Welcome to CMCF
"CMCF Oignies" is an association dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the railway company "Compagnie du Nord" which subsequently became "SNCF région Nord". Active since 1993, there are numerous activities and projects which you can discover on this site.
Although the association is entirely French-language based, there is much here to interest a railway and steam enthusiast speaking any language. At our annual festival you will certainly find someone to show you around the site and explain our on-going projects in English. Riding on the narrow gauge steam trains does not require explanations!
CMCF is based at the "Centre Denis Papin" (site photo on the right), originally pit-head number 2 of a huge coal mine at Oignies (pronounced wannee), a small town near Lille in France. Our building, which is an historic monument, retains the huge winding engines of the now-defunct mine as well as our workshops, model rail layouts and narrow gauge railways. The grounds of the site are extensive with room for our extensive narrow gauge layout as well as full size locomotives. The site is connected to the French National railway network.
We share these facilities with two other clubs, "Friends of the mine" who have constructed a simulated mine and "Assocation of Postal Rail Carriages" (approximate English translations of course) who preserve (for example) the wagons used as rolling postal sorting offices. The attractions of both of these clubs are accessible to you during the annual festival of steam.