Newsletter May 2001
The pictures shouldn't take long to download so please have patience - I hope you'll think they are worth waiting for !! I'm continuing the format from the last two months in this Newsletter and will mostly just put smaller versions of the actual pictures on show in this page and you can click on them for a page or pages containing all the larger versions, which will take a while to download. This should enable the "front" page to download more quickly and you can decide for yourself if you want to view the pictures in greater detail. Please let me know your opinions on this matter - I personally preferred the big pictures on the front page but I didn't have to wait ages for them to download !!
Not much happening this month but I have been sent a huge amount of photos. Some are (to me) pricelessly historic and others right up to the moment and I'm going to have to be very selective.These first three have been sent to me by David Clark from Essex and they were taken in 1969. The first two show the section of the Sóller Railway where it runs along the street in Palma (Calle Eusebio Estada) and these are of special interest because they show quite clearly the connection which once existed between the Sóller Railway and the FCM which were both originally gauged at 3 feet. When these photos were taken the FCM had already converted to metre gauge and the link therefore connected only with a couple of 3ft sidings left on the old FCM goods site and was covered over when the road was next resurfaced.Click on one of the pictures below or here to be taken to another page with larger versions of all these photos.
The third picture, also from David Clark, is (I believe) of one of the old De Dion petrol-engined A4 railcars which were introduced around 1930. This one appears to be in the old half-roundhouses at Palma which have long since, regrettably, been demolished. The last of these railcars was known to be around up until 1979 but has almost certainly since been scrapped as none are known to exist now.
The last of David Clark's photos is something of a mystery and I would like your help in identifying the exact location. I believe the picture was taken in the goods area of the FCM station at Palma and the large building must be the goods shed but if it is, what is the DMU doing on the other side of it, with motor-coaches in the background ? Answers on the back of a £50 note, please, to me.
- thanks David for the photos !!
Now a couple of pictures from The "Old Poblero", Nick Robey who is rapidly becoming the Grand Old Man of Majorcan Railways !! The first one answers the question in the last paragraph (but still send the £50 notes !!) as it is very clearly of the very same building and I recognise the buildings in the background so we are looking towards the Plaza España in Palma. The building is obviously a carriage/car shed which must already have been demolished when I first investigated the stations in 1996. If anybody has a plan of the station at the time when this photo may have been taken I would be very grateful for a copy as the shed doesn't appear in any of my plans !! The diesel loco in the foreground is SFM's only locomotive, an 0-6-0 460 h.p. diesel-hydraulic shunter numbered 1207 which was being refurbished at the end of 2000. There is no freight traffic at present on the line and the shunter is available for engineering trains. The loco is one of 10 Batignolles/CAF locos built for MOP (ministry of public works) in 1959.
Next, a view of the general works-yard area at Palma with three of the older MAN diesel railcars, one of which is going through the washer which stood out in the middle of the yard. This photo was almost certainly taken on the same day as the previous one and the rolling stock together with the fact that the half-roundhouses have already been demolished may help somebody suggest a probable date
Thanks for the photos, Nick !!
The following was received by me on May 31st:-
" Friends of the Railway on Internet (24/5/2001)
The Associació d'Amics del Ferrocarril de Balears (http://www.aafb.net/) has published its webpage with information about the entity and about the world of the train on the islands. The association is based in the calle Eusebi Estada de Palma, over the Soller Railway station, where the members have a library and two models, to scale N and to H0. Amongst their activities, the association edits a threemonthly magazine "Es Furgó Correu", on the railway news for the Balearics. The Asociación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Balears collaborated recently in the exhibition 125 years of the train on Mallorca where a vision of the past, present and future of the train on the island was presented, coinciding with the inauguration of the Inca-Sa Pobla line. Precisely today, May 24, 2001, the president of the Govern de les Illes Balears, Francesc Antich, the councillor for Public Works, Housing and Transport of the Balearic Government, Josep Antoni Ferrer, the director of Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca, José Antonio Santos, have presented at the Balearic University (UIB) the project for the train from Palma to the UIB and the underground project Palma-Inca for the exit from Palma. The cost of the projects amounts to 20.000 million pesetas and should be finished during 2004."
In the June issue of Today's Railways the following item is printed:-
Crocodile for Mallorca!
The beautiful island of Mallorca will have an extra attraction this summer in the form of Eusko Trenibideak "Crocodile" electric loco 4010. The loco is to be loaned to the Ferrocarril de Sóller (FdS) for the haulage of passenger trains from Sóller to Palma in exchange for two tramcars - numbers 4 and 7 - which will be loaned to the Basque Museo Vasco del Ferrocarril (railway museum) at Azpeitia. The Crocodile is one of ten Bo-Bo locos built in 1928 by Haine Saint Pierre of Belgium (mechanical parts) and Brown Boveri (electrical parts). Of these, 4008 is preserved at Azpeitia whilst 4006 has been rebuilt for hauling tourist trains. The Crocodile was built for a 1500 V d.c. supply so should be able to run on the FdS 1200 V d.c. system with no problem. The main modification will be conversion from metre to 914 mm gauge. DAH
Tramcar No.4 is actually a bit of a "foreigner", having been imported into Majorca, along with trailer No.7 which was originally a motored tramcar, from Bilbao. I've done quite a bit of sleuthing and firstly Toni Sanchis tells me it may be as much as a year before anything happens, secondly I can't show you a photo of the loco but if you click on the following link you'll be taken to a section of the Mercurio site with pictures of a number of these beasties which will give you an idea of what we can look forward to:-
http://www.railfaneurope.net/frameset.html Click pictures, then on the Spanish flag, labelled es, on the left side of the page, then click on Museum and then on Azpeitia !!
Toni Sanchis has also sent me photographs of the new vehicle, produced in the workshops of the Sóller Railway, which they will be using in future as a line-inspection vehicle. It is apparently based on a Land Rover 2000 chassis. Click here or on the picture below for the larger version.
That's as far as I've been able to get this month and the following items are leftovers from the previous newsletter(s) - the video clip of the steam locos on the FCM is still available via last month's newsletter as is information about the "Mallorca mit dem Zug entdecken" book from Geranova.
Dr Ken J Walker of Railstuff Videos sent me an advance copy of his new video on the Sóller Railway and Tramway, entitled "Atencion al Tren" (recommended). All the digital footage was filmed with a 3-CCD Mini-DV camera. All editing is digital, mastering to DVCAM professional tape. The final VHS copies are professionally duplicated direct from DV. Each copy is the best possible quality, with no "generation loss". I hope to make a brief clip of this video available to you as a "taster" but it hasn't arrived yet, meanwhile here's a rather poor quality (sorry, Ken) still which I made from the video before sending it on to Today's Railways magazine for review.
Copies of the video are available through Camden Miniature Steam Services (of Barrow Farm, Rode, Frome, Somerset BA11 6PS Phone: O1373-830151 Fax: 01373-830516 Website:- http://www.camdenmin.co.uk ) and will be £19.95 inc VAT and U-K P & P. Outside U-K postage is £1.15 by surface mail. When I eventually receive the clip from Australia (it never did turn up !! - Barry, 11th April, 2009) I will upload it and alter the newsletter so you can play the clip as you can with John Huntley's film above.
Peter Clayton's book "The Iron Road to Sóller", is still available available at special rates (see February newsletter) so let me know if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with him.
Here's a picture of the cover of his book.
We 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) by clicking here.
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.
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© Barry Emmott 1st May, 2001, minor adjustments 11th April 2009