Arguably the most emblematic work of Gustave Eiffel after the Eiffel Tower, the Garabit viaduct has remained in operation without interruption since its commissioning 132 years ago, an indispensable link between the two sides of the Truyère valley and, in particular, privileged access to the ArcelorMittal plant in Saint-Chély, which is one of the most important in Lozère.
But the line is now threatened, for lack of sufficient means to renovate it. The section between Saint-Chély-d’Apcher (Lozère) and Neussargues (Cantal) is closed until further notice for security reasons and this is the one where the Eiffel viaduct is located. The new painting campaign of the latter, which was to take place in 2020, was postponed without any new date being fixed.
No one is officially talking about a final closure of the line, but from suspension to closure, there is only one step and some have been trying to cross it for a long time. If this were to happen, apart from the dramatic consequences for the region, the question of the sustainability of the Garabit Viaduct would arise, just as it already arises unfortunately in Porto for the Maria-Pia, another major work of Eiffel that is in a disturbing state since it is no longer used directly for rail traffic.
Our friends from the Friends of Garabit association are already mobilizing on the spot and we are giving them our full support! Here is a link to their site as well as a link to a petition of support on the site change.org.
We will continue to monitor the events very closely.