Saturday, 17 June 2017

L’exactitude est la politesse des rois

Rully, a village approx. 50 km north of us is renowned for its wines (mainly white Chardonays) and for its château.

Rully - Château
Around this château each year a "marche gourmande" is organised, about which I wrote a blog some time ago. Rully boasts 23 AOC vineyards producing Premiers Crus.

As soon as one enters Rully along the D981 one cannot miss, on the crossing of this road and the roads leading to the centre of the village and the SNCF station, a sculpture in stainless steel entitled "Le vigneron de Rully" van Alain Loget, a huge statue of a grape picker. However, these are not the reasons why we every so often drive to Rully.

Le vigneron de Rully
Le Creusot is the home base of the 241P17 (The Mistral), a beautiful compound steam locomotive built by André Chapelon. This locomotive is used for a number of trips from Le Creusot, among others to Aix-les-Bains, Les Dombes, the Loire Valley and Switzerland. Some of these trips are passing through Chagny station and continue direction Chalon-sur-Saône. At Rully, between Chagny and Chalon, the train runs on a straight track and underpasses a road.

Mistral - 2013
After having studied all sort of maps (Michelin, IGN) we came to the conclusion that Rully in the morning was the best place to take pictures of the approaching train. There is ample parking availability, it is quiet traffic wise, the viaduct has a pedestrian pavement, the train has not built up more than the usual delays and the sun, when shining, lights the scene at the right angle.

Mistral - 2016
The only disadvantage is that we have to set the alarm clock to be there in time, around 8h00. One certainly does not want to end up in the situation of the guy who turned up while we were walking back to the car asking us: "Has the train really gone yet?". French people are late by definition (hence the title of this blog, attributed to Louis XVIII), which is no big deal when attending a dinner party. However, trying to catch up along roads with speed limits of 50, 70 and 90 km/h with a steam train running at high speed is a completely different matter!
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