Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Not the Fréjus Railway Tunnel.

The railway tunnel under the Col de Fréjus was built in the years 1860-1870. It was a magnificent achievement made possible by the invention of a tunnel boring machine by an Englishman.
This is NOT the Fréjus railway tunnel. It is not a tunnel at all.
It now carries the fast international trains between Italy and France. Soon after  the original tunnel was built it was extended by over a kilometre to avoid some persistent rock and mud falls.

As we drove up the old road out of the frontier town of Modane, we came across this magnificent monument. I assumed it to be the first entrance to the railway tunnel but when I looked at its alignment I could not see how the trains could possibly have turned on so tight a curve as would have been necessary to avoid their plunging off the side of the mountain.

Further research revealed that this is not a tunnel at all and never had railway tracks in it. It is a museum installation which is a complete fabrication. I had to ask somebody in the town for this information for the museum is only open in July and August.

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