The installations of the Corsican network

The installations of the Corsican network

Stations in Corsica

The central line, built by the State, reflects the idea of a general interest railway at the time. The stations are modelled on the continent's mainline railway stations, with the passenger buildings (BV) separate from the freight hall. These halls are served by a dead-end track, branching off into a siding. On the other hand, the other two lines have a C.F.D. type system for some of their stations, consisting of the construction of the BV with a freight hall

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Bastia's central train station

It is the most important station in the network. It contains the workshops and depots for locomotives and railcars. It is in this centre that has carried out, since the birth of the network, all the major repair and maintenance work on the rolling stock. Over the years, the layout of the tracks has been modified. We give the plan of it at the time of 1937 (apogee of the network). At present, this station has undergone a profound modification, with the workshops being transferred to Casamozza and the "passenger" building moved to the site of the old coach houses.

The connection to the port, initially branched on the original side of the station, had been given an additional direct track on the tunnel side, thus forming a vast American triangle allowing the turning of the long railcars on the one hand, and direct access to the port for trains coming from Ajaccio on the other.

Crossing of the railcars at Vizzavona station. At the end you can see the northern entrance of the tunnel. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
Crossing of the railcars at Vizzavona station. At the end you can see the northern entrance of the tunnel. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)

At the present time, this connection has been removed and the majority of the workshop buildings have been destroyed, as well as the old goods hall and the B.V. The latter, after having undergone a temporary solution, has once again been built jointly with the offices of the Local Directorate, whose old building has also been demolished to enable the new Prefecture of Bastia to be set up.

A new goods hall was built and only the railcar workshops were retained for routine maintenance of the equipment.

A three-lane bundle at the platform was created for passenger service, as well as a set of sidings for freight vehicles.

General view of the Bastia workshops after the 1939-1945 war. From left to right Autorail Renault, Tractor Brissonneau and Lodz, Billiard trolley. (Photo B. ROZE)
General view of the Bastia workshops after the 1939-1945 war. From left to right Autorail Renault, Tractor Brissonneau and Lodz, Billiard trolley. (Photo B. ROZE)

The new Casamozza workshops

Due to the suppression in Bastia of the main workshops, it was necessary to plan their reconstruction in another site. The only available land, nearby being located in Casamozza, these were built on the site of the old garage bundle, which had been profoundly modified for the circumstance. Two modern metal buildings house tools adapted for the most important works in a lifting workshop and a wagon workshop. In these, all G.R.G. and repair work is carried out without difficulty. The only disadvantage is the distance from Bastia's central railway station.

The wagon workshops around 1971. From left to right, Billiard ex P.O.C. railcar, Renault railcar. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
The wagon workshops around 1971. From left to right, Billiard ex P.O.C. railcar, Renault railcar. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
BASTIA STATION (current status)
BASTIA STATION (current status)

Ajaccio station

Terminal station of the central line, the B.V. is located in front of the flights of the passenger trains, three of which in Impasse are served by two platforms. Three tracks are also provided for freight service, one of which serves the open platform and the freight hall separate from the B.V. An overflow track in Impasse completes the P.V. bundle. A machine shed served by three tracks, one of which is accessible at both ends and has a spike pit, forms the bundle reserved for traction. A coal yard and a water tower complete the whole.

Special express train in Ajaccio station, towed by tractor no. 402. /Click B. ROZE)
Special express train in Ajaccio station, towed by tractor no. 402. /Click B. ROZE)
BASTIA STATION (current status)
BASTIA STATION (current status)

At present, only one track remains for the railcar garage and maintenance, as the depot has been abolished in favour of a maintenance post for routine repairs that do not justify the immobilisation of a large number of staff.

General view of the P.V. installations in Ajaccio. Railcar train leaving the station for Bastia. General view of the installations of the traction and the offices of the exploitation in Ajaccio (Photo B. ROZE)
General view of the P.V. installations in Ajaccio. Railcar train leaving the station for Bastia. General view of the installations of the traction and the offices of the exploitation in Ajaccio (Photo B. ROZE)

Calvi station

As the terminus station of the Balagne line, it was planned as a transit station, in view of the extension to Ajaccio. As a result, the B.V. is located as in a normal station. Initially, the platforms were staggered, so that the I track forms a drawer for the operation of the locomotive. Since a few years track 2 has been : extended, and a third track laid for the railcar garage. A dead end track serves the freight hall and the open platform. On this same track, the three-track locomotive rotunda, equipped with a swivel bridge, branched off. Along this track the fuel park was built.

View of the Calvi B.V. on the travellers' courtyard side. One can see a locomotive maneuvering on the drawer. (Collection J. RENAUD)
View of the Calvi B.V. on the travellers' courtyard side. One can see a locomotive maneuvering on the drawer. (Collection J. RENAUD)
CALVI STATION
CALVI STATION
General view of the traction installations in Calvi (Photo B. ROZE). View of the P.V. hall in Calvi (Photo J. RENAUD).
General view of the traction installations in Calvi (Photo B. ROZE). View of the P.V. hall in Calvi (Photo J. RENAUD).

Branch stations

Two of these stations, once very important, have now lost much of their activity. We will describe them in their original form.

Casamozza station

Served by three passenger tracks at the platform, it was also equipped with a freight track branching off at both ends onto the main track. It ended with a dead end serving the P.V. hall.

View of the new train station of Casamozza rebuilt in 1945. The P.V. hall is original. (Photo B. ROZE)
View of the new train station of Casamozza rebuilt in 1945. The P.V. hall is original. (Photo B. ROZE)

In addition, a bundle of siding tracks, four in number, allowed for the storage of unused P.V. cars. It is on this site that the new workshops are currently being built.

CASAMOZZA STATION (Right current state)
CASAMOZZA STATION (Right current state)

The bifurcation, by itself, was on the Ajaccio side, by means of a diagonal connecting the two roads placed side by side. The lane reserved for the destination of Bastia (lane I) was common to both branches. This junction allowed the routing of direct trains without turning back in the directions of Porto-Vecchio and Ajaccio.

Rail-road connection in Casamozza. In the background you can see the old Buffet. Fast train in Casamozza station
Rail-road connection in Casamozza. In the background you can see the old Buffet. Fast train in Casamozza station

Ponte-Leccia train station

In the same general layout as Casamozza Station, from the point of view of passenger and freight facilities, this station includes instead of the siding bundle, a diagonal siding and a track serving a two-track locomotive shed , as well as a dead end with a swing bridge. A water tower and a fuel park complete this installation. A double diagonal has been installed for the Calvi junction, which allows direct trains to be routed without turning back in the directions of Calvi and Bastia from Ajaccio. However, the direct trains Bastia - Calvi must turn back.

General view of the Ponte-Leccia train station. From left to right, the buffet, the W.C. building, Lampisterie and the B.V. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
General view of the Ponte-Leccia train station. From left to right, the buffet, the W.C. building, Lampisterie and the B.V. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)

In addition, an additional dead-end track exists on the Bastia side to serve as an overflow track.

LECCIA BRIDGE STATION
LECCIA BRIDGE STATION
General view of the Ponte-Leccia train station on the North side. We can see the machine depot. General view of the Ponte-Leccia railway station on the south side. We can see the water tower in the background on the right. (Photo B. ROZE)
General view of the Ponte-Leccia train station on the North side. We can see the machine depot. General view of the Ponte-Leccia railway station on the south side. We can see the water tower in the background on the right. (Photo B. ROZE)

Corte train station

The only other very important station of the network, having often been employed as the head end of the section trains, and therefore having a traction plant, it deserves a detailed description.

View of the Corte station on the north side showing the depot and the workshops. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
View of the Corte station on the north side showing the depot and the workshops. (Photo C. SCHNABEL)

Also served by three tracks on the platform for passengers, this station has two PVC tracks, one of which serves the hall, and a third serving as an overflow, these three tracks being at an impasse.

CORTE STATION
CORTE STATION

Three sidings, branching off at both ends onto the main track, enclose a coal yard, a three-track workshop and a two-track locomotive shed. A double water tower provided the water supply for three hydraulic cranes.

General view of the G.V. and P.V. installations at the Corte railway station. View of the depots and workshops of the station of Corte. (Photo B. ROZE)
General view of the G.V. and P.V. installations at the Corte railway station. View of the depots and workshops of the station of Corte. (Photo B. ROZE)

Miscellaneous equipment

There were two peculiarities on the Corsican network which were also found on the Vivarais network, it was the multiplicity of water supply points on the one hand and that of buffets for the use of passengers on the other hand. This equipment, of course, is a consequence of the tormented profile of the line and its length. As this length generates quite long journey times, it is not surprising to see the network marked out with buffets designed to allow passengers to eat during the journey, during connections and during station manoeuvring times.

View of the B.V. of the Ajaccio station on the passengers' courtyard side (Photo B. ROZE)
View of the B.V. of the Ajaccio station on the passengers' courtyard side (Photo B. ROZE)

List of water supply points :

  • Central line: Bastia, Casamozza, Ponte-Leccia, Soveria, Corte, Venaco, Vivario, Tattone, Vizzavona, Bocognano, Ucciani, Mezzana and Ajaccio.
  • East coast line: Prunete-Cervione, Aleria, Ghisonaccia, Solenzara, Saint Lucia and Porto-Vecchio.
  • Balagne line: Palasca, Le Régino and Calvi.
ÎLE ROUSSE STATION
ÎLE ROUSSE STATION

List of buffets :

There are seven of them: Bastia, Casamozza, Ponte-Leccia, Corte, Vivario, Bocognano and Ajaccio, all of which are spread out along the central line.

General view of the Ile de Rousse train station. Crossing of the railcars (Photo C. SCHNABEL)
General view of the Ile de Rousse train station. Crossing of the railcars (Photo C. SCHNABEL)

source : MTVS 1984-4

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