~ Ferrocarriles de Mallorca ~
Newsletter - September to November 2005

The area around the old SFM station in Palma is a building site again as the construction work for the new, underground, station proceeds. The SFM/TIB line has been curtailed and there is now a temporary station just short of the old road bridge from which so many of us have taken our photos over the years.
Contrast this photo, taken from that bridge last week with others taken in previous years

September 2005

Vista general de l'estació de Palma - Foto: F.E.V.E. This picture was probably taken soon after the line to Inca was doubled in 1931

Cliff Thomas's photo, taken in 1990 - thankyou Cliff

My photo taken in 1998

Spring 2005 - all this new station is now gone, as is the new footbridge from which Toni Sanchis took this photo
Photo taken earlier this year by Toni Sanchis, from the footbridge which has now been removed or demolished

The local government originally claimed all this work was to avoid the disruption to traffic caused by the railway lines preventing easy movement from one side of the lines to the other but my reading of their booklet on the subject leads me to believe that they intend to bury the railway and replace it with a road !! It looks as if the bridge to which I referrred above is to be demolished and a replica built at right angles linking the park, which is to be established over the area to the south of the bridge, with a pedestrian walkway alongside the new road.

The Grand Plan The locals are not at all happy - this is what they think:-

Locals protest

This is what you saw previously, looking north from the bridge

Looking north in 1998

and here is what you see today

Looking north now

Looking north now

and here's a better view of the temporary station

Temporary station

This is what the new park, to the south of the bridge, is intended to look like

Parc de s'Estació


6th November - reported in today's Majorca Daily Bulletin (© Majorca Daily Bulletin - Sunday, 6 November, 2005. Edition #1817)
Outcry as bridge is demolished
THE Balearic ministry of public works yesterday demolished the railway bridge designed by architect Gaspar Bennassar, despite criticism from environmentalists. Work started at 6.30am, dismantling the decorative parts of the bridge which will be preserved and rebuilt elsewhere, and by 10am the excavators had moved in to demolish the concrete central structure. A ministry spokesman said that work had started early because there was less traffic than usual in the area. Both the ministry and the Palma city council have been criticised for the demolition. Neighbours called the police when work started.
This was the bridge in question and many of you will remember it as the bridge from which so many of us took our photos over the years, recording all the changes in the station at Palma. There was considerable local opposition to the demolition of this bridge.
This is what the new bridge is expected to look like.

Bridge demolished 5th November, 2005

There was a head-on collision on the Sóller Railway in June, here is Toni Sanchis' report on the AAFB website, translated (after a fashion) by www.comprendium.es

Accident in the Train of Sóller.
Antonio Sanchis.
Yesterday afternoon it had to be regretted a head-on collision between two trains of the Railroad of Sóller, the ascending train proceeding from Sóller transported 330 passengers, whereas the one that was directed towards Sóller took 200 people.
The place of the front impact was the tunnel called popularly of "cinc-cents" (500) in a section of scarce visibility.
Greater personal misfortunes did not have to be regretted, although yes some that another scratch and multiple contusions. The train of Sóller does not get to reach speeds greater of the 40 km /hr, which has helped minimize the consequences of the accident.
The two engine drivers of their trains could activate the emergency brake in what they noticed the imminence of the head-on collision and escape from the cabin therefore they went out from the accident unharmed.
The passengers of the trains were evacuated towards the oriel de's Pujol de'n Banya and from there they had to move on foot up to the road to arrive up to the station of Sóller. The healthcare and of help they moved up to the area in an immediate way as soon as it was had knowledge of the event.
The Railroad of Sóller has opened a research to clarify the happened.
It has to be stood out that the train of Sóller has had in the last years few accidents, one in the level crossing without barriers in Son Sardina in where there was a mortal casualty as crossed a car the way, another that it was unharmed in a level crossing without barriers in the tramway to the port of Sóller, and one more accident in the station itself in Palma that provoked that a car of passengers remained in danger of overturning when being charged for a railcar.
The two damaged machines were towed away to the workshops of the train company where they will have to be repaired of the damages, 2 machines remaining only to give service to the passengers in full summer period and greater demand for the train, for what some services of trains between Palm and Sóller will be seen affected.
:: 2005, AAFB - Associació d'Amics of the Railroad of Balears::

I am still sorting out the 264 photos I took in Majorca last week, if I find any more railway-related stuff you haven't seen before there may be another newsletter in October !!

A video of the Sóller Railway was recently transmitted on the Travel Channel on Sky. It was a very good 45 minute program and a DVD of the program plus a driver's cabview of the line is available at
I've already got mine !! Second person in the list of acknowledgements was Miguel Galmés Schwarz who was, until recently, Director of the Sóller Railway.The new Director is Miquel Socías. I wish him the very best in his new job and I hope we will be able to establish the same good relations that we had with his predecessor.

Click here to order the DVD

If anyone out there is not already on my "mailing list" and would like to be included, please let me know - there is a clickable link further down the page. Thanks again to my contributors and supporters, any comments on the contents will always be much appreciated.

Brief descriptions of the contents of previous newsletters

Mike Kaben's superb illustrated report

Books on Majorcan Railways (Revised September 2004)

A Gallery of Pictures of the Sóller Railway and the Sóller Tramway is currently available on Alan Rolfe's server (thanks Alan) by clicking here.

Majorca Railways Home Page

Majorca Railways Photo Gallery

Club Vaporista CFVM

Click here to go to the website of the Associación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Baleares

Watch this site for further developments which will take place whenever new information or pictures come to hand. Any submissions or contributions of information, photos old or new, postcards, books 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.

© Barry Emmott 6th November, 2005