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Ardoisieres D'Angers
Gauge : 600mm 
Status : Ceased sometime in 2001
(Click on images for full size picture)
The first view of the slate railway at Angers for many visitors, is often the road crossing which is now protected by an automatic barrier. These pictures were taken in 1995, and at this time the track straight ahead runs to the slate waste dumping area, which is back filling an old slate quarry, and the line branching off to the right is to the shaft where the slate is brought to the surface.  
In this view, the barriers are down, and a Gmeinder is crossing the road with bogies for loading.  
'Puits 25' is the only shaft left open which is rail worked, above and below ground. It was due to be replaced by an underground inclined road. Also, a plan for a local road improvement scheme appears to cut through this site. It is not known if either of these changes have occurred yet.  
Most of the 'bogies' in use are of metal construction, but a few wooden ones are still used. The large slabs are loaded underground onto the cross members of the bogie, weighed as they come to the surface, and then the wagons are coupled together, by long coupling bars.  
By the 1990's just a couple of Gmeinder locos, and a Comessa loco were recorded on the 600mm gauge (a metre gauge system was also still intact, but disused, nearby) system. The Gmeinder loco leaves the empties in one loop, and picks up a train of loaded bogies from outside the shaft.  
The are many remains of other rail systems in the area, and here a bridge over a minor road, still has some rail in situ.
The line terminates in a relatively modern slate cutting and dressing shed.
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Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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