The Tourist Railway

The Haut Quercy Tourist Railway

The Haut Quercy tourist railway is part of the old railway line linking Martel to Saint-Denis-près-Martel. It was built between 1880 and 1884, but was not actually commissioned until 1889.

This French tourist railway is located just above the Mirandol cliff at 80 meters in height.

Today, you can travel from Martel to Saint-Denis-Lès-Martel on a train with a steam locomotive at its head.

This is an opportunity to explore the magnificent landscapes of the Dordogne valley during your stay at La Bourgnatelle campsite in Bretenoux . A guide accompanies you on the journey to fill you in on the fascinating history of this railway line which has existed for over 130 years.

History of the Haut Quercy tourist railway

Previously, this railway line was mainly used for freight trains to ship truffles to Saint-Denis-Lès-Martel . This was the origin of its name "Truffadou".

It should be noted that during the First World War, the railway was particularly assigned to the needs of military troops. It was renovated in 1919 and the American rail that was installed then still stands as we speak.

Since the year 1980, this railway is no longer in use. It was not until 1991 that it was again restored by the Haut Quercy tourist railway association.

The journey aboard the tourist steam trains of Truffadou

The number of travelers has steadily increased over the years. If in 2006, there were only 40,000 users on average, the number of passengers crossed the 80,000 mark in 2016 to reach more than 100,000 passengers in 2019 .

To be part of the adventure, all you have to do is buy your tickets online or go directly to the Martel train station half an hour before the departure of the convoy. Access to the station is very easy. Two parking lots are available to travelers near the Martel station.

Individuals do not need to make a reservation beforehand. On the other hand, travelers in groups of 25 people or more must reserve their places in advance.

The 13 km journey will take approximately one hour round trip.

For the trip, you have the choice between steam locomotives, diesel locomotives as well as portable cars and coaches. The portable lamps adapt perfectly to people with reduced mobility or with a wheelchair. As for cars, they are generally used during bad weather.

At Martel station, shops, refreshments and snack bars are open to the public. If you have pets on a leash, you can bring them on the train without any problem. Regarding group travel, it is quite possible to book a special train. In this way, no other traveler can access the board.