hidden europe 59

Unfinished business

by hidden europe

Picture above: The train to nowhere: a fragment of a railway through the Vosges, built in the 1930s but never completed (photo © hidden europe).


In a field near the village of Urbès in eastern France, a stretch of graceful railway viaduct stands alone in a valley. It has never been connected to any railway line. It's a poignant reminder of what might have been.

From Wesserling (featured in the closing paragraphs of this feature), the railway from Mulhouse continues up the Thur Valley to Kruth, where it comes to a definitive end. But as early as 1839, there were plans to build a railway west from Wesserling, tunnelling under the main ridge of the Vosges between Urbès and Bussang, and then continuing down the Moselle Valley to Remiremont and beyond. For the textile mills at Wesserling, the proposed railway would have eased access to the important Paris market.

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