Tourist Train - Transports Hebrard (Blaye)
How did you become the train driver for the Blaye tourist train? I am, first and foremost, a coach driver for the business that my great-grandfather set up 90 years ago! When my father bought the Blaye tourist train, he put me in charge of it. It’s a very singular vehicle; it’s much more fun to drive then the buses that our employees use to take children to school during the rest of the year. Four years after taking control of this business, we’ve invested in more modern equipment to make our passengers more comfortable, for example, we now offer a commentary in English.
What route does the train take?
The train leaves from the foot of the Blaye citadel- a UNESCO World Heritage Site- and heads to Plassac. In this village, visitors can particularly admire the Gallo- Roman villas. After passing through the vines, where our passengers are told about the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux appellation- we arrive back in Blaye and cross the citadel. The route finishes along a path which leads to the vestiges of the Saint- Romain basilica, the resting place of the Merovingian kings of Aquitaine.
You also offer trips that include tours of winemaking estates…
Yes, on Thursdays, late in the afternoon, we take passengers on a trip that includes Château Frédignac, where they visit the cellars and taste some of the wine. Château Marquis de Vauban has offers that include a trip on the tourist train too. We cater for groups as well; they can book a trip at the chateaux.
At the wheel of Blaye’s little tourist train, Julien Lemel leads tours of the citadel of Vauban as well as its vineyards, showing passengers the many riches of Blaye’s heritage.