Paris - Rouen - Le Havre Line John Speller's Web Pages Paris - Rouen - Le Havre Line

John Speller's Web Pages - French Railways
Paris - Rouen - Le Havre Line
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One of the earliest railways in France, the Paris to Rouen railway opened on 9 May 1843, and the Rouen to Le Havre railway, originally a separate company, opened on 22 March 1847, providing through communication from Paris to the coast and connecting thence by ferry with the British railway system. The engineer was Joseph Locke, and he brought in the British contractors Thomas Brassey and William McKenzie to build the line. A major engineering work was the 100 ft. Barentin Viaduct across the Austreberthe river. This initially collapsed, it is believed because the contract forced Brassey to buy inferior local lime, but was rebuilt using British lime and is happily still standing. The original station was on the right bank of the River Seine, but at the time of the opening to Le Havre in 1847 the terminus was relocated to the left bank and is known as the Gare-de-Rouen-Rive-Droite. The two railways forming the Paris - Rouen - Le Havre line were both absorbed by the Chemin de fer de l' Ouest in 1855.
Solemn Pontifical Benediction of the Rouen - Le Havre railway, 22 March 1847. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Barentin Viaduct shortly after rebuilding. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
2-2-2 locomotive No. 33 "St. Pierre," built in France for the Paris - Rouen - Le Havre line by Englishman William Buddicom in 1844. This is the oldest locomotive in the French National Railway Museum in Mulhouse. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
The Gare du rue verte in Rouen. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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