Last year we explored the former Terrasson – Hautefort railway line. We found it was part of a larger Hautefort – Gourdon service, inaugurated in 1899 (Sarlat-Gourdon in 1902), which again was part of a larger effort to establish a Paris – Toulouse axis. The section connecting Terrasson with Sarlat transported passengers till 1940 and goods till 1955. Declassified in 1960 it had its rails removed. In 1969 parts of the route were asphalted to be used as roads, transforming the Valade bridge into a road bridge.
The planning lead to some local conflicts as the communities of Montignac, Salignac and Saint-Genies tried hard to get the new railway aligned with their communities. During the first world war this section remained in service, the other two were derailed to support the war effort.
Our exploits revealed some beautiful bridges, tunnels, stations and interesting stories. Trees and shrubs conquered the embankments forming green lines in the landscape. Scattered bridges transformed for road use, stations were converted to houses, offices and the town hall of Proissans. The 1.5km tunnel of Saint Amand became an important hibernation place for bats and was included into the 'Natura 2000' European ecological infrastructure.
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