals in 1963 because the two county 262 BRRBA. LSWR Terrier No. 8. 263 TNA. Regional Economic Planning and Boards: South West Planning Board and Council (RB Aspects), MT124/1232.


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councils were unable to present a united front. But co-operation improved once central government started to encourage regional planning. In 1967, Dorset and Hampshire County Councils, along with Bournemouth County Borough Council, published the first long-term land-use and transport study of south-east Dorset and south-west Hampshire. This area included most of the Old Road along with parts of other lines closed to passengers, such as those towards Salisbury and Blandford264. However, the report, which looked to the end of the century, was very heavily orientated towards road transport. Although it noted the need for a comprehensive public-transport network to alleviate urban congestion, the brief discussion of railways did not mention the Old Road or Salisbury lines, despite the fact that the former was still open to Ringwood for goods and the trackbed of the latter was still fairly clear of obstructions265. Even DCC had apparently abandoned whatever pro-rail inclinations it might once have entertained. This comment should be qualified, however. The 1967 study largely focussed on travel within the journey-to-work area for Poole/Bournemouth/Christchurch. In 1963, DCC has been concerned about local commuting when it had objected to closure, but it was also probably just as concerned about longer-distance journeys, those originating or finishing outside the region covered by the 1967 document. As far as these trips were concerned, the councils could do little more than accept what BR was doing, or proposing to do, with the remaining railway – electrification of part of the coastal line. Moreover, the evidence for rail’s potential to relieve urban congestion around Bournemouth was not strong. Two road-traffic surveys undertaken in June 1964 and August 1965 had suggested that the heaviest commuting flows, both present and anticipated, did not lie along the rail axes. A more promising suggestion was that a cluster of inter-connected towns could be developed north of Bournemouth on an axis running south from Verwood (on the Salisbury line) to Poole and then westwards to Holton Heath, just east of Wareham. The western section of the Old Road was well located to serve this corridor; however, the preferred solution was a new road266. A 1976 iteration of the study gave more emphasis to public transport in general and railways in particular; the Poole-West Moors alignment was now protected for possible use as a rapid-transit route. However, by 1981 this protection had disappeared. As we have seen, much of the trackbed east of Wimborne had already been sold by then267. 264 DHC. First Report on a Land Use and Transportation Study of South-East Dorset and South-West Hampshire (April 1967), D.1459/7/5. 265 DHC. Land Use and Transportation Study…, paras 24, 25, 210, 219–221, 232–4, 256, 272–3, 301–306, D.1459/7/5. 266 DHC. Land Use and Transportation Study…, paras 188, 212, 256, D.1459/7/5. 267 DHC. DCC. South East Dorset Structure Plan SP16: Study Report: Transportation: July 1976 (Dorchester: DCC, 1976), para. 2.46, D.1405/2/2/7; SE Dorset Transportation Plan Data Consultation Report TS2 (May 1976), para. 3.09(c), D.1405/2/2/15; SE Dorset Structure Plan: Monitoring Report SP27, D.1405/2/2/11; SE Dorset Structure Plan: Monitoring Report 1981: Policy Implications (15 Jan. 1982), D.1405/2/2/7.

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Local authorities did acquire much of the trackbed to facilitate transport use for roads. The first was Hampshire County Council (HCC), which not long after closure bought a short length of about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) in the New Forest to convert to a minor road, partly to remove a dangerous road junction near the remote Holmsley station. In 1981, DCC purchased most of the line south from Wimborne, including that part of the Broadstone-Hamworthy Junction section that had not already been sold privately. The motive here was partly to facilitate construction of a trunk road (the A31) bypassing Wimborne first and a little later Ferndown, which cut across the Old Road just south of Wimborne as well as at two locations east of the town268. The council did not, however, need to buy all the land for this reason, and much of it has since been dedicated to recreational use. By 1989, most of the 1872 route from Broadstone to Poole had also been converted to a road269. What might the Old Road be like if it had not closed in 1964? Not only population growth but also levels of long-distance commuting towards London that were not anticipated in the 1960s suggest that it would probably have become a busy railway. In the 1990s, Chris Green, a very senior BR manager with extensive commercial and operating experience of London commuter services, said that the Old Road would have been electrified with at least an hourly service to/from Southampton and London. Perhaps even more significantly in 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies suggested there might be a case for reopening Ringwood-Brockenhurst to relieve commuter traffic from the residential districts north of Bournemouth heading along the A31/M3/M27 for Southampton Parkway station. The survival of most of the trackbed meant that the estimated capital cost was fairly low while rebuilding west of Ringwood would be prohibitively expensive270. To date, however, the Old Road remains undisturbed by trains.

CONSERVING, RE-USING AND INTERPRETING THE OLD ROAD, 1967–2015 The geographical divisions that hampered the local authorities’ response to the closure proposal in 1963 have characterized subsequent efforts to reuse the Old Road’s trackbed for recreational purposes. Of course I am not suggesting that the local authorities should be the only responsible bodies. The UK has a very strong tradition of voluntary efforts with regard to the preservation of railways and the wider research, interpretation and commemoration of their history271. Nevertheless, local authorities have often played a major part in shaping the usage of aban268 Poole and Dorset Herald (11 December 1981). 269 OS. Sheet 179 (1966, 1971 edns); Sheet 195 (1982, 1989 edns); LSWR Terrier No. 8. 270 ASSOCIATION OF TRAIN OPERATING COMPANIES, 2009: 19. 271 DIVALL & SCOTT, 2001: 159-188. CARTER, 2008.


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doned railways because, subject to occasional legal safeguards for the original landowners, they were generally well-placed to buy trackbeds. The statutory reversion to the Crown of the trackbed through what since 2005 has been the New Forest National Park facilitated the reuse of that part of the Old Road for recreational purposes: the route is largely intact, apart from the short length converted to a road. While cars and lorries now skirt the remains of the platform at Holmsley station, the rail-to-road conversion saved an over-bridge that would otherwise probably have been removed. The station buildings have also survived, a now-rare example of the near-standard structures designed by Captain William Scarth Moorsom, the SDR’s engineer272. Although the buildings have been extended and adapted over the years since they became a cafe in the early 1970s, the original layout and many of the exterior features are still recognizable. The interior has been much altered, but the current owners make extensive use of railway artefacts and papers, many of them relating directly to the station, to give visitors a sense of the building’s past and the railway it served273. Much of the remaining route in the New Forest has more recently been converted into an off-road cycle trail (also accessible to walkers and, at least in part by horse-riders), although it is not possible, at least officially, to follow the entire line from Ringwood to Lymington Junction. For example, a short stretch just west of the junction has been incorporated into a house garden, but it is possible nearby to view a sympathetically extended example of one (No. 10) of the original lodges, now a private residence, built for the staff who operated the numerous level crossings274. Figure 3 – Holmsley station; (left) October 1963, (right) April 2015. Photo (left): M. R. Bailey.

272 BROWN, 2008: 31-32. On the still-open section of the SDR only Ashurst (New Forest), formerly Lyndhurst Road, and Redbridge stations retain elements of the Moorsom buildings. 273 http://stationhouseholmsley.com/ (accessed 15 December 2015). 274 BROWN, 2003. BROWN, 2005: 254-266. BROWN & CHIVERS, 2006: 296-309.

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Figure92.tiff Figure 4 – The former Lodge 10, near Brockenhurst, January 2015.

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Outside the National Park, further short stretches east and west of Ringwood owned by HCC are designated as off-road routes, part of the Castleman Trailway, named after the SDR’s initiator. Through the town itself there are very few reminders of the railway. The site of the station and the goods yards was eventually sold in 1985 to a private developer and is now mostly occupied by industrial units. The railway’s contribution to Ringwood’s development is obviously marked by The Railway, once the Railway Hotel, still standing across from what was once the station; while for the initiated Castleman Way, a feeder road serving the industrial estate, will mean something275. Over the county border with Dorset (which since 1974 has been along the River Avon, immediately west of Ringwood) the picture is more mixed since the trackbed is more fragmented. In 1975, DCC bought most of the trackbed east of West Moors from the old to the new county boundary, including the site of Ashley Heath Halt. This, plus the later purchase of most of the trackbed south of Wimborne, formed the basis for the original, 16-mile (26 km) Dorset section of the Castleman Trailway, opened in April 1994276. This way-marked trail now runs from Ringwood to Upton Country Park, north of Hamworthy Junction. However, between West Moors and Oakley, just south of Wimborne, it does not follow the trackbed, parts of which are nevertheless used informally as footpaths. The most obvious reminder of the railway is at Ashley Heath, where one of the concrete 275 http://whatpub.com/pubs/HAS/00336/railway-hotel-ringwood; http://therailway.co/ (both accessed 15 December 2015). 276 https://www.dorsetforyou.com/castlemantrailway (accessed 15 December 2015); Author’s collection. DCC. Pamphlet: Dorset’s Lost Railways: A Programme of Walks and Events to Celebrate the Opening of the The Castleman Trailway, April 3rd to 10th 1994.


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platforms from the halt, complete with name-board, survived to be restored by local volunteers. In 2015, an interpretation board was erected with the support of DCC and several other local bodies. Four of the crossing-keeper’s lodges survive, all in private ownership, and all having been altered, one so radically that it is difficult to spot even to the trained eye. At Leigh Common, just east of Wimborne, a brick and (probably) cast-iron bridge (Bridge 74) with later wroughtiron/steel strengthening takes a minor road over an isolated and overgrown section of trackbed. It was probably built in 1850 or shortly thereafter to replace two level crossings, the lodge for one of which still stands a few hundred yards away. Now the responsibility of the highway authority, the bridge is an attractive structure with mellow brickwork and a fine cast-iron balustrade, its lightweight construction both a rare reminder of the SDR’s impecunious beginnings and a potential threat to its continued survival. The most notable survival is another bridge, Lady Wimborne’s (Bridge 77), built in late 1853 or early 1854 to take the railway across the carriage drive to Canford Manor, and the home of the South Wales ironmaster Sir John Guest from 1845 until his death in 1852: his wife Lady Charlotte continued to improve the estate after his demise. Sir Charles Barry, the renowned architect of the Houses of Parliament, had remodelled the manor in a Tudor-Gothic style in 1846–51, and the bridge was designed by him to provide a fitting Tudor archway on the principal approach – the one from Wimborne station. Gordon Biddle, the leading expert on UK railway structures, calls the bridge ‘remarkable’, equalled only for decoration to satisfy a landowner by the Lichfield Drive bridge at Shugborough Park in Staffordshire277. Figure 5 – The Lady Wimborne Bridge, April 2012.

277 BIDDLE, 2003: 163.

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The Lady Wimborne Bridge was officially listed as a structure of historical and aesthetic interest in 1991. Six years later it was renovated and the environs tidied up by a small group of volunteers working in conjunction with Poole Borough Council, by then responsible for the trackbed south of Wimborne, and adjacent landowners278. The date of construction given on the accompanying interpretation board (now missing) is, however, ambiguous at best. The bridge was certainly not built in its present form for the line’s opening. Indeed, it is ironic that the Castleman Trailway now passes along the old carriage drive and thus under the trackbed of the railway its name indirectly commemorates; although it is possible to access a viewing area on the top of the bridge arch. By forcing through the undergrowth for another hundred yards or so to the south, it is also possible to reach the site of Wimborne Junction, once the location of a small locomotive depot as well as the dividing point for the cross-country route to Blandford and Bath. Even for those in the know it is hard to imagine that in the mid-nineteenth century this woodland, hard by the busy A31 trunk road, was such an important location in Dorset’s railway geography. There are few physical reminders of the Old Road in the towns and now-suburban areas of southeast Dorset. In Wimborne the railway has almost completely disappeared, all the more remarkable given that it was carried on a substantial embankment; just a fraction remains, to hide the nondescript industrial units built on the levelled site. Some decades after closure, Wimborne Town Council commemorated the station by putting up a plaque, one of a dozen on historic sites around the town (the Castleman family home, Allendale House, was another). Unfortunately, the closure date was wrongly given, but finally corrected in 2015. Although no roads are named after Castleman, Station Road and Station Terrace continue to act as reminders of the railway’s once-important presence. Unfortunately, the station’s pub was demolished in 1979! 278 www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-412563-lady-wimborne-s-bridge-#.VnAlBl5nNv8 (accessed 15 December 2015). KELSEY, 1998: 16-17.


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Figure 6 – Wimborne station, April 1977, and revised Town Trail plaque, April 2015.

COMMEMORATING THE OLD ROAD Away from the trackbed, the Old Road has been commemorated in many different ways since closure, by historians, museums, voluntary groups and private individuals. This section mentions just a few of these to emphasize not only the variety but also the passion which long-abandoned railways can excite in the UK. The UK is particularly fortunate to have so many amateur – in the best sense of the word – railway historians, and their work underpins much of the wider commemoration of the Old Road. For example, John Cox’s scholarly narrative of the short independent existence of the Southampton and Dorchester company, published over 40 years ago, is unlikely to be superseded in anything but detail279. More recently, Brian Jackson’s popular two-volume history of the SDR and associated railways takes the story from the 1840s to the present. It is just a shame from a scholarly point of view that the extensive research is not referenced, although this seems to be the publisher’s policy given the intended readership280. Similar comments apply to Colin Stone’s detailed account of railways around Poole, including the Old Road281. As an early constituent of the LSWR, the SDR also receives a good deal of attention from the former’s long-established special interest group, the South Western Circle. Its journal includes, for example, articles on the stations at Ringwood and Wimborne, the former in particular recording a great deal of detail about the site and structures that would otherwise have been lost282. Photographic books along with DVDs based on old cine film, both still-vibrant forms of railway publishing in the 279 COX, 1980, note 4. 280 JACKSON, 2007-2008. BRAY, 2010 (which includes material on the Old Road is not only scholarly and readable but referenced). 281 STONE, 2007. 282 NICHOLAS, 1982. FRY, 1987. FRY, 1988.

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UK, do a similar job; although since most of these are based on the authors’ youthful work the images tend to date from the 1950s and 1960s283. A partial exception is the volume in the respected Middleton Press series, which includes some earlier photographs along with maps, timetables and other miscellanea284. By contrast, a recent collection focuses on the years after closure to passenger trains285. Other locally published pamphlets and booklets – often illustrated – reflect the Old Road’s continuing appeal years after closure, although these rarely add anything new to the story. The welcome exceptions are usually when individuals reflect on their, or their friends and families’, experience of the line286. Similarly the UK’s several railway magazines – widely available and often published monthly – occasionally record the memories of youthful days train-spotting along the Old Road, often picking up on operational details that might otherwise have been lost287. Railway workers’ autobiographies are another useful source. The Old Road has been recollected in some detail by the late Michael Webb, who started his career at Wimborne in the Second World War and later served as relief signalman along the line288. Other written accounts, often from footplate crew, offer glimpses of what it was like to work on the Old Road289. East Dorset’s museum, the Priest’s House Museum (PHM), holds several recordings of the memories of local residents and staff going back to the early 1930s.290 By drawing on much of this kind of material as well as his own research, Peter Russell has published an excellent outline of the history of the railways in and around Wimborne, a project he continues to develop291. Most of these media are aimed at individuals who already have a strong interest in railways per se, although some of the books and pamphlets in particular are probably read by a wider audience interested in how the railway contributed to the locale. A wider audience still is probably reached by TV programmes like the 20-minute programme based on a walk along the Old Road through the New Forest, shown on regional terrestrial TV in 2008 and now available on DVD292. Local museums also attract a fairly general audience. In 2014, the PHM mounted 283 E. g. GAMMELL, 1976, plates 111-113, and 115-116. GOUGH, 1982), plates 113-121. GOUGH, 1983, plates 145-147. GOUGH, 1984, plates 103-117. GOUGH, 2005. 284 MITCHELL & SMITH, 1992. 285 GRAYER, 2014: 93-99. 286 E.g., WISEMAN, s. d. 287 E.g. FOSTER, 1994. WINKWORTH, 1992. 288 WEBB, 2002. MARSH & WEBB, c. 2004. 289 E.g. ANDREWS, 2003. EVANS, 2001. On the pros and cons more generally of this kind of literature, see STRANGLEMAN, 2002. 290 http://www.priest-house.co.uk/ (accessed 17 December 2015). Some of these recordings are also deposited in the National Archive of Railway Oral History, at the National Railway Museum, York. 291 RUSSEL, 2008a. RUSSEL, 2008b. RUSSEL, 2009. 292 Along these Lines…, 2008.


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a three-month exhibition, Lost Tracks – Remembering East Dorset’s Railways, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Old Road’s closure293. Figure 7 – Lost Tracks exhibition, Wimborne, April 2014: graphic panel at Allendale House (left), booking hall room set at the Priest’s House Museum (right).

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This was organized in conjunction with the East Dorset Heritage Trust, which provided part of its headquarters, Allendale House, for half the exhibition. The displays mixed graphic panels with artefacts to highlight episodes from the Old Road’s history in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries while the PHM built a room set based on a station booking hall to focus more on the post-war experience of passengers, workers and local residents. Over 2,500 visitors paid to visit the museum while the exhibition was on. Another well-established local organization, Wimborne Railway Society, also commemorates part of the Old Road, albeit at considerably less than full size. Formed around 1975, shortly before the last trains ran through the town’s station, the society includes modellers among its 100 or so members294. A model of Wimborne station built to the popular UK scale of 1:76 was started in 1977, exhibited locally in 1979 and, at least in part, several times thereafter. Like most models to this scale, some compromises were necessary in order to make it a manageable size, but the result was a reasonable representation of the station in the 1950s and early 1960s. Rebuilding started in 2011 and continues today.

293 James Webb of the PHM was the curator while Sarah Evans facilitated at Allendale House; Peter Russell of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and I were curatorial advisers. The PHM had mounted a popular exhibition on local railways in the mid-1990s. 294 http://www.wimrail.org.uk/ (accessed 15 December 2015). On the popularity of railway modelling in the UK, see CARTER, 2008: 192-263 (note 24).


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Figure 8 – Wimborne Railway Society’s 1:76 scale model of Wimborne station on public display, April 2015.

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There are now fewer compromises, and the layout is a popular draw at the Society’s biennial exhibition, which normally attracts hundreds of visitors over a weekend295. While these exhibitions mainly feature visiting models as well as the Society’s own, at the 2013 and 2015 shows space was given over to material from the Lost Tracks exhibition prompting considerable interest from local residents, 295 http://www.wimrail.org.uk/wimborne.html (accessed 15 December 2015).


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some of whom wished to share memories of the Old Road while others expressed surprise that Wimborne ever had a railway. Wimborne and other locations on the Old Road have also been modelled privately at various scales, and there are at least two projects in hand to produce virtual simulations of trains running over all or part of the route.

CONCLUDING REMARKS Although I started by warning that the example of the Old Road cannot be taken as typical of what happened to railways abandoned after the Beeching Report, observation and anecdotal evidence suggest that the fragmentation and mixed uses – formal and informal – to which the trackbed has been put is probably fairly common. This is true at least in those parts of the UK where pressure on land (along with concomitant prices) was high enough to ensure that BR was able to relieve itself of what would otherwise have been a long-term liability. Ownership of land has not conferred an unfettered right of development in the UK for many decades, so the role of planning authorities certainly has to be reckoned when explaining and evaluating the history of abandoned railways. But ownership matters, and establishing who acquired what, when, for how much and for what purposes should arguably be the starting point for any further research into the subject, whether about the Old Road or more widely. Geographies matters too, particularly when a closed railway crosses the boundaries of planning authorities, leaving the trackbed at risk of becoming no more than the sum of its fragmented parts. Of course I am not suggesting that every line abandoned in the 1960s should have been preserved in its entirety on the off chance that one day it would reopen. Nevertheless, the Old Road shows that the timescale for the kind of wider developments that might make reopening desirable are far longer than envisaged by planners and policy-makers in the 1960s. In this regard, it seems as though some of the lessons of the Beeching era might have been learnt. Since privatization in the mid 1990s there has been a much greater reluctance by first Railtrack and now Network Rail to sell off trackbeds or destroy critical parts of the infrastructure. Indeed, even in the 1980s BR seemed to have become more willing to mothball railways over which no trains ran for many years. While Britain’s railway network will probably continue to shrink a little in terms of overall mileage as lines serving the remnants of heavy and extractive industries close, this policy of retaining rights-of-way can only assist future generations should they feel the need to continue to extend the policy

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of the last 25 years or more and reverse a limited number of the Beeching cuts to passenger trains. In the meanwhile, it is good to acknowledge the combination of local-authority and voluntary effort that has enabled such a large proportion of the Old Road both to survive for recreational use and to be widely remembered and commemorated.

A NOTE ON SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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It will be readily apparent that my interest in the Old Road extends well beyond the purely professional. As a small boy I travelled on part of the line just before the passenger trains finished, and for some years thereafter I delighted in spotting the few remaining goods trains as they ambled across the fields about half a mile away from where I lived. As a teenager I took the opportunity to explore in great detail the surviving infrastructure in and around Wimborne, and as a university student returned home for the occasion in May 1977 of being on the last ever (special) passenger train out of the town. Much of this paper therefore draws on my own contemporary notes and recollections as well as the referenced sources; unless otherwise acknowledged, the photographs are also mine. My knowledge of the Old Road is far from complete however, and for this paper I have been helped in various ways by Michael Bailey, Grahame Boyes, Philip Brown, Peter Russell, Peter Trewin and James Webb, to all of whom I am very grateful.


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REFERENCES ALONG these Lines with Hannah Shellswell (2008). DVD. S. l: ITV Meridian/Platform, episode 1 (Castleman’s Corkscrew). ANDREWS, F. (2003) – Dorset Footplateman: From Boyhood to Main Line Fireman. Usk: Oakwood Press. ASSOCIATION OF TRAIN OPERATING COMPANIES (2009) – Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network. London: Association of Train Operating Companies. ATTHILL, R. (1985) – The Somerset & Dorset Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. BIDDLE, G. (1990) – The Railway Surveyors: The Story of Railway Property Management. London: Ian Allan/British Rail Property Board. BIDDLE, G. (2003) – Britain’s Historic Railway Buildings: An Oxford Gazetteer of Structures and Sites. Oxford: Oxford University Press. BRANCH LINE INVIGORATION SOCIETY (1963) – Unprofitable Lines? A Financial Study of Certain Railway Passenger Services in Somerset, Hampshire and Dorset. London: Branch Line Invigoration Society BRAY, N. (2010) – The Salisbury & Dorset Junction Railway. Southampton: Kestrel Railway Books. BRITISH RAILWAYS BOARD (1963) – The Reshaping of British Railways. London: HMSO. 2 vols.; M. BROWN, P. A. (2003) – “Many and Great Inconveniences: The Level Crossings and Gatekeepers’ Cottages of the Southampton & Dorchester Railway”. In South Western Circle Monograph No. 2. Swindon: South Western Circle BROWN, P. A. (2005) – “Many and Great Inconveniences – a Postscript (Part 1)”. South Western Circular, 13:8, p. 254-266 BROWN, P. A. (2008) – “Who Designed the Stations on the Southampton & Dorchester Railway?”. Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 36:1, p. 31-32. BROWN, P. A.; CHIVERS, C. (2006) – “Many and Great Inconveniences – a Postscript (Part 2)”. South Western Circular, 13:9, p. 296-309.

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CARTER, I. (2008) – British Railway Enthusiasm. Manchester: Manchester University Press. CASSON, M. (2009) – The World’s First Railway System: Enterprise, Competition, and Regulation on the Railway Network in Victorian Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). COX, J. G. (c. 1980) – Castleman’s Corkscrew: The Southampton and Dorchester Railway 1844-1848. Southampton: City of Southampton. DIVALL, C. (2016) – “An illegal Beeching-era closure in Dorset”. Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society, forthcoming. DIVALL, C.; SCOTT, A. (2001) – Making Histories in Transport Museums. London: Leicester University Press. EVANS, J.; VENT, A.P., eds. (2001) – From Booking Boy to Bulleids. Leigh: Triangle Publishing. FOSTER, P. (1994) – “The ‘Old Road’ to Wimborne”. Steam Days, 54, p. 116-125. FRY, A. (1987) – “The Railway at Ringwood, Part 1”. South Western Circular, vol. 7:8, p. 178-200. 226 •

FRY, A. (1988) – “The Railway at Ringwood, Part 2”. South Western Circular, vol. 7:9, p. 203-13. GAMMELL, C. J. (1976) – Southern Branch Lines 1955–1965. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company GOUGH, T. (1982) – Around the Branch Lines: No. 1 Southern. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing Company. GOUGH, T. (1983) – Cross-Country Routes of the Southern. Poole: Oxford Publishing Company. GOUGH, T. (1984) – The Southern in Hampshire and Dorset. Poole: Oxford Publishing Company. GOUGH, T. (2005) – Classic Southern Region, DVD. Leighton Buzzard: Branch Line Video, vol. 2. GOURVISH, T.R. (1986) – British Railways 1948–73: A Business History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. GRAYER, J. (2014) – Impermanent Ways: The Closed Lines of Britain – Dorset. Southampton: Noodle Books, vol. 7. JACKSON, B. L. (2007-2008) – Castleman’s Corkscrew including the Railways of Bournemouth & Associated Lines. Usk: Oakwood Press. 2 vols. KELSEY, G. (1998) – “The Lady Wimborne Coach Road Bridge”. Swanage Railway News, Winter, p.16-17.


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LOFT, C. (2006) – Government, the Railways and the Modernization of Britain: Beeching’s Last Trains. Abingdon: Routledge. LUCKING, J. H. (1968) – Railways of Dorset: An Outline of their Establishment, Development and Progress from 1825. [S. l.]: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. MARSH, G.; WEBB, M., VENT, A. P. eds. (2004) – The Rise and Fall of Wimborne Station. S. l.: Buggleskelly Books, c. 2004). MITCHELL, V.; SMITH, K. (1992) – Branch Lines around Wimborne (Midhurst: Middleton Press. NICHOLAS, J. (1982) – “Wimborne”. South Western Circular, vol. 5:9, p. 196-206; POPPLEWELL, L. (1974) – Bournemouth Railway History: An Exposure of Victorian Engineering Fraud. Sherborne: Dorset Publishing. RUSSEL, P. (2008a) – “Looking for Wimborne S&D, Part 1”. The S&D Telegraph, 32 (June), p. 31-35. RUSSEL, P. (2008b) – “Looking for Wimborne S&D, Part 2”. The S&D Telegraph, 33 (December), p. 24-29. RUSSEL, P. (2009) – “Looking for Wimborne S&D, Part 3”. The S&D Telegraph, 34 (May), p. 27-31. ST. JOHN THOMAS, D. (1963) – The Rural Transport Problem. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. STONE, C. (2007) – Rails to Poole Harbour. Usk: Oakwood Press. STRANGLEMAN, T. (2002) – “Constructing the past: railway history from below or a study in nostalgia?”. Journal of Transport History , 3rd ser., 23:2, p. 147-158. WEBB, M. (2002) – Steam Days in Dorset. Settle: Waterfront WILLIAMS, R. A. (1968) – The London & South Western Railway: The Formative Years. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, vol. 1 WILLIAMS, R.A. (1973) – The London & South Western Railway: Growth and Consolidation. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, vol. 2. WINKWORTH, D.W. (1992) – “Summer Saturdays at Broadstone”. British Railways Illustrated, 2:1, p. 11-16. WISEMAN, D. (s. d.) – West Moors for Ferndown: Railway Times in East Dorset & New Forest on the Corkscrew Line. West Moors: Wise Publishing.

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3.3. Life, death and resurrection: further examples from the British experience of preserving railway and industrial heritage Dominic Fontana

INTRODUCTION In Britain, conflict about the existence of railway lines has predominantly been at the end of their lives rather than at their inception. In many cases people have opposed the closure of lines, often without success in the retention of the commercial line, but frequently have succeeded in retaining a section of the line, which has then been developed as a preserved or heritage railway. Britain has over 150 preserved railways with many museums and organisations involved in preserving various aspects of Britain’s industrial heritage. Consequently, industrial and railway heritage has become important to Britain’s tourism industry, supporting many jobs in areas away from the main conurbations. Consideration is given to further examples of what were once commercial railways, which groups of dedicated enthusiasts have resurrected as heritage railways. I offer suggestions for adopting such approaches in developing railway heritage-based tourism in the Tua Valley, Portugal. Much of this tourist development has risen from the ashes of government inspired, or economically provoked closure of railway lines and industrial enterprises due to the determination of small groups of ordinary individuals devoted to preserving what they saw as their heritage. This was particularly evident in the railway arena where, for example, a group of four schoolboys around 16 years old read an article in the April 1961 edition of Railway Modeller magazine about

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British Railways intention to preserve some of its steam locomotives as part of the nationalised railway’s changeover from steam to diesel in the 1960s. The schoolboys were dismayed that the list of steam locomotives to be preserved did not include a representative example of their favourite Great Western locomotive. As a consequence, they wrote a letter to the Railway Modeller magazine saying that they were thinking of launching a fund to purchase a GWR 14XX, 0-4-2 class tank locomotive from British Railways at a cost of £1130. They asked readers to send them replies if they were interested in such a venture – they received many replies. In May 1962, the first meeting of the Great Western Society was held in Southall, London, which has grown into the Great Western Society Railway Centre at Didcot in Oxfordshire296. Four schoolboys with a typewriter and an idea led to the development of what has now become a major tourist attraction and very large collection of preserved steam railway locomotives, rolling stock and equipment. This is by no means a rare set of circumstances in Britain, where a group of individuals opposed to a railway closure have reopened a line deemed by British Railways to be only of scrap value.

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THE SWANAGE RAILWAY The branch railway to Swanage in Dorset is another example of a line which had been closed then resurrected, rebuilt and now actively reused, carrying 201,448 passengers in 2010. The line originally opened on 20 May 1885 and was initially operated by the London and South Western Railway Company, which was ultimately incorporated into the nationalised railway British Railways in 1948297. The line from Wareham to Swanage was closed by British Rail in 1972 as being uneconomic, despite the line having avoided earlier rounds of railway cuts in the 1950s and the Beeching Report closures of the 1960s. Unfortunately, British Rail removed the track as soon as the line had been closed, making it much more difficult for private organisations to reinstate the service as they would need to relay all of the permanent way298. However, despite these obstacles, a number of organisations were immediately set up with the intention of taking over the branch line for redeveloping the mainline railway connection. Several separate groups emerged early on, but quickly coalesced to form the Swanage Railway trust as a charitable body. The trust aimed to preserve the area’s railway heritage and re-establish the line’s link with the national railway network. In 1975, the Swanage Railway Society occupied the disused Swanage station site under licence from British Rail. A short length of track was initially 296 DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE, 2014. 297 WRIGHT, 2014. 298 SWANAGE RAILWAY TRUST, 2014.


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laid towards the outskirts of Swanage and then extended 3 miles to the village of Harman’s Cross. In 1995, the line was continued to Corfe Castle and then further extended to Norden299. In common with most heritage railway operations in Britain, the Swanage Railway trust relies on an active volunteer membership to assist with the physical development of the line, fundraising and the day-to-day operation of the railway, with volunteers undertaking much of this extension work. Today, the Swanage Railway runs a preserved railway between the seaside town of Swanage and Norden, just to the north of Corfe Castle. Beyond Norden the line has been re-laid and in January 2002 was reconnected with the National Railway Network at Motala near Furzebrook. This enabled trains to access the Swanage line from anywhere on the British railway network, thereby allowing special enthusiasts’ trains to incorporate the Swanage railway as part of their itinerary as well as easily interchanging preserved locomotives and rolling stock from other heritage railways similarly connected to the national network. In 2013 the Swanage Railway trust planned to extend their normal service to meet up with the British national railway network at Wareham. The line is currently a tourist operation focused primarily around a nostalgic railway experience rather than the more prosaic provision of transportation services to passengers. However, in February 2013, the Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government, Mr Eric Pickles MP, announced a £1.47 million grant to the Swanage Railway Company to restore a regular train service between Swanage and Wareham300. It was intended that this should improve railway access to the area for both tourists and local residents and make railway access between the Isle of Purbeck and the rest of Britain considerably easier than it was. It is hoped that this development will create 40 new jobs indirectly and a further ten new jobs directly thereby enhancing the local economy as well as providing a useful public transport option for residents. In 2013 it was estimated that the Swanage Railway contributed some £14 million to the Purbeck and Dorset economy every year301. This was undoubtedly an interesting development because it meant that a railway originally built to provide for the transport needs of the population, then closed by the National Railway as being uneconomic for its original purpose, has now been resurrected; firstly, as a volunteer, charitable, tourist preserved railway and then hopefully developing into a real railway once more providing passenger transport services to the community. In April 2016 during the railway’s annual Spring celebration of steam (8 to 10 April) four passenger trains per day ran past Motala as far as the River Frome – within sight of the town of Wareham, however this is not yet a transport service as passengers cannot alight from or join the train at the River Frome. 299 WRIGHT, 2014. 300 JONES, 2013. 301 WRIGHT, 2014.

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THE MID HANTS RAILWAY

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The Mid Hants railway is often called the Watercress Line as the railway used to carry watercress from where it was grown near Alton, Hampshire, to market in London. The line in its current configuration runs from Alresford to Alton, which was formerly part of the British Railways route from Alton to Winchester and Southampton. British Railways closed the line in February 1973302. At the time there was considerable public opposition to the closure of the route. However, despite a six-year campaign to save it, British railways closed it as being uneconomic. In 1973, the Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society was formed with the intention of running a commuter service over the route during the week with steam trains at the weekends. It proved impossible to run the commuter rail service, and so the railway concentrated on the tourist potential of steam trains. The section between Alresford and Alton was bought from British Railways and steam trains began operating along the 3-mile stretch from Alresford to Ropley in 1977. Unfortunately, almost as soon as they had closed the line, British Railways tore up the track, even removing the ballast from the permanent way for the 7 miles to Alton, thus requiring all of this to be re-laid by the railway supporters and volunteers. Undoubtedly this reinstatement cost considerably more than the value British Rail had extracted from the scrapped rails. Despite this very great difficulty, the section to Medstead & Four Marks opened in 1983 and the final section through to Alton in 1985, costing something in the order of £1 million303. The Mid Hants Railway currently has around 50 paid employees but relies predominately upon about 450 volunteers to operate its services. Again, this reinforces the need that such a heritage railway has for an enthusiastic volunteer workforce and group of supporters in making a preserved railway successful. It should also be noted that the railway employs a significant number of people, producing a direct financial input into the local economy. Certainly, having a core of paid employees is extremely important for maintaining the nucleus of the railway business operation as they can provide a significant point of focus for the volunteer team’s activities and maintain a professional organisational culture essential to the many safety-related elements of railway operation. In addition to running tourist trains, the Mid Hants Railway earns money from added value specialist railway services such as their Dining Trains, Real Ale Trains and Railway Experiences. The Watercress Belle Dining Train offers five-course, silver service, fine dining on Saturday evenings in a train formed of ex British Railways MK1 boat-train and first class dining coaches. These were originally used on high quality railway routes such as those from London Waterloo to Southampton Docks, serving glamorous ocean liners such as the Queen Mary in the 1950s and 1960s. 302 WATERCRESS LINE, 2014. 303 WATERCRESS LINE, 2014.


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Figure 1 – Southern Railway 925 Cheltenham (Schools Class, 4-4-0, built 1934, Eastleigh Works, owned by the National Railway Museum, York), waiting to depart from Alton, 29 March 2014

First Class train fare including a meal costs £59.00 per person (2016). On Sundays throughout the year the Mid Hants Railway operates their Countryman train, which serves traditional English Sunday lunch at a First Class train fare and meal cost of £49 per adult. Other special event trains include the steam hauled Murder mystery dining trains at £80 per person where passengers are involved in a drama production where they attempt to solve a murder mystery. The Real Ale Train serves real ale from local breweries in a restored bar carriage pulled by a steam locomotive. Train fares for these special excursions are £15 per person and an additional £2 per pint of real ale. Railway experiences include an Introductory Driving and Firing Experience lasting approximately 3 hours for a fee of £350 or an Advanced Driving and Firing Experience lasting some seven hours at £500 per person304. Each of these activities adds significantly to the income of the railway but is reliant upon the close and cooperative interaction between the railway’s permanent paid employees, specialist external contractors such as caterers and theatre companies and the volunteers who operate the trains, track and signalling. Teamwork and a common vision for the railway and its purpose are essential to the success of the whole venture. Once more, this is an example of a preserved railway that has evolved from public opposition to closure of a line by the nationalised railway company into a vibrant heritage railway carrying some 150,000 passengers in 2010305 and contributing significantly both in financial and social terms to the community. 304 WATERCRESS LINE, 2016. 305 ROBINSON, 2010.

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THE BLUEBELL LINE

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The Bluebell line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway. The line was originally operated by the London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1882. The nationalised successor company, British Railways, took over the line in 1948 and proposed closing the line in 1954. Despite protests from local residents, the line was shut down on 29 May 1955. Legal action forced British Railways to reopen the line on 7 August 1956 due to a clause in the original 1877 and 1878 Acts of Parliament concerning the building of the line. However, despite considerable local support for the line, British Railways eventually prevailed in closing the line by persuading the House of Commons to repeal the original Acts as part of a national railway network on 17 March 1958306. In March 1959, the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway Preservation Society was formed, although the name was quickly changed to the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society. The initial aim was to reopen the whole line from East Grinstead to Culver Junction as a normal passenger service, using a diesel multiple unit. This plan proved unsuitable, however, in 1960 the line between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes was resurrected as a tourist attraction, using steam locomotives operated by volunteers307. The Bluebell railway has been operating for over 50 years and possesses the second largest collection of steam locomotives in the UK (over 30) as well as a large collection of almost 150 carriages and wagons. The railway is staffed by about 750 volunteers. Many of them come to work on the railway as part of their annual holidays, perhaps spending a week immersing themselves in the activities of the stations and the trains. The railway runs many days of the year, often with steam traction, but sometimes on special operating days using diesels from their collection. Like the Swanage Railway, the Bluebell Railway provides a range of specialist railway services including dining trains, real ale trains and murder mystery excursions. The Bluebell Railway is used extensively in film, television and video production, which provides another income stream for maintenance and development. Volunteer fundraising activities are also an important part of the process, and in 2008 the Bluebell Railway received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £2.8 million towards new buildings providing weatherproof shelter for up to 17 carriages. There is also a project under way to recreate a long-lost locomotive, a London Brighton & South Coast Railway H2 Class Atlantic that was originally built at the Brighton Works in 1911 and 1912. The starting point for the project consisted of a few surviving parts of the original locomotive, with the remainder being constructed from newly made parts. This project began in 2000. Sections 306 BLUEBELL RAILWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY, 2014. 307 BLUEBELL RAILWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY, 2014.


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of the locomotive are now being assembled but will take some years to complete. As part of the process there is much to be gained in the acquisition, preservation and development of craft engineering skills required to undertake the rebuilding of old steam locomotives. This project has developed into a significant industry across the UK, which even ventures into the construction of entirely new steam locomotives. For example, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was set up to “build and operate a Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use”. They built a brand-new locomotive (No. 60163 Tornado) to the original design, but incorporated the latest technology including modern railway safety electronics and additional water capacity so that it can run on National Network Rail main lines. The project began in 1990 and Tornado’s first public steaming was in 2008. Since then Tornado has hauled trains of steam enthusiasts around the country making visits to many preserved lines308.

EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM The East Anglian Railway Museum, which is very much a museum rather than a running tourist heritage railway, offers an alternative approach to the preservation of a railway and its associated technology while retaining many of the features and attributes familiar to a tourist heritage railway. It occupies the station and former goods yard at Chappel in Essex and incorporates the Victorian railway station itself, part of which is still used by Network Rail as a normal passenger station on the national railway network. The Museum also has Chappel signal box located at the northern end of the passenger railway platform. This still retains its original Victorian frame with its point and signalling leavers and many of the signalling block instruments, as well as some additional signalling equipment from elsewhere purely for display purposes. The signal box is no longer connected to the operating national railway network and is just part of the Museum complex. The origins of the East Anglian Railway Museum date from the formation of the Stour Valley Railway Preservation Society (SVRPS) in September 1968. Like the previous examples cited, it served to preserve a railway line – the then recently closed Sudbury to Shelford line. However, the opportunity to reopen the line at that time was lost due to lack of funding. Despite this, the SVRPS was established at Chappel and Wakes Colne Station in December 1969. The site was acquired on a lease from British Rail, but before getting a hold of the site the track unfortunately had been dismantled. Volunteers reinstated the track around the yard, and the first public steaming was able to take place less than three months later. In the 1980s, 308 A1 STEAM LOCOMOTIVE TRUST 2014.

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SVRPS members developed the facilities for visitors, purchased additional land in 1983, and constructed an engine restoration shed and workshop. In 1987, the rest of the site was purchased from British Rail, funded by the sale of one of the Society’s locomotives. Interestingly, at the time, Steam Days were run under the titles of Chappel Steam Centre and the Stour Valley Railway, but it was found that this terminology confused many visitors, who were expecting a ride on the branch line rather than just the length of the goods yard. Consequently, it was decided in 1986 to change the organisation’s name to the East Anglian Railway Museum, which implies that it is a museum rather than a railway per se. This is the name currently used and is considered to be an effective description309. The East Anglian Railway Museum is a good example of a heritage railway operation that is concentrating on the preservation of a railway station and associated buildings, along with a small collection of both steam and diesel locomotives and a number of carriages. The Museum doesn’t possess a long stretch of line and can only make short shunting manoeuvres with its rolling stock and locomotives. It advertises itself as “a living heritage site [in which our] (…) original Victorian buildings, restored trains, carriages and Signal Boxes tell a unique story of railways and people’s lives in East Anglia from the 1840s to the present day”310. Whilst the lack of an operating track does potentially reduce the venue’s attractiveness to customers who would like to travel on a heritage railway, it does have the distinct advantage of keeping the operating costs low by not requiring as many available staff or volunteers to run the Museum. As a result, the Museum can be open to visitors on most days of the year rather than on specific operating days when trains run. However, despite the lack of a running line the Museum holds a number of specially themed days in addition to the Museum’s normal opening. Figure 2 – East Anglian Railway Museum viewed from the footbridge crossing from the service platform, 22 February 2014

309 EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM, 2014. 310 EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM, 2014.


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These themed events include a Day Out With Thomas, a Transport Extravaganza, a Cider Festival, a Steam Day, a Living History event – The 1960’s, a War on the Line WWII Event, a Beer Festival and a Model Railway and Engineering show and Miniature Railway Gala. The Museum’s volunteers continue to ensure that there is considerable activity around the railway to attract both new visitors and return visits in order to keep the museum viable. Once more, the role of the volunteer workforce is an absolutely important part of the overall operation of the railway, its development and the preservation and presentation of the Railway Heritage to the public.

AMBERLEY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE, WEST SUSSEX The Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre in West Sussex offers a further example of a more museum-based approach to railway preservation. This was built within a former lime works and quarry, dug into the chalk hills of the South Downs close to the town of Arundel. The Museum covers 36 acres and displays a range of industrial activities from the mediaeval period through to the twentieth century, such as charcoal burning, brush making and wood turning as well as radio and telecommunications displays, domestic electricity generation and distribution, road transport and narrow gauge industrial railways311. Figure 3 – Hunslet industrial diesel locomotive and carriages for museum visitors at the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, August 2013

311 AMBERLEY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE, 2014.

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The site has an extensive network of narrow gauge railway track, and visitors to the Museum use both the railways and the vintage bus routes to access all parts of the displays. The Museum represents an interesting integration of many different industrial heritage activities which are linked together by the active use of the narrow gauge railways. Riding on the trains is an important part of the visitor experience. Much of the material on display is relatively straightforward and of no great intrinsic economic value, but the combination of the old industrial machinery and its setting produces an engaging and enjoyable tourist venue. In common with most of the preserved heritage railway operations, the Amberley Museum makes good use of volunteer enthusiast support together with a nucleus of professional staff.

RAILWAY HERITAGE-BASED TOURISM IN THE TUA VALLEY, PORTUGAL.

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The railway heritage of the Tua valley in Portugal is special and shouldn’t be discarded as a result of the closure to traffic of the 1m gauge line in 2008. In the 1960s and 70s, many British railway enthusiasts made special journeys to the railways of Northern Portugal to experience and photograph the unique combination of narrow gauge railways, wonderful steam locomotives and the most beautiful countryside. Even after the end of steam traction in Portugal, when the lines were converted to the somewhat less visually attractive diesel rail cars, enthusiasts continued to visit the area to ride the tracks and frequent specialist businesses that were established to facilitate their journeys. For example, originally beginning as an amateur group of railway enthusiasts called the Portuguese Traction Group, the company PTG Tours was established to provide British railway enthusiasts with specialist holidays at hard-to-reach railways around the globe. The success of this and other similar commercial ventures certainly suggests that there is an active worldwide community of railway enthusiasts who are more than prepared to make a journey of thousands of miles to connect with what they consider as the real railway experience of live steam in its original and proper contextual setting. The Tua valley, and in particular the junction at Foz-Tua, has a significant opportunity to develop a steam railway centre using authentic locomotives and rolling stock within the railway yard and the remaining line along the valley as far as the new hydroelectric dam. This would ensure that the live experience of Portugal’s 1m gauge steam railways is not lost to the people of Portugal and the world. Much of the material required to establish such a centre already exists and


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could easily be developed and enhanced to a condition that would attract visitors from around the world. It would be important to maintain the authenticity and atmosphere without necessarily over-restoring any of the locomotives, rolling stock or infrastructure, which in-turn should keep the investment costs reasonable. There is also considerable potential in linking the railway heritage tourism activities with those of the Port Wine industry, Douro river cruises and the new hydroelectric dam with its associated lake at Foz-Tua. There are further possibilities for the development of culinary and wine-tasting tourism as well as a range of complementary activities that will enhance the touristic offer of the region. The opening of the new highway from Porto to Bragança has dramatically cut travel times over to the north-eastern quarter of Portugal, and the availability of excellent and well-connected airport facilities at Porto have made the area much more accessible than previously. Rail enthusiasts and those seeking the romance of steam in a perfect and authentic setting will make the journey to experience the unique atmosphere of a resurrected railway at Foz-Tua. Figure 4 – 1931 Italian built 1m gauge coaches at Foz-Tua, 24 May 2014 • 239


New uses for old railways

REFERENCES A1 STEAM Locomotive Trust (2014) – 60163 Tornado New Steam for the Mainline. Available from: www.a1steam.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4 5&1temid=54. AMBERLEY Museum & Heritage Centre (2014) – Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre. Available from: www.amberleymuseum.co.uk. BLUEBELL Railway Preservation Society (2014) – Bluebell Railway Preservation Society. Available from: www.bluebell-railway.co.uk. DIDCOT Railway Centre (2014) – Didcot Railway Centre. Available from: www. didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk. 240 •

EAST Anglian Railway Museum (2014) – History of the East Anglian Railway Museum. Available from: www.earm.co.uk/historical/museum. JONES, R. (2013) –“Swanage Railway wins £1.7m grant to restore regular train service”. Heritage Railway. Available from: www.heritagerailway.co.uk/news/swanage-railwaywins-1-7m-grant-to-restore-regular-train-service. ROBINSON, John (2010) – Still Steaming: A Guide to Britain’s Standard Gauge Steam Railways 2010-2011. S. l.: Soccer Books Ltd. SWANAGE Railway Trust (2014) – The roots of the Swanage Railway. Available from: www.swanagerailwaytrust.org.uk/index.php/about-us. WATERCRESS Line (2016) – Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’. Available from: www. watercressline.co.uk. Accessed 5 May 2016 WRIGHT, Andrew P.M. (2014) – History of The Swanage Railway 1847 to 2014. Available from: www.swanagerailway.co.uk/userfiles/downloads/history_of_the_swanage_ railway_1847_to_2014_-_by_andrew_p_m_wright_-_for_press_&_media_-_14_ april_2014.pdf.


3.4. Draisine tourism in Germany: ideas for the Tua line? Stefan Brauckmann

INTRODUCTION Over the past few years, a renaissance of the railway has emerged in Germany and in other countries, especially in Europe. The volume of railway traffic is increasing in freight as well as in passenger traffic. Due to this fact, some main railway lines are close to their capacity limits. Unfortunately, many local railway lines have been abandoned since the 1960s312. If they had not been entirely abandoned, these local railway lines could have unburdened the main lines. Increasing costs for transportation and energy is a future challenge, which is an advantage for mass transport. This is why the right-of-way of the last remaining local railway lines, even if currently not in operation, should be conserved for later reactivation and the purpose of sustainable regional planning. Besides this economic consideration, preservation of the railways’ unique cultural landscape should be a basic objective313. Abandoned tracks or those facing danger of abandonment often have high value for the local history and identity. Railways are one of the most defining symbols of the industrial age, becoming more and more an economic factor because of tourist interests314. That is why regional planning should search for possibilities to preserve and open them physically as well as intellectually for the public. Among others, one possibility to preserve the options of reactivation and railway heritage is to establish a tourist attraction with manual-powered rail-vehi312 FREMDLING et al., 1995. 313 NAGEL, 1981. 314 SCHWARK, 2004. SOYEZ, 1986.

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cles. These vehicles, also known as draisines, have been used for track control in the past, but nowadays are specially constructed for tourist purposes315. In Europe in the 1990s, the first tracks with reliable service were opened and legal requirements were created, so other entrepreneurs successively followed. This kind of tourist attraction has a growing popularity. The market situation in Germany is described below, which might provide some details that could be modified to the conditions in Portugal. With this end in mind we can consider if a draisine track could be an option for parts of the Tua railway that are currently not in service.

LEGAL REGULATIONS AND OPTIONS FOR USE The German law defines three different statuses for a railway track: 242 •

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in service (Strecke im Netz), means that the track can be used immediately for railway traffic, so there must be proper functioning tracks and signals. Railway track rests (Stillgelegte Strecke), means that the track can be used for railway traffic only after a procedural act. Therefore, tracks or signals must not be actively functioning. According to new regulations the track can be removed and, for example, used as a temporary bicycle path. If the track is abandoned (Entwidmete / Freigestellte Strecke) the ground reverts to normal building land, defined in the Federal Building Code (Baugesetzbuch)316, no matter if there are still track installations or not. In this case, a reactivation is equivalent to the building of a new stretch of track. This leads to a complex planning procedure, which includes the environmental impact assessment as well as requirements of noise protection. Furthermore, level crossings are not permitted so every crossing way must be over or under bridged317.

Previously, the abandonment was accelerated by the owners of unused tracks for short-term economic reasons. Different studies have proven that only some parts of a track are suited for a profitable sale. Only 2% to 9% of a track can be used for residential or commercial reasons. In evidence, forms of land use without great economic usability are dominant.

315 In the following text the term draisine is used to define new models, which are specially constructed for tourist purposes. 316 Bundesministerium der Justiz, Baugesetzbuch, 2011. 317 SCHWEINSBERG, 2000.


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Table 1 – Land use of abandoned railway lines in different parts of Germany with less than 1 per cent track installations left

SchleswigHolsteine

District Lauenburga

District Demminb

Waste land

31.8%

28.6%

25.0%

30.1%

23.9%

Public footpaths

29.2%

22.4%

32.1%

16.6%

9.1%

Roads

20.5%

24.0%

27.6%

46.6%

25.7%

Agriculture and Forestry

9.9%

19.1%

10.4%

3.0%

32.2%

Residential and Commercial

6.4%

3.8%

5.0%

2.5%

8.8%

Other

2.2%

2.2%

See above

1.2%

0.3%

Land Use

Westphaliac Bavariad

a) Stefan Brauckmann, Eisenbahnkulturlandschaft, 2010, p. 193 b) Stefan Brauckmann, Eisenbahnkulturlandschaft, 2010,p. 193 c) Christian Hübschen, Aufgegebene Eisenbahntrassen, 1999, p. 22 d) Bernhard Marcinowski, Auswirkungen von Streckenstillegungen, 1983, p. 201 - 202 e) Frank N. Nagel, Entwicklung des Eisenbahnnetzes, 1981, p. 92

Even if the legal restrictions to rebuild an abandoned track were not so complex, it is nearly impossible to reactivate a railway when the whole line is not on the hand of one owner. The aim of sustainable regional planning must, therefore, be to preserve the right-of-way. Sustainable uses in this context are: -

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heritage railway: a heritage railway is only possible on tracks in service. So the expense for maintenance and staff are quite high, especially if volunteers are lacking. This kind of use as a general rule is only viable in tourist areas or in a mixed traffic with freight trains. Public foot or bicycle path: the track must not be abandoned for this kind of use. It can be defined as at rest even if the track installations are completely removed318. Thus, the intermediate-term reactivation is theoretically possible, but serious conflicts could arise if the public way is more accepted by the local residents and tourist than the railway. Renaturation: to high and dry a track is certainly the cheapest alternative after the line is not in service any longer. Nevertheless, a reactivation can be problematic, especially when the track has become a habitat for rare fauna and flora319.

318 FORUM BAHNFLÄCHEN NRW, 2006. 319 BRANDES, 2008.

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Another possibility for sustainable use is to run the track with draisines. This kind of use can be launched on all three legal regulation statuses. Since draisines are not as heavy and as fast as other rail vehicles, there are fewer expenses to maintain the tracks. As opposed to a public foot or bicycle path, the expenses for the conversion into a draisine track as well as the maintenance can be funded by lending fees. Therefore, draisines as sustainable land use should be highlighted below.

DRAISINES

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Already in the early period of railways, rail vehicles without engines, so called hand cars, were used for track control or internal traffic. The first handcars were pushed or pulled by workers. In the 1880s, more and more railway companies invented rail vehicles with hand operated levers or foot pedals that were faster with less strain. Motorisation spread in the 1920s and common motorcycles or motorcars were adapted to run on tracks320. All these rail vehicles are named draisines, after Karl Freiherr von Drais (1785-1851) the German inventor of the Laufmaschine (dandy-horse), which is the two-wheeled predecessor of the bicycle invented in 1818. The term draisine (French: draisienne; Swedish: dressin; Spanish: dresina) is common in Continental Europe. In the English speaking world, the term hand-car or speeder was also established. Draisines without the aid of an engine had been withdrawn from service on European railway companies since at least the 1960s. Some models survived in railway museums and were sometimes used for demonstration journeys on short distances. Enthusiasts developed their own draisines for racing. And in the 1990s, countries such as Finland, France, Poland and Sweden developed draisines for tourist purposes. Power, speed and special skills are not the focus of these models, but rather providing everyone the opportunity to take countryside trips on rails321. Like other countries in Germany, touristic draisines were first used only for special events on different abandoned or resting tracks. In 1996, one company started with a reliable and seasonal service on a line near Berlin. Two years later, another line near Hamburg was opened. Today there are more than 30 locations in Germany receiving approximately 250,000 visitors each year, with passenger totals trending upward. This underlines the economic dimension especially for rural counties. A study from the University of Kaiserslautern showed that a draisine track had beneficial effects to local gastronomy, to businesses providing accommodation and even to public transport322. 320 The prototype of a motorised draisine was shown on Salon de l’Automobile 1906 in Paris. See RÖLL, 1912: 400. 321 For different types see BAUER, 2005. 322 BINGESER et al., 2002.


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Yet the first two companies in Germany allowed the study of two different touristic models, which were thereby adapted by all following draisine rentals. There are more and less exhaustive operating models calculating the costs for personnel and supporting programme for the tourist. As a rough guide the complexity depends on the type of draisines offered. Most prevalent, like in other countries, are rail bikes. But there are some companies with hand operated lever draisines. Rail bikes for tourist purposes have a maximum speed of 8-12 km/h and weigh about 50 kg323. Normally two passengers are pedalling with space for up to two more passengers. But there are some special models with more pedalling seats and space for up to ten passengers. A rail bike from the German market leader Play Team costs about 4,000€ for the standard version and 7,300€ for the bigger version. Rail bikes are suited for companies with a small operational model as well as for tracks with routes longer than 20 km. The movement and strain of driving a rail bike is like bicycling, allowing tourists to drive unaided after a short instruction. Customers have been observed turning rail bikes by themselves to change their route and average speed. The main target audience for rail bikes are smaller groups, like families or older people. This audience expects an especially relaxed trip to the countryside with varied landscape experiences. Figure 1 – Railbike model (Naturparkdraisine Dargun)

One example for a company running only rail bikes is the Naturparkdraisine Dargun in Northeast Germany (160 km north of Berlin or 200 km east of Hamburg). The Naturparkdraisine was established in summer 2002 on a standard gauge branch line abandoned five years earlier, and is managed and operated by 323 Rail bikes for competition are much faster (at least 25-30 km/h) and lighter. Because of safety reasons these models are not permitted for professional rentals.

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Hausverwaltung Warnow GmbH. The track is about 17 km long and is located in a region called Mecklenburg Switzerland, which holds interests for tourists because of its varied natural park landscape. Unfortunately, a connection to the public rail transport is not possible due to the partial demolition of 7 km of track to Malchin. The office and workshop for the 30 self-constructed rail bikes is located in a historic freight shed in Dargun. During the operating season between April and October, the vehicles for two drivers and two passengers can be rented between 9 and 11 a.m. for a fee of 40€ per day and vehicle. Customers can decide for themselves where and how long they want to drive, but they must return between 2 and 6 p.m. When two draisines face each other on the single track, there are special right-of-way regulations. Some customers, for example, turn back after they reached the historic railway station Neukalen at km 11. There is a private railway museum with catering in old railway wagons. Those who are driving on to Salem can use other extracurricular activities like swimming or sailing on the Lake of Kummerow. Because the Naturparkdraisine deals exclusively with draisines, it does not manage these additional operations, which illustrates a very simple operating model similar in scope to non-profit associations. Two seasonal workers are enough to manage the renting agency as well as the maintenance of track and vehicles. Nevertheless, with about 5,000 customers, workers can expected a salary of at least 80,000€ each year. Hand lever draisines are completely different than rail bikes. With a weight of up to 750 kg they are obviously heavier. This causes more strain for movement, but also more railway feeling. While passengers driving a rail bike can sit side-byside facing the front, those who drive hand lever draisines must face each other while turning the hand lever. The vehicle’s movement must be coordinated in strict time by pulling and pushing the hand lever in the middle. Despite the vehicle weight, two people can speed up a hand lever draisine to 8 or even 15 km/h and transport four (small hand lever draisine) to eight (large hand lever draisine) passengers in the tourist version. Models for competitions are up to 30 km/h fast, but not permitted for touristic purposes. A small hand lever draisine from the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg costs about 6,500€, the larger one 9,980€. Hand lever draisines are suited for companies with an exhaustive operational model. For an economic and safe operation, groups of at least three adults are needed. When booking a trip with hand lever draisines, most customers expect the sportive character of driving and team building processes. The driving expectations normally are no more than one or two hours at a maximum of 20 km. To prevent head-on collisions on singletrack lines, defined turning points and supervised travel timetables are required. Therefore, staff is needed on starting and turning points. To optimise these fixed operating expenses, companies are eager to offer more services like entertain-


Stefan Brauckmann

ment programs, catering or accommodation in old railway wagons. Operators that mainly run hand lever draisines are specialised for the needs of bigger groups, even when the members are not very familiar with each other, like birthday or stag parties as well as work outings and similar events. Figure 2 – Big hand lever draisine (model Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg)

The market leader in constructing and operating hand lever draisines is Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg GmbH, a limited liability company located 50 km east of Hamburg. It is also the second company in Germany that started a reliable service, and the first one operating with hand lever draisines. The models are inspired by historic ones with some important technical, particularly safety-related, modifications. Since 2003, five years after the first season, the Erlebnisbahn is also the rail infrastructure company of the 13.2 km long track between the town of Ratzeburg and the village Hollenbek. This part of the track, nowadays used for the draisines, is split into two zones. The first zone between Ratzeburg and the village Schmilau (5 km) is only frequented by the 16 small hand lever draisines. A single journey takes 40 minutes and together costs 8.50€ per adult with a minimum of three passengers to each vehicle. In turn, the 15 big hand lever draisines operate exclusively on the track between Schmilau and Hollenbek. The route is 16 km long overall, so the journey takes 2,5 hours including a minimum 30-minute pause at the turning point in Hollenbek. For a minimum of ten passengers, the trip costs 16€ per adult, and on weekends 3€ more. There are also three Exertal type rail bikes for unscheduled visitors324. They costs 9.50€ per adult for a minimum of two passengers. In contrast to the rail bikes in Dargun and many others in Germany, the Exertal type has rubber wheels, which eases the transmission and increases the running smoothness. 324 BAUER, 2005.

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Erlebnisbahn’s main office is located in the historic freight station of Schmilau, a village of about 600 inhabitants. The workshop, the office, the kitchen with restaurant as well as accommodations for the staff and manager are located in different wagons. Moreover, special wagons like a historic sleeping car or conference wagon are available for rent, including old railway maintenance wagons converted into vacation apartments. In Ratzeburg, a town of about 14,000 inhabitants, the historic station building houses a draisine rental agency, a bistro and other accommodations for the seasonal workers, in addition to a historic package freight wagon that was converted into a bicycle-shed. Because Ratzeburg is connected with the railway to Hamburg and Lubeck, as well as an intern station of the Hamburg Transport Association (HVV), a great number of customers come by train. Travellers can start in Ratzeburg and combine various round-trip tours during the April to December season. For example, the so called Drei-Muskel-Tour (Three-Muscle-Tour) includes a clockwise or counter clockwise ride to the Lake of Ratzeburg by bike, a dragon boat race over the lake, and then a ride on a 6-team-bike325 to Schmilau, ending with a draisine trip back to Ratzeburg. This very popular tour takes four hours and costs 25.50€ per adult, with a surcharge of 3€ for weekends. Additional costs are for the frequently asked barbecue catering at the end of the tour. In the winter months, there are special offers for Christmas staff parties that include an entertainment programme. Opening times are strictly based on a fixed timetable because the single tracks can only be used in one direction at the stated times. The small hand lever draisines operate, for example, five times a day (9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.) from both stations. Big hand lever draisines start two times a day from Schmilau at 10 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. The Erlebnisbahn is a full service provider, where the draisine trip is only a part of the offerings. Gastronomy, accommodation, entertainment and the vehicle hire of bicycle, special bicycles and boats are offered. As a result, 12 regular jobs were created supported by 23 seasonal workers. 50,000 customers a year generate a valued expected sales of at least 1,000,000€ each year. With that said, the Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg is one of the high-selling private tourist attractions in the periphery of Hamburg. In Germany, operators fall under different types of enterprises. There are private enterprises, non-profit associations and public institutions offering draisines as tourist providers. While non-profit associations always have a small operational model, quite a few private enterprises have an exhaustive service. Operators established by local authorities are trying to connect different tourist operators with the draisine trip as only one part of the offer, whilst exhaustive private enterprises are concerned with offering all parts of the trip on their own. The map below outlines the distribution of German draisine tracks. It is ap325 The 6-team-bike is also constructed by Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg. Up to six passengers are sitting in a circle pedalling.


Stefan Brauckmann

parent that especially in the Northern part of Germany there are few enterprises, whilst in the Southern part there is no operation. Private companies operate particularly around the big cities of Berlin and Hamburg. In Western Germany, some local governments have established their own enterprises often co-founded by the European Council (LEADER-program). Figure 3 – Map of tourist draisine operators in Germany

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CONCLUSION To conserve the possibility of reactivation as well as the historical value of an abandoned railway, establishing a tourist attraction with draisines provides a good opportunity to accomplish these goals. The examples show that a draisine track can be an economic factor in rural areas, creating new jobs. Of course, draisines are not a solution for all tracks that are temporarily or completely out of service. Nevertheless, it is one of further re-use possibilities and an option for sustainable regional planning. The basis for a successful operation is an adapted tourist business plan. You either choose the more exhaustive operation with hand lever draisines or choose more simple rail-bikes. Additional attractions like sleeping in a rail wagon or dining in an old station building can be also implemented. In general, the unique history of the railway line should be themed without being overly didactic. For this purpose, a simple approach like


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increasing the visibility of milestones and signals can be a positive effect for customer satisfaction. Due to the diverse cultural and natural landscape of the Tua valley as well as the interesting engineered structures of the historic Tua railway line the implementation of a draisine track should be further studied.

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Stefan Brauckmann

REFERENCES BAUER, Daniela (2005) – Neues Leben auf alten Gleisen. Draisinenbahnen als Teil des touristischen Angebots in Deutschland. Hanover: Leibniz University. BINGESER, Julia et al. (2002) – Projektdokumentation Fahrraddraisine im Glantal. Kaiserslautern: Technical University Kaiserslautern. BRANDES, Dietmar (2008) – Bibliographie zur Eisenbahnvegetation. Brunswick: Technical University. BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2010) – Eisenbahnkulturlandschaft. Erlebbarkeit und Potentiale. Stuttgart: Steiner. BRAUCKMANN, Stefan (2011) – “Von “lost places” zu Besuchermagneten. Eisenbahnkulturlandschaft in den Landkreisen Demmin und Herzogtum Lauenburg”. In Beitrage für Wissenschaft und Kultur. Wentorf b. Hamburg: Freie Lauenburgische Akademie, vol. 10, p. 200-225. FORUM BAHNFLACHEN NRW (2006) – Baurecht auf Bahnflachen. Bedingte Nutzungen und Freistellungen. Anwendungsmöglichkeiten des §9 (2) BauGB in der Planungspraxis. Rheinbach: self-published. FREMDLING, Rainer, ed. (1995) – Statistik der Eisenbahn in Deutschland 1835-1989. St. Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturea. HUBSCHEN, Christian (1999) – Aufgegebene Eisenbahntrassen in Westfalen. Heutige Nutzung und Möglichkeiten neuer Inwertsetzung. Münster: Geographische Kommission für Westfalen. NAGEL, Frank N. (1981) – Die Entwicklung des Eisenbahnnetzes in Schleswig-Holstein und Hamburg unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der stillgelegten Strecken. Wiesbaden: Steiner. MARCINOWSKI, Bernhard (1983) – Auswirkungen von Streckenstillegungen dargestellt am Beispiel der Nebenbahnen in Bayern. Nuremberg: Friedrich-Alexander University. ROLL, Victor von, ed. (1912) – Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens. Berlin/Vienna: Urban & Schwarzberg, vol. 3. SCHWARK, Jirgen, ed. (2004) – Tourismus und Industriekultur. Vermarktung von Technik und Arbeit: Berlin: Schmidt.

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SCHWEINSBERG, Ralf (2000) – Eisenbahnkreuzungsgesetz: Kommentar zum Gesetz iber Kreuzungen von Eisenbahnen und Straßen und zur 1. Verordnung über die Kosten von Maßnahmen nach dem Eisenbahnkreuzungsgesetz. Cologne: Heymann. SOYEZ, Dietrich (1986) – “Industrietourismus” In Erdkunde. Bonn: s. n., vol. 40, p. 105111.

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3.5. An example of renovation: adaptation of an old railway mountain line – the Chemin De Fer de l’Ardèche (South-Eastern France) Michel Cotte

INTRODUCTION This paper pursues and deepens one of the two historical case studies presented at the 2011 Foz-Tua Conference, the old Chemin de fer du Vivarais (CFV) in Ardèche, currently called Chemin de fer de l’Ardèche. This line is what remains of a mountain narrow gauge (1 m) railway, presently under important reshaping326. We have in mind the failure of the Chemins de Fer Départementaux Company (CFD) management at the end of the 1960s, and the rapid and strong volunteer initiative to save a part of that line for tours using steam engine traction and diesel railcars. This revival under the commercial name CFV was remarkable for around 40 years, making a generational transition from Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer (SNCF) steam engine professionals to young technicians for rail management. A Golden Age of volunteer line management was probably reached during that time. However, structural and contextual questions increased simultaneously during the last years of the twentieth century, dealing with track ownership and maintenance, steam engine renovation, number of employers, cost of management, etc. This led to a more difficult global context over the years and the eventual failure of CFV’s commercial activities in 2008, which also left a complex situation between remaining stakeholders and public authorities. I will first summarise the historical facts that lead to reshaping the remaining line and touristic proposal, then describe the present situation in managerial and 326 COTTE, 2011.

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financial terms, and finally offer a perspective for a successful reopening of the line management. These projects can be called the third age of this mountain railway kindly named by local people Mastrou but with a different commercial name: Chemin de Fer de l’Ardèche.

THE CFD RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION AND ITS DEVELOPMENT (1883-1968)

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CFD’s purpose was to create modern communications between the eastern ridges and plateaus of Massif Central Mountains to the Rhone Valley. The line climbs from around 100-125 m high along the river (La Voulte and Tournon) to the pass of Saint-Agrève at around 1000 m high. It has two branches coming from the Rhone valley, which follows the river Eyrieux and river Doux making a junction at Le Cheylard station. The third branch makes the final climb to the ridge reaching the plateau terminal station at Dunieres. This metric narrow gauge network, around 160 km in length, had a Y shape and three terminal interconnections with classical railway networks of the Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM), and later SNCF. The first and second travelled along the West Rhone valley line from Lyon to Nimes, and the third along the Massif Central network to Le Puy and Saint-Etienne. This sloppy countryside was dug by valleys and gorges mainly going down from West to East, and offering some narrow basins and many plateaus for human settlement and development of agriculture. Valleys and basins were also favourable for nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial development based on water energy, e.g., silk wire industry, sawmills, leather, paper fabrics, etc. Narrow gauge railways appeared at the beginning of the French Third Republic in the 1870s as a promising third network of local interest for opening up mountainous regions, and developing agriculture and cottage industries in the distant countryside from the main economic regions. The CFD railway ensemble was built in two phases, at the end of nineteenth and during the early part of the twentieth centuries. It initially used Mallet steam engines powering regular mix trains (passengers and freight) later completed by some little diesel railcars for passengers. The rolling-stock heritage is presently one of the most important and significant in France for mountain railroads at narrow gauge.


Michel Cotte

Figure 1 – The Y-shaped railway lines of the Ardèche CFD (1883-1903), from the Rhone valley to the Massif Central Plateau. The right circle indicates the 1891 opening; the left one the inauguration of 1903.

The CFD was successful in reaching its initial transportation goals until World War I. It relied upon numerous and regular mix trains powered by the famous 030-030 Mallet steam engines for narrow gauge mountain railroads. A peak of 16,000 trains a year was reached in 1913. The war disrupted the flow of passengers and goods, but when the conflict was over there was a limited revival of the transportation services. The economic crisis of the 1930s affected the region less than others, due to its rural base and peripheral role for industry. Adoption of diesel small railcars offered an adapted solution for this period. The post-World War II revival was short, with some exceptions like wood freight to the Rhone valley. Development of road transportation offered a new transportation deal for the mountain inhabitants, which became a strong competitor to the railway. These new automotive tools were well adapted to diversified family farming, small-scale agro-industry and transformation industry. The CFD was not involved in the 1937 nationalization and subsequent creation of the SNCF, like almost all the independent metric gauge railway companies. It remained a small and isolated company with limited supports and narrow financial possibilities. Decline was rapid and the line closed in 1968 without any manifestation against it by local inhabitants327.

A SECOND LIFE BY TOURISM (1968-2008) A complex deal and deep reorganisation followed the CFD failure, saving two limited sections of the line only devoted to tourism by partially reusing the roll327 BEJUI, et al., 2008.

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ing-stock328. The first line was from Tournon to Lamastre (33 km), involving remarkable landscapes of the Doux river gorge. It was renamed as Chemin de fer du Vivarais. The second touristic line was the plateau section from Saint-Agrève to Dunières (similar length), known as Voie ferrée du Velay (VFV). All the central and southern parts of the former Y network with Le Cheylard Junction station (90 km) were abandoned329. Figure 2 – The two sections that were preserved for tourism after the 1968 failure

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Closer from the Rhone valley, the Doux section (CFV) had a significant and regular touristic development relying on many volunteers, who were recently retired from SNCF as the last generation of steam engine drivers and technicians! Travellers steadily increased during the railway season, from April to October, offering one of the most authentic steam engine railway experiences through a wonderful natural environment. Notoriety of the CFV line increased in SouthEastern France, but also at the national and international level. Passengers numbered around 50,000 a year from the 1980s to the end of century, rising to 60,000 during the early 2000s. Commercial business increased with salaried employees replacing steam engine amateurs from the first generation. On the Plateau, the situation was not so favourable, with a reduced touristic traffic and more limited means. So, this section of the rail stopped its activities in the mid-1980s and restarted some touristic trains only in 2002. At the turn of the millennium, CFV appeared as a flourishing little associative company devoted to steam engine traction for touristic trains. It was able to buy the line ownership at the end of the initial public concession (1985). Its associative partner for rolling stock named Sauvegarde et Gestion des Vehicules Anciens (SGVA) was one of the largest French private owners for narrow gauge steam engines, coaches and wagons. Indeed, the situation remained fragile, undermined by ineluctable trends. The replacement of older volunteers by younger employees, the urgent need for structural maintenance on tracks in use for more than a 328 COTTE, 2011. 329 ARRIVETZ & BEJUI, 1986.


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century, and the overuse of steam engines requiring restoration, all contributed to a stressful transition. To achieve that, SNCF asked to increase fees for using the little common section between Tournon station and entrance of the Doux Valley. Figure 3 – The CFV touristic line from Tournon to Lamastre (1970s-2000s)

The first important change happened in 2003 to face a delicate financial situation and solve urgent technical problems. The line ownership and management was reorganized under a new holding company named SEM. It involved a new public stakeholder: the Department of Ardèche, bearing some funds for line maintenance. Despite this additional support, financial problems increased dramatically in the mid-2000s. A crisis period opened and SEM failed in 2008. All the trains’ movements stopped for the first time. Far from the social attitude of the 1968 failure, inhabitants and local councils were deeply concerned by this possible end of the Mastrou line. The line’s closure had an immediate impact upon the tourism in the Doux valley and its countryside. Summer activity of the little city of Lamastre as terminal station was especially concerning. It was also a significant symbolic loss. For around 40 years, CFV and steam engine trains were iconic of the high regional interest in the Doux valley and its authentic heritage from the steam engine railroad age. The closure created strong feelings for those who closely identified with the railroad. Figure 4 – An emblematic Mallet steam engine on Lamastre station’s turntable. © Michel Cotte, 2006

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RETHINKING AND REFURBISHING THE LINE STRUCTURE AND ITS MANAGEMENT (AFTER 2008)

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One of the major results from the CFV failure and local social atmosphere was a strong involvement of local councils and authorities. A deep assessment of the situation was focused on in different ways: structure of the line, terminal stations’ question, tracks and rolling stock maintenance, management system and tourism offer. Two main issues appeared clearly for the more advised local and regional actors: (i) the need for a diversified group of public stakeholders with clear intervention fields and bearing financial guarantees; (ii) a completely new approach for managing the line and its touristic uses in a more professional manner than past associative and volunteer ways. It clearly opened a new period for refurbishing the line and rethinking its management. In other words, local authorities shaped a new economic and technical model, which implied some important and quick decisions to avoid a natural and irreversible collapse of the main line technical attributes. The first public agreement happened for the ownership of the line property. Coming from the initial public involvement into the former SEM, the line tracks were confirmed as departmental property after some juridical episodes. Terminal stations are generally municipal properties managed by local officials (Communities of Communes: CC Tournonais and CC Pays de Lamastre). The situation for the ownership of the rolling stock was a bit more complex between the new private management company and the old volunteers’ association SGVA, still active and surviving to the 2008 collapse. Figure 5 – The old CFV touristic line (left) and the new project (right)

After sharing structure and tasks, the first collective decision by all the public authorities was to abandon the Rhone valley section to stop fees and managerial conflict with SNCF for the joint line section. It was a very sensitive issue in traffic terms because SNCF had important freight projects along Rhone valley, and in civil engineering terms with the long Tournon tunnel and the Doux river bridge recently rebuilt by SNCF. Of course that posed the question of the lower terminal station with the loss of both the historical junction station of Tournon and the associated


Michel Cotte

rolling stock depot. On the other hand, the Saint-Jean-de-Muzol station, the first one out of the SNCF domain, was too small and without any possibility of extension. The maintenance costs of the Mastrou line were one of the major causes of the 2008 failure. We do well to remember that almost nothing was done for a very long time. Former CFD had faced difficulties since World War II and had other priorities, doing only minimal maintenance in the track. Important investments were required for reshaping the line structure for ballast, sleepers and part of the rails. As the owner of the line, the Department of Ardèche expanded a large program of around 4,000,000 € with strong financial support from the region, as structural funds for economic local development. Works began at the beginning of the 2010s and were concluded in 2013. Figure 6 – Change of sleepers near Lamastre. © Michel Cotte, 2012

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As the landowner’s and terminal station’s responsibility, the two Communities of Communes (CC Tournonais and CC Pays de Lamastre) quickly started important projects for improving the line. Catching a nice opportunity in 2007, CCT bought a limited amount of large land both from the line and from the road at the exact entrance of the Doux river gorge in the immediate surroundings of Grand Pont, which included a magnificent medieval arch bridge having by itself high heritage value. It was an ideal place for the new terminal station, close from the Rhone valley and from the main city of Tournon. The new active line, due to the place of the new Pont du Doux terminal station330 project, will be reduced around 28 km. Figure 7 – Restoration of the old wooden warehouse at Lamastre. © Michel Cotte, 2012

330 It is a provisory name even if it seems very logic in settlement terms.


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At Lamastre, the project first aims to refurbish the old station and second to create a new shed depot for regular maintenance and technical repairs of the rolling stock in place of the ancient depot of Tournon station. The project also involved administrative offices for the CCPL itself. Indeed, the technical maintenance is a delicate task because the know-how for reshaping the steam engines and especially for repairing boilers at normal cost is lost in France, and contracts may be done with Polish specialists to build capacity at Lamastre depot. The financial cost for the Lamastre project was around 750,000₏ shared by CCPL and Rhone-Alpes Region. It was a French classical manner to support financial investment first by local effort through the municipal investment budget based upon long-term loans and second by funds of the Region for helping infrastructures and economic development. Use of the Lamastre station and depot was done by a long-term rental contract between CCPL as owner and the new management company in constitution. Figure 8 – The new depot at Lamastre terminal station

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Works for the new terminal station at Pont du Doux were launched latter in the summer of 2012. The new site will house the passenger station, a technical annex for normal steam engine and train maintenance, a hall for the reception of tourists with interpretation centre and exhibitions, a fast food restaurant, a bar, and parking for around 300 cars, buses and camping cars. It is also a little park for an exhibition of historical steam engines. The station and complementary buildings take the same sober 1900s architectural style (like the Lamastre depot shed), giving homogeneity to all the line buildings, as it was in pioneer times. It was a completely different economic and financial model approach than Lamastre. It relies upon important private investments, long rental time and global contract with the CCT landowner. Structures and buildings must be built


Michel Cotte

from scratch, and the initial estimate reached around 3,350,000€. The main funds (around 3,000,000€) come from a private investment bank: AUXIFIP (Crédit Agricole group), one of the major banks in France and in Europe331. The global long-term contract involves a society in charge of the structural works, building construction and future maintenance of the site: ADIM from Vinci Group, another large company at European scale. For annual financial costs, two issues will do the balance in the future: (i) capital refund and financial charges must be paid by the CCT to the bank; (ii) renting out the infrastructure by the CCT as owner to the private user company: the SNCFV332. Renting charges for the user company will rely upon the annual touristic use of the line. If touristic goals at Pont du Doux station could be reached, it seems a reasonable deal. If the goals are not, or only partially, reached, it could be a bit delicate for the local councils. Figure 9 – 3D view of the Pont du Doux new terminal station

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Table 1 Project

Total amount

Financial supports

planning

Warehouse and depot of Lamastre

750 000 €

CC Lamastre : 440 000 € Region : 310 000 €

Operational from early 2012

Infrastructure repairs and maintenance

4 000 000 €

Department Ardèche (owner) : 2 500 000 € Region : 1 500 000 €

Ongoing (autumn 2012)

Terminal station of Pont du Doux

3 350 000 €

AUXIFIP : > 3 000 000 € Region : 145 000 €

Workplace is launched End of works for summer 2013

TOTAL

> 8M€

331 Information from the CCT by courtesy of MM. F. Sausset, president, and Charles, general secretary. 332 Check further details about this company below.


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TOWARD A THIRD LIFE BY NEW TOURISTIC OFFERS AND PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT

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The group of public stakeholders organized a bid during 2011, with specific requirements for a global and unique company for management of the line. The company will be in charge of touristic activities, management of stations and maintenance of rolling stock. Terms of reference were oriented for a professional approach of each management issue, both for tourism and technique. Different proposals were submitted and the bid winner was the SNCFV. SNCFV is a joint venture between two existing societies already specialised in the fields of tourism and transportation management. The first is Kleber-Rossillon, a well-known society at the national level for management of leisure parks and cultural sites. It has other important projects in the region, such as the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc interpretation centre, an exceptional prehistoric cave art site in the southern part of Ardèche Department now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The second is Courriers Rhodaniens an important regional network of bus transportation. It is also a well-known tour operator in South-Eastern France, able to promote the Mastrou Line, now renamed Chemin de fer de l’Ardèche among the most important touristic destinations of the region, for short weekend tours or daily trips for groups or individuals coming from the main regional cities. Car park facilities also will attract individual and family rail tourism during weekends and summer holidays. Figure 10 – The departure of railbikes at Boucieu-le-Roi station. © Michel Cotte, 2012

After some rail-bike trainings and touristic promotion in 2011, the first reopening of summer 2012 was devoted to a limited section of around 12 km for rail-bikes, from Boucieu-le-Roi to Troye, through the central part of the Doux river gorge. The incline of the tracks is perfect for going-down at correct speeds without too strong of an effort or any danger. The succession of gorge landscapes presents a unique experience for visitors with a direct contact to a wild natural country out of any road or other modern activity. The initial summer opening


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gathered around 30,000 customers, which promises success for the future. It also is an experiment for a new approach of the railroad offered for limited sections and short-run activities allowing other leisure and discovery throughout the day. Going down by individual rail-bikes and coming back by forming a rail-bikes train pushed by diesel-car takes around two hours. In the same spirit a range of future offers is in preparation. The lower terminal station opened in 2013. A limited tour is planned for the emblematic steam engine traction from Pont du Doux to Colombier Station, for around 10 km. It will also offer possibilities for diesel-car short tours in the gorge. Another program started on 2014 for a full section steam engine train to reach Lamastre for a limited number of trains; the same thing happened with a second rail-bikes tour project from Lamastre to Boucieu. The purpose is to propose different possibilities of tours on the line, starting from different stations, at regular hours all throughout the touristic season from April to October, and even during the lower season. Figure 11 – A new touristic programme with diversified tours starting from different stations • 263

Global touristic goals are well stated by the SNCFV program for the next several years, with some different opening dates. The new diversified offer may allow to quickly overcome the maximum attendance rate of the former management system (60,000) based upon only one long day tour. To achieve that goal, rail-bike tours were proposed, and special (and lighter) passenger cars with open roofs (that replaced the historical vehicles) were constructed by SNCFV to better enjoy the very scenic landscapes. The goal is to reach 120,000 customers a year in 2015 or 2016, mainly for short tours of around two hours. Hopefully the program will allow not only a balanced management but also notable benefits for all the stakeholders. We briefly examine the advantages and perhaps some difficulties in reaching this goal. The first advantage is obviously the gathering and coordination of public efforts for reshaping the line, station and depot shed, and to offer a clear


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management contract to a credible professional society of touristic activities. We also have to underline the efforts to link the new Chemin de fer de l’Ardèche to other regional touristic possibilities and holiday trends. There are the Rhone boat cruises which have an important stopping place at the Tournon port, with local visitor programs and regional discovery tours. Integration into the regional bus tours is also an advantage guaranteed by the SNCFV. Other advantages in a global touristic approach are the importance of bike tourism and sport in the Northern part of Ardèche, by the internationally well-known cyclist event of the Ardèchoise, making the region a kind of paradise for bike tourism and sport. Complementary values are made by ecological and environmental issues of the region, especially along the wild Doux river gorge and recognized for the surroundings and hinterland of Lamastre by the regional park of Monts d’Ardèche. To complete such a range of regional attractions, the historical city of Tournon had a significant cultural heritage from medieval and renaissance times and is a regional pole of cultural activities with its castle-museum, art exhibitions, summer festivals, and urban heritage. Tournon and its sister town Tain l’Hermitage, on the other side of the Rhone river are also top places for wine production (Hermitage, Saint-Joseph), fine cuisine (Valrhona international chocolate school and exhibition) with a significant set of fine restaurants at different prices. To conclude, the line is obviously settled among a large series of diversified tourism possibilities and it seems that the Rhone valley region had overcome the critical point of notoriety to gather regular and important touristic frequentation.

CONCLUSION: FORCES AND POSSIBLE LIMITS TO THE GLOBAL PROJECT The line itself relies presently upon a series of substantial advantages: a strong commitment of local and regional authorities, a professional approach to tourism development with real chances of economic success, an exceptional historical rolling stock, a marvellous wild and natural environment along the Doux river gorge, a global project for reshaping the line and stations involving a new depot and maintenance facilities, and an entrance terminal station at Pont du Doux as a very complete tourism hub. The first years of operation were very successful. Almost all of the goals were accomplished, and some of them even surpassed the most optimistic expectations. The next years are therefore very promising. Nevertheless, we can point out some limitations to this series of advantages. The counterparts of such a deep reorganisation are a reduction of the manage-


Michel Cotte

ment line length. Furthermore, the new station is not easily accessible by car and it was built rather far away from the city of Tournon (a distance of 5 km in poor and narrow roads), which limits the impact on the tourism of the city. The management of the line must be improved and supported for the management system itself and for the use of the line today. For instance, the links between the private interests of SNCFV, as a unique user of the line, with the remaining non-profit association SGVA, could raise some frictions or conflicts of interest in the future, and that must be managed carefully. The downside of this project is, in our opinion, a superficial approach on the railway heritage, as the new rail cars do not cope with the heritage authenticity of the train experience. A real policy for conservation of the railway heritage must be defined and implemented; that could be a future question given the national historical value of the Mastrou’s collection. In another sense, the perspectives for a museum and interpretation centre at Pont du Doux station must be confirmed at a good scientific level to be credible in railway historical terms. It is also a challenge to remain at a reference place for the history and heritage of mountain railways in Europe after an inactive period and deep managerial reorganization, involving the introduction of modern touristic rolling stock. Always in a global management perspective, the main public stakeholders (Community of communes, Department and Region) have remained independent until now without any permanent and organized cooperation between them. Agreements are made case by case, and conflict could appear without any transversal authority. That could be a weakness for the definition and implementation of a coordinated policy in the future or for resolving new questions. In other words, there is no steering group gathering all stakeholders and no global monitoring for the line and its uses. For the everyday management aspects, fragmentation and the possible overlapping of line uses could quickly pose important questions and bear some potential conflicts for activities, e. g., rail-bikes consuming large time periods of the line versus steam engine trains or diesel car tours. Whether excessive waiting times are required for merging different type of users, the basic efficiency of short tours could be compromised. It is a question of railroad traffic management well known for every busy line. But here we are talking about a touristic context! Another aspect for the global strategy is the situation of Lamastre as the upper terminal station. That does not seem well clarified at this time and looks like a second rank station for tourism. It is mainly devoted presently to depot and technical functions more than leisure and tourism. There is only a limited planed program for tourism development, and the lower valley with the Doux river gorge seems to have priority for SNCFV, a part probably more profitable in the short

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term. That could raise some difficulties between the lower and upper valley, and between citizens and the private company. Such remarks have not hampered the favourable global prognosis for the Chemin de fer de l’Ardèche’s success in the coming years. It seems to be a real opportunity built with well-founded hopes, but our remarks point out some limits or questions needing survey and attention. The future of a third life for the Mastrou Line looks like a nice perspective, but it must be managed carefully and that needs some improvements, coordination and guarantees.

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REFERENCES ARRIVETZ, Jean; BEJUI, Pascal (1986) – Les Chemins de fer du Vivarais. Grenoble: Presses et Editions Ferroviaires. BEJUI, Pascal; ETIEVANT, Christophe; PIOTTI, Vincent (2008) – Le reseau du Vivarais au temps des CFD. S. l.: La Regordane; La Roche Blanche. COTTE, Michel (2011) – “Two case studies in Heritage and Valorisation of Ancient Mountain Railways in France”. In McCANTS Anne; BEIRA, Eduardo; CORDEIRO, José Manuel Lopes; LOURENCO, Paulo B. (2011) – Railroads in Historical Context: construction, costs and consequences. Porto: EDP; MIT Portugal Program; University of Minho, p. 399-425. • 267


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES


EDITORS

ANNE MCCANTS is a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at MIT with research and teaching interests in the economic and social history of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe, as well as in the application of social science research methods across the disciplines. Anne’s research projects span multiple centuries of European economic development but are all grounded in a common concern to better understand the standard of living in the past and those features of the economy that contribute to social welfare. At MIT Anne serves as the Director of the Concourse Program, a Freshmen Learning Community dedicated to exploring fundamental questions that lie at the intersection of science, social science, and humanistic inquiry; as the Chair of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program; as the Faculty Representative to the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program; and as housemaster of Burton Conner with her husband Bill McCants. She also serves as the Editor for Social Science History, and is currently the Vice-President (to be followed by appointment to President) of the International Economic History Association.

EDUARDO BEIRA, coordinator of the FOZTUA project (EDP; University of Minho; MIT Portugal) about the history of the Tua valley and railway. Chemical engineer (1974). Associated Professor of the Engineering School of the University of Minho (2001-2012). Faculty of the MIT Portugal Program. Now Senior Research Fellow at the IN+ Center for Innovation, Technology and Public Policy (Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa). Author of several books and papers and translator of the works of philosopher Michael Polanyi.

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JOSÉ MANUEL LOPES CORDEIRO PhD in Contemporaneous History, professor in Department of History of University of Minho. Scientific director of the River Ave Valley Textile Industry Museum (Famalicão, Portugal). National representative of TICCIH – The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage, consulting body for UNESCO/ICOMOS for industrial heritage and president of APPI (Portuguese Association for Industrial Heritage), the national association for industrial heritage. Published several books and multiple papers about industrial archaeology as well as economic history and contemporaneous politics. Researcher in CICS (Research Centre for the Social Sciences). Member of the History doctoral commission (University of Minho).

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PAULO B. LOURENÇO, BA in Civil Engineering (College of Engineering of Universidade do Porto), Ph.D. since 1996 (Technical University of Delft, Netherlands), Full Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering of Universidade do Minho (Guimarães, Portugal), and codirector of the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (www.isise. net). He is experienced in the fields of non-destructing testing, advanced experimental and numerical techniques, innovative strengthening techniques and earthquake engineering. He is a specialist in the preservation of antique buildings. He has worked as a consultant in more than 100 monuments in over a dozen countries. He is the editor of the International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis and Restoration, and Coordinator of the European Erasmus Mundus Master Course on Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions (www.msc-sahc.org).

HUGO SILVEIRA PEREIRA is a post-doctoral researcher at CIUHCT – Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa), and at the Institute of Railway Studies (University of York). He concluded his PhD in 2012 with a dissertation about the Portuguese national railway policy in the second half of the nineteenth century. He also participated in a research project, coordinated by the University of Minho and the MIT, and funded by the Portuguese electrical company Energias de Portugal (EDP), about a narrow gauge railway in Portugal (the Tua line). He presented and published several papers about Portugal’s railway and business history. His current academic interests include the decision-making process of railway building in the former Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Goa (India), and Macao (China). His most recent publications include a book about the lobbying, decision-making process, and relation between company and contractor during the construction of the extension of Tua line northwards to Bragança, an edited volume about the history of the Tua line, and an analysis of the construction, costs, and consequences of the Goa railway.


AUTHORS

ELLAN F. SPERO studies the ways that people envision human progress, through the institutions, things, and narratives that they create. A historian of technology, and business, her current research project on academic-industrial partnerships, combines business and institutional history, with material culture of science and technology. She completed her PhD at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Program in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society. She is currently a joint postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Before coming to MIT, she studied fiber science and apparel design (Cornell B.S., M.S.), and museum studies and fashion history (Fashion Institute of Technology, M.A.).

GÜNTER DINHOBL, Ph.D., has degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Physics and History. Since 1996 he develops activities in railway history and railway heritage. He acted as an expert in Railway World Heritage sites in Switzerland, France and India. He is a member of ICOMOS, TICCIH, International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), and International Railway History Association (IRHA). He is a monitoring representative for the Semmering railway (Austria), the national representative of Austria in TICCIH, and curator for special exhibitions on railway history at the following museums: Technisches Museum (Wien), Wien Museum, Südbahn Museum Mürzzuschlag, and Deutsches Museum (Munich). He published several books and papers about the financing and cultural aspects of railways, railways and heritage preservation issues, railway World Heritage, level crossing safety, and railway noise.

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DOMINGO CUÉLLAR PhD in History (Universidad de Almería), Bachelor in Geography and History (UNED) and Expert in Transportation (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid). He was an associated professor in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He also had different management positions connected to research and industrial heritage in the Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (Spanish Railway Foundation) and in the Museo del Ferrocarril de Madrid (Madrid Railway Museum). He was the editor of the journal TST and co-director of the series Colección de Historia Ferroviaria (Railway History Series). He is the author of sundry papers, presentations, chapters, and books about the history of transport, especially railway transportation. He was a member of several national and international research projects about transportation, logistics, and industrial heritage. Currently he is involved with projects of documentation management at RENFE Viajeros SA.

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DOMINIC FONTANA Senior Lecturer in Geography, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Dominic began his working career as a railwayman at the age of 16. Consequently, he must be one of very few academics who have used much of the original nineteenth century railway technology in a real-world context as part of a national railway system. After the railway, Dominic worked on the maritime archaeological project to excavate and recover the remains of Henry VIII’s warship Mary Rose. After this he gained a doctorate in geography and became an academic geographer specialising in the application of GIS technology to archaeological and historical studies. After more than 30 years he still actively works on the Mary Rose project as well as maintaining a strong interest in the development of heritage railways.

MICHEL COTTE is an emeritus professor of History of Technology at the École Polytechnique of the Université de Nantes (France), where he was director of the Institut de l’Homme et de la Technologie. His historical researches initially focused on the French Industrial Revolution of the early nineteenth century (especially issues regarding civil engineering and transportation). He studied the concept of technology transfer and adaptation to new contexts. His Ph.D. examined the major innovations of Marc Seguin during the 1820s in suspension bridges and railways (mountain railways, tubular boiler, etc.). He studied the social context of the rising of new professional categories like civil engineers and private contractors in the French regional context, which based a review of the classical model of the state managed development of industry in France. He resumed his researches by studying the circulation of technical ideas at large scale during the nineteenth century as a base for technical and industrial initiatives. While teaching classes to young engineers he developed a great interest in the links between past and present technologies. In parallel to his academic activities, he worked for the ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) in the 1990s as an expert of civil engineering heritage and hydraulic works in the context of the World Heritage Sites. He is currently an advisor for the evaluation of applicant sites for the World Heritage List.

STEFANO MAGGI is an Associate Professor in Contemporary History and Director of the Department of Political and International Sciences at the University of Siena, where he teaches History of Communications and Transport, and History of Economy and Territory. He lectured


Biographical notes

and presented papers at conferences in Italy and abroad. Member of national and international research groups, he worked for public administration for the development of the railway heritage and transport networks. His studies focus mainly on social transport history and sustainable mobility. Some of his main publications include: Le ferrovie (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2012); Storia dei trasporti in Italia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2009).

STEFAN BRAUCKMANN, Ph.D., is the managing director of the Moses Mendelssohn Institute, a research institute of the Moses Mendelssohn Foundation based in Berlin and Hamburg. He is also a lecturer at the University of Hamburg’s Institute of Geography. After obtaining his Masters degree (Magister) in Social and Economic History, he completed a doctorate in Geography. The topic of his doctoral dissertation project was the use of decommissioned railway lines in rural areas. His key areas of research include the following topics: properties, tourism, cultural landscape, geo-information systems and the teaching of history. Here the focus is particularly on combining these different fields. His most recent railway-based project, which also encompassed German-Jewish history and the culture of remembrance, focused on the remodelling of a former railway station in Hamburg.

IVONA GRGURINOVIĆ is a senior research and teaching assistant at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. She graduated Ethnology and English language and literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and received her PhD in comparative literature from the same faculty in 2012. Her area of academic interest encompasses history of travel, social history of the railway, ethnography and travel writing, and history of anthropology.

PETER F. N. HÖRZ, Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist who teaches anthropology, sociology, and educational science at the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen. His major research interests are the study of labour and work, Jewish studies, gender studies, and the study of mobility and transport. In his recent research he occasionally addressed railway related topics, such as the occupational profile of the train driver within the context of the liberalised market of rail transportation, the interaction between the gendered human body and the steam locomotive, and popular appropriations and performances of rail transport in railway-related leisure activities.

GRAÇA VASCONCELOS Bachelor in Civil Engineering (School of Engineering of Universidade do Porto). She is currently an Auxiliary Professor in the Civil Engineering Department of Universidade do Minho.

LURDES MARTINS, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, Universidade do Minho (Guimarães, Portugal). Currently works as a Level VI Safety and Health Technician. Academic interests include issues relating to vernacular architecture, in situ tests on granite masonry walls, and influence of freeze-thaw cycles and salt resistance in granites.

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CARLOS NUNO BARBOSA holds a MSc. in Polymer Engineering and has worked on different – industrial and academic – projects, as a research engineer, at the University of Minho (Guimarães, Portugal). He conducted research on the framework of the Leaders for Technical Industries doctoral program within the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing focus area of the MIT-Portugal program. This research and development program was carried out in collaboration with University of Minho (Guimarães, Portugal) and Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe (Aachen, Germany).

JOÃO FIGUEIREDO received a Master degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Universidade da Beira Interior in 2009. In the academic year 2006/2007 he attended the course in Disegno Industriale at Politecnico di Torino in Italy. He started his professional life under INOVContacto program, at Ventura Valcarce Architects Studio at Barcelona. After returning to Portugal, he worked at Bi-silque and Menina Design Group. Doctoral student in the program in Leaders for Technical Industries in Design, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing in the MIT-Portugal Program. His Ph.D. project fell within NEWFace project as part of the INEGI’s team, in a consortium extended to AlmaDesign, Embraer and SET.

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JORGE MARQUES graduated in Mechanical Engineering at Universidade de Aveiro in 2000 and attended the postgraduate course in Technology Management Enterprise of the MIT-Portugal Program in 2012. He has followed a career in the metalworking industry, mainly in the areas of product development and project management. He started his career at SIIlog SA, as product development designer of dedicated machines for the packaging and logistics industries. He also worked at Petrotec SA as a product development manager of equipment for the retail petroleum industry.

LÍDIA TEIXEIRA graduated in Electrical Engineering and got a Master degree in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship at the School of Engineering of Universidade do Porto. Her professional experience is in reliability and quality management at semiconductor’s industry. PhD in Leaders for Technological Industries in Design, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing focus area of the MIT-Portugal program.

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering of Universidade do Porto in 1996 and got his Master degree in Mechanical Engineering at the same institution, in 2009. From the beginning of his professional activity he has been working in product development, prototyping and tooling areas. Currently works at AJP MOTOS and Engenhotec. PhD in Leaders for Technological Industries in Design, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing focus area of the MIT-Portugal program with a project related with the study of alternative energies for agricultural vehicles.


Biographical notes

ANTÓNIO ARAÚJO graduated as best student of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering of Universidade do Porto in 1996. In 1997 he obtained a MSc degree in Internal Combustion Engines at the Institut Français du Pétrole. In 1997 and 1998 he worked for the Chemical sector at CIRES in Portugal. Later that year he joined the European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Centre, in the Netherlands, first as trainee, later in a consulting role. In November 2000 he joined the Toyota Formula 1 team in Germany, where he worked initially as System Integration Engineer and later as Development Engineer for the team’s Suspension, Steering, Brakes and Advanced Project Group. In March 2010 he joined the MIT Portugal Program as Engineering Design and Advanced manufacturing Professor, teaching the classes of Product Design and Development, Engineering and Manufacturing Systems and Introduction to Machine Design. His main research interests are Electric Vehicles, Product Design, Product Development and Engineering Systems. He speaks six languages (Portuguese, French, Italian, English, Spanish and German), five of them fluently.

COLIN DIVALL is professor emeritus in railway studies in the University of York, UK. From its founding in 1995 until 2014 he was head of the Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History, a joint initiative of the University and the National Railway Museum. A graduate management trainee and then briefly an operations supervisor with British Rail in the 1980s, his interest in moribund railways was piqued in the 1960s by living within sight of the one explored in the paper published in this edited volume.

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“It’s a public holiday in Singapore, and drizzling rain has given way to sticky, hot weather. But this hasn’t dissuaded visitors at Tanjong Pagar station. In the mid-morning sun, families and couples walk along the railway tracks. Young children are particularly eager to totter over the old steel slats (…). Plans are under way to redevelop the station as a multi-functional community space (…). Furthermore, the 24km stretch of former railway line is envisaged to become a linear park (…). Even before the plans for redevelopment were announced, Singaporeans were already making use of the old railway line in an unusually informal way for this city (…). Joggers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts started to explore; artists came to perform (…). But it seems that Singaporeans are eager to engage fully with their heritage these days (…). After all, this is their history too.”2

2 The Guardian, 22.7.2016. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/22/abandoned-train-station-signalscommunity-revival-in-singapore

Profile for Eduardo Beira

New uses for old railways  

New uses for old railways  

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