No. 14 - p58-59

JUNE 1967



    It comes as something of a shock to realise that, for people like me who live in the Home Counties, the nearest narrow gauge public passenger railway to our homes today is the Reseau de la Somme in Northern France. Not so long ago one could board a metre gauge railcar at Calais and travel vast distances, but today only the weed-grown trackbeds survive to remind one of past glories.

    Such thoughts drive home the fact that the industrial locomotives of Northern France are also nearer to home than is normally realised, and having read about the British built locomotives sent to France (RECORD 2, page 24) I set out in 1965 to find the 60cm gauge Kerr Stuart 0−6−0 side tanks at the Vallee Heureuse stone quarries at Marquise Rinxent. My quest was successful but the derelict locomotives were in a poor position for photography. I was able to identify the one nearest the camera as 2442 of 1915, but the other remained anonymous. (below upper)

    South of Boulogne the Paris-bound expresses pass through the lonely station of Rang-du-Fliers, once an important interchange point for the metre gauge lines. Little of Interest remains here now, but not far from the station the sugar factory operated by the Societe des Sucreries du Marquenterre has two mysterious standard gauge steamers derelict in the sidings. 7 L'UNION (below middle) was built by Ateliers de la Compagnie d'Anzin in 1887 according to a plate on the cabside, but it is possible that the true builder is Warin of St. Vaast (see RECORD 5/6, page 126). The other locomotive is an 0−6−0 well tank (bottom) of unknown origin, but Henschel has been suggested as the builder. Readers' comments on this would be welcome.