PLM railway works of Breil-sur-Roya (PLM: former national railway company – Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée)

1) Breil station required an important landscaping in the natural slope of the site for the creation of a vast plateau that could accommodate this international station. It includes marshalling yards, food services, maintenance and turnaround of steam locomotives, freight, workshops, customs, border police and staff quarters. The train station itself is the largest building in the area.
2) Viaducts of Eboulis and Bancao follow the abrupt and irregular slope of the right bank of the Roya river between two tunnels. The shape of their arcades supporting the lines of slightly curved paths, detaches them in the landscape of rocky scrubland.

Period XX

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The Breil railway facilities – commissioned in 1928 – were calibrated for the important cross-border passenger and freight traffic happening then.

All the buildings built for the Paris – Lyon – Méditerranée (PLM) company during the 1920s are characterized by a standardization that gives it an architectural identity that can be read in the landscape.

On the one hand, we can see the buildings “à la niçoise” that combine simplicity of volumes and declination of standardized elements: dimensions of doors and windows, tiled roofs, large windows of cantilever frame docks. Reinforced concrete, semicircular arches of large bays, as well as guardrail terraces in terracotta trellises and pergolas are available in a variety of ways in railway stations, and more formally on the houses of guards or traveler shelters. The red ocher paintings of the façades and the green moss of the joinery complete the identification of the constructions.

The hangars adopt the modernist form of large semicircular vaults of reinforced concrete; with side canopies cantilever reinforced concrete and large ventilation skylights at the top.

The topography of the Roya Valley has imposed the implementation of spectacular structures, which gives a monumental character to this single-track line, and complicates its maintenance. The viaducts crossing watercourses and steep slopes also have a signature recognizable by their retaining arches and their clear limestone facings.

Conditions of visit

Surroundings permanently open to the public. Dangerous routes surroundings due to train traffic.
Journey by train from the line accessible to all and paying. See timetables on the operators’ websites (SNCF and Trenitalia)


Additional information


  • Editions du Cabri, Menton,1979
  • Banaudo José et Béjui,Pascal, Evviva Nissa – Cuneo ! : La remise en service de la ligne du Col de Tende, Les Editions du Cabri, Menton, 1980
  • Banaudo José, Braun Michel et De Santos Gérard, Les trains du col de Tende, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, Volume 1 2018, Volume 2 2019 et Volume 3 2020.
  • Braun Michel, Le chemin de fer du Col de Tende : hier, aujourd’hui et demain, Eisenbahn-Amateur, 372e série, août 1975
  • Braun Michel, Le chemin de fer du Col de Tende, Eisenbahn-Amateur, 152e série, août 1979
  • Collidà Franco, Gallo Max; Mola Aldo A., CUNEO-NIZZA Storia di una ferrovia, Cuneo, Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, 1982.
  • Dutto Claudio, Treni di ieri, oggi e domani sulla ferrovia internazionale Cuneo-Ventimiglia-Nizza, in Rassegna – Rivista trimestrale della Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, nº 7, settembre 1979.
  • Schiavazzi Gianfranco, Ferrovia Cuneo Ventimiglia, Pinerolo, Comitato Intemelio per la Cuneo-Ventimiglia, con i tipi della Tipolitografia G. Alzani & C., 1979.
  • SNCF Région de Marseille, Ligne: Cuneo – Breil sur Roya – Ventimiglia. Reconstruction et équipement de la section de ligne située en territoire Français, Marseille, Imprimerie St-Victor, 1980.Magazine « La Vie du Rail », De Cuneo à
  • Ventimiglia et Nice : une voie ferrée pour deux rivieras, no 1715, Paris, novembre 1979
  • Magazine Le Haut-Pays numéro 3, Le viaduc de Scarassoui, par José Banaudo et Michel Braun, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1985.
  • Magazine Le Haut-Pays numéro 26, Les accidents lors de la construction de voie ferrée Nice –Cuneo par J Sassi, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1993.
  • Magazine Le Haut-Pays numéro 33, Le chemin de fer Nice- Breil – Tende, modernisation partielle programmée par Michel Braun Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1995.
  • Magazine Le Haut-Pays numéro 56, Modernisation de la ligne Nice- Cuneo par Michel Braun Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2003.
  • Magazine Le Haut-Pays numéro 61, 1979 – 2004 : Les 25 ans de la réouverture de la ligne Nice Cuneo par José Banaudo, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2004.