Lulled into the Train des Pignes’ Rhythm
More than 100 years after its creation, the Train des Pignes continues to carry us through the wilderness and the authentic villages – from Digne les Bains to Nice.
Imagined as early as 1861 by the inventor Alfonse Beau de Rochas, born in Digne les Bains, the Train des Pignes railway line had for purpose to link the Mediterranean area (Nice was annexed to France the previous year) to the Alps (Grenoble). However, built from Digne les Bains, this line gave engineers many construction challenges to finally link Nice in 1911.
In fact, to adapt to particularly steep terrain, the engineers opted for a track gauge of one metre, instead of 1.40 m commonly used. This shrewd solution – as well as many hours of hard work – allowed to build a 150-km railway on a particularly difficult path.
25 tunnels, 16 viaducts and 15 steel bridges were built!
Slow down and take your time to fully enjoy the Train des Pignes journey through the exceptional landscapes of Haute Provence and Vallée de l’Asse – not forgetting Verdon and Vallée du Var – to the hinterland of Nice. Good thing, since the train will take you from Digne les Bains to Nice in 3h25! And to extend the experience, the train will stop at several places to visit the villages located on the route.
Four trains leave every day from Digne les Bains at the Chemins de Fer de Provence station. You will go through three other small stations (Plan d’Eau, Gaubert and golf) before getting out of the municipality! The train will continue its journey through Vallée de l’Asse – with the villages of Mézel and Châteauredon – to Barrême. Running through Haut Verdon, it will reach the picturesque villages of Annot and Entrevaux. Before getting to Nice, the Train des Pignes will go through Vallée du Haut Var (Touët sur Var, Villars sur Var).
The Train des Pignes has always taken its time, that is the least we can say! “Train des Pignes” was actually named after “pine cones”. Indeed, according to the legend, it moved so slow that travellers had the time to get off the train and pick up pine cones.
From May to October, the Train des Pignes steam train invites you to immerse yourself in a charming old-world atmosphere aboard historic rail cars between Puget-Théniers and Annot (information and reservations at the Tourist Office).