Spotlight on track
THE emblematic Sóller train hopes to enter a European network of historic railways, being the first major railway in Spain to join.
The wooden train that connects Palma to the town of Sóller, has submitted a formal request to become part of the European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways (FEDECRAIL), an association which protects the interests of heritage railways. At present, the organisation works with more than 650 historic and tourist trains in more than 27 countries.
The Vice-Presidents of FEDECRAIL, Jacques Daciff and Heimo Echensperger, visited the facilities of the train line, accompanied by Josep Boya from the Railway Museum in Mora la Nova, Tarragona. During the visit,Óscar Mayol, President of Sóller Railway since 2007, formally submitted the request, confirming his commitment to preserving the railway, which carries approximately 1 million passengers a year.
Since its operation since 1912, the train with wooden carriages, has been in continuous use, climbing 200 metres and passing through 13 tunnels on a journey of 27km. Money for the building of the line was raised among the town’s residents, in an ambitious project that sought to transport citrus fruit from the Sóller valley to the capital.Each of itsoriginal carriages, as well as all of its machinery, have a long history, where the renovation of the train’scomponentshas to be created or modified by hand.
Daciff commented that “the Sóller Train would be the first major railway in Spain to join”, adding that “it meets all the conditions to be accepted in the association since all of its material is old and the conditions for travellers are perfect”.
Personnel from the Cantabria Faculty of Engineering were also in attendance, acquiring information for a study on historic tourist railways in Spain.
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