Paris-Plage Casino

The Tramway to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Local Tramways

Our main postcard shows one of the self contained petrol trams of the Tramway du Golf that ran from the Casino at Rond-Point des Sports to the golf course and is seen here at La Place de l'Ermitage, the Casino terminus. The view in about 1910 is from a postcard by Neurdein et Cie of 52 Avenue de Breteuil, Paris ("N.D.Phot").

Beach Terminus The first small view (left), a 1910 postcard from E.-H. Caron of 51 Rue Victor-Hugo, Boulogne-sur-Mer, shows a similar petrol car on the other 60cm gauge route, here seen at the beach terminus in Boulevard de la Mer. The second small view (below) is also from Caron and shows one of the small locomotives pulling a converted petrol car trailer in about 1914 in front of the Hôtel du Golf. The third view is about 1921 and shows a locomotive with open sided trailers at the golf terminus and is from a card by Cie. Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques of Strasbourg produced somewhat later. The final small view from an unknown publisher is loco 1 built by Decauville seen at Merlimont-Plage on the metre gauge railway to Breck-Plage about 1912.

In addition to the electric tramway (see Postcard), there was a proposal from the Société des Automobiles sur Rails de Paris-Plage for four tramway routes running in the Paris-Plage area, of which two were actually opened around 1910. They were both to 60cm gauge and initially used self contained 4-wheel tramcars powered by petrol, possibly petrol-electric.

The first 1km route ran from along the Boulevard de la Mer by the beach and then turned inland, crossing the electric tramway at Rue de Paris and then continuing along Rue Saint-Jean to Rond-Point de l'Hermitage and the Casino, serving the large hotels on the way. This line ran until the Great War but may not have re-opened after.

Hôtel du Golf The second route of about 2km, known as the Tramway du Golf, ran from the Casino at Rond-Point des Sports along Avenue des Anglais past the Hôtel des Anglais and along the road to Cucq and then Avenue du Golf through dunes and forest to terminate near the Hôtel du Golf at the golf course owned by the Touquet Syndicate Limited, a British company who were developing the area. This line also closed during the Great War but opened after and ran until 1925. In later days the route was operated by small internal combustion engine (petrol or possibly diesel) locomotives but with steam outline, pulling either open sided Decauville style carriages (baladeuses) or enclosed trailers converted from the earlier petrol trams.

Gulf Terminus The final service in the area was the 17km metre gauge steam railway (the French would call this a tramway) from Berck-Plage (from where there was also a line to Aire) along the coastal dunes to Paris-Plage via Bellevue-les-Dunes, Merlimont-Plage, Cucq, Stella-Plage and around the edge of the golf course. The section from Breck to Merlimont opened in 1909, extended to Daloz on the outskirts of Paris-Plage in 1910. The final 800 metres from Daloz to the electric tramway terminus in Rue de Paris opened on 28th July 1912, the short end section being street running. The line except for the street section used 20kg/m Vignole rails on oak sleepers.

Berck-Plage Steam Railway The railway had an 0-6-0 loco built by Decauville in 1908 and a similar one from Borsig in 1910. Two 2-6-0 locos from La Meuse were added in 1912. Only a few trains were run each day and the line was never going to be a great success. At the outbreak of the Great War the line closed and part of the track was removed by the British Army, who used the dunes for tank training. The La Meuse locos were requisitioned in 1916 and were destroyed by shell fire on the Somme network in 1918.

After some debate over who should pay for repairs, the line re-opened on 20th July 1920 but was still little used. In 1924 two 2-6-0 locomotives from Société Alsacienne de Construction Mécaniques were delivered to replace those destroyed but by then were not needed and were loaned out and later sold, one being preserved. The line closed on 26th December 1928 although was briefly used in spring 1929 by contractors working in the golf course area at Stella-Plage.

BackGo to Postcard Of The Month Index

Reload Home if you linked directly to this page

Postcard of the Month is created by John R. Prentice © Copyright 2012