Category Archives: French Artillery

Le Grand Arrive

In anticipation of the Tracks to the Trenches event, we are pleased to confirm the arrival of a rather large French railway wagon! Intended as a companion for the “Joffre” steam loco, this is a French Artillery railways 60cm gauge “Pechot” well-wagon.

MRT Pershing Wagon!These wagons were named after Colonel Prosper Pechot, who in conjunction with engineer Charles Bourdon created a revolutionary and high adaptable modular system of 60cm gauge wagons and trackwork – capable of moving almost anything to almost anywhere! Although the equipment was already around 25years old by the start of the Great War, it was used to great effect by the French, British and even the Germans (captured material) throughout the conflict. Some French forts were still using original Pechot vehicles until relatively recently.

Obtained with thanks to the Chanteraines group in Paris, this vehicle had apparently been used at a concrete works prior to preservation. It has been subject to extensive restoration off-site prior to arrival at Apedale, in an effort to rectify many years of heavy industrial use. It is now, by some margin, the oldest railway vehicle on site – dating from 1888 or 1889, depending on where you look.

Please keep watching for more details of Rail, road and other exhibits soon!