Nerac. It is now possible to dine aboard the Albret Express

the essential The little tourist train of Albret is setting up a dining car from Monday 18 October. The culmination of a long work carried out for more than a year.

From the outside, the wagon immobilized at Nérac station is nothing like a restaurant. And yet, this is where the charm of this unusual concept lies, driven by the association of the Pays de l’Albret tourist railway.

In a few days, the management team of the Nérac – Mézin line will offer a brand new service that is rather rare in France: “We must be only the sixth tourist train to offer a dining car in France” explains Xavier Passini, president of the association which fomented this project for more than a year.

A work of goldsmiths, combining painting and fitting of lighting, but also the installation of an imposing solid oak counter equipped with a refrigerator. In total, almost thirty guests will be able to take part in the wagon.

On the plates, the know-how of gastronomic chef David Chaves of Sainte-Maure-de-Peyriac will seduce the taste buds of the curious in a setting that will be ready for 18 October and which gives a very retro atmosphere. The wagon will be open on Monday noon during the train ride with a break in Mézin, but also on Thursday evening, at the platform in Nérac station.

“A correct season”

The opportunity for all visitors to discover the history of the Nérac – Mézin line in another aspect, combining the beauty of the landscapes of Gascony with the flavors of the soil.

For the CFTPA association, the dining car also makes it possible to energize the end of a singular season: “We were only able to welcome visitors from the month of May due to the epidemic context, and it is true that the introduction of the sanitary pass affected the positive dynamic on which we were even though tourist trains were not subject to the obligation of the pass “notes Xavier Passini. If this year, the Albret train welcomed 3 000 visitors, or 2 000 less than the average annual, the association believes that the season has been “pretty decent.” Even today, small groups take advantage of the mild autumn weather to take a getaway to the heart of the region’s railway history and its valleys.

2 hours long 30, the walk between the royal city and the former capital of cork has some wonderful surprises in store, such as the mysterious Lamothe-Douazan tunnel. Its nocturnal fauna and its length – 1237 meters, which makes it the longest tunnel crossed by a tourist train in France – amazes more than one tourist.

The Albret Express will still be in service until the end of October for latecomers before the business interruption. The opportunity for the association to prepare even more projects, this time with the feeling of a duty accomplished and the desire to keep the dining car going.

Corentin Barsacq

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