One day between Paris and Dijon

The mandatory quick burger in Dijon marked the start of a mid-april photography weekend. With a group of 3 friends, we were about to discover some hidden secrets on the line connecting Paris and Dijon. Next to a massive amount of locomotive hauled passenger and freight trains, we were expecting spectacular landscapes with bridges and curves and much more.

Well, so much for the expectations. We started on Friday in Villotte-Saint-Seine, where we found this spot. So far, so good. Train traffic seemed to consist mainly of TGV sets though. Fortunately, some TER’s were “nez cassé”-hauled.

SNCF 7243 Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015 D150201
SNCF 7243
Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015
D150201

Back to the TGV’s! They come in all varieties: Duplex, POS, PSE, 2N2, … and in Lyria, Carmillon and Atalntique liveries. A true paradise for TGV lovers, but not really what we were hoping for. Ah well, it was a good occasion to shoot some of these trainsets at a nice location.

SNCF 4407 Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015 D150208
SNCF 4407
Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015
D150208

The waiting paid off at 8.15, when we saw something orange apporaching the distance. Orange is always good :). The locomotive is working hard here as it is pulling its train up the hill towards Blaisy-Bas, out of the Atlantic drainage basin. 4 tracks allow faster trains to pass the slower ones.

SNCF 26194 Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015 D150209
SNCF 26194
Villotte-Saint-Seine 10.4.2015
D150209

After the shots at Villotte-Saint-Seine, and some breakfast, we headed towards Dijon. Here, the line has a couple of viaducts that we wanted to discover. We picked out the “Viaduc de la Combe de Lée” at Lantenay and found a spot that provided us a view from a bit higher. The first train that came by was a Lyria service, a cooperation between the French SNCF and Swiss SBB. It connects Paris to Lausanne.

SNCF 4413
SNCF 4413
Lantenay 10.4.2015

It was followed closely by this car train operated by Euro Cargo Rail, origin and destination unknown.

ECR 66215
ECR 66215
Lantenay 10.4.2015

Patiently waiting did not result in more freight trains, but I was happy with the one we got!

Making photos of trains is an occasion to discover places that are not so well known. That can be very interesting sometimes. In Ancey, we found a spot to make photos with the town of Mâlain in the background. The TGV’s don’t stop here, of course, but back in the days the town used to be rather important. Witness of this importance is the fortress overlooking town, built in the 11th century.

SNCF 4408
SNCF 283

Further towards Dijon, we find more viaducts. On the highway we saw this view of the one at Fleurey-sur-Ouche, and decided to find a place to wait for a train. The first move consisted of only locomotives. It was passed right on the viaduct by another TGV… It makes for a picture loaded with frustration 🙂

SNCF 66000
Viaduct of Fleurey-sur-Ouche

At the Viaduc de la Combe de Lée, at Lantenay, the sun was positioned well for trains coming from Dijon. Among the few ones we saw, there was one freight train, pictured below. Its consist is typically French.

SNCF 26182
SNCF 26182

The last decent spot we found was, again, in Villotte-sur-Seine. The interior of the curb was a nice place to wait. We even saw a freight train… hidden behind a TGV! Yes, frustration again. We got some nice TGV pictures though, like this recently refurbished vintage model.

SNCF 16
SNCF 16

The section north of Dijon of the Paris – Dijon line has surprised me by its nice photo locations. Traffic is not very diversified because of the high amount of TGV trains. The patient photographer can shoot the occasional freight train, or locomotive hauled TER. It was worth the visit, perfectly doable while staying in Dijon. One day was enough though.

If you would like to visit this region yourself, make sure to visit the T-spots section of this website. You will find a map with the photo locations.