Les Trains du Père Noël – Santa special 2014
Depart Rivesaltes 13th,14th, 17th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd and Axat in the Aude on the 23rd December
Organised by the Train Touristique du Pays Cathares et du Fenouillèdes, (TPCF), this Christmas train will leave from Rivesaltes on the 13th, 14th, 17th, 20th, 21st and 22nd, December and Axat in the Aude on the 23rd December.
Non stop entertainment for both old and young including a visit from Father Christmas, who will appear out of the forest, distribute sweets and presents, and accept any letters addressed to him from the younger members amongst his fans.
☃ Hot drinks and nibbles
☃ A present for every child
☃ Make-up workshop on board
|More details: www.tpcf.fr
Reservations: 04 68 59 99 02
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Train du Pays Cathare et des Fenouilledes
Running from Rivesaltes, just off the N9 north of Perpignan, to Axat, high up in the Fenouillèdes is a railway line 100 years old. It was built at the very beginning of the XX century to connect Rivesaltes to Carcasonne. Sadly the spectacular stretch between Quillan and St Martin-Lys became unsafe and was cut. However three men, train enthusiasts, were determined to breathe new life into the old line and in 1993 the Association of the Train du Pays Cathare et du Fenouillèdes was formed.
The SNCF was selling off its 1960s “Picasso” autorails at a reasonable price and it was in 2002 that they began circulating between Cases de Pene and Lapradelle.
At Rivesaltes station, the bright red and white carriages of the TPCF await you, small and gentle beside the speeding TGVs and international freight trains. The country through which it passes is a land of vines and Cathar Castles, a slow climbing journey of over 60 kms. As it leaves Cases de Pène, on the left hand side you can see the tiny hermitage church of Notre Dame de Pène, on the right the vineyards of Château de Jau. Tasting lunches and dinners held by the lake in the shade of a 300 year-old mulberry tree are a must-do for all wine enthusiasts.
Next stop: Estagel, birthplace of François Arago.
Look out for Mas Amiel and Chateau de Queribus standing on the skyline across the vines as you draw into Maury. Maury station is owned by Cave of the Vignerons of Maury, 0468590095, get off here for tasting and castle visits.
At St Paul de Fenouillet, on some trips in the summer months, a bus is laid on to explore the Gorges de Galamus.
The train moves on to Caudiès de Fenouillèdes, last stop in the P-O and main office of the TPCF. At Lapradelle the train stops on the 1904 viaduct to allow you to admire the Chateau of Puilaurens. A series of tunnels and a sharp climb end on a viaduct over the Aude and more fantastic views before finally stopping in the pretty little town of Axat. In the reception hut is a perfect model of Axat Station in the 60s made by one of the founder members of the TPCF.
The timetable and differing circuits vary from month to month. All are exciting and fun. Why not meet Father Christmas on the train in December, rub noses with the Easter bunny at Easter or try the Scary Halloween Special on 31 October? The train can also be booked for private parties.
Tickets and info: 0468599618. www.tpcf.fr