Nouméa-Païta railway

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Nouméa-Païta railway
Former station platform of Païta
Status Suppressed
Locale  New Caledonia
Termini Nouméa
Stations 8
Opened 1904
Closed 1940
Line length 29 km (18 mi)
Number of tracks Single track
Track gauge 3 ft (914 mm)
Route diagram of Nouméa-Païta railway
Locomotive Marguerite
Locomotive Marguerite
0 Nouméa
Nouméa Rivière Salée
Tunnel de Tonghoué
Col de Tonghoué
La Ouanéoué
17 Dumbéa
La Dumbéa
Tunnel de l'Erambéré
Mont Mou
29 Païta

The Nouméa-Païta railway was the only railway line serving the New Caledonia. It was opened in December 1914 between Nouméa, the capital, and Païta. The 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge tracks of the railway traveled the 29 kilometers (18 mi) between the two cities in one hour and fifteen minutes.


The idea of a railway connecting Nouméa to Bourail was first approved[by whom?] in 1884 with Nouméa linked to Dumbéa in 1904.

The Nouméa-Païta railway closed on 1 January 1940 due to its low ridership.

In April 1942 the American 790th Railway Transportation Company reopened the line to operate railways for the Allied presence on New Caledonia.[1][2][3]

Subsequently[when?] the line was abandoned and demolished. The remains of the former railway station of Païta remain in the north of the town. The loading platform and the ramp are well-preserved and the foundations of various buildings are still visible. A small locomotive, nicknamed Marguerite, is preserved on the former railway ground. The locomotive was used until 1940.[4] The gauge, however, was dismantled and the former railway track is no longer visible.


The line counted 8 stations within 3 municipalities of the Southern Province. It started in Nouméa city centre and counted a secondary station in the ward (Grand Quartier) of Riviére Salée.[5] It crossed the villages of Auteuil and Col de Tonghoué before to enter in Dumbéa. After, the line crossed the village of Nondoué and Mount Mou, referred to the nearby mountain,[6] few km before the last station, Païta. It counted a pair of tunnels (Tunnel de Tonghoué and Tunnel de l'Erambéré) and 3 bridges over the rivers La Ouanéoué, La Dumbéa[7] and Karikouié.



External links[edit]

Media related to Rail transport in New Caledonia at Wikimedia Commons