Majorca: Soller - Palma Railway

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by alexl92, 22 Aug 2015.

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  1. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

    12 Oct 2014
    Can anyone tell me anything about this railway? I travelled on it this week and am interested to konw more about it than the website, tells me.

    For example, why 3ft gauge track?
    Do they have any locomotives other than those which are used to run the passenger services?
    Why did they opt for an electrified line rather than diesel haulage?
    Did the line previously run anywhere else as well?

    Any other interesting facts would also be appreciated

    Many thanks!
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  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    30 Sep 2012

    Best Google can throw up.

    As to gauge, there was a grateful deal of UK involvement in Spanish railway companies right from the beginning so it's not totally surprising. The other routes on the island were also 3ft gauge (but the new system which I believe uses the old trackbed in parts is metre.)

    As to electrification, it would be an obvious choice for a well used route, and Spain had certainly started electrification around then, whereas I think diesels were postwar.
  4. markindurham

    markindurham Member

    1 Nov 2011
  5. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    11 Feb 2011
    The Soller railway was its own entity, with electrification chosen because it had to cross part of the highest mountain range on the island to get to Soller. The other railways on Majorca were steam operated as they were in flatter territory.

    3ft gauge was due to British engineering (the other Majorcan railways were also 'British' 3ft6 - later regauged to metre

    The best history is the two books on the subject written by my friend Giles Barnabe, as mentioned Here:
  6. Sunbird24

    Sunbird24 Member

    26 Oct 2013
    La Mont Ravana
    OK, I think some confusion is creeping in here. There are two distinct railways which share the same station in the town of Soller.

    The Soller Tramway runs from Soller to Port of Soller and was electrified from the outset in 1913. See here for more information and links:ía_de_Sóller

    The Ferrocarril de Sóller runs from Palma to Sóller. It opened in 1912 using steam traction. A Brush 0-4-0T locomotive works no 198, named Maria Luisa, was used in construction and ran the first "unofficial" train before the official opening in April 1912, thereafter services were operated by 4 steam locomotives, no 1 Sóller, no 2 Palma, No 3 Buñola & no 4 Son Sardina, all from MTM.
    This line was only electrified in 1929.
    More information here: and here:

    Hope the above helps those who perhaps do not have access to the relevant history books.

    Being not far from where I live in Valencia I have visited both these railways but have not actually posted any of the photographs yet, must rectify this ASAP!
    Done, here is the link:
    Last edited: 3 Sep 2015
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