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The Chemins de Fer de Provence is a small rail company providing a daily train service between Nicemarker and Digne-les-Bainsmarker in Provence. Their one route, which dates from the 1890s, is known locally as the Train des Pignes.

The railway's terminus in Nice was until 1991 at Gare du Sudmarker and since then Gare de Nice CPmarker. The station is the terminus of a (metre gauge) railway from Digne-les-Bainsmarker.

Construction of line began in 1890 followed by a partial opening in 1892. Construction ended on 3 July 1911 and conceded to Sud-France. Lines from Nice stretched to Grassemarker, Puget-Théniersmarker (opened in 1892), Dignemarker (opened in 1911) and Annotmarker.

After World War II, the line to Meyrarguesmarker closed and almost took the entire network with it. The Chemins de Fer de Provence closed the Gare du Sud in December 1991 and moved its terminating services to Nice CPmarker.

On 5 November 1994 an important flooding of the river Varmarker cut the line in several places and forced upon the line a total closure. A new bridge at Gueydan was built and the reopening of the line occurred ion 12 April 1996.

The remaining line is long. It comprises 27 tunnels, including the long Tunnel de la Colle Saint-Michel. The exit of the tunnel, Dignes-side, is at high.

Current operations

The railway line is not part of the Réseau Ferré de France. It is the Syndicat Mixte Méditerranée Alpes, SYMA, who received its concession for ninety-nine years in 1972 who owns it. The SYMA is a grouping of several authorities (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azurmarker, Alpes-Maritimesmarker, Alpes-de-Haute-Provencemarker, Nicemarker and Digne-les-Bainsmarker). It is presided by Gérard Piel, vice-président of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur région and delegate of transport of Antibes. Service of the railway is assured by the CFTA a subsidiary of Veolia Transport.

135 persons compose the workforce.


Passenger service is provided between Nicemarker and Digne-les-Bainsmarker as well as a more frequent urban service between Nicemarker and Plan-du-Var. Steam trains are operated during the summer season between Puget-Théniersmarker and Annotmarker. A postal service is also operated.

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