The railway between La Tremblade and Saujon originally opened in
1875. In spite of the beautiful coastal scenery that the line
passed through, it never handled large numbers of passengers, and
from 1938 the railway only handled freight.
This was not a popular decision with local people, but whilst the railway was still a working line nothing could be done. So, when the railway finally closed in 1980, the preservation movement was rapid, and the first heritage trains ran in 1984. Although ownership has changed a few times, the line has remained a firm favourite with both tourists and locals ever since. It has now been nicknamed the "Train des Mouettes" (Train of the Seagulls), thanks to the seaside route it goes through.