🇫🇷 Pilgrimage train 29635 @ Ossun
In recent years, the number of pilgrimage trains to and from Lourdes has been steadily decreasing, as the relative costs of running a train, compared to using coaches or aeroplanes, are increasing. Most of what's on offer these days is provided by the Italians, everybody else either charters a TGV or uses other means of transport. It is therefore a delight to see another pilgrimage train, in this case composed of Belgian coaches.
The pilgrims from the seminary of Tournai (Doornik), near the French border at Lille, are approaching their destination with a delay of about 15 minutes. Its route had been Tournai - Longueau - Grande Ceinture of Paris - Les Aubrais-Orléans - Limoges - Toulouse - Tarbes - Lourdes. Normally, the route via Bordeaux-Dax would have been chosen, but that line is closed during a large part of the night due to engineering works connected with the high speed line Tours-Bordeaux (LGV SEA). The train is hauled by BB 7293, and the coaches are of the I6 Bc type, plus one baggage van (Dms) towards the end of the train - not really visible on the photo. Thanks to the driver for waving at me. Ossun, 18-07-2014.