|Rehabilitation of a public and then military railway
Return to public transport in 2001!
The railway, opportunity for economic development
The rail road has been inaugurated in 1896, before the age of the cars, in the framework of the Freyssinet plan.
Goal: To connect Tournemire with Vigan, over a distance of 61 km, via the Larzac plateau. This enormous project, which lasted 11 years, has provided work to1000 workers in Sainte Eulalie de Cernon. The railway has changed the life of the habitants in this area completely; they could travel for many kilometres and were provided with all kinds of merchandise. The youngsters in the little villages could go out to dance in the village of Tournemir - the centre of entertainment and point of departure of the train.
The SNCF (The French National Railway), founded in 1936, stopped operating the line in 1954 because it wasn't beneficial anymore. The age of the steam engine was being replaced by the age of the car.
Provision of the military camp of the Larzac
The line was revised by the army in order to enlarge the military camp of the Larzac (at La Cavalerie) in 1977. But François Mitterand, elected president in 1981, cancelled the development scheme. With this decision, the freshly renovated railway had become useless.
A man, a vision
Its at the end of the last century that the founder of Vélorail Larzac, Jean-Paul Austruy, gave a new life to this exceptional railway line.
This way, the railway line is still an opportunity for economic development!