A triumphant arrival at the station! Monday, January 27, the new Cévenol train was celebrated by a hundred people on the Genolhac platform (Gard).
Mobilized for a decade, the defense committee of the Hautes Cévennes public services fought to maintain this route between Nîmes and Clermont-Ferrand (last remaining section of the old Paris-Marseille created in 1955). Because this regional line, faced with the implementation of the all-TGV by the SNCF, almost disappeared. With only 100,000 annual travelers for 22 municipalities served, it was no longer profitable…
However, “this train is essential in our villages,” says Marie-Thérèse Bonnefoy, president of the committee. He drops the kids off at school, takes the retirees to town, brings the traders and railroaders to life… This magnificent line, which passes through 300 viaducts, also brings back many tourists! “
“A considerable economic and social impact”
A flood of arguments to which the Occitania region subscribes, which was involved in saving the old TER: 43 million euros were invested for the maintenance of the infrastructure (in addition to the 30 million from the State for the ‘purchase of new equipment). The new Cévenol will therefore continue to operate three times a day.
“This train has a considerable economic and social impact,” says Jean-Luc Gibelin, regional elected representative in charge of transport. It is the most suitable means of transport here, because the roads are narrow and congested in summer or snowy in winter. Whether it rains, sells or snows, the Cévenol will therefore be eagerly awaited at the station on July 6 … to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of this railway to traffic!