The construction of the cross-border iron mine trail, which was inaugurated on 15th December 2012, has a double meaning.
Firstly, it serves as a reminder of an extraordinary economic and social adventure. This Franco-Belgian railway gave birth to a 150-year period of prosperity in Pays-Haut Lorraine, Luxembourg and Belgium; it gave us infrastructure, achievements and significant memories.
It is a story that both us and our heirs should know about and from which we can draw lessons.
Then, this railway was originally an exemplary Franco-Belgian achievement. Our common desire initiated by Mr DONDELINGER, to which I rallied Mr VERRON, Mayor of Ville-Houdlémont, Mr BRUNETTE, the very late Mayor of Saint-Pancré, has enabled, with the help of European bodies, this route to be traced thus carrying this memory forward whilst creating a pleasant walk.
Mayor of Gorcy
The Iron Mines Trail,
an exemplary cross-border cooperation, …
The idea of creating a cross-border project with our French friends from Gorcy and the CC2R (Communauté de Communes des Deux Rivières) came about during a meeting of the PED Agglomeration. Faced with the difficulty of bringing three countries together, Michel YANS, Bernard LABBE and myself decided to unite our towns by means of a walking route recalling their rich mining past.
This was a gruelling (I almost wrote epic) but enriching adventure. This Iron Mines Trail is not a route of the past but a route of the future.
It does not cry about our lost riches but smiles at the friendship between two peoples; it opens the door for enhanced European cooperation.