The tour programme, which has been announced up to the “Chateaux of the Loire” tour in June (see below) is to be operated by 241P17, and (on the Guedelon Express) together with 2-8-0 140C27, built in 1917 by North British in Glasgow! like the one illustrated here (Sarrguemines, 1969).
We are happy to make individual bookings for you on all of these CFC trips, including Eurostar + TGV rail to and from Le Creusot where these journeys start; and appropriate hotel accommodation; and if you need it, transport between Le Creusot TGV station and the town station (where the special trains start and finish). Please note that some details including exact schedules, are still being finalised by CFC as we prepare this advance information (February 2023)
“Le Grand Retour” – 22 April (Saturday) – Le Creusot – Chagny – Le Creusot – Approx. dep. Le Creusot 09:00, arrive back 11:30; Le Creusot – Etang – Le Creusot – Approx. dep. Le Creusot 16:00; arrive back 18:00. Either return journey 2nd Class €20; 1st Class €26 Both return journeys and access (shuttles frequent during the day, not all steam) to the Parc des Combes – 2nd Class €30; 1st Class €42
“Guedelon Express” – 20th May – Le Creusot (dep. 08:40) – Cosne-sur-Loire and return, via Etang, Luzy, Cercy, Decize and Nevers. 2Cl return trip, including entrance to the castle, and lunch basket £119; 1st Class £139
Guédelon Castle is currently under construction near Treigny, on the site of an old sandstone quarry. Construction started in 1997 – it is an experimental archaeology project – which some observers have described as “completely bonkers!” – aimed at recreating a 13th-century castle and its environment using period techniques, dress, and materials.
In order to fully investigate the technology required in the past, the project is using only period construction techniques, tools, and costumes. Materials, including wood and stone, are all obtained locally. Jacques Moulin, chief architect for the project, designed the castle according to the architectural model developed during the 12th and 13th centuries by Philip II of France.
The photograph shows how far construction had reached in 2020. Our special train will be worked by both 241P17 and 140C27, and at the castle you should see quarriers, stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile makers – all transforming and enhancing stone and wood, and delivering the secrets of the builders of the Middle Ages to you.
“Chateaux of the Loire” – June 10 & 11, 2023 (dep. London June 9th; return to London June 12th)
A perfect “long weekend”, travelling by Eurostar and TGV, to Le Creusot – out on Friday, back on Monday – with Saturday and Sunday devoted to a journey to and from Tours with 241P17, including dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tours, and visits to two of the most famous chateaux – Chenonceau on Saturday afternoon, and Villandry on Sunday morning.
Our special train – headed by 4-8-2 241P17, will leave Le Creusot early on Saturday morning, travelling via Etang, Luzy, Cercy-La-Tour, Decize, Nevers, Bourges, Vierzon and St. Pierre des Corps, arriving in Tours at around 14:00. A lunch basket is served prior to arrival. A short (40 minutes or so) drive brings us to the magnificent chateau of Chenonceau, where our entrance ticket entitles us to visit both the castle and the gardens. Returning to Tours, we have an included dinner before retiring for the night.
On Sunday morning after breakfast, another short (25 minute) drive brings us to the Chateau of Villandry, for a morning exploring the house and its remarkable gardens, before returning to Tours to catch our special train departing approx. 14:09 and arriving at Le Creusot 21:56. An evening lunch basket will be served en route.
The price of £299 2nd Class, and £325 1st Class, is based upon twin/double room accommodation in Tours.
If you are travelling from the UK to join any of these tours, you will normally need accommodation in Le Creusot the night before the trip starts, and probably the night it ends. Recommended hotels are the F1 Le Creusot TGV** or Kyriad ** – both room-only and near to Le Creusot TGV station; or the Hotel La Petite Verrerie, – in Le Creusot town and walking distance from Le Creusot SNCF station. If you want to go it alone, you will need to budget for taxis between Le Creusot TGV/Novotel and Le Creusot SNCF/town or v.v. because although the distance is not great, it is not “walking distance” unless you are very fit (or very mean!) Details of such bus services as exist, will also be provided.
We can of course book this hotel accommodation for you, and as licensed and bonded agents for SNCF we can offer special (RIT = Rail Inclusive Tour) return fares from St. Pancras to Le Creusot TGV and return – best available fares and hotel rates will be quoted at time of booking, and train times confirmed.
Please note that the “Chateaux of the Loire” tour in June, is inclusive of Eurostar and TGV travel from/to London, and the overnight hotel accommodation in Le Creusot, as well as that in Tours on the trip itself. Price for the June 10/11 railtour only, without travel from/to London, nor hotel accommodation in Le Creusot, available on request.
“Baie de Somme” THIS PAGE UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Just across the English Channel, and much nearer than Le Creusot, is Noyelles, on the old main line from Calais to Paris – the route of the “Fleche d’Or” or “Golden Arrow” – and the hub of the Bay of the Somme Railway, with branches to Le Crotoy, and to St. Valery-sur-Somme and Cayeux-sur-Mer.