Newsletter - April 2005, revised August 2005
As I said in January, not a lot happens on the railways of Majorca during the winter months and this year has been no exception. There was an appreciable amount of snow earlier in the year and Toni Sanchis, webmaster of Associación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Baleares (AAFB), has agreed to let us see a photo he took of the station at Palma with a light dusting of snow.
The members of AAFB have taken on the job of restoring one of the passenger coaches used on the SFM during the steam era and built around 1876. It originally carried the number 31 and I think it may well be the one in the middle of this train, photographed by Laurie Marshall back in 1957.
And here it is now, with the members of AAFB who will be carrying out what must be a very major job of restoration.
This edition of my newsletter relies almost entirely on photos kindly sent to me by Toni Sanchis, for which I'm very grateful. The next three show the arrival of the new CAF trains for TIB and, according to a report by Mike Bent in Today's Railways, although they are superficially similar to the existing units these have a powered bogie for each coach and are capable (where the track will allow) of 100kph. Amongst other improved features are more comfortable seating and automatic door opening.
I'm sorry but that's all I have for you this time. I received a very good DVD through the post yesterday from Leo Starrenburg from Holland. It is No.20 of a series of 25 Rail Away productions from a Dutch company Evangelische Omroep who are apparently an evangelical organisation and can be contacted at www.eo.nl/shop. It has three subjects but the most important is the railways of Majorca. The line from Palma to Inca is shown during the time that the extension to Sa Pobla was being constructed and there is some very good footage of the Sóller Railway. Unfortunately the commentary is in Dutch but from the little which I understood it seems that much more information is being given than on any English-language video on the subject. I shall be visiting Majorca again in September but unfortunately only for one week as we have a big family wedding in the Autumn plus I/we have my/our Pearl Wedding anniversary in October and I'm taking my long-suffering better half to Rome rather than having a longer stay at Puerto de Sóller.
11th APRIL 2005
I just discovered how to access the (USA) English commentary on the DVD - I'm not too conversant with DVDs. Some of the details given were indeed helpful, others were just plain wrong but I really hate it when people pronounce Sóller as Sollay !!
STOP PRESS - AUGUST
Date: 18th August, 2005
A video of the Sóller Railway was 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 ordered 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.
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© Barry Emmott 10th. April, 2005 revised 26th. August