The « Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares ».........
.... To the memory of the Railwaymen of Q.M.

It is during the first quarter of the year 1992 that Loïc Leblanc and Joël Lemaure, two team leaders of the workshops of "Quatre-Mares" go out from the forgetting an impressive collection of photographic negatives.

An inestimable and forgotten collection.

This collection, more than 5.000 pictures, consists largely of glass plaques. The most ancient is dated 1912. They unveil the story of the workshops of “Quatre-Mares” of their construction till the end of the year 1975.

Creation of the "Groupe Archives Q.M."

With the cooperation of Raymond Thieulin, team leader retired  of Quatre-Mares, and of some passionate persons, they create then the «Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares. »

Voluntarily they take at their expenses the development of a big part of negatives. If at first their objective is to protect this treasure and to make so that every member of the group possesses a personal collection, they quickly glimpsed the necessity of revealing her to the public.

A Photo exhibition in 1994

With the authorisation of the S.N.C.F and the assistance of Sotteville lès Rouen's city hall as well as that of Photoclub of Railroad employees de Sotteville, they expose in June, 1994, in the hall of the City hall of Sotteville, the fruit of their work under the shape of a selection about 160 photos.

Another vision of the French Railroads

The aroused interest is undeniable. A large number of visitors discovers for the first time a hidden side of the local railroad activity as well as a fragment of the Story of Sotteville lès Rouen and St Etienne du Rouvray; two municipalities where the density of Railroad employees , although today reduced by half, were significant. A great number of Sottevillais and of Stéphanais have, or had, a member of their family which worked on the workshops of “Quatre-Mares”, in those of “Buddicom”, in the warehouse of Sotteville, or still on the Sorting, in the Transport, etc. in........ All these activities so different and nevertheless so close and united represent at the big period of the vapor, a total staff on the site which exceeds 5.000 persons.

Between the walls of “Quatre-Mares” is succeed one another so since 1920 the generations of workers. The number of employee's is close to thousand agents in these time blessed where, we do not speak still of unemployment, and attain temporarily, just after the liberation, approximately 1.600 agents.

An objective for the posterity

In front of the enthusiasm of the visitors, the editorial staff of a pound, was imposed to the group. Make go down in history, this bastion of the repair of locomotives is from then on the rough task, but more enriching, that the G.A.Q.M gives itself. Two newcomers, Sottevillais too, have joined  the group for the opportunity: Miss Sandrine Folliot, graduate in Letters and Michel Croguennec, PhD student in History.

Officialised's in association under law of 1901, they enter then of full foot on unknown ground, that of journalism. They questioned  a large number of retired people, and widened their researches for documents sometimes in Great Britain.

A Book witness

Three working years are necessary for the writing of texts which, as missing links, have brought to photos what these last ones do not say. The maquette, realized by the GAQM, is used by the publisher: "La Vie du Rail".


This book, dedicated to the memory of the Railwaymen, fills a gap. he enlightens a hidden face of S.N.C.F., a sedentary  branch, but the importance of which is not to be neglected. It is the only book which relate the life of an establishment of repair of locomotives.

And today this site

At the era of Internet, the “GAQM” decides to use this means to prolong its activity and to satisfy the passionate persons of history.

It is said that to better apprehended the future, it is required an understanding of the past. It is our ambition to make it known.


For the " Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares "



© GAQM2012