W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

Worldwide Narrow Gauges => Two Footers outside of the US => Topic started by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 06, 2017, 11:12:41 PM

Title: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 06, 2017, 11:12:41 PM
Thank you for your explanations. I'm not only a newcomer to the WW&F but to a discussion forum as well. Hoboes were part of the railroad in the thirties  quite a lot of songs were written and movies shot about their lives .Maybe there were any that rode the trains  of the WW&F Railroad before it was closed down. I guess you don't have any hobo on your trains now.
In Pithiviers every passenger buys their old style tickets at the station window before boarding the train and during the return journey the conductor ask for the tickets "Controle des billets s'il vous plait !" and punch them. It's part of the the"folklore" and I have never found a faredogger. Kids love that and me too.  Does the conductor punch the  tickets on the train during the journey ?
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on December 07, 2017, 12:36:10 AM
Does the conductor punch the  tickets on the train during the journey ?
Yes, we do, using real railway ticket punches. The ticket stock is a reproduction of the original WW&F Railway ticket stock, which not only adds to the authenticity, but also provides a souvenir.
-John M
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 08, 2017, 03:35:31 PM
Does the conductor punch the  tickets on the train during the journey ?
Yes, we do, using real railway ticket punches. The ticket stock is a reproduction of the original WW&F Railway ticket stock, which not only adds to the authenticity, but also provides a souvenir.
-John M
At the AMTP in Pithiviers we use small rectangular cardboard tickets marked A.M.T.P. that are much like those  used  by S.N.C.F. (the French national railroad company) until the late seventies. They are made in Switzerland and cost a lot but w'll go  on buying them because out here they also provide a souvenir. By the way what is the job of the conductor on your trains?  And when there are several trains on the main how are their runs scheduled. Who is in charge of the safety of the train running ? Is your Rule Book mandatory?
I'm interested in railroad rules and regulations because I'm the co-writter of the A.M.T.P. Rule Book that is mandatory in France.

Picsous Alain Delassus
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: James Patten on December 08, 2017, 04:39:09 PM
The Conductor is in charge of the train, and tells the engine crew when it's time to leave the station, where they are going, any issues that he might know about on the way ("work crew at Milepost 6").  For our normal operations we have the primary "first class" train, and a secondary "second class" train which is usually the Model T railcar.  They meet at Alna Center.

For complicated days, such as the upcoming Victorian Christmas, we'll have a dispatcher who's job it is to keep track of where everything is.  We'll be running two trains, although only one out on the line at any time.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on December 08, 2017, 08:56:22 PM
I should mention that our regular runs operate by timetable authority. Other trains outside of regular operations are either self dispatched (if the only train operating) or dispatched by a dispatcher.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 10, 2017, 06:11:30 PM
At the AMTP two westbound trains and an eastbound train can run on the main at the same time . The eastbound one is switching into a  passing siding called Les Carrières located around half way between Pithiviers and the end station Bellébat to wait for the two westbound trains that follow each other by 5 minutes. The engine crew and the conductors are informed of the mouvements of the trains by the dispatcher before pulling away from the station or by phone. When possible they are given writting orders. Of course there is a yearly schedule valid for sundays and legal holidays and mostly there is only one train on the main. But when a big event takes place like a Steam Festival a special schedule is set up  and it's a lot of fun for everybody.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bob Holmes on December 10, 2017, 11:44:23 PM
Alain, what is the total length (km or miles) of the AMTP?
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Wayne Laepple on December 10, 2017, 11:53:02 PM
Here's a little clip from YouTube of the railway at Pithiviers. From what I can find on-line, the railway is about 4 kilometers, or 2.5 miles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-bIIrDgWY8
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on December 11, 2017, 02:32:54 AM
That's quite a collection of locomotives. I particularly like the little diesel.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 11, 2017, 06:35:16 PM
 Correct the line is for the moment as long as yours but it 'll never be extended while you guys you'll reach Albion some day for sure .  The line goes through a well known area called "La Beauce" that looks like the Midwest  flat,  grain and sugarbeet fieds as far as the eyes can see  big farms  and lonely small communities   giant electricity pylones and grain elevators and for ten years wind power mills.There are quite a lot of interesting movies about le chemin de fer de Pithiviers on You Tube  and the association has fb too.

Picsou-Alain Delassus

Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 12, 2017, 02:53:35 PM
Hi !
The AMTP's locomotive stock consists of 5 steam locomotives two diesel locomotives and a small one that looks a bit like the Brookville and a rail car.
   Steam locomotives are #4 (brown) a 080 by Henschel  in 1917 10.5 net tons .  #5 (blue) a 060 by Blanc Misseron in 1902  11 net tons .  #9 (red) a 260 by La Meuse in 1938 14.3 net tons.   #10( green for the moment) a 062 by Decauville in 1902 10.5 net tons and #12 (black) by Ateliers du nord de la France (ANF) in 1945 21 net tons. Unfortunately they are seldom up and running at the same time. Currently only #4 and #9 are in running order . Next year in May #10 will join them.  #5 and 10 are  waiting for a general overhaul and the thorough checking and test of their boilers by the local bureau of the Industry Departement that is compulsory every 10 years out here.
  Diesel side now #T11 ( grey and red ) that you can see switching on the  Youtube movie a 060 plus a driving axle by Gmeinder in 1944 17.6 net tons.  #15 (orange and brown) a 040 by Gmeinder 9 net tons and # T14 (green) a 040 by Campagne  in 1924 only 1.65 net tons but very servicable. They are all in running order.
  And to finish with the railcar  #AT1  a 040 by Crochat in 1922 5.50 net tons a one of a kind in running order.
All the steam locomotives and the railcar are listed as Monument Historique. When there is a special event ( twice a year) there often are guest steam locomotives from other two footer.
By the way the maximum steam pressure in the boiler of  your "sweet" #9 is 140 PSI  I'd like to know if it was the same  pressure when it was built in1891 or if it is the mandated pressure required by the authority that checks the boiler. Out here the maximum  steam pressure is 176.5 PSI (12 bars).
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bernie Perch on December 12, 2017, 09:40:57 PM
Alain,

Could you tell us about the railroad?  I Google mapped it and traveled the whole length from the terminal to the loop.  What is that loop area all about?  It is a spot of trees in the middle of fields.  Was it something else before this became a heritage line?  Was the line longer at one time? Were there branch lines?  Is there a map of the line if it was longer?  What was it built to serve?

Bernie Perch
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 13, 2017, 05:26:23 PM
Hi !
The AMTP's locomotive stock consists of 5 steam locomotives two diesel locomotives and a small one that looks a bit like the Brookville and a rail car.
   Steam locomotives are #4 (brown) a 080 by Henschel  in 1917 10.5 net tons .  #5 (blue) a 060 by Blanc Misseron in 1902  11 net tons .  #9 (red) a 260 by La Meuse in 1938 14.3 net tons.   #10( green for the moment) a 062 by Decauville in 1902 10.5 net tons and #12 (black) by Ateliers du nord de la France (ANF) in 1945 21 net tons. Unfortunately they are seldom up and running at the same time. Currently only #4 and #9 are in running order . Next year in May #10 will join them.  #5 and 10 are  waiting for a general overhaul and the thorough checking and test of their boilers by the local bureau of the Industry Departement that is compulsory every 10 years out here.
  Diesel side now #T11 ( grey and red ) that you can see switching on the  Youtube movie a 060 plus a driving axle by Gmeinder in 1944 17.6 net tons.  #15 (orange and brown) a 040 by Gmeinder 9 net tons and # T14 (green) a 040 by Campagne  in 1924 only 1.65 net tons but very servicable. They are all in running order.
  And to finish with the railcar  #AT1  a 040 by Crochat in 1922 5.50 net tons a one of a kind in running order.
All the steam locomotives and the railcar are listed as Monument Historique. When there is a special event ( twice a year) there often are guest steam locomotives from other two footer.
By the way the maximum steam pressure in the boiler of  your "sweet" #9 is 140 PSI  I'd like to know if it was the same  pressure when it was built in1891 or if it is the mandated pressure required by the authority that checks the boiler. Out here the maximum  steam pressure is 176.5 PSI (12 bars).

Erratum... Some Latin now for achange. Well #12 was actually builded by Société Franco Belge de Matériel de Chemin  de Fer . It's  a powerful locomotive 320 HP able to haul a 165 net tons train on a 2.3 % grade .It features a superheater and a generator that looks like the one of your #9. Easy to stoke up and interesting to drive It was the one I like the best.

Picsous Alain Delassus
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Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John L Dobson on December 14, 2017, 11:33:54 PM
Alain,

Could you tell us about the railroad?  I Google mapped it and traveled the whole length from the terminal to the loop.  What is that loop area all about?  It is a spot of trees in the middle of fields.  Was it something else before this became a heritage line?  Was the line longer at one time? Were there branch lines?  Is there a map of the line if it was longer?  What was it built to serve?

Bernie Perch

The AMPT is a remnant of a much larger system (the TPT) that closed as a commercial business in 1964. It was an extensive agricultural light railway, constructed (I believe) around 1920 using locomotives and rolling stock from the military light railways used by both sides to serve the trenches during WW1. It used equipment from both sides. The major traffic was sugar beet, but it also carried other agricultural products. The Ffestiniog Railway's Alco 2-6-2T Mountaineer worked here for many years as TPT No.3-23, before being bought by an FR supporter after the TPT closed.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 16, 2017, 05:25:28 PM
Hi Bernie and John,

 Thank you for being interested in that French two footer . I'll soon tell you more about the line and the loop . In the meantime you can log onto Wikipédia Tramway de Pithiviers à Toury and the AMTP web site amtp-cfpithiviers.comwww. oramtp-pithiviers.wifeo.com (http://amtp-pithiviers.wifeo.com) to learn more about the  line builded  by the Decauville company in 1892 and the beginnings of the very first French volunteer-run scenic railroad in 1966.

See you soon.
 amtp-cfpithiviers.com (http://amtp-cfpithiviers.com)
Picsous-Alain Delassus
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 16, 2017, 05:30:23 PM
Sorry have trouble inserting hyperlink. I'm gonna try again let's hope it works out

amtp-cfpithiviers.com (http://amtp-cfpithiviers.com)
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bernie Perch on December 17, 2017, 03:12:15 AM
Alain,

Thank you for the information.  I went to the two areas you recommended and learned more.  Unfortunately I could only appreciate the photos at the web site because I cannot speak or understand French.  I am looking forward to any more information.

Bernie
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Ira Schreiber on December 17, 2017, 04:28:08 AM
Oui.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 23, 2017, 12:49:32 PM
Hi!
I don't forget you but I'm a bit busy these days around. In January I'm gonna start to tell you the story of the A.M.T.P and of course the one of the Tramway de Pithiviers à Toury( T.P.T.) well known as the Decau  for Decauville the company that started it up in1892.

Happy Holydays !
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John Kokas on December 25, 2017, 02:38:35 AM
Joyeux Noel !
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 30, 2017, 01:24:24 PM
Hi John,

Merci et Joyeux Réveillon du Jour de L'An!
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on January 01, 2018, 05:22:35 PM
Hi folks,
Well, at the bottom of all this I mean AMTP there were the TPT (Tramway de Pithiviers à Toury)and two for non profit organisations  called FACS (fédération des amis des chemins de fer secondaires) and AMTUIR ( association du musée des transports urbains et inter-urbains ). Google them for further information.
The TPT closed down in December 1964 after the last sugarbeets campaign and the main and branch lines  started to be dismantled.
But a few members of those both non for profit associations that often came in Pithiviers to watch and took photos of this endearing two-footer decided on saving a part of it. They got in touch with the  Loiret branch of the French National Department of Bridges and Roads ( Administration des ponts et chaussées) that ran the TPT. and the "Préfet" of the Loiret . After quite a lot of meetings  and mails and the funding of the AMTP in January 1966 the" Département du Loiret " gave to the AMTP 2miles of the main line from Pithiviers on, the TPT railroad facilities in that town, 2 steam locomotives , a rail car and a few freight cars.
I'll go on telling  you the AMTP story  soon.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on January 19, 2018, 06:08:37 AM
Hi folks.
I don't forget you. I've been far away from home for a while enjoying both dramatic volcanoes and a now famous false alarm.   I'm leaving for northern France. I'll continue the AMTP story as soon I'm back you can bank on it. By the way don't hesitate to visit my fb Alain Delassus alias Uncle Scrooge there are quite a lot of pics about the AMTP. I guess you'll find it easily.
See you soon !
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 15, 2018, 05:06:44 PM
It's hight time I went on giving you further information about the AMTP. Actually contrary to the WW&F Ry museum the association does not own any land or building. All the facilities in Pithiviers belong to the SNCF the French nationnal RR company the AMTP has signed a lease with. The main line belongs to the Departement du Loiret and at the far end of the main the loop has been built on a land that  is owned and shared by several villages.The AMTP does not pay any rent for the main and the loop. In 1966 the end of the line was at the roadside where there was a cross over  built by the TPT in the middle of nowhere .
In 1971 the line was extended to a sizeable clump of trees and a land  away from the road that belonged to the AMTP  a cross over a siding and an american triangle to turn the locomotive were built. In 1996  the clump and the land were sold to the  community of villages that had purchased a large land close to the AMTP facilities.
Finally in 1995 and 1996  the loop was built on the land owned by the community of villages  and a station as well.  As for the TPT  right of way it went on to Toury along the road.
By the way if you want to see a nice pic of the WW&F  log on to the AMTP website https://www.amtp-cfpithiviers.com/ (https://www.amtp-cfpithiviers.com/) click on infos pratiques then on autres réseaux.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Gary Kraske on February 16, 2018, 12:10:50 AM
Alain:  Sorry I tried your link but Verizon/aol could not recognize it.  Suggestions?
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 16, 2018, 12:14:53 AM
I fixed Alain's link.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Gary Kraske on February 16, 2018, 05:30:17 AM
Alain: Thank you so much for the WWFRy posting on your site.  My wife took 4 years of French back in high school.  I'm looking forward to having her refresh her language by reading your site to me!   
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 16, 2018, 07:49:24 AM
I fixed Alain's link.
Thank you so much Ed.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 16, 2018, 01:27:03 PM
Alain: Thank you so much for the WWFRy posting on your site.  My wife took 4 years of French back in high school.  I'm looking forward to having her refresh her language by reading your site to me!
Hi Gary
Thank you for logging on to the AMTP website kindly fixed up by Ed. If your wife needs help to translate anything let me know it'll be a treat for me to assist her. Where are you from Gary and why did you join the WW&F ? If you want to know more about me you can read the Who am I section in the General Discussion chapter  of this forum. Then you can log on to my fb page Alain Delassus /Uncle Scrooge where you can see quite a lot of photos of that French two-footer and   to its fb page Musée des transports de Pithiviers.
Have a nice week end.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Kyle Irving on February 16, 2018, 01:35:33 PM
Nice to see you on here Alain. Will we need to start a French language section of the forum soon?!

A few years ago, two fellow volunteers from the steam programme at Exporail and I got to tour around France to see various narrow gauge steam railways and explore their training systems for volunteers. At the airport we rented a lovely 6 speed manual diesel car and set off. It was a fascinating (and delicious!) trip.

We had arranged to stop in at Pithiviers and were greeted very warmly. We got a nice tour of their museum, shops, and, of course, took a trip down the line.

The railway will stay anchored in my mind for owning the loco which won the "loco we'd most like to take home" prize: a little ex-industrial shunter originally used inside a factory, which was bought by the association in pieces, including the original all-copper boiler and restored. It's a tiny little loco, designed for one man driving, though it's much smaller than even a quarry Hunslet. You can find a picture here about halfway down the page.  Look for the Schneider, built 1870.
http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/france03.htm

All the best!
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Gary Kraske on February 16, 2018, 08:14:29 PM
Hi Gary
Thank you for logging on to the AMTP website kindly fixed up by Ed. If your wife needs help to translate anything let me know it'll be a treat for me to assist her. Where are you from Gary and why did you join the WW&F ? If you want to know more about me you can read the Who am I section in the General Discussion chapter  of this forum. Then you can log on to my fb page Alain Delassus /Uncle Scrooge where you can see quite a lot of photos of that French two-footer and   to its fb page Musée des transports de Pithiviers.
Have a nice week end.
Hi Alain, my wife, Barbara, and I are life members at WWFRy and followed it for a while and saw the intensity and drive of the members and so joined and have supported same.  We were also impressed by their business plans and their follow through of the same.    I was from Maine originally and grew up with trains and have lived in Maryland since 1960.  Since 2015 I've been limited in my ability to get around and my activities.  Best to you and look forward to perusing your sites.  Thank you.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 17, 2018, 06:44:12 PM
Hi Kyle,
Thanks for your kind words about  the AMTP. Can you remember the very day you came to Pithiviers maybe we met then. Thank you for the photos as well. On Septmber 9th 2013 I was the conductor and I had a trainee with me. On October 6th 2002 I was at the #9 throttle. I'll soon give you good news of the #2 Schneider.. Best regards.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 20, 2018, 06:16:23 PM
Hi folks.
Glad you are interested in the AMTP. If the association does'nt own its facilities, see previous posts, it owns the whole rolling stock  the operating one and the one  displayed in the museum. Among the operating rolling stock there is the steam locomotive  # 2 built in 1870 that it is the oldest two-foot locomotive in running order that still exists in France and maybe in Europe .It was lent to the AMTP in 1969 then eventually purchased. In 1992 it was fit with a new boiler and had been used since then when special events coupled to a small four seat car. It was very popular.
But due to worn out wheel treads and piston sheets it was sent last Fall to a  repair shop in southern France that  discovered  when testing the boiler a few leaking  tubes. The wheel treads and the piston sheets has been fixed up but as regards the tubes  the AMTP is waiting for a  via grant from the Departement of Culture to change all the  boiler tubes given the expense . Fortunately the locomotive is listed. Anyway the locomotive  will be in running order in 2020 to celebrate its 150th birthday during a special event.
 
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 25, 2018, 04:22:09 PM
I've read the Humasonbrook tresle was rebuilt by  USMC soldiers as a training in 2001. Funnyly enough the loop at Bellébat the AMTP end station was built in 1995 by French Engineers Corps soldiers as a training too.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 04, 2018, 03:59:55 PM
Hi everybody.

I'll go on giving you some information about the  AMTP. It's about time I told you about the association itself the membership and a bit about funding.
 The association is of course a non profit one its bylaws comply with the 1901's French Law Loi de 1901. The general meeting votes the members of the board of directors that decide the association policy and goals and vote 3 officers Président Treasurer and Secretary in charge of implementing its decisions and to handle the association on a dayly basis. On the whole it works like on the WW&F.
What is helas quite different than the WW&F is the membership .In the early eighties  around 300 members today only 104 members.... and it goes down year on year. Not that the membership is high 22$ for the volunteers and from 30$ for the others but sad to say generally speaking French people are not keen on the preserving of the technical heritage especially the railroad that  doesn't belong to our French historical heritage unlike the US. Moreover in France the membership or the money you  give to non for profit  associations that run  scenic railroads can't be deducted  from  the income tax you pay. I'm really owed  by the amount of the funds the WW&F raises. Last year the total of our membership and  donations was  only 3021$. On the other hand the association got 40000$ government subsidies to repair a listed steam engine. Typical of France! Next time I'm going to tell you about the volunteers that is a tricky issue out here.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 18, 2018, 04:40:27 PM
Hi everyboby

On the AMTP volunteers are a tricky issue  since there are only 18 of them.. A regular operation day requires 6  volunteers, an engineer, a fireman, a conductor, a station agent in Pithiviers  a bar tender at the buffet car in Bellébat and a sales person in charge of the souvenir booth in the museum. There are 54 or so operation days a year and of course most of the volunteers are not all purpose dare I say it. Only 5 of them are trained steam locomotive engineers. So do the maths! Ever and again it's tough on the guy in charge of the operating volunteers to make the ends meet but until now he has always make it. This situation isn't new out here even in the heyday of the association there were 30 of them at the most. Fortunately the volunteer average age has been  a bit  on the rise for a couple of years like the association leadership as well. When a big event is held on the railroad or in case of important track works  a few volunteers from other scenic railroads come give a hand since the association has for long fostered good relationship with a few other scenic two- footers in France. For that matter we have also exchanged steam locomotives when a Steam Festival is held  on one of them. In the early March the AMTP has launched a campaign on fb and its website to enlist new members and volunteers let's hope it gets any. By the way my favorite quote about volunteers generally speaking is " a volunteer is only paid by the pleasure it takes " . Do you agree with me ?
Next time I'll tell you about the buffet car and the souvenir booth for a change. CU.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on March 18, 2018, 08:24:50 PM
Hi everyboby

By the way my favorite quote about volunteers generally speaking is " a volunteer is only paid by the pleasure it takes " . Do you agree with me ?


I think all the members at the WW&F would agree with that saying, Alain.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 27, 2018, 03:26:45 PM
Hi you all

Every operating day the buffet car is hooked to the first westbound train. At the end station  Bellébat the buffet car is switched into a siding close to the station building  a few tables and chairs are set up on the shady plateform or inside the station when it's raining. The buffet car is mostly the only entertainement  on the Bellébat site for the riders and it makes it big during the 20 minute lay off. The last eastbound train takes it back to Pithiviers.
So we have mixed trains and riders are often interesting in watching the switching  the conductor leads with his red flag and his whistle.
The buffet car has been around since the line extension to the Bellébat site in 1971. Actually it's an old box car built in the UK for the WW1  it was used to carry wounded soldiers. After the war it ended up on the TPT with a few others and finally on the AMTP in 1966. Last year it was totally refurbished.
Don't hesitate to visit my fb page Alain Delassus Uncle Srooge  every Friday I post photos about the AMTP with short captions in English.  Over the past few weeks I posted two pics of the buffet car.  CU soon !
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 28, 2018, 03:45:11 PM
Erratum a vocabulary one

At Bellébat it's not a 20 minute lay off but  a lay over. I've mixed  it up with stop off. I hope nobody will lay me off for the mistake.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on March 28, 2018, 04:53:55 PM
Hmmm, I can picture it now, a 20-minute layover at TOM while passengers enjoy french bread, wine, and cheese. Vive LeMontagne!

-John
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 09, 2018, 04:38:51 PM
Hi John and everybody ! Don't delude yourself about the AMTP buffetcar they only sell soft drink coffe beer and sugar things. It's not the Read Eats in Wiscasset and their lobster sandwich that looks yummy and not that expensive if I don't take into account the cost of the trip to get there .Well, talking of sugar things and chocolate eggs the AMTP made it big Easter week- end with 718 riders altogether for sunday and monday that is a legal holyday in France. It was totally unexpected and amazing. Far more riders than the  past few years Steam Festivals. The train and the railcar were nearly crowded at every round trip. You can see pics on my fb.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on April 09, 2018, 06:00:58 PM
Congratulations on the large turnout. Alain.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 12, 2018, 03:57:51 PM
Thanks Jeff yes a very much unexpected turnout. I'll tell you about the souvenir shop today. The AMTP has been selling souvenirs since the late sixties .At the outset only post cards  at the station then on the trains during the ride between Pithiviers and Bellébat; The conductor toted around  a big shoulder bag full up with booklets  giving  information about the two-footer and its rolling stock, key rings, stickers and a few post cards. and it did work out. Back then given the turnout it was a hell of a job but luckilly  a deputy conductor was mostly on the train . In the very early nineties the BOD decided on building a special wooden counter and set it inside the museum in order to enlarge the items array on sale. Since then René Bury the AMTP most commited volunteer has been sitting behind the counter  every give or take a few operating day selling the items  any tourist railroad sells  nowadays. He is rarely out of work because  a lot of riders  mainly children like  to take away a souvenir of their outing. I'll soon introduce René that has joined the association in 1974 on my fb page.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bob Holmes on April 13, 2018, 12:02:04 AM
This is definitely a Sister Railroad!  I hope many of us have chance to visit it, and vice versa.

Alain:  when are you coming to the WW&F?
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 15, 2018, 01:19:34 PM
Hi  Bob!
Thank you for your kind reply. Of course let me know if any member decided on coming  to  Pithiviers . It would be a treat for me to greet it and show it around the AMTP facilities museum and ride the train with it.
As for me  I would love to go to Alna and meet you all. Maybe one day I'll  go there. Never say never.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on May 03, 2018, 04:11:24 PM
Hi follks !
 Today I'm going to tell you about the museum of the AMTP that means Association du MUSEE des Transports de Pithiviers.The museum is as old as the association (1966). It is located close to Pithiviers station in the  disused  frieghtcar repair shop of the T.P.T.  The museum is rather large, it comprises three bays fit with  standart, three- foot and two foot- gauge tracks. At the back of it there is a large room that was the shop forge and the forge with its implements is still  there. The exhibits are steam locomotives and freight cars of course but quite a lot  of railroad artifacts as well, such as lanterns, caps, uniforms model steam locomotives etc . The museum was not exclusively  dedicated to the two footers let alone the TPT.  Over the past decades you could admire two electric streetcars  a three- foot gauge steam locomotive and loungecar  and a  three foot gauge railcar too . When I started out as a volunteer in 1973 there were even a old bus and a steamroller!    Still there were a few two- foot gauge steam locomotives. In the early 2017 a new and young leadershhip was voted an since then  things  has been changing a lot in the museum that little by little will be dedicated  to the two foot gauge and the TPT history. You can see a few vews of the museum on the AMTP website and fb. CU soon .
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 06, 2018, 03:39:20 PM
Hi Folks !
 Just posted on my fb page  an interesting  but kind of long ( I think so...) video about Bellébat site, lost in the French Midwest and the forth coming event" Bellébat en Fête" and the AMTP annual  Steam Festival . Just posted as well  an invitation on  a trip down" AMTP memory line".  Through  a digitized selection of my slides, I'm gonna show you the  AMTP story from 1973 on. And no biggie ! Most of my pic captions and explanations are both in French and English. By the way ,sorry for my yesterday, today and tomorrow English mistakes. Remember my fb page is Alain Delassus  aka Uncle Scrooge. CU soon!
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Mike Fox on June 06, 2018, 07:10:08 PM
Alain, don't worry about the mistakes. Some of us have spoken the language all our lives and still can't go without the mistakes. Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 06, 2018, 08:43:24 PM
Thank you Mike it's kind of you.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 21, 2018, 02:27:34 PM
Hi you all !

      Funnily enough, there are two mechanical signals on the AMTP although there was none on the TPT neither on the other French two-footers, I think. Only  three-footers got a few of them. The first one is a danger signal that has been salvage from a  well known French three-footer the chemin de fer du Blanc- Argent that still partly exists nowadays. It's located at the  far end of Pithiviers station and concerns the westbound trains to Bellébat. It is intended to avoid a " cornfield meet" with an on coming eastbound train. When that signal is "on" you can see a square iron plate painted in white and red check that is at right angles to the track. It means STOP and it's an absolute signal of course . When the signal is "off" the iron plate is parallel to the track and  you can't see the painted face and then it means proceed if the go- ahead signal has been  given by the Pithivers station agent. At night the danger signal shows  two red lights when it is "on" and a green one when it is"off". In French such a signal is called "un carré" a square.  I'm going to tell you about the other mechanical signal,  a round one, later on.

      By the way go visit my fb page, every week I post AMTP photos, hopefully you can see those signals,  and follow me  on  the AMTP trip down memory line. Explanations and pic captions  are in English too. See you soon !
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on November 18, 2018, 02:50:19 PM
Hi folks ! I think it's high time I posted news from the AMTP. The operating season ended September 30th and this year  the AMTP has still made it big with a 5884 ridership, 478 more riders than in 2017. But this year there won't be any Santa's trains because the line is closed thru Easter due to important trackworks  carried out by the Departement du Loiret that owns the ROW. There were major events during the season. Easter egg hunting trains were an unheard-of sucsess with 714 riders. In May during a weekend a large model train exhibition was held in the museum but wasn't the hoped-for succsess. In June during  the  Steam Festival a long freight train was put on with a 7 freight car consist, the longest one in the AMTP history. And to finish with, in September for the French Heritage Weekend a standard- gauge train powered by a vintage diesel engine came in Pithiviers SNCF station with quite a lot of riders. Two steam powered trains plus the railcar took them and many other riders to Bellébat the end station.The only operating season flight in the ointment  was a minor crash between  a heavy loaded train and a truck  at the grade crossing located in Pithiviers at the foot of a  0.17 % incline. At this very grade crossing located at an intersection the train must stop and doesn't have the right to cross the road until all the intersection traffic lights have flipped to red. The engine man was unable to stop because of a sudden last moment locking of the locomotive wheels brought about by  greasy rails. I'll tell you about that hasardous grade crossing soon. By for now!   
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 18, 2019, 05:44:17 PM
Hello everybody ! I'am going to tell you the AMTP track maintenance story 1966- 2019.

As I wrote it  in a recent reply on this forum I think track maintenance  is of paramount importance. A well kept track means safety, comfort and mitigates the rolling stock wear and tear. Despite the great atmosphere that  usually rules in a trackcrew, trackworks are gruelling and time consumming so they need to be mechanized as much as possible and the WW&F is right to do it.
 In Pithiviers when I joined the trackcrew in 1977 the track maintenance was all about oil of elbow. We used a hand auger to drill the ties and a kind of T shaped tool to screw the coach screw that fix the rail to the tie, no spikes in France. That tool called for two volunteers to be turn efficiently. Of course forks and shovels to stuff the ballast under and around the tie and a heavy special mattock to damp it. Fortunately, in those days there were a lot of young volunteers in the trackcrew and nobody had arthrosis or back condition.
In the late eighties and in the nineties the AMTP had to renew long streches of track and it baught a second hand gas engine powered machine to screw the coach screws and a power generator  to operate a big electric drill but volunteers went on using the  damping mattock.
At the turn of the century, there were far less volunteers on the AMTP and thus less volunteers in the trackcrew and they were not getting any younger at that. So when it came to doing over  or even repairing  a long strech of track the  AMTP BOD decided to call on external roadworks contractors. But it costed an arm and a leg and the track was not properly damped if any. So once more we had to grab the mattocks  to finish off the work or else the train was like running on a roller coaster in places.

To be continued...
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: James Patten on February 18, 2019, 05:49:44 PM
"oil of elbow" - Alain, I think you meant "elbow grease".  ;D
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on February 18, 2019, 07:32:00 PM
"oil of elbow" - Alain, I think you meant "elbow grease".  ;D

tomayto, tomahto
potato Potahto

I think it is cute.  But then I am a closet Francophile since my wife and I were married in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  to celebrate our anniversary we are going back again in five months.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Steve Smith on February 19, 2019, 03:02:27 AM
As elbows age and develop arthritis, oil is probably better than grease anyway. I vote for elbow oil.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on February 19, 2019, 04:58:14 AM
As elbows age and develop arthritis, oil is probably better than grease anyway. I vote for elbow oil.
Of course, you would vote for elbow oil since your nickname is "oily" from your journal lubrication work. ::)
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 19, 2019, 03:58:37 PM
 GREASE sure enough ! I should 've known it given that in the US you stuff the  connecting rod bearings with a lot of grease. As you can compare a  connecting rod to an arm and the bearings and journals to  the elbow or wrist joint it makes sense you say elbowgrease. Plus when you have an elbow tendinitis you can use  ketoprofen ointment to grease and ease it unless there is a fly in it.
Bill, tell me please when you are both coming to Paris, if you feel like going  over to Pithiviers and if  I'm not of course on vacation, it would be a treat for me to show you around the AMTP museum, facilities and of course take you for a ride on the train.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 19, 2019, 07:47:58 PM
Steve, you must have gotten up oily to think of that one!  ;D
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on February 20, 2019, 02:30:06 AM
Bill, tell me please when you are both coming to Paris, if you feel like going  over to Pithiviers and if  I'm not of course on vacation, it would be a treat for me to show you around the AMTP museum, facilities and of course take you for a ride on the train.

Alain,  Thank you for a wonderful offer.  Alas, this trip is primarily to take a couple of my wife's relatives a canal trip on the Midi east of Toulouse and our schedule is tight.  Perhaps our next visit.  As you know, France has over two thousand miles of operable canals and most of them have boat rentals available.  We have really come to enjoy 'life in the slow lane" on French canals.

I did google map your trackage and you have a great Museum in what appears to be a very nice town.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 20, 2019, 10:48:24 PM
Bill, too bad, next time you'll come in France .In France there are quite a lot of disused canals that are fortunately become tourist attractions, Canal du Midi of course but Canal de Bourgone too and I live close to the canal d'Orleans that is still under repair.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 25, 2019, 05:29:53 PM
THE AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966- 2019.   PART 2

Hello! In the early two thousand and ten years the AMTP was in a predicament. The turn out  was low ,hence financial problems. Moreover there were fewer and fewer volunteers  especially in the track crew.
The association could no more call on external contractors to carry out the trackworks. Solutions had to be found. In 2012 the BOD decided to apply to the Département du Loiret , the owner of the ROW, for funds. After quite a lot of steps and meetings the Departement du Loiret finally pledged itself to repair the whole line contrary to all expectations . But in France the procedure is very long when it comes to spending  taxpayer money in other words public funds.
Meantime the track conditions were worsening and the Transportation Department bureau in charge of the safety of the French tourist RR had required the AMTP to do over the sections in disrepair.  How to sort out that tricky situation when the ridership has fallen to  3900 and when there are hardly 15 volunteers to operate the whole association?

To be continued....
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 10, 2019, 07:04:41 AM
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966-2019.  PART 3

Hello ! In 2012 the AMTP hit rockbottom with less than 4000 riders and a fistfull of volunteers. In July the director in charge of the operating volunteers had to reluctently call on a former AMTP member and volunteer for lack of engineers.
That guy that had a lot of drive was very clever at mechanics and quite efficient but well known for being bossy and full of himself .Beggars can't de choosy ! When he was aware of the track disrepair, he soon enrolled two buddies of his that were ,as himself ,volunteers on a northern French tourist two-footer. Then he brought togather again a small track crew that repaired the worse spots in 2013.
Over the past few years the AMTP had a good relationship with an other tourist two-footer the Rillé Lake Steam Train, AECFM. That guy talked that association BOD and volunteers into giving the AMTP trackcrew a helping hand. The AECFM volunteers knew a lot about trackworks since most of them worked as trackworkers for the French National RR Company SNCF.
They brought along their two-foot gauge tamping machine and two home made small hopper cars to spread ballast around the ties . Of course the AMTP purchased ballast, crossties and coach screws and rented an all-purpose backhoe loader to remove the decayed ties and ballast and to load the hoppercars with fresh ballast.
From 2014 through 2017 in only 3 works weekends, the worst sections were fully repaired, properly tamped and lined. In exchange the AMTP gave the AECFM volunteers 2 freightcars whose restoration was not planned and quite a lot of equipement they were interested in.

To be continued....
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Gary Kraske on March 10, 2019, 07:17:25 AM
Thanks for a the history of your AMTP line over the years.  Your narratives bring your railway alive!
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 11, 2019, 04:06:14 PM
My pleasure Gary, I'have been a member for over 46 years and an active volunteer for 43 years. I spent some of the best moments of my life on that RR that I still  visit every month and support. Every week I upload AMTP recent and old photos on my fb page with captions or burbles in English especially to WW&F members. So if you are interesting, feel free to log on to  fb Alain Delassus AKA Uncle Srooge.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 14, 2019, 04:04:43 PM
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966- 2019 PART 4

 Although the track was being partly repaired and the ridership was on the rise the association leadership went through a tough time from 2014 through 2016. Finally in February 2017 a new and young leadership was voted and the couple of troublemakers quitted.
 If a few sections of the main had been properly repaired over the past few years, most of the line was still out of condition. A safety issue would soon bring up again. That was the reason why  the new and full of drive AMTP President ,Sebastien Delefortrie, got fast in touch with the President of the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret to remind him of the pledge made by the Departement, owner of the ROW, in 2012 . See part 2 of this story, reply#60.
 After quite a lot of meetings, expert appraisals, and paperworks, an agreement was signed between the Departement du Loiret and the AMTP in late 2018. The agreement stated firstly the expense paid in 2013, 2014 and 2016 by the association to repair partly the track would be refunded. Secondly the repair of the rest  of the main line would be carried out and paid by Departement du Loiret .Thirdly the AMTP pledged itself to keep up the track regularly and properly for the next 10 years.
 The Conseil Général appealled to a well-known French company, specialised in trackworks for the SNCF, to carry those important works out that started in mid December 2018.

To be continued.....
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 14, 2019, 08:35:44 PM
Alain,

Sounds like the AMTP president stuck a good deal with the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret.  It is easier to maintain a track that is in good condition than to bring back a deteriorated section of track.  I hope the next installment includes that the AMTP is making good on it's track work promise and not letting it go to rack and ruin.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on March 15, 2019, 12:38:40 AM
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 15, 2019, 03:24:36 AM
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
John,

From you I would expect nothing less.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 15, 2019, 06:42:35 AM
Alain,

Sounds like the AMTP president stuck a good deal with the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret.  It is easier to maintain a track that is in good condition than to bring back a deteriorated section of track.  I hope the next installment includes that the AMTP is making good on it's track work promise and not letting it go to rack and ruin.
Hello Bill,
I fully agree with you about the deal, it's a good one. It has not been a bed of roses to make it. In 2012 the Departement du Loiret reluctantly acknoledged it was the ROW owner and subsequently was not too eager to carry out the works it had promised. On the other hand, for some reason,  the former AMTP leadership wasn't not too eager to remind the Conseil General of its pledge. Finally things  were sped up and the agreement was signed all due to not only a change in the AMTP leadership but in the Conseil General leadership too.
The so much hoped-for trackworks are almost finished, a test train has been planned within the end of the month. I trust the current AMTP leadership to keep up the track properly. AMTP officers are less than 40 , dedicated and active and the whole BOD stand by them. Above all a friendly atmosphere is prevailing again among the volunteers, which I consider it the basic premise to achieve anything. 

Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 15, 2019, 07:02:09 AM
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
John,

From you I would expect nothing less.
Hello John !
Sorry, no matter how hard I try, I don't figure your pun out, which means  my English needs still improving, I don't doubt it.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Harold Downey on March 15, 2019, 02:36:52 PM
Let me try:   This is a two level pun.  First, the correct phrase is "wrack and ruin", where the word wrack is an old english word that has the same meaning as wreck.  A "rack" is a linear gear used typically with inclined cog railways that can't rely on wheel friction or adhesion
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 15, 2019, 03:26:16 PM
Thanks Harold.  for correcting my use of terms and for the great explanation.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 15, 2019, 04:33:03 PM
Quote
Sorry, no matter how hard I try, I don't figure your pun out

You're not alone, Alain. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we can't figure John out either.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 15, 2019, 05:01:48 PM
Thanks a lot Harold, I knew wreck, rack and cograil but not wrack and rackrail. It makes sense by now.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on March 29, 2019, 11:23:35 AM
Hello! How time flies. In reply # 49 on June 21st 2018 I told you about the stop mechanical signal called the square located at Pithiviers Station exit towards Bellbat. Today I'm going to tell you about the second mechanical signal called the red disc that comes from a long gone three- footer.
It's located at the foot of the steep thight curved incline that goes up  to  Pithiviers Station at around 876 feet from it. The red disc is a home signal that shows a white fringed red round iron plate  when it is on. When it's off it shows nothing because the plate is paralell to the track . At night it shows one red light when on and a white light when off.
The signal is interlocked with the engine shed  yard switch located on the main halfway between the  red disc and Pithiviers Station. The switch stand is automatically bolted in its two positions by a notch. It you want to reverse the switch towards the yard to run a light engine from the station down to the engine shed for exemple, you must put the red disc on, beforehand. If the switch is lined and bolted  towards the main you can put the red disc off or leave it on to protect switching in Pithiviers station such as a run around move.
The red disc, as a home signal ,involves trains that come from Bellébat . According to the AMTP rulebook an enginner that spots the red disc on must proceed at restricted speed,actually 3.5 mph , from the home signal foot. He must stop right before the switch whatever its position and ask the station agent or the dispatcher for orders by using the phone beside the switch or by blowing a whistle to get his attention.
As the switch is located on a 0.27 curved rising gradient it may be tricky to start the train in motion again especially when the rails are wet or greasy. But with a little sand  and  some skill a full-fledged engineer don't need a helper.
I'll soon resume my column about the AMTP trackworks story.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 05, 2019, 11:49:10 AM
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY  1966 -2019 Part 5

Hello !
The trackworks undertaken and funded by the Conseil Général du Département du Loiret, the owner of the ROW, are over. A test train ran on March 26th. Conseil Général du Loiret ,Colas Rail Co and SYSTRA Co representatives were on board as well as the AMTP officers and track manager. SYSTRA Co is specialised in railroad engineering and trackworks supervision. This company was mandated by the Conseil Général du Loiret to make an audit of the track before the works start then choose the contractor and oversee the works. Actually the AMTP did not have a say in the works carrying out in so far as the ROW does not belong to the association.
When the test train was back to Pithiviers Station, Conseil Général représentatives and AMTP officers were not satisfied, to put it midly. Sad to say but despite  changing  2400 ties and  supplying 551 short tons of fresh ballast the track looks like both a winding road and a rollercoaster. A few spots even feature some dangerous cross fall. Of course every representative has promised the AMTP that they'll see to fix up what is wrong. But apart from the most dangerous places that will be hopefully do up in the few next weeks, I'm afraid that the track won't be properly lined and tamped before the start of the operating season at Easter.
 I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 05, 2019, 03:00:55 PM
... But apart from the most dangerous places that will be hopefully do up in the few next weeks, I'm afraid that the track won't be properly lined and tamped before the start of the operating season at Easter. ...
Alain,
What a shame.   :-\
Hopefully the track can be repaired enough to run at restricted speed until further repairs can be completed.
B2
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 06, 2019, 02:31:45 PM
Bill, Restricted speed , for sure.The riders of the test train were sat in an open car. AMTP open cars are more steady than the closed ones that come from a three-footer streetcar. They are a bit wider, higher and more heavy than the open cars and have a tendency to sway quite a lot on their trucks when the track is not properly lined.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 06, 2019, 07:59:52 PM
Hello Alain --

This report is no surprise to me. When I was railroading, I quickly learned that track contractors will do the work as quick and dirty as they can and then head for home. After my first bad experience, I always had an inspector on the job as long as the contractor was working. I also wrote specifications for the work into the contract, so that there was no question of how the job was to be done. While it sometimes cost a bit more, I was then certain that the work would be done correctly!

So sorry the work was not up to standards.

Cheers -- Wayne
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 08, 2019, 12:59:15 PM
Hello Wayne. Your right, track contractors that had carried out trackworks for the AMTP over the past years had always more or less botched the work. This time the AMTP was not even allowed to put its two cents in on the works although it is the user of the line  and liable for the rider safety. SYSTRA was in charge. Fortunately Colas Rail the contractor already came back to Pithiviers to  repair the worsen parts . Last weekend the AMTP checked out steam locomotive 062 #10 cuppled with an open car and the engineer told me that even at 16 mph, the permitted maximum speed, the engine was fairly steady. I think we'll be definetly aware of the after works track conditions at the end of the Easter long weekend and the run of several heavy trains with closed cars in the consist.

Best regards.
 
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 08, 2019, 02:12:13 PM
Alain,

Sounds like things are improving just in time for your Easter opening.  Good news all around.

B2
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on April 08, 2019, 11:25:42 PM
Bill
Comforting piece of news indeed. I'm going to Pithiviers at Easter, I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on May 08, 2019, 06:33:26 AM
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966-2019  Part 6

Hello !
At Easter I was in Pithiviers. It was the AMTP first operating days. During that long weekend a lot of trains ran on the line to take 705 Easteregg hunters and their parents to Bellébat an back. I rode the first train along with the AMTP train master and much to our surprise the track condition was not that poor. But then again Colas Rail Co had been back to Pithiviers for a couple of days to fix up the dangerous parts (See part 5). As long as the trains don't run over 14 mph it's OK and that speed is enough to stick to the shedule that allows 20 minutes for the ride.
But the track has not been still properly tamped and lined and we have to wait until the end of the operating season to take stock of the track condition and to contemplate what to do during the offseason. According to the rather disappointed AMTP President the association might appeal to the trackcrew and rig of the Tourist RR of Rillé once again to finish off the work ( See part 3) or better yet purchase a tamping machine and a couple of ballast hopper cars and do it by ourselves.  As regards the second solution that I consider the better and the more efficient because it's a longterm solution, the AMTP  has of course to find the funding but I guess our resilient President has an idea.
To be continued.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on May 22, 2019, 01:46:55 PM
TRACKWORKS MY TWO CENTS

Hello ! Every tourist RR owner knows that the MOW is essential in many respects but it's a never ending task that calls for time, money and  quite a lot of workforce. Track works are mostly gruelling and tedious plus they don't save the volunters' back and joints. Calling on external contractors costs an arm and a leg and ,sad to say, the work is often botch.
I think that the best bet for a tourist RR is to maintain the track by itself but to this end it has to purchase or build machines and equipments that relieve the volunteer pain and save time. The AMTP does not own anything but an old gas engine powered coachscrew driver. On the contrary,the WW&F owns quite a lot of rig like tamper ,rails and crossties gantry, tie changer machine etc.
IMHO the only equipments that might improve the trackcrew efficiency and save time and pain would be a couple of customized hoppercars to spread evenly and precisely ballast between and around the ties and an electric automated hammer to drive the spikes in.
In order not to be burn as a French heretic in the #9 firebox I 'm making things clear, hoppercars and automated hammers are only intended for MOW not for Montain Extension long work weekends.  If you burn me all the same you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate,I'm not first rate fuel anymore.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Benjamin Richards on May 22, 2019, 05:02:51 PM
TRACKWORKS MY TWO CENTS
In order not to be burn as a French heretic in the #9 firebox I 'm making things clear, hoppercars and automated hammers are only intended for MOW not for Montain Extension long work weekends.  If you burn me all the same you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate,I'm not first rate fuel anymore.

Thanks for a much-needed laugh!!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bill Baskerville on May 22, 2019, 08:03:37 PM
If you burn me ... you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate, I'm not first rate fuel anymore.
Alain,  Your last sentence was one of the best ones I have ever seen in the forum.  Not only that, nothing was lost in the translation.  Well Done!
B2
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Bob Holmes on May 23, 2019, 02:12:30 AM
Alain, you are truly hysterically funny.  You have also added a lot to our Forum, and I hope you continue to contribute for a long time to come.  If I ever get back to France, I will be certain to visit your railroad.  I do hope you can come here and spend a week at the WW&F.  You will get the royal welcome from all of us.

Bob
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Steve Smith on May 23, 2019, 02:58:57 AM
Alain, you humor reminds me of how hard I laughed at Jacques Tati's hilarious movie Monsieur Hulot's Holiday way back in the 1950s. Non-stop laughing all the way through. My rib cage was sore for several days afterward
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on May 23, 2019, 03:08:24 PM
Hello ! I thank you guys so much for your kind replies, be sure they make my day happy. I like humor and I love yours, unfortunately  my knowledges in English don't always enable me to figure out your terrific puns
 Every WW&F members are by all means welcome in Pithivers and it would be a treat  to show them around the AMTP museum and facilities and to take a ride with them to Bellébat.
As regards this forum I second to Bob when he wrote in Letter of encouragement reply #4 " it is a remarkable daily connections that I treasure"; Moreover it enables me to merge my life long passion for the railroad and my 13 year old one for American English.
Some day I'll get to Alna to meet the WW&F familly I hear from everyday on this newsy forum and fb. By then I'll go on telling you about the AMTP idiosyncrasies and try to make the WW&F known in France through narrow gauge RR enthiousast fb groups. I wish I would convince  a few French railroad lovers to join the WW&F but  the language barrier is a hell of an obstacle. It's kind of weird because every French student learn English at high school for six years but they are quick to forget it  when they leave. Doing that is my humble contibution to the great task the WW&F started 30 years back.
Best regards.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on May 23, 2019, 04:32:05 PM
I like humor and I love yours, unfortunately  my knowledges in English don't always enable me to figure out your terrific puns. 
I understand most of the puns, and I am deeply sorry. ::)
Please be careful what you wish for.
-John M
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on May 25, 2019, 01:59:02 AM
Alain,
Bob is right, if you come visit us we’ll roll out the red carpet for our favorite French Two Foot Ami. I also have a solution to your track issues. Just send 20 first class round trip airplane tickets and an empty shipping container to the  WW&F. We’ll fill the container with Tampforce One (a/k/a Big Joe), our track tools and other implements of destruction and jump on the next Air France flight to assist you. We’ll even bring Fred, his chain saw and log splitter for any errant trees you may have.
Dave
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on May 26, 2019, 02:45:06 PM
Thank you so much Dave for the red carpet be sure a visit to Alna is on my bucket list . I'm not sure the AMTP owns such a carpet and I'm going to ask Sebastien our President to buy one for you and any other WW&F members that would come to Pithiviers. As regards your solution for our track issue I'll submit your kind  offer for the next BOD approvoal. Sure, bring Fred along but no need to load his favorite implements in the container because the main line nearest tree is miles away. Wind mills are the only things he could fell , saw and split in Beauce. I doubt it'll work out for locomotive fire up.
Best regards.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 19, 2019, 06:43:21 AM
SOME NEWS FROM THE AMTP
Hello, the AMTP operating season has been underway since Easter and I'd like to give you some news.
AMTP made it big again for the Easter egg hunting trains with 707 riders during the weekend.
 Late May the 2018 General Meeting was held. Around 40 out of 106 members attend the meeting, in the heyday AMTP had 250 members. Ridership in 2018 was 5944, only 3789 in 2013. Given the income and expenditure account, overall spending was 54,730$ , operating income 51,118$, subsidies only 2,998$ and exceptionnal income 6,814$. No donation out here.There was an election to the BOD that comprises 8 members. The eldest, the former President, is 74 and the just voted youngest member is 22. The officer average age is only 34.
Early June the Steam Festival was held. This year it was joined together with a large model train layout show that took place in a concourse located in downtown Pithiviers. There were combined fares and a free of charge shuttle bus ran between the concourse and Pithiviers Museum station. the weather was lovely and 619 people rode the trains during the weekend.
The week after that event a team of 6 volunteers lead by Sebastien Delforterie the AMTP President achieved a sort of feat of engineering. On June 6th early in the morning, the boiler of the DFB 080 MTP #4 came back from a shop located in southern France where it underwent its hydro test after the flues had been replaced. Saturday in late afternoon the engine was already put together and first fired up. After fixing a few leaks the locomotive was fired up again Sunday nigth and  the pop valves lifted properly. Thursday 13th only one week after the boiler had come back # 4 boiler underwent successfuly its steam test and the engine is by now in running order.
I'll soon tell you about safety on the AMTP , a critical isssue.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: John McNamara on June 19, 2019, 04:13:37 PM
Thank you for the update. It sounds like things are going well. Congratulations and best wishes!
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 19, 2019, 04:36:28 PM
Hello John , Thank you for your congrats and wishes. Yes things are going much better  all due to the new , young leadership that has the can-do attitude. Not only the riderdership is on the rise but the volunteer number as well and the newcommers are mostly young. When I thought of the 5 years' back situation i'ts quite a miracle.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 25, 2019, 02:51:55 PM
 Hello you all ! If you can do it and interested of course, give a look on my fb page Alain Delassus. I just posted  a You tube  link to watch a nice video about the AMTP on a Steam Festival day.
Title: Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on June 28, 2019, 10:09:11 AM
SAFETY FIRST !
Hello ! I'm going to tell you the story of the safety on the AMTP that is as long as the AMTP story because one can't separate railroad and safety. Of course safety is a major concern on the WW&F and on the AMTP but it seems to me that the both associations have a different approach to that issue and I think it would be interesting to compare. Moreover I'm myself  very much interested in RR signalling system and operating rules. I'd like to find about how it works on the WW&F as regards safety.
In 1966 the AMTP was the very first French tourist RR and those who created it weren't railroaders but enthiousasts who still knew that safety was a paramount issue when it comes to operating a RR line and carrying passengers.  In those days ,I should say in those happy days, the French law ignored  that new kind of rail activity as regards safety and believe it or not, that situation will last for over 30 years.
No railroad without safety and no safety without a rulebook.  Fully RR safety-conscious the AMTP first leadership released a 7 page rulebook in late 1967. Seven years later in 1974 a  9 page new rule book is implemented due to the installing of two mechanical signals namely a home signal interlocking with the engineshed switch and a stop signal at Pithiviers Station exit. I've already told you about those signals. See replies # 49 and 74 above. Plus the new rulebook reminds the volunteers the switching hand and whistle signal code that is actually the same as the French Nationnal RR Company,SNCF.
To be continued...
BTW if you are interested in the AMTP life, feel free to go pay a visit to my fb page ,Alain Delassus aka Uncle Scrooge, you'll see tons of pictures from now and from the past and don't worry blurbs and captions are mostly translated in English for you ,just look for the Stars and Stripes on the page. CU soon!