Newsletter - January 2005

A bit of a misnomer, really, because I have little or news for you just now but I do have some fantastic photos of the Majorca railway in years gone by. Not much happens on the railways of Majorca during the winter apart from maintenance. A great deal of track renewal is taking place on the Sóller Railway as the Director, Miguel Galmés, believes that his rolling stock will last a good deal longer if it isn't being constantly jolted by uneven track. Much of the rolling stock is more than 75 years old and unless it is carefully preserved it will not last much longer. Passengers, too, will be grateful for a more comfortable ride !!

The government of Palma has suggested that the Sóller Railway might perhaps be put underground, along with the line to Inca, from the Plaza de España station to the Palma ring road or that it should otherwise be converted to a modern-image tramway. Fortunately they can't enforce any such action before the end of the Sóller Railway's concession in 2011.

Do you remember the May 2000 newsletter in which Nick Robey told us "as you approach the Sa Pobla turnings coming from Inca on the main Palma - Alcudia road, on the right hand side of the road in a field, backing on to a dry river bed, is what appears to be a four wheeled goods wagon chassis mounted on a concrete plinth. If my memory serves me correctly there is an industrial plant of some kind behind it on the other side of the "torrent", could it have been a tank wagon? I will try to get some pictures of it next time I'm out there, for the opening hopefully! Has anyone else seen it? If you have what do you make of it ?"

Well, I never did get an answer to that question, or a photo but Nick is now permanently resident in S'Ubac, less than two miles away. When I visited him in September I had spotted the item in question and asked Nick to get out his camera, get on one of his motorbikes as soon as possible and get us a photo. He did as asked the following week and the thing had vanished !! I suppose I should be glad that I was one of the last non-Majorcan enthusiasts to have seen this curiosity but I had to know what had happened to it. After one or two urgent e-mails I finally got the answer from our old friend SixCo, telling me that the wagon has been adquired by C.F.V.M. and that it was actually the remains of an Alicante tram, similar to the one in this photo

Apparently the remains of the tram had been used to publicise a product similar to marzipan, called TURRON de JIJONA. At the moment the remains of the tram are in a yard at Marratxi, next to the Baldwin steam loco awaiting reconstruction (very difficult).
SixCo concludes "Best regards. We are working ;-)"

In addition to my interest in the railways of Majorca I am also a member of the Swiss Railways Society and of the SNCF (French railways) Society. Gordon Wiseman who is also a member of both these societies put me in touch with his uncle, Jeremy Wiseman, who is a very well known name amongst the photographers and followers of railways and tramways. Jeremy, who now lives in southern France, had a good collection of photos of the Majorcan railways from the "black & white" days so I asked him if he could let me have some of his historical pictures and here is what he sent me:-

Apparently the shots taken on January 26th. 1982 show the Palma - Inca line running as a single track metre-gauge line, with derelict 3ft gauge track (and in some cases rolling stock) still visible. I am extremely grateful to Jeremy for letting me have these prints and must stress that they are for your private enjoyment, being the copyright of Jeremy Wiseman. If anybody would like to publish any of these photos I will gladly put you in touch with Jeremy.


Earlier today I was at a meeting of the SNCF Society at Gillingham in Kent, where Bob Wise was present with the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway Bookstall. He knows I collect Majorcan ephemera and had found a photo taken by the late B. A. Butt, almost certainly at Palma

Nasmyth Wilson 4-4-0 tank loco "Salinas"

If anyone out there is not already on my "mailing list" and would like to be included, please let me know - there is a clickable link further down the page. Thanks again to my contributors and supporters, any comments on the contents will always be much appreciated.

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 23rd. January, 2005