Jacques Thill in the Prince Henri 755 1st class carriage. Thanks to his photos and plans, this car could be reconstructed.
Small anecdote: On February 28, 1970, the day when the Association des Musées et Tourisme Ferroviaires (AMTF) – Train 1900 had organized a first working meeting, Jacques had to call his friends and tell them that he could not attend the meeting because his son Jean-Marie had just been born.
The beginnings of the association…
Faced with much incomprehension and sometimes even ridicule, the students persevered and, with the support of the “Bassin Minier Model Railroad Club” (MBBM), were able to attract more and more members. From 1970 to 1973, the main activity was to rehabilitate the railroad tracks, which were often in very poor condition.
The authorities did not yet really control what the volunteers did, since Fond-de-Gras was a remote valley. In fact, a major landslide in 1964 prevented train service between Fond-de-Gras and Pétange. The authorities at the time knew that they could only “play with their locomotives” in Fond-de-Gras, so they told themselves that over time the volunteers’ motivation would wane and they would abandon the project by themselves.
The first vehicles …
In 1971, thanks to the help of the Syndicat d’Initiative of the Municipality of Petingen, the Train 1900 acquired its first motorized vehicle: the railcar Uerdingen and its trailer. The volunteers then began to build a shed to protect it from the weather.