La Gare De Regnéville
©La Gare De Regnéville|S. Lechartier

The Regnéville ‑ Orval ‑ Coutances railway line

THE REGNÉVILLE – ORVAL – COUTANCES RAILWAY LINE

The path you have set out on is an old railway line which connected the port of Regnéville to the Cherbourg – Brest line from 1902 to 1941. As the specialist of this line, Michel Delafosse states “…with a bit of imagination, we can see a train puffing into view”.

The creation of the project

A wait of 25 years was needed before the opening of this line, recognized as having local interest as early as 1877. The project was to facilitate commercial trade and transport between the port of Regnéville and the town of Coutances, having been connected to the national rail network since 1879. The Orval – Regnéville railway line was inaugurated in 1902.

 

Railway infrastructure

Three stations, a bridge spanning the Sienne, cuttings and embankments bordered route of the line over about 8.5 kilometres, completed in a little less than 20 minutes. Regnéville station is wholly constructed on an embankment and protected from the sea by a dyke.

The decline and the end of the line

The long wait between the creation of the project and its opening in 1902 saw considerable modifications in the operational conditions of the line. The activity of the dry harbour in Regnéville collapsed in the 1900’s, as did the lime kilns of Montmartin after 1910. The passenger numbers were never the same again. The line was nonetheless maintained up to the outbreak of the Second World War.

 

> The station and the level crossing keeper’s cottage still exist in Regnéville-sur-Mer. Their architecture is recognisable being built with bricks surrounding the door and windows. Have fun looking out for them! They are never far away from the path…