Twenty kilometers south of Grenoble (France), the "La Mure Railways" draws a link between two small cities: St Georges de Commiers and La Mure d'Isère. The line extends on 30 km, crosses a very rocky landscape and raises from the shallow valley of the Drac river to a high range plateau, thanks to 143 bridges and tunnels.

The construction work spaned from 1882 to 1886, requiring tremendous efforts. The French Army was even asked to shell the vertiginous rock walls of the Drac canyon too stiff to allow workers access. The first revenue load rolled in 1888. During 100 years the railway hauled the coal of "Les Houillères du Dauphiné".

The "St Georges-La Mure" line was in fact the starting point of a large project which would have linked two large cities: Grenoble and Gap (120 km away), hence the name: SGLM-G (St Georges de Commiers à La Mure et Gap). This project did never know a total accomplishment, but the line did extend up to 60 km. [see map and profile].

The line has been the play ground of a world technological première. Here was conducted the first trails of electric traction under high DC voltage catenary (+ 1200 V, - 1200 V). In 1912, 100% of the traffic relied on electric motive power, provided by the swiss industry (Ateliers René THURY, in Geneva - Switzerland).

Since 1988, The SGLM company became a notorious tourist attraction, hauling near 60000 visitors in vintage equipment, during the sunny days. Today, the "SECHERON" electrics pull their load of happy goers at a maximum speed of 30 km/h to the discovery of another era, in a splendid scenery.

A remarkable book of 511 pages has been realised and edited by Patrice Bouillin and Daniel Wurmser (ISBN: 2-905447-11-7).

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