Tram de la Frenesie

Sm, French narrow gauge, 4 @ 1 foot

French outline, scale of 1:64 on 16.5mm gauge track

The Tram de la Frenesie is a meter gauge industrial tramway on the Authie Estuary a few kilometres north of the Somme Estuary. Built and owned by the electrical company it links a quay at the head of navigation to an electrical power station near Frenesie. The line was built with ‘stations’ due unfulfilled plans to extend the tramway to a junction with the mainline at Conchil and along the southern side of the Authie Estuary. The tramway uses third rail powered four wheeled trams two to move coal its main traffic from the quay to power station and a third tram moves the small amounts of passenger and general goods traffic. The layout is set in the mid 1950’s. The concept is to model both Authie (quay and depot) and Frenesie (power station).

The Quay


Tram Shed

On route

The power station

French Secondaire

The secondaire railways are very roughly the French equivalent of light railways. They were developed to stimulate the rural economy particularly farming and graded general, local and tram, tram being the bottom of the pile. Funding came from central government, departments and communes (parish). Their history is both interesting and contradictory! They grew twelve fold between 1870 and 1912. At the end of 1912 an additional two and a half thousand kilometres were under construction or authorized but most of these were prevented from coming to fruition by the First World War. The War had a major impact on existing lines with war damage, deferred maintenance, mobilization of staff and the removal equipment, in certain cases entire railways. After the War secondaire continued to expand reaching their peek mileage about 1925 with the last secondaire opening in 1928. Improving road transport meant the next decade was one of rapid decline. In 1938 the transport Co-ordination law caused many secondaire to closed or loose their passenger service. The Second World bought the same problems as the First but to already run down railways. Services on the lines that survived the 1938 law were as far as possible intensified and some freight only lines reintroduced passenger services. At the end of the War many lines were in a run down state and closed. By 1947 mileage was down to a third of it peek and by 1962 it was the similar to 1870.