La Saga du Vivarais (2 DVD set) • App. 180 mins • Colour & B&W (SALE)


Excellent two DVD set telling the story of the French metre gauge Vivarais system from its start virtually to the present day.

The first disk covers the story of the original railway up to its closure in 1968 and the first preserved operation at the eastern end of the system, from Tournon to Lamastre, which closed in 2009.

The bulk of the second disk is the story of the other preserved section - the CF de Velay, between Dunières and Saint-Agrève, but also includes 20 minutes or so on the rebuilding and reopening of the Tournon - Lamastre operation in 2013.

A lot of archive film, mainly colour and mainly from the 60s over the full line, detail shots of the locomotives and railcars and their operation; nearly three hours of delights!

It has to be said that the Velay operation now looks the more relaxed. French commentary.

I knew and visited the Vivarais during the early 1960s, and have to say that this is by far and away the best coverage of the original railway I have seen. Just a pity that the mountain section from Le Cheylard to Saint-Agrève wasn't preserved...