Notes from April 1991

These were written at the time........ and are reproduced below, complete with errors and ommisons!

 

Very poor commercial attitude- both at Soler & Palma on Solar railway & FCM stations there are no postcards or books on railways. Also found no books in any book shops anywhere on Island apart from Dual language 'Railways of Mallorca' and another guide - Wonderful Train -of Solar.

The newest 1M gauge line on the island is the extension from Inca to Sa Pobla built over the old 3ft right of way. Trains from Sa Pobla to Palma are frequent - about one an hour, and well supported by locals with almost no tourists. The stock is modern and described by my partner as 'the sort of trains that run to Lewisham' - but in 1m gauge. Modern, fast air-conditioned dmu, taking about an hour to Palma. Efficient and a good example of modern narrow gauge practise - but no 'style'.

On train indicators show route from Palma to Inca and then are switched off during the Inca - Sa Pobla sections.

New station at. Sa Pobla is being built, about 200 m short of old station, which is now a restaurant?

Line from junction at Esplanade to Arte is more or less intact, but heavily overgrown and partially built on. Difficult to see this being reopened in 2004 as has been suggested. For instance, whilst much  is more or less intact, Manacor is totally stripped out, and much of the route built over,

Arte station terminal is more or less complete and worth a visit. Look out for the red and white ceramic tiles over the windows which can be used to identify old railway buildings which are often now in other use. It's also worth noting that many of the level crossing keeper huts used the same tiles which can also be a useful identifier once the tracks have gone!

Felantrix. As this line closed in the 1960's and no attempt has been made to preserve anything, the fact that the terminus, (behind the agricultural research station in the main street with trees in the centre) is still identifiable is noteworthy. The engine shed, a large goods depot and a smaller goods shed are still present, but the days of the two road loco shed must be numbered as the roof has caved in. No signs of the passenger station building.

Sxxxxx. This terminus also closed in the 1960s but again the loco shed and goods shed remain, but not the passenger building. The station location is on the outskirts of the village, on the right hand side of the road towards xxxx.

Manacor. The station is intact, but seriously derelict. No track remains and indeed no track remains from a point about 4 Km outside Manacor to the station and it looks like some of the trackbed has been built over. And yet rumours suggest that this line will be reinstated before 2004! Possibly a new diversion around/through Manacor is being envisaged, as it is difficult to see the old route being suitable. For instance, the old station looks like it was a semi terminus, with the running rod curving past the platform and hen across a main street on the level. Part of the station site is now occupied by a derelict part complete concrete building, on which construction seems to have been abandoned several years ago.

In the new workshop yards of the FCM outside Palma there was a smart (new?) green centre cab diesel sitting on a short length of track in the open yard. There was no opportunity to inspect it or to check the
gauge - although the fact it was on separate lengths of track suggests it is not 1m.

Petra? The 3ft track exists here and the old station has been turned into an arts centre.

Empalma junction. One wonders how the old 3ft station was ever used as road access seems impossible! None the less, whilst the old unused station buildings still exist, there is, of course, no junction between the 1m & 3ft tracks, but the latter can be clearly seen on the embankment heading towards xxxxx.

Alcudia station. This never existed as such, but allegedly the foundation stones were laid - anyone know where? Two points to consider - Alcudia (as opposed to Port Alcudia) is on a hill so any station might be a fair walk from the true town centre and secondly, there are, allegedly, plans to extend the new 1M line from Sa Pobla to Alcudia in the next few years.

There is a book on the island's railways written by xxxx, who is based in Alcudia. Regretably it was not possible to contact him and nolisting for xxx exists in the 2000/1 telephone directory. More information -and a copy - appreciated!

Another book was published by Cosa Nostra, a local bank, in 199x. Despite a very helpful bank counter clerk, it proved impossible to purchase a copy, as they are, apparently availablen onto to account holders who pay for it via a direct debit from their accout. The publisher is xxxxx on xxxx but enquires of them indicated that the book is nowout of print. Again, any information or offers of sale of a copy would be much appreciated!

The D&C Mediteranian Island Railways is, as noted elsewhere, out of print. It shoud be noted, however, that it was also published in the US by xxx, at $xx in 1111. Apart from the cover the book is identical to the D&C edition.

Published on  January 23rd, 2013