Chemin de fer de La Mure

Coordinates: 44°57′25″N 5°44′22″E / 44.9569°N 5.7395°E / 44.9569; 5.7395
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Chemin de Fer de La Mure
A train on the upper viaduct at Loulla (Isère)
  • St.-Georges-de-Commiers
  • La Mure (Isère)
Closed2010 (see text)
Line length30 km (19 mi)
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
Electrification2400 V DC Overhead line
Highest elevation925 m (3,035 ft)
Route map
Lyon–Grenoble–Marseille railway line
towards Grenoble
Tunnel de Ravinson
(383 m)
0,0 St-Georges-de-Commiers
(316 m)
Lyon–Grenoble–Marseille railway line
towards Marseille
Ruisseau des Commiers
Tunnel de Molard
(89 m)
Boucle de Pré-Baron
Tunnel de Pré-Baron
(235 m)
Tunnel de Commiers
(129 m)
7,047 Notre-Dame-de-Commiers
(478 m)
Tunnel du Bessat ou des Amoureux
(89 m)
Tunnel de Pierre-Avillaire
(88 m)
Tunnel des Ripeaux
(438 m)
Viaduc du Pivou
First tunnel des Chalanches
(153 m)
Second tunnel des Chalanches
(299 m)
Tunnel de Serguignou
(309 m)
Tunnel de Brondes
(401 m)
Point de vue du Grand balcon
Viaduc de la Rivoire
Tunnel de la Rivoire
(50 m)
Tunnel de Gervaison
(85 m)
16,013 La Motte-les-Bains
(705 m)
Tunnel des Baux
(30 m)
Viaduc de Vaulx
(170 m)
Tunnel de la Tuilerie
(135 m)
/19,6Viaducs de Loulla
(85 m / 110 m)
Tunnel de Loulla
(39 m)
Notre-Dame de Vaulx (Mine)
Ruisseau de Vaulx
Tunnel de Comberolle
(214 m)
22,649 La Motte-d'Aveillans
(867 m)
Tunnel de la Festinière (1071 m)
26,5 Peychagnard-Le Crey
(916 m)
Le Villaret
(889 m)
30,096 La Mure
(881 m)
La Mure - Hôtel-de-Ville
Le Breuil
La Faurie
Ruisseau de la Nantette
St-Pierre-de-Méaroz – Les Égats
Les Souchons
La Salle-en-Beaumont
Les Marcoux
Le Cardaire
Pont et boucle de la Sézie

The Chemin de Fer de La Mure (La Mure railway) is a former coal-carrying electrified railway in (and owned by) the Department of Isère near the city of Grenoble, France, which lost its regular public passenger service from 2 February 1950 (although miners' trains continued until autumn 1962). It lost most of its freight traffic – apart from anthracite coal – in 1952, and even the anthracite ceased from 18 October 1988. However, the local tourist office had been chartering seasonal tourist passenger trains from 8 September 1968 and these developed steadily over the years, the line becoming one of the finest tourist railways in Europe with views over dams and lakes, and mountain scenery. Since 1 February 1998 the concession to operate the line and its tourist trains has been held by CFTA, now Veolia. The line can be reached easily by road from Grenoble, or by trains on the SNCF line towards Gap.

On 26 October 2010, shortly before the end of the season, a landslide destroyed the Viaduc de la Clapisse and parts of a tunnel entrance.[1] In June 2017, the General Council of the Department of Isère announced that the company Edeis had been chosen to repair the railway and take over its operation, with the aim of having it operational again for the 2020 season.[2] Half the line eventually reopened in July 2021, from the top at La Mure as far as the viewpoint at Le Grand Balcon.


Saint-Georges de Commiers station
Damage caused by the landslide (2011)

The line was built between 1882 and 1886, to link Saint-Georges-de-Commiers and La Mure through a mountainous region of the department of Isère.

The 30-kilometre (19 mi) long, metre gauge line runs from La Motte-d'Aveillans and La Mure to a connection with the main line of the PLM railway at Saint-Georges-de-Commiers. The line was almost closed in the mid-1970s and if the country hadn't been suffering an oil crisis the line would have met its end. Its life was extended by fifteen years, which proved to be its saviour. Unlike many other lines this became a tourist attraction which combines an area of industrial heritage with some of the finest scenery on any similar line on the continent.[citation needed]

The railway was electrified in 1903, using a symmetrical current power supply with two overhead lines at plus and minus 1200 volts direct current respectively. In 1950, this non-standard system was replaced with a conventional power supply with a single overhead line at 2400 volts direct current. The branch line between La Mure and Corps was opened in 1932 and closed for passenger traffic in 1952.

Coal traffic ceased in 1988, and most of the coal installations were demolished, the coal being transported by road. The Matheysine coalmines were finally closed on 28 March 1997. The SGLM found a new vocation in providing a tourist attraction and as a result, there remain all of the line's historical installations, the workshops, forge, joinery shop, etc. The network's departure and arrival stations were dependent on connections with the PLM railway's Grenoble–Veynes line. The necessary facilities together with the transhipment platform for the automatic transfer of the coal from the SGLM coal cars to the trains operated by PLM (which became SNCF in 1938) were built adjacent to the PLM station, today the station for the Chemin de fer de La Mure.

When they last operated, the trains of the railway ran at the leisurely pace of up to 30 km/h.

Rolling stock[edit]

Electric and Electro-Diesel Locomotives[edit]

No. Name Wheels Arr. Builders Details Date Built Notes.
E1 La Drac Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1903 E-loc withdrawn 1933, dismantled between 1940 and 1942
E2 L'Isere Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1906-09 E-loc withdrawn 1933, dismantled between 1940 and 1942
E3 Taillefer Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1906-09 E-loc withdrawn 1933, dismantled between 1940 and 1942
E4 Obiou Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1906-09 E-loc withdrawn 1933, dismantled between 1940 and 1942
E5 Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1906-09 E-loc withdrawn 1933, dismantled between 1940 and 1942
E6 Bo-Bo CGC/Thury 1903 Withdrawn 1933, since scrapped
T6 Bo-Bo ANF/SAAS 1932 E-loc
T7 Bo-Bo ANF/SAAS 1932 E-loc
T8 Bo-Bo ANF/SAAS 1932 E-loc
T9 Bo-Bo ANF/SAAS 1932 E-loc
T10 Bo-Bo ANF/SAAS 1932 E-loc
T2 Bo-Bo B+L/Ren. DE-loc, ex-VFD [fr], Note 1
T4 Bo-Bo B+L/Ren. DE-loc, ex-VFD [fr], In working order but not in use, Note 1
B Decauville Draisine, P.W.Dept., acquired in 1966, in regular use
Suisse Locotractor

Note 1 : Part of a class of 10 electro-diesel locomotives, 2 are in service at the Chemins de fer du Jura (CJ), 1 at the Chemins de Fer de Provence (CP).

Locomotive T7 in La Mure
Locomotive T2 in La Mure

Electric railcars[edit]

No. Name Wheels Arr. Builders Details Date Built Notes.
A1 CB/T-H 1927 Electric railcar, preserved, out of order
A2 CB/T-H 1913 Electric railcar, scrapped
A3 CB/T-H Electric railcar, preserved, out of order
A4 CB/T-H Electric railcar, scrapped
A5 CB/T-H Electric railcar, preserved, out of order
A6 CB/T-H Electric railcar, scrapped
A7 CB/T-H Electric railcar, scrapped
A8 CB/T-H Electric railcar, scrapped
1 ABDe4/4 SWS/BBC 1916 Electric railcar, 400 hp, ex-NStCM, acquired in 1986–1992, In service
5 ABDe4/4 SWS/BBC 1916 Electric railcar, 400 hp, ex-NStCM, acquired in 1986–1992, Out of Service
10 ABDe4/4 SWS/BBC 1918 Electric railcar, 400 hp, ex-NStCM, acquired in 1986–1992, Out of Service
11 ABDe4/4 SWS/BBC 1918 Electric railcar, 400 hp, ex-NStCM, acquired in 1986–1992, In service
Passenger cars

Passenger trailers[edit]

No. Name Wheel
Builder Details Year Built Notes
B27,B30 2'2' 1930 ex-SGLM
B3 2'2' ANF 1907 ex-Chemin de Fer Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez (NStCM), acquired in 1992
B5 2'2' ANF 1907 ex-Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez (NStCM), acquired in 1992
B23-24 2'2' SIG 1915 ex-Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez (NStCM), acquired in 1985
BC52 2'2' SWS 1918 ex-Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez (NStCM), acquired in 1985
B61-62 2'2' D+B 1922 ex-Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez (NStCM), acquired in 1985
B49,AB98 2'2' 1943-46 ex-Chemin de fer Montreux Oberland-Bernois (MOB), acquired in 1998
B32-33,35 ex-Chemin de fer Aigle-Sepey-Diablerets (ASD), acquired in 1988
B242 2'2' with balcony, ex-Rhätische Bahn (RhB), acquired in 1993
B243-245 2'2' with balcony, 74 seats, ex-Rhätische Bahn (RhB), acquired in 1997
A former coal wagon in the station at La Motte d'Aveillans

Freight cars[edit]

No. Name Wheelsets Builders Details Date Built Notes.
3 FL 1888-1906 10 Ton Coal-wagons, gondolas and side-door vans
3 CB 1908-1913 100x 15Ton Coal-wagons and side-door vans
3 CFMCF 1932 10 Ton Coal-wagons and side-door vans. In total there were 373 10 ton cars delivered in 1888-1906 and 1932.
N10xx HBD 2 Richard 1961 23 m3, 21,4 ton, 72x coal-wagons and side-door vans, 20 wagons were sold to Madagascar and 5 to the Brig-Visp-Zermatt (BVZ).

Abbreviations - railroad companies[edit]

Abbreviations - manufacturers[edit]


  1. ^ "Le train de La Mure ne circule plus". Le Dauphiné Libéré. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  2. ^ "Le Petit train de La Mure sur les rails en 2020". Le Dauphiné Libéré. 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-09-22.

External links[edit]

44°57′25″N 5°44′22″E / 44.9569°N 5.7395°E / 44.9569; 5.7395