The Train of the Ardèche
History of the trains and the line
Linking Tournon-sur-Rhône to Lamastre, the railway line was built between 1886 and 1890 and inaugurated in 1891. The sinuosity of the route, crossing the valley of the Doux river, led to the construction of multiple structures to fix the railway to the rock cliffs. The locomotives running on it carry freight and passengers. Steam locomotives from Switzerland were custom-built in 1903 and 1932 for the line. With 400 horsepower, they can pull a train with over 600 seats. Made of varnished wood, the oldest car dating from 1891 comes from Brittany and carries passengers. Symbols of the modernisation of passenger transport in the region, the “Billard” railcars entered service in 1938. One of them was listed as a historical monument in 1992. From 1969, the railway line was dedicated to passenger transport to help them discover a panorama accessible only by train. An open car train is added in 2013.
Ardeche Train routes and must-sees
Six routes are run by the Train of the Ardèche :
- Mastrou, 28 km between Tournon and Lamastre, a beautiful crossing of the Ardèche verte by steam train.
- The Train des Gorges, to enjoy the most authentic landscapes of the line, a round trip of 1 h 30 from Tournon to Colombier over 8 km.
- A 21 km steam train and velorail tour starting from the Saint-Jean station in Tournon, to discover the Doux Gorges up to Boucieu-le-Roi. Then get on the railcar and pedal for 8 km.
- Boucieu Vapeur, 14 km from Tournon to discover Boucieu-le-Roi, classified as a village of character.
- Lamastre Express, 14 km between Lamastre and Boucieu-le-Roi, round trip of 1 hour 45 minutes via two viaducts.
- The Market Train to the Lamastre market, half day trip.
Other train tours are unmissable depending on the events of the year. Wine tasting on a steam locomotive, Western train in July-August with a horse show at the end, special Heritage Day tour, Sommelier train in October to discover the great wines of the region, ghost train at Halloween, Christmas train…
Tournon Saint-Jean-de-Muzols station offers various services : a museum, refreshment area, shop, picnic area, PRM access and free parking. The Train de l’Ardèche also offers a special van to take your bike on board.
The Train de l’Ardèche is open from 4 May to 12 December 2021. The days of operation follow a calendar depending on the season. The departure times can be found on the Train de l’Ardèche website.
Depending on the route chosen :
- Adult : between 15 and 22,50 €.
- 10-13 years : from 8 to 11 €.
- Under 10 years old: free.
- Supplement of 5 € to get into a 1st class car.
Free transport of bicycles, luggage and pets on a leash (the latter are not allowed in 1rst class).
Find the Train de l’Ardèche 127 km from your campsite Mazet Plage.