Small Ribières Railway

The small railway Ribières is a circuit of garden train located in Limousin, in the mountains of Châlus , country of feuillardiers , in the town of Bussière-Galant .

The line

The railway line is established at a place called Les Ribières ( Limousin Occitan rivers ), within the space Hermeline. Its construction began in 1997. Jean Dumias built the track elements, while the town of Bussière-Galant proceeded to the shaping and leveling of the land, financed the purchase of materials for the track, the first rolling stock elements , and the construction of the station.

The rail circuit is two nested spacings of 184 and 127 mm, a total development of 750 meters including 550 meters of full lane 1 .

The railway complex includes, in addition to a lane of two widths, twelve turnouts, a station with sidings, garage and maneuvers and a small depot for rolling stock. The safety of the convoys is ensured by an electrical signaling 2 .

Born from a project initiated in 1995 by Jean Granger, Jean Dumias and Patrick Hémard, the line and its facilities are managed by an association, the Association Traction Ferroviaire et Modélisme (ASSTRAFER) whose goal is the promotion of railway model making by exploitation of the Petit Chemin de Fer des Ribières and the periodic organization of railway exhibitions.

Rolling stock

The small Ribières railway hosts a steam locomotive, thermal locomotives and electric locomotives.

The steam locomotive

Called “La Grosse Lulu”, it is type 131 (1 axle carrier, 3 drive axles, 1 axle carrier) and operates on coal (the same as that used by the 141-TD-740 Limoges) and water . Its operating pressure is 5-6 bar. The water needed for the locomotive is stored in the tender (wagon) with a capacity of 80 liters, which allows about ten laps of the circuit, about 7 km. Its boiler has a capacity of 21 liters. This locomotive, probably inspired by a forestry locomotive, was built by Roland Imbert in 2000, and refurbished for the 2011 season. It can tow up to 20 passengers and weighs 350 kg.

Thermal locomotives
  • The “Y 8700”

This locotractor is not a strict reproduction of SNCF engine equipment, but it has some similarities with the Y 8000 , a small locomotivesman. This locotractor is powered by a motor tillerspeed, two in forward and reverse. The drive is carried out using a belt clutch by palai [Quoi?] Driving the axles using chains through an intermediate shaft. This locotractor can pull more than fifteen people in level. It has a total weight of 70 kg.

  • The “Y 7100”

Like the “Y 8700”, this locotractor is an imaginary reproduction close to the Y 7100 of the SNCF. Its engine is identical to that of the Y 8700. It weighs 65 kg.

The electric locotractor

Imaginary reproduction of a small locotractor, it has a 24V engine. He has an idle and exemplary driving flexibility. He can shoot up to eight passengers. Powered by two 12V batteries, it is only used indoors and does not run on the outdoor network.


A first train runs on the rails of the Ribières network, for the first time in July 1997.

The operation opened in July 1998 in the presence of Jean-Claude Peyronnet , Senator and President of the Haute-Vienne General Council, and the municipality.

Since 1998, the small railway Ribières has transported more than 25,000 passengers, more than a third of adults.

The Ribières rail circuit is open to people with rolling stock corresponding to the 184 mm and 127 mm spacings, subject to the prior agreement of the managing association, Asstrafer 3 .


  1. ↑ The Popular , ( read online  [ archive ] )
  2. ↑ ” Presentation of the little train ”  [ archive ] , on the Espace Hermeline website (accessed on April 25, 2012 )
  3. ↑ ” the small railway Ribières ”  [ archive ] on the site of the Association Asstrafer (accessed April 23, 2012 )

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