Chemin de Fer Paris-Orleans

by John Hinson

Signal cabin at Volvic
Photograph 8/65, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Volvic is situated on the secondary main line of the Paris-Orleans 21 km north of Clermont Ferrand. To the north of Volvic, the line becomes single as it continues towards Tulle. There is also a single-line branch diverging at Volvic towards Lapayrouse on the Gannat - Montlucon line.

Volvic Poste "A" was located on the platform at the south end of the station. Architecturally, it bears great similarity to British signal boxes on the Great Northern Railway.

General view of Volvic station
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 12/8/64

A view from the box windows looking north shows the double track main line through the station with a freight train approaching. The outer face of the island platform serves the Lapayrouse branch. The actual divergence of the branch occurs 3 km north of the station.

Inside Volvic Poste A
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 12/8/64

The layout is controlled from a Saxby & Farmer Rocker frame of twenty levers. Above the frame is an array of signal repeaters and alarms, whilst against the far wall are a pair of Lartigue block instruments.

The globe lamp and net curtains add a homely touch.

Lartigue block instruments at Volvic
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 12/8/64

This closer view shows detail of the Lartigue block instruments that controlled the double line to Chanat towards Clermont Ferrand. These instruments were common on most of the French railway companies' lines, and a description of the method of operation will be found on the page about Hesdigneul.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson