Journey on historic trains

Come meander the Aa valley on 15 km of railway and in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Caps and Marais d'Opale

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The next circulations

Festivallée 2024

  • The 05/10/2024 to 00:00
  • The 06/10/2024 to 00:00

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Journée spéciale photographes

  • The 16/08/2024 to 00:00

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Voyage en Autorail Picasso

  • The 16/07/2024 to 15:00
  • The 18/07/2024 to 15:00
  • The 23/07/2024 to 15:00

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Voyage en Train à vapeur

  • The 20/07/2024 to 15:00
  • The 21/07/2024 to 15:00
  • The 27/07/2024 to 15:00

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The line and its stations

Quay of Fontinettes

Quay of Fontinettes

During certain circulations we reach this quay. Crossing the canal by the bridge offers travelers a privileged view of the lock.
Fontinettes boat lift

Fontinettes boat lift

This boat lift was built in 1887, it operated until 1967. Unique in France, it was classified as a historical monument in 2014.
Arques train station

Arques train station

Arques station was built at the same time as the line in 1874. Composed of a central body and two pavilions, it serves as a ticket office for visitors and accommodation for the station master. With angle chains and cornices, it is also distinguished by its arched windows and their central key. The goods hall, formerly used for freight, is now used as a warehouse and workshop for the Association du Chemin de Fer Touristique de la Vallée de l'Aa.
Museum and train station of Blendecques

Museum and train station of Blendecques

Built in 1894, Blendecques station is typical of 19th century railway architecture. Encrusted in earthenware tiles, the name of the town can be seen at the top of the building. Restored by the municipality, the station was fitted out by the Association du Chemin de Fer Touristique de la Vallée de l’Aa to present a collection of railway objects.
Quay of Helfaut Coupole

Quay of Helfaut Coupole

It is the only site in France that takes you underground and into space. The only visit to France that tells you the story while projecting you into the future. La Coupole, in Helfaut-Wizernes, is both a memorial site, a museum and a planetarium. I take you on a journey through space and time.
Hallines quay

Hallines quay

On the edge of the track, an entrance indicates access to the unfinished network of underground passages which were to serve as design offices for the Germans in 1943-1944. They are open occasionally during visits to the village. It has preserved an important heritage inherited from the Dambricourts, a family of millers and papermakers at the origin of the industrial development of the valley: a neo-Gothic church built by Clovis Normand in 1873, two castles, one of which serves as bedrooms hosts, and three mills that have become residences. Their preserved waterfalls contribute to the charm of the place; that of the Pidoux mill, a paper mill site which once benefited from a private rail connection, also supplies a Sagebien wheel from 1864 which produces green energy.
Halte Esquerdes

Halte Esquerdes

Beyond the stations and halts, there were stops marked by simple shelters. The Esquerdes stop was therefore established without sedentary personnel. It was rebuilt in fiber cement in the 1920s.

Authentic barrier guard house

This gatekeeper's house was bought by the gatekeeper (who was also a member of our association), who thus continued to occupy it throughout his retirement.
Quay of Setques

Quay of Setques

The Setques quay is the 5th built on this line by the CFTVA. Here, the railway passes at the foot of the limestone hillside, along the Aa, which covers 93km from its source at Bourthes to the North Sea at Gravelines. This geological space is protected by the Regional Natural Park of Caps et Marais d’Opale for its biodiversity.

Metal bridge

It is the only crossing of the Aa by the railway, it was built using the technique of riveting.
Lumbres Station

Lumbres Station

The Lumbres cement and paper mill – the 5th in the Aa valley – are still in operation. They benefited from the proximity of the station, at the junction of the Anvin-Calais lines (metric track) and Saint-Omer – Boulogne. We find their old wooden sleepers in the fences of the fields and the riding school of the equestrian farm. The old route has been rehabilitated as a greenway, to the delight of walkers. The station now houses the Tourist Office. The Passage du Bléquin, a tributary of the Aa, must have been very useful to the old Hochart brewery.

History of the line

The Saint-Omer – Boulogne line is 56 km long. It is a double track line up to Arques and single track beyond with a passing track in the stations of Blendecques, Wizernes, and Lumbres until 1916.

Discover the history of the line

History of the line
History of the line
History of the line