Yes there was a functioning station in Civray and the building is still there and some of the track.
And this is how it looks today.
I visited it on a cold and wet Friday in late June! picked the wrong week to visit. I had a chat with a couple of gentlemen outside the station and explained what I was doing, and with my poor French and his English of about the same standard we managed quite a long conversation. Perhaps the most poignant thing he said was that vast numbers of young men left that station between 1914 and 1918 and not many ever came back.
I said that I had noticed that the track had been cut through and he said that had only been done last week and it was because the land was being sold off.
He was not sure when the last train passed through but I have been told that after it stopped functioning as a normal station there were still the occasional train delivering heavy goods until quite recently.
The station is on a branch line from St Saviol to Lussac-les-Chateaux. The story goes that the final link of the line from Paris to Bordeaux was the section from Poitiers to Angoulême which was finally opened in 1853. However instead of passing through Civray which was then a prosperous and important town in went through St Saviol and then down to Ruffec. The reason for this was that an influential Civray resident who had a business focused on horse drawn carriages managed to persuade the local population that trains were not a good idea and that they should not allow a station in Civray.
Progress did eventually come to Civray in 1879 but by this time it was only in the form of a branch line, so Civray missed out and is no doubt smaller today than it would otherwise have been, For better for worse???
When did it close? Well this is what Wikipedia says… whatever that means, I expect it finally closed in 1990, but may not have been open for passengers for some considerable time before that.
|Fermeture||1939 – 1990 (fermeture partielle)|
Here are a few more postcards, this time of the front of the building (road side not track side). This one from 13th December 1904 and by Giraud.
Next from 18th February 1915, no photographer recorded.
Finally 13th February 1909 by Eug. Texereau