Les Panoramics de Langres

Haute-Marne (France)

Text and photos by Michel AZEMA ... May 1996
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The Panoramics A (left), B (right) and the rampart.

Langres is a very famous place for all the French railway lovers.
It was at Langres that the first cog-wheel (crémaillère) train was built in France in 1887.
Langres is located between Champagne, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté in the Haute-Marne department. The city is located at the top of a hill which is completely surrounded by ramparts. In 1858 the new railway Paris-Muhlouse was built but the line was drawn few kilometers in the plain at the bottom of the fortress.
To link the railway to the top of the city some projects were decided. One of these was a cog-wheel/funicular railway composed of two steam locomotives coupled with a cable and a big horizontal pulley at the top of the line. The trains were supposed to reach the city through a 133 meters tunnel. This project was rejected because of the top station which had an insufficient accessibility.
The winning project was a cog-wheel railway with steam locomotives. The track reached the top station on a bridge which pass just over the rampart on the East side of the city. (Cog wheel train)
In 1935, the steam locomotives were replaced with two electric ones but in 1971 the first French cog-wheel train was stopped...

Still today no other railway has replaced the old one. The only way to reach the city is by automobiles. Langres is surrounded by old ramparts and there is no way to increase the size of the city on the hill and the number of cars in the streets is a big problem.
In 1995, the municipality decided to build a new car park outside the city but just at the bottom of the rampart on the East side. The car park is on two levels and, certainly, the municipality remembered that Langres has some experience of how to pass over the rampart so two inclined lifts were built to link each level of the car park to the level of the city !

These two inclines are called « Les Panoramics ».

They are in use since the 27th April 1995.

They were built by SKIRAIL, which is a subsidiary of Pomagalsky France, they have real lift technology and lift electronic.

Other links to Langres:

Le Pays de LANGRES

General vue of the rampart, the parkings "Sous Bie" and "Les Marronniers" on two levels and the Panoramics inclines which link them to the city.

Detail of the cabin of the Panoramic B.

The cabins of the Panoramics A and B reaching the rampart.

The cabin A at the station "Sous Bie". Note the central rail in inversed T and the three cables.

Detail of the cabin A.

Station "Sous Bie". Note that the track of the Panoramic A (right) stops at the station "Sous Bie". The stairs go down to the maintenance office which is under the tracks.

The two cabins at the station "Sous Bie". Note the maintenance office under the tracks.

The cabin B between "Sous Bie" et "Les Marronniers". Note the central rail and the three cables.
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Copyright © 1996 by Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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