• Rail website (maps, logs, pictures, videos...) born on march 2, 2008, upgraded january 17, 2021 (HTML/CSS programmning by Laetitia Debesse, ENSTA Paris engineering school - many thanks to her !).
  • Author : Reinhard Douté (who am I ? see 2011 interview in french here).
  • My other website : www.rd-music.fr

Publishing company RD-RAIL

Already published :

[LINK] Line profiles of the french network

August 2011, France, 2 volumes (line numbers 001-600 and 601-990 i.e. roughly France North and South)
Editions La Vie Du Rail
(sales taken over by publishing company RD-RAIL mid-2019)

[LINK] Rail journey times in France 1914-2014

A century of progress described in 9 years (1914/33/50/63/78/88/98/2003/2014)
With english text
This book is the first of two on the "Rail performance in France" theme

Future publications (information updated march 5, 2023) :

(publication order is now fairly clear, but deadlines still need to be confirmed)

"Historical and current index of french railways stations and lines"

Expected publication date : late 2023 / early 2024.
This publication, initially on stations only, is a necessity befort publishing any new or revised line profiles, and is a sequel to the work carried out on the proper spelling of station names with SNCF Gares & Connexions - not just the current nearly 3,000 but the more than 9,000 that have once existed (including Corsica and the Nice - Digne line). Specific information will be added e.g. altitudes and GPS coordinates. The work on lines is also about defining correct and useful names, but also adding location information, especially for jonctions and chords (for instance, to which line do these connect at each of their ends, and at what km location ?).
- a list of stations in alphabetical order,
- a list of stations sorted by line numbers and location (km),
- in both of these lists, systematic mention of altitudes, GPS coordinates, and former names if any,
- applying official naming rules to current (2023) and former stations,
- dates au moins approchées (intervalle maximal de 3 à 5 ans à partir de 1945) de fermetures de gares sur des lignes toujours en service,
- a list of recent stations i.e. created after SNCF's birth in 1938, with their opening dates,
- a liste of stations belonging to different companies within the same town,
- a list of displaced stations,
- stations not belonging to the national network : Provence, Corsica, RATP RER lines which were previously SNCF...
- Alsace-Lorraine : how names were "germanized", 1871-1918 and 1940-1944,
- the 7 regional maps showing line numbers,
- examples of lines which have lost most of their stations, often a long time ago,
- examples of stations of small communities, incorporating the name of a larger one because this one has no rail link yet.

AS REGARDS LINES, apart from giving them a clearer name than now, the main information provided is their relative location e.g. for chords, at both ends, to which line they are connected, exactly where, and what is the name of the junction, if it has one.

The expected publication date (at best, late 2023) is best explained by the amount of work involved, which is close to 1,500 hours. There is of course the amount of information that needs to be collected (the most time-consuming items being the altitude and GPS coordinates of the 9,000 stations), but also the necessity to check station name changes and station closure dates (for stations closed on lines remaining in operation - there are about 1,500 to 2,000 of these) since the end of the 19th century, which requires checking timetables over 10 to 15 different dates. All in all, well over 100,000 single pieces of information have to be collected.

Line profiles, extended and revised edition

Late 2020, it has finally been decided that the next publications for line profiles would be both regional and complete over a given territory : in other words, each published volume will include, over its geographic coverage : (1) an update of profiles published in 2011, (2) the addition of all "secondary" profiles, not published in 2011 (~ freight-only or now closed lines).

The geographical division will be as follows :

Volume 1 : Est (Compagnie de l'Est + Alsace - Lorraine network)
Volume 2 : Nord
Volume 3 : Ouest (north of the Loire river)
Volume 4 : Southwest 1 (ex-Etat + PO)
Volume 5 : Southwest 2 (Compagnie du Midi)
Volume 6 : PLM 1 (from Paris to Lyon)
Volume 7 : PLM 2 (from Lyon to the Languedoc region and Italy)
Volume 8 : the Ile-de-France region

For consistency reasons, some marginal lines may appear in two volumes e.g. St-Sulpice > Toulouse, a PO line in Midi territory, for Volumes 4 and 5, and Ile-de-France portions of main lines out of Paris will of course appear in regional Volumes.

For data availability reasons, the very first publication will be Volume 5, scheduled 2023 because the "Historical and current index of french railways stations" (title to be confirmed) will be published before. This will incorporate all lines south and/or west of : Le Verdon - Bordeaux - Montauban - Castres - Rodez - Espalion - Neussargues - Millau - Le Vigan - Lodève - Montpellier - Montbazin-Gigean - Sète.

(see link above for more information on the current progress of this project)

Rail performance in France (2) : from theory to practical reality

Publication is mooted for 2024-2025. This will incorporate two sections :

(2a) Rail performance in France today, both in its principles ans in "real life".
This will first describe the physical principles and the rules which apply to a number of topics : theoretical journey time computation, influence of the overhead supply, recovery time, management of track possessions, tilting trains... Next, a practical vision in the form of commented logs, some on foreign networks, and most relating to the variety of driving behaviours and their influence on timings... a mostly unknown subject, the influence of which is highly underestimated in France.

(2b) All about distance computations on the RFN (Réseau Ferré National i.e. the french rail network) :
how to compute distances (theoretically with 1 m precision, more reliably 10 m in practical terms, because 1 m precision on the RFN is purely theoretical...) from just about anywhere to anywhere, including for a number of freight destinations.

Rail journey times in France 1914-2014 (2024 addition)

In 2024 or 2025, there will be (paper or digital, not yet decided) an upgrade including the 2024 timetable : this will be the 10th year for this survey, after 1914-1933-1950-1963-1978-1988-1998-2003-2014.