Mike Kaben's Report, Page 1

~ Ferrocarriles de Mallorca ~

Mike Kaben's Report, Page 1

Hello Barry,

I'm back from Majorca. It was wonderful, the weather was fine and I took a lot of photos which, since I have been back for two weeks now, are already processed. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get my family to make a trip on the Sóller train but on the other hand they gave me two days by myself to explore the Majorcan railways. I spent one day with the old track between Empalme and Manacor, the growing track from Inca to Sa Pobla and the Inca station. I took the SFM train from Inca to Palma and back and had a look on the new SFM Palma station, the new park where the old station was and what they did to the former FCM tunnel entrance.

The other day I visited the new SFM plant in Pont D'Inca and then followed the Sóller train from San Caubet (where the abandoned side branch you found led into a former armaments arsenal, that was used to supply Italian submarines based in Port de Sóller during the Spanish Civil War) to Bunyola, Sóller and Port de Sóller. In Sóller, in the railway station, I bought two books. I think you know both of them: One is called "The Wonderful Sóller Train", has 64 pages and is written in English. The other one is called "Prodigioso Tren de Sóller", is written in perfect Spanish and has about 180 pages. Both are published by Reserva Anticipada, Barcelona and share the same pictures but the Spanish book has more text, more pictures and contains tables about the technical data of all of FS's rolling stock.

In a store next to our hotel I found a map "Islas Baleares" from Firestone, scale 1:125000, that shows the former track from Inca to Artá as well as the old (and new) track from Inca to Sa Pobla. This map was a great help to me in spotting the tracks. I transfered the track courses in the Inca/Sa Pobla/Sineu region into a scan of my (and your) much more detailed Kompass map. In addition the Firestone map contains a street-map of Palma, scale 1:6000, which I took as a starting point to show you the SFM track layout in the new Palma station as well as the estimated course of the old FCM tunnel through the carparks underneath the Plaça Olivar and the Plaça Major to the docks. Did you ever make photos in carparks during your holidays? If so, did you ever try to explain this behaviour to other people?

I've seen your new and really great Majorca Railways web site and I would like to add German translations. The simplest way would be to copy all *.htm files to *_D.htm files and to add links to the index.htm and index_D.htm files to point to each other. I would then translate all the texts in the *_D.htm files into German language. What do you think about that? By the way, please allow me to make a proposal: Since the title of the index.htm page is the default name when bookmarking the page, it should be very short and start with the main topic of the page. E.g. "Majorca Railways Page" would list your site under the letter M in an alphabetically sorted list of bookmarks. Currently it's listed under "Information about the..." which is not very specific. (Point taken and acted upon, also please translate - if anybody else from another country would like to do the same for their own language, I would be delighted. Now, if you wish, you can go to the German Version of this report - please use the "back" button on your browser to return here.)

I took about 140 photos related to former and current Majorcan railways and a selection of some forty of them have already been scanned.

Well, let's get to the details. I'd like to divide my report into 5 topics:
1. FS Palma - San Caubet - Bunyola - Sóller - Port de Sóller
2. SFM Palma - Pont D'Inca - Inca
3. SFM Inca - Empalme - Muro - Sa Pobla
4. FCM Tunnel Palma
5. FCM Empalme - Manacor

1. FS Palma - San Caubet - Bunyola - Sóller - Port de Sóller


Ferrocarril de Sóller electric railcar AAB FHV 2 with passenger train from Sóller. Picture taken in Palma de Mallorca on 1999-10-19 from the new pedestrian bridge over the SFM railway station.


This is the abandoned side branch into the former armaments arsenal in San Caubet.
I took this and the next pictures on the way to Port de Sóller on 24th October, 1999.


Today the former armaments arsenal is a recreation area for families. There are now playgrounds for the children and fire places for barbecuing. The former arsenal buildings have been removed, except for the surrounding wall.


The San Caubet halt. There is a new housing development area called "Sa Coma" next to the station (but to the right outside of the picture). I don't know if the shed is new, too, but it looks like it.


Ferrocarril de Sóller Bunyola station. The house to right in the very foreground is the power transformer building.


AAB FHV 1 at Bunyola station with a special train for tourist waiting for the passengers to Sóller.


AAB FHV 4 at Bunyola station.


Diesel hydraulic loco D1 at Bunyola station.


Another shot of the diesel hydraulic loco.


The Sóller yard of FS. I stitched together two scans to get this panorama picture.


To the left is the brand new shed. It is still unfinished, as you can see in the next picture. (To see how this area looked in 1996 click  here  and to see how it looked in 1998 click  here . Please use the "back" button on your browser to return to this report)



Sóller station. The new shed is to the left.

Do you remember photo CD2545/IMG0064.PCD ? You now have free access to the harbour. The former naval gate is now the entrance to the harbour but the Spanish navy is still there. They have retreated behind the fence on the right side of the road.


I took this picture through this fence. The rails are still visible in the sand, even though they are almost completely covered.


Tram car No. 20 waiting for the next trip back to Sóller. Isn't this one of the former Lisbon tram cars that have come to FS in the recent past?

(Yes, I only wish I could have seen it and ridden on it !)

--- End of Part 1 ---

Text and Photographs © Michael Kaben

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