50 years of electrified railway network
In creating this series of postage stamps, P&TLuxembourg, the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Luxembourgeois (CFL) and the Cercle des Cheminots Philatélistes 61 intend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of electrification of the national railway network and, thus, to honour an historical event which has revolutionised transportation for travellers as well as merchandise in our country.
It all began in October 1949 when the Minister of Transportation, M. Victor Bodson, tasked the Directors of the CFL to prepare a report on the electrification of its network as an alternative to steam power which was considered to be too expensive. Presented on 5 April 1950, this report can be considered to be the theoretical basis of the future electrification of the CFL network.
The project planned the electrification of the industrial corridor from Rodange to Wasserbillig via Esch-Bettembourg-Syren-Oetrange as a link between France and Germany and was submitted for the first time to the Board of Directors of the CFL on 28 September 1953.
However, to make available to the European iron & steel and mining industries a powerful north-south line between Antwerp-Luxembourg-Basel and Italy, it was the transit line Kleinbettingen-Luxembourg-Bettembourg that was first electrified.
The inauguration took place on 29 September 1956 in the presence of Grand Duchess Charlotte. Movement of the trains was made possible by locomotives of SNCB and SNCF. It was not until 1958 that the CFL had, just like our French neighbours, electric locomotives travelling under the 25,000-volt power line.
Gradually, the other lines were electrified. It was not until 10 September 1993, when the Kautenbach-Troisvierges line was electrified, that the national network was entirely electrified.
In the last few years, the CFL has worked hard to modernise its lines and rolling stock with, in 2005, the acquisition of 12 25,000-volt, two-level railcars and of 20 two-current 25000 Volts/ 15000 Volts electrical block locomotives that can travel on the CFL, SNCF and DB networks.
Do you want to learn more? The Cheminots Philatélistes 61 are organising a philatelic exhibition in September on this subject. For this occasion, they will also publish a book tracing the history of electrification of the CFL network… an exciting history full of technical and human challenges.
|Price of the series:||2,20 €|
|Photos:||Communication Service of the CFL|
|Printing:||Offset with stochastic screen by CARTOR Security Printing, La Loupe (F)|
|Dimensions:||38 x 29.07 mm, 10 stamps per sheet with a decorated border|