Unique film capturing the end of an era…
Just like the UK, tram systems in France reached a peak between the wars. However, only 24 systems out of a grand total of 130 were still running in the 1950s.
This motivated a number of amateur cine cameramen to travel the length and breadth of the country to record them for posterity before they closed. What they filmed are remarkable in many ways and very different to those in Great Britain. For example, many routes ran far out of town, often on single track serving small outlying villages. All vehicles were single deck often pulling trailers. Some were interurban such as from Marseille to Aix-en-Provence.
The archive was compiled by French video company Les Editions du Cabri and first released in France on DVD. It includes cine film taken from the 1930s to the 1970s complete with soundtrack. The video also features a number of fascinating old postcards.
Systems featured include Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Dijon, Lille, Fontainebleau, Versailles, Valenciennes, Grenoble, La Ciotat and Toulon.
Narration is expertly delivered in English by native Frenchman Yves Aubert.
Produced by - Video 125
Running time - 75 minutes
Aspect Ratio - 4:3
Released - March 2020