Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme

Footplate Experience 25th April 2018

In April 2018 I treated myself to a footplate experience on the superb metre gauge Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme in Picardie Northern France.

Staying in a holiday home in St. Valery sur Somme meant that the 0730hrs start at Le Crotoy was only a 15 min drive away.

I arrived early and was greeted by Christian, the fireman, and the driver (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten).
First job was cleaning out the ash from the smokebox and ashpan.

The driver, who spoke no English, told me that he was a full time employee at the railway and was shortly due to retire.
Here he is oiling up and greasing the loco.

Christian was a volunteer from Germany, who visited the railway regularly to work. He spoke excellent english.

Christians very well behaved dog watching over the preparation of the locomotive.

Wood for lighting up being placed on the footplate.

Coal being added to the wood fire in the firebox.

Once the engine was in steam it was taken out of the shed where its tanks were filled from a hydrant.

Then onto the coal stage.

The small bunker soon devoured the 20 or so kegs of coal.

2-6-0T Corpet Louvet of 1906 No 1 "Aisne" simmers outside Le Crotoy shed prior to the departure of the days first train.