SOME MEMORIES OF LES RAPIDES

Quelques autres souvenirs français d'antan

 

 





RAPIDES DE BOURGOGNE

A substantial and long established regional operator, founded in 1934, and still in business today as part of the Transdev group. Two timetables and maps are illustrated, dating from 1938 and from 1954, thanks to the collection of James Bunting.      

Currently ninety per cent of the activity is in the département of Yonne including the urban networks of Auxerre, Sens, Joigny and Migennes. Nine long distance routes are operate in Yonne today (réseau TransYonne) and also a line in neighbouring Nièvre. School routes and tourism are important activities too, and with a fleet of 140 vehicles and an annual mileage of 2.5 million, some 3.5 million passengers are transported each year.






RAPIDES DE LORRAINE

With operations based on Metz and Nancy a large network was operated stretching from Longwy in the north to Epinal in the south, and from Verdun in the west to Sarreguemines in the east.  Developed from the Transports Citroen network around Nancy of the 1930s, this was a substantial regional operator that was owned by the Gagneraud family (who also owned Rapides de Cote d'Azur based on Nice on the Mediterranean coast).  The latter day patron, Michel Gagneraud, died in August 2014 at the age of 78. These companies became part of the CGEA group in 1991 and then later passed into the Veolia group. Operations today include interurban services for the département of Moselle (réseau TIM) and the département of of Meurthe-et-Moselle (réseau TED).

Two timetables and maps are illustrated, dating from 1965 and from 1975, thanks again to the collection of James Bunting.      







RAPIDES DE CHAMPAGNE

Started in 1932 with the general expansion of Transports Citroen through both directly operated networks and through local concessionaires such as Denis Ardon in Reims in the département of Marne the route network developed in competition with other pre-existing local operators such as SGTD Société Générale des Transports Départementaux (locally running as the STDM Société des Transports Départementaux de la Marne). From nine initial routes in June of that year the Rapides system grew to eighteen lines in 1937.

Wartime difficulties saw only one route remain in operation, from Reims westwards to Soissons. The fleet size in 1949 was thirty eight, including now Chausson as well as Citroen vehicles which had been operated exclusively in earlier years. Increasingly from the 1960s schools work and later tourism came into the operations.  By 1970 there were 130 vehicles in the fleet. On the buses - here as more generally across France - the number of passengers continued to decline and in 1977 Etienne Ardon (son of Denis) negotiated the sale of the business to competitors STDM, by then part of the Via-GTI group. The combined operation was renamed Marne-Tourisme.


cover Rapides Champagne

(NB some of these timetable links are large files so please allow time for them to download)


As time, opportunity and availability of material permits other items will be included

Au fil du temps, l'opportunité et la disponibilité du matériel, d'autres éléments seront inclus

 



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