Diesel in northern France

2 lonely engines

The end of SNCF ‘s 67400 diesel series is approaching. A good friend told me about some services that were still hauled by these machines, and that’s how I found myself in a car, early in the morning, driving towards northeastern France.

First stop would be along the Laon – Amiens line, were I expected a train hauled by 2 engines. I found a spot in Puzeaux, close by a vintage railroad crossing. The old house of the guard can be seen behind the trees. The train turned out to be a single move of engines, which actually fit nicely in the frame.

SNCF 67590
SNCF 67590, Puzeaux 13.6.2015

A good start of the day, and ready to move to the Amiens – Boulogne line!


I visited the line between Amiens and Boulogne-sur-Mer for the first time. Carrying timetables of the locomotive-hauled intercity services, all I would have to do was finding decent spots.
Exploring the line for the very first time, means looking a lot… and also missing some interesting trains, unfortunately. On the moment I found a good spot, the train had passed 5 minutes before.

No worries, next train would be in a couple of hours, so I had time to find a decent spot and make a photo of 2 22200-hauled trains. I actually got to see them, but the photos aren’t worth showing here…

Around 4pm I got the next opportunity: an intercity service from Paris to Boulogne, that I decided to photograph in the fields around Liercourt. This being the first train I would see on this line, I had no idea of the number of coaches… and underestimated. Better next time!

SNCF 67414
SNCF 67414, Liercourt 13.6.2015


The cloudy day had now definitely turned into a nice sunny day. I found this spot north of Noyelles-sur-Mer.
This town is the starting point of the Baie de Somme railway. I could hear their train running closeby… but definitely wanted to wait for the train to Paris.

While waiting, I also met a friendly couple. The husband used to watch trains at this exact spot when he was younger. It’s funny how railfans carefully choose their itineraries on tripswith the family, hoping to maybe see a train go by. I am totally the same, I must admit, trying to take advantage of every opportunity 🙂

SNCF 67430
SNCF 67430, Noyelles-Sur-Mer 13.6.2015

Thinking of next time

For the last train of the day, I chose this viewpoint from on top of a bridge in Noyelles-sur-Mer.
The plains in the back lead to the famous natural reserve Baie de Somme.

SNCF 67455
SNCF 67455, Noyelles-Sur-Mer 13.6.2015

The Amiens – Boulogne line looks promising. I’ve seen some interesting spots that I’ll definitely try when I have some time to go out there again. I’m thinking of the high viewpoint in Liercourt, for example.

Colorful corails

Strolling over the beach in the last sun of the day and eating some sea-born food on a small terrace. That’s what jumped into my mind when thinking of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Unfortunately, Boulogne turned out to be a rather big city, thus popping the daydream. It is the endpoint of the Paris – Boulogne trains though, so I decided to check out the station instead. The SNCF staff was preparing a train for its next trip, while these Corail coaches were enjoying the last rays of sunlight. This photo meant the end of the photographic part of the day… leaving only a 2+ hour drive home.

Colourful Corails
Boulogne-sur-Mer, 13.6.2015