• The Petit Train de la Rhune

    Did you know that the Petit Train de La Rhune is one of only three cogwheel trains in France?


    The PetitTrain de la Rhune is one of more famous French tourist trains. It offers a magnificent panorama and allows to discover the local culture.

    "Exceptional". It is the qualifier which often returns in the mouth of those who have a borrowed day the Petit Train de la Rhune. Situated in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques ( 64 ), this site attracts approximately 350 000 tourists every year !

    Inevitable. Whoever goes in the Basque country owes go to discover the Petit Train de la Rhune. It offers to his visitors of the unforgettable memories. 

    Having got back your ticket at the station, have so typical as have welcoming, you embark for a ballad of 35 mn approximately aboard this very beautiful train. The charm of its cars, completely wooden, transports you at once in another world...




    The Petit train de la Rhune is a metre gauge rack railway in France at the western end of the Pyrenees. It links the Col de Saint Ignace, some 10 km (6.2 mi) to the east of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, to the summit of the Rhune mountain. Although this summit lies on the border between France and Spain, the railway lies entirely within the French  department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.


    The idea of building a railway to the summit of La Rhune was first proposed in 1908, and a law passed in 1912 entrusted the construction and operation to the département. Work started on the construction of the line in 1912, but was suspended during Worl War I. The line opened on June 30, 1924. In a referendum in 1978, the population of the nearby village of Sare rejected a proposal to build a road to the summit of the Rhune, thus enabling the railway to survive.

    The concession to build the line, and operate it until 1982, was granted by the department to the Société Anonyme des Chemins de Fer Basques, which changed its name to the Voies Ferrées Départementales du Midi in 1914. The original concession was extended until 1994 and, as a result of a merger, it was taken over by the Société Hydroélectrique du Midi in 1989.

    In 1994, the concession expired and operation of the line reverted to the département. Since then the line has been operated under contract by Veolia Transport, a large international transport services business that also operates several other tourist railways in France.








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