~ Ferrocarriles de Mallorca ~
Newsletter February 2001

Discover Majorca's forgotten railways

Pictures may take a while to download but please have patience - I hope you'll think they are worth waiting for !! I'm trying a different format in this Newsletter and I will just put thumbnail versions of the actual pictures on show which you can click on for the larger version. This should enable the page to download more quickly and people can choose for themselves which pictures they want to view in greater detail

Between the 22nd December last and the 25th of February there is an exhibition at the new Palma station of the SFM which is called "125 anys del tren a Mallorca" and the picture below is a scan of part of the title page of the program which was kindly sent to me by Peter Kilby (thanks Peter !!). If you click on it you will be led to another page with further scans (which, I'm afraid, are not of the best quality) and the extracted text. The text can be a little unusual in parts but I have refrained from making any alterations.

Program Cover

Toni Sanchis sent me three photos of the interior (thanks, Toni, I need lots more !!) and you'll find them
by clicking here or on the small photo below.

Inside the '125 anys del tren a Mallorca' exposition © Toni Sanchis

Next, a couple of photos from Neil Bennett (thanks Neil !!) and clicking here or on either of the two small photos below will take you to another page where you can see them better.

Old FCM 3ft gauge wagons stored in a barn at Empalme © Neil Bennett Jan 2001

The old FCM line at Sineu, February 2000 © Neil Bennett

Finally, picturewise, and in many ways for me the most significant, we have the first report of an actual ride on the new Palma - Inca - Sa Pobla line by Dave Manders who first came to my notice when he wrote an article on the history of the Majorcan Railways in the second and last issue of the railway-modelling magazine "International Railway Modelling". He did this after seeing the article, in the first issue, by my friend Cliff Thomas which had kindled my own interest. In addition to his report, Dave has sent me these two photos which you can see full size together with his report either by clicking here or on either of the two small photos below.

The old shed at Sóller with one of the new (ex-Lisbon) trams and one of the Sóller Railway power cars © Dave Manders  Jan 2001

The new shed at Sóller - compare the architecture (?) with that in the previous picture !! © Dave Manders Jan 2001

Click on the small picture below to access a very short (750Kb) clip from the film which John Huntley shot in Majorca in the winter of 1955/6. Alternatively, you can click here but you will need the DivX ;-) Video Codec before you can view it on your own computers.I suggest you Google for it and provided you follow the fairly simple instructions it will install on your computer, acting in the background to enable the playing of this type of file in conjunction with your Windows media player.

Steam at Palma in 1955

I have transferred the whole film to my own computer where, as a compressed mpg file, it takes up 79 megabytes, the original avi file takes 177 Mb !!! It is only short (about 9 minutes) but includes good footage of several steam locos at Palma, including LLoseta (Nasmyth Wilson 4-6-0T of 1887) and Arta (Nasmyth Wilson 4-4-0T of 1877 or 1881) together with footage taken of the Sóller Railway the same year.
E-mail me if you would be interested in having a copy of the full video. I need to order 30 videos at £10 each to make it a viable proposition for John Huntley to have a master made from the film so it can be digitally cleaned up although even in its present state it looks good on a large screen, the larger the better in fact !!  I first saw it at a show called "Steam Pipes" where John showed the actual film on the big screen at the Conway Hall in London and I was extremely impressed, particularly as I have not seen any other film of Majorcan steam trains. So far I have takers for about 15 videos so we're halfway there.


I've just bought the February edition of Tramways & Urban Transit magazine (recommended), which is the official journal of the Light Rail Transit Association, and found TWO photos relating to the rolling stock of the Sóller Tramway. Thumbnails are below, click here or on one of the thumbnails for the larger versions which are included without the permission of LRTA and I hope they will not mind, especially as I am recommending you to place a subscription order for their excellent journal !!

Three of the newly refurbished ex-Lisboa tramcars and, tucked in behind no.22, is one of the new trailers which were constructed in the Sóller workshops (img0002.jpg in the Sóller_Archive.htm) © LRTA & J.K.Hayward 2001

Ex Sóller Tramways (originally ex Lisboa tram) tram trailer no.7 is now restored to almost original condition and location © LRTA 2001

I've had an e-mail from Peter Clayton, author of the book "The Iron Road to Sóller", who has some copies of his book available at special rates - here's the content of his message so if you're interested let me know and I'll put you in touch with him.

"Many potential purchasers of my book "The Iron Road To Soller" have reported increasing difficulties in obtaining copies, both in the UK and in Majorca. Consequently I have purchased a quantity direct from the publishers and am able to supply them by mail order.

As you know, the book was written in a non-technical style for visitors to the island and the railway. Although it was first published in 1992, the only real change (very slightly!) is the train timetable. Therefore with each copy, I have included an updated and full 2001 train tabletable. If you know anyone who wants a copy, I can send them direct at a cost of £6 including all postage and packing, or £10 for two. (larger quantities at negotiated rates!!)".

Here's a picture of the cover of his book.

The Iron Road to Sóller by Peter Clayton

That would appear to be all I can lay my hands on just now - this new format is much more labour-intensive and tiring to produce than the old one, especially for someone who does all his preparation with nothing more professional than notepad.exe !! I know there are other things which I've probably forgotten to include but they'll just have to wait until next month's newsletter. Thanks again to all my contributors and supporters, any comments on the revised format OR contents will be appreciated.

Brief descriptions of the contents of previous newsletters

Mike Kaben's Report

Books on Majorcan Railways

I have produced a Gallery of Pictures of the Sóller Railway and the Sóller Tramway and this is now available on Alan Rolfe's server (thanks Alan) here.

Majorca Railways Home Page

Majorca Railways Photo Gallery

Watch this site for further developments which will take place whenever new information or pictures come to hand. Any submissions of information, photos old or new, postcards, etc., will be very gratefully and enthusiastically received and if used on the site will be suitably acknowledged (as above). The photos, pictures and diagrams used on this site are presented for your information and viewing pleasure only. If any of them should be in copyright violation and the copyright holder would care to notify me I will either remove them or acknowledge the copyright accordingly.

Send your messages to Majorca Railways WebPages

© Barry Emmott 1st February, 2001