Passenger trains (a single return trip per day in recent times) were surreptitiously suppressed by the SNCF five years ago already. Since, only one freight train remains to serve the Mont Dore water plant three times a week. It allows 40% of the plant’s production to be transported through the Clermont-Ferrand yard of Gravanches.
But the SNCF threatened to suspend the line, in poor condition for lack of sufficient maintenance. Those are the local authorities who came to his aid by providing 400,000 euros to carry out urgent work. They make it possible to keep the line in service until the end of 2021 but SNCF Réseau will close the line in a year due to lack of new funding and new work.
Railcars or trucks
There was therefore no question of letting the railway company abandon an additional line in a Massif Central already well deserted by rail. Residents of La Bourboule launched a petition last summer and the elected officials of Sancy took over. So they came together to create this apolitical association, which brings together elected officials from left and right. The president is the former environmentalist Danielle Auroi and the honorary president Senator LR Jean-Marc Boyer.
They don’t want the disappearance of the train to mean 30 more trucks every day in the crossing of Murat-le-Quaire, while the D219 is already widely used. At a time when the government wants to promote rail to fight against global warming, the Volvic – Le Mont Dore line is emblematic of political choices.
The association has in particular planned to knock on the door of the European Union to try to save this line, to maintain the freight train and why not to find other traffic. For example, the return of passenger trains or finding another freight traffic: the Laqueuille water plant is located very close to the line and the platform to serve it exists, it only remains to lay the track .