Background information | Contact details | rail travel

Tourist Trains of the Aa Valley

Restored diesel railcar

railway route
Map of the old Boulogne - Saint-Omer railway line (Tourist Trains in blue, Rando-Rail cycle-trains in
red). Service is seasonal Click on 'SNCF' above for main-line trains to St-Omer.

Travel a rural branch line
You enjoy the changing scene out of the windows as the restored 1950's diesel railcar chugs through the countryside of the Audomarois Nature Park outside Saint-Omer. The guide's commentary tells you how first canals, then railways drove the economic expansion of the area in the 19th century.

Having visited the amazing canal lift near Arques station ("Les Fontinettes"), you're planning to alight at Helfaut-Wizennes to visit La Coupole, the museum of World War 2 rockets. Maybe there'll be time for a peaceful country walk.

Since 1992, railway enthusiasts have been collecting old rolling stock in preparation for re-opening the 17 km Arques-Lumbres section of the old railway from St.Omer to Boulogne which closed in 1959.

Now they run tourist trains every summer, at weekends (Sat and Sun) and holidays at Easter and May - September [but check as opening may vary]. The line is worked using old French and Polish diesel railcars - some steam locomotives are being restored, and volunteers hope these will soon see service.

1. L'Ascenseur des Fontinettes - old canal boat lift, next to ARQUES station. The Crystal d'Arques glass factory and factory shop is also close to the station.
2. Crossing the river Aa by "les Fontinettes"

3. ELFAUT-WIZERNES station - next to La Coupole, Museum of World War 2 Rockets and space exploration.
SETQUES station - for country walks and cycle rides. Cycles are carried free on the trains.
[No picture] ESQUERDES station: short walk to the Paper-making museum, Maison du Papier
LUMBRES Station - end of the line. Good point for country walks and cycle rides. Cycles are carried free on the trains. Near to stables for horse-riding.

Places to visit along the line:
Les Fontinettes - canal lift at Arques.
La Coupole - Museum of World War 2 Rockets
Maison du Papier - near EQUERDES station
Rando-Rail - cycle-powered trains,
start 5km from LUMBRES station

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CFTVA - Chemin de Fer Touristique de la Vallée de l'Aa
c/o M. Jean-Marc CHAMBELLAND
3 rue des Cuvelots, 62380 Bayenghem-les-Seninghem
Information/ reservations:
Tel: 00 33 3 21 93 45 46 or
Tel/fax: 00 33 3 21 12 19 19

Other restored railways: River Deule Tramway, Lille: the only restored electric tramway in France.

Nature park:
Adomarois - near Saint-Omer. The railway runs through the park. Information on walks and cycle paths from Park Office.

Background information




La Maison du Papier © Copyright 1999-2007 Invicta Media. Last updated 28th August 2007