Friday, August 21, 2015

Tuchan - the end of the line!

In 1897 the wine production of Tuchan and the surrounding area was estimated rather generously at 75000 hl  – the equivalent of 10 million bottles.  This justified adding a line from Ferrals in the Corbières to Tuchan linking them up to Lezignan and on to the Midi network to Bordeaux (which is probably where most of the wine was heading !)

It wasn’t full steam ahead though as each village wanted to be included and in 1900, the planned route was extended by 5 km.  People in Tuchan were up in arms as it made their journey more expensive so in August 1900 it was agreed that the extension would go ahead but that the ticket price for people from Tuchan and the surrounding Hautes Corbières would be reduced to compensate for the additional 5km.  

But the immediate problem in Tuchan was to decide which way the line would go after Tuchan.  Towards Paziols and the Pyrénées Orientales or towards Padern further inland and on to the deepest corners of la France Profonde.

After much heated debate and wasted energy (as is still so much the case down here) the tracks never made it further than Tuchan.  The train line was to be extended using the profits from the first section – profits that unfortunately never materialised.

After all (or most) of the village politics had been settled, the station finally opened in Tuchan in 1905 !

You can still see the small ticket office and platform in the village and the wild boar hunters have converted the depot into their hunting lodge.  The tracks are long gone and found a new home in Yugoslavia along with the trains.