Claude Monet – Saint Lazare Station and โ€œ The House of Trains โ€œ

Claude Monet

Claude Monet – Gare Saint Lazare and “La Maison des Trains”

Gare esterno
(Written by P.G.)

Gatti di Montmartrecats a Montmartre by Thรฉophile-Alexandre Steinlen

In 1877 Claude Monet, in differents hours and lights and from different angles, painted a series of viewsย  of the Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris, which, with his series of large canopies of iron and glass, is one of the major symbols of architecture of its time , not only for architectural railways.

Fig 01 C Monet  La Gare St Lazare
The large station, designed by architect Alfred Armand and the engineer Eugรจne Flachat was inaugurated in 1853, already in 1867 sees passing 25 million travelers a year, to arrive at today’ s nearly 300 million …

Gare - Zola
ย On the Gare Saint Lazare wrote Emile Zola:
…. “We hear the clatter of the trains arrive and depart, you can see the plumes of smoke that rotate under large canopies. Today the painting is there, in those modern environments with their beautiful greatness.

Manet volute di fumo Our artists have to discover the poetry of trains and stations like their fathers discovered that of the forests and rivers “… ..

fiumi e foreste
And it is right in front of the station that began to arrive, back in the 30s, also trains in HO/OO scale.
Host in “Passage du Havre”, which leads into the square painted by Camille Pissarro

Fig 02 passage-du-havre-peinture the shop “La Maison des Trains”

Fig 03 The same passage also hosts another great Parisian shop of trains “Au Pelican”.

Les Pelicans
If you go now to Paris, do not look for them, they closed in the 90s; the “Passage du Havre” was entirely rebuilt and is now free of train operation.

Passage du Havre
After being one of the first retailers of Maerklin, Trix and Jep, “la Maison des Trains” announced in 1938 the first locomotive of its own production, the 2D2 5400 SNCF, one of the modern electric locomotives of the newly-born SNCF

Maison du trains 4It is a splendid model for those times, works in AC three rails and it is produced in small series,

Fig 05 with a simple and robust engine, manual reversing, bronze case, hooks and Maerklin pantographs

Fig 06
It has a solid construction and still today, 77 years old, can tow effortlessly a train of ten cars in metal carts.
Then, after the war begins the series of steam locomotives, often built on mechanical Maerklin, later also Fleischmann, with bronze case.

minacciosa locomotiva
One day Monet, talking to a friend, he declared fascinated by “threatening solidity” of the locomotives …
… And I find that “threatening stability” is what it is expressed by locomotives in scale HO/OO ofย  “La Maison des Trains” ……

fig 07
The 241P 50s is almost the finest reproduction of this powerful locomotive and , with a weight of 1740 g, is one of the heaviest models ever made in scale HO / OO

fig 08
Even the 150 East

fig 09 and the various Pacific PO / Midi

fig 10 follow the same design concept adopted until the ’60s,

fig 11 then the “Maison” slows and ceases its constructive activity to devote himself exclusively to the trade

fig 12just when the spirals of smoke, so lovely to Claude Monet, disappear from the Gare Saint Lazare ….

Saint Lazare Gare a Paris

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(@March 25, 2015)