Right from the start of the building of the line from Paris, which was to open in 1843, railways were very soon playing an important role in the history of the Rouen metropolitan area.

The establishment of workshops for the building and maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock led to the industry putting down strong roots in a region which had hitherto been devoted almost entirely to textiles.

In these pages, the "Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares" tells the story of one of those workshops which is still operating today, the "Technicentre de Rouen Quatre-Mares".

Through our themes and more than 1,000 photographs, we have endeavoured to bring to life not only the history of the buildings and the locomotives but also that of the workers.

It is these men and women, who, whatever their trade or level of responsibility, are ever-present throughout our story. Over successive periods, some of which were extremely painful, they played their part to ensure the quality and safety of French rail transport.

We pay homage to the generations who have spent their working lives in one of Franceís largest railway repair workshops.





For the " Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares "


translation by John Salter

© GAQM2012