More than 100 years after its creation, the Train des Chemins de Fer de Provence continues to transport us through wild nature and authentic villages, from Digne-les-Bains to Nice.

The Train des Pignes

A little bit of history

Imagined in 1861 by the Dignois inventor Alfonse Beau de Rochas, the Train des Pignes line was intended to connect the Mediterranean (Nice, attached to France the previous year) to the Alps (Grenoble). It was not until Digne that the line was built, which would be enough to give the engineers many construction challenges before the line finally reached Nice in 1911. To adapt to the steep terrain, the engineers opt for a track gauge of one meter, instead of the 1,40 m usually used. This ingenious resource as well as a hard and long work, make it possible to build a railroad on a particularly difficult course of 150 km. 25 tunnels, 16 viaducts and 15 metal bridges are built!

From the land of fine lavender to that of chestnut trees, the Train des Pignes has been a strong element of Provençal collective memory for a century. Old-fashioned charm giving way to modernity, the new trains of the train with large windows allow visitors to fully enjoy the landscapes: uninterrupted parade of waterways, mountains and gorges. The proud red and orange railcar, recently dressed in a new blue dress, announces itself by whistling joyfully in our little red brick stations.

Take your time

To the rhythm of the Train des Pignes

It is better to take your time to appreciate the route of the Train des Pignes which crosses exceptional landscapes, from Haute-Provence and the Asse Valley to the hinterland of Nice via the Verdon and the Var Valley. . That’s good, the train takes 3 hours 25 minutes to reach Nice from Digne-les-Bains! And to extend the experience, you have the choice between multiple stops to visit the villages along the route.
Four trains leave daily from the railway station of Provence from Digne-les-Bains. You have to cross three other small stations (the Plan d'eau, Gaubert and the golf course) before leaving the town! The train continues its route through the Asse Valley – villages of Mézel and Châteauredon – to Barrême. The route then continues through the Haut-Verdon, then the villages of character Annot and Entrevaux. Before reaching Nice, the Train des Pignes travels through the Haut Var Valley (Touët sur Var, Villars sur Var).

The Train des Pignes

Myth or reality ?

The Train des Pignes has always taken its time. Moreover, one of the legends explaining its name says that the train was so slow that travelers had time to get off on the move to pick up pine cones.

A few stops from Digne les Bains

  • Air : Stop at Saint André les Alpes to gain height by paragliding and overlook the magnificent Castillon lake.
  • Exotic and sporty : Stop at Annot for a walk in the sandstone where erosion has shaped a mysterious landscape dotted with hiking trails.
  • Cultural : Stop at Entrevaux, medieval city, surrounded by ramparts and overlooked by a citadel of Vauban which is well worth a visit!

Schedules and rates

old world charm

The Pignes Steam Train

From May to October, the Steam Pignes Train offers you an immersion in the atmosphere of the train of yesteryear, aboard historic wagons between Puget-Thénier and Annot. Each year, when the summer season returns, the steam locomotive from the 1920s, listed as a historic monument, is put into circulation on certain days of the week and weekends. Booking is strongly recommended, you will find all the information on timetables and prices on the steam train site.

You can book your ticket directly online. Do not hesitate to consult the calendar of events and the program of themed trains before booking your ticket!

If you are passionate about trains and the railway universe, then we recommend that you contact the GECP, Study Group for the Provence Railways, whose goal is the preservation of the historical material of the Provence Railways, backing up and restoring equipment removed from service to its original state. Another goal of the association: to increase the capacity of the steam train and to sustain its operation.

GECP: +33 (0)7 81 92 67 75

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