Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Today I'm doing another excursion in Barcelona area, i will take R3 commuter line all the way to the french border and the town of Latour-de-Carol in French or La Tor de Querol in Catalan. I will also visit towns of Vic and Ripoll.
The line is 166km from Barcelona to Latour-de-Carol, but I'm jumping on the train at Granollers, just outside Barcelona. Granollers-Canovelles is the second main station in town, also known as Granollers north.
This part of the line is called Barcelona-Ripoll.
Renfe Class 447 train will take me first to the town Vic.
La Garriga
The line is climbing towards the Pyrenees mountains, each station has an altitude indication.
C-17 highway to Ripoll.
The railway has single track, with meeting stations along the way.
As we climb up it is already possible to see the mountains.

Vic station
Most trains are for Vic, some for Ripoll, and really few all the way to La Tor de Querol.
The station is from 1875 but was renovated in 2003.
Jaime Balmes - a catholic priest from Vic known for his political and philosophical writing

Vic is the largest town along this railway line

It's much colder up here than in Barcelona.
Slogan of Vic "V"
Vic has become a capital of Catalan independence, so there are many Catalan flags here.
Plaza Mayor
Famous fuet from Vic

They have even a model train shop here
Roman temple of Vic

I'm back at the train station
Class 447 is manufactured by Alstom and CAF

2min before my next train.
There are only 4 trains per day all the way to La Tor de Querol
Climbing up even higher


The line to Ripoll was completed 1880, while the line from Ripoll to Puigcerda (Railway Transpyrenees) was finished 1922, and to La Tor de Querol in 1929.
Urtx-Alp station. The town of Alp is home to the ski resort of La Molina
Cerdagne Valley

The last stop in Spain (or Catalonia) is Puigcerda, and it's where most passengers get off on this route.
Space for ski in the train
"Wild" horses

The train has arrived to La Tor de Querol, a small town with population of 419 people. There are also nearby town of Enveitg, so the station in French is often named Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg.
The stations altitude is 1231m above sea level

This is where the Iberian gauge railway meets the standard gauge. I have earlier visited border towns of Cerbere and Port-Bou. There are also towns of Irun and Hendaye at the north side of the Pyrenees.
Night train to Paris is waiting here for departure later today. Just like in Germany, most night trains in France have been withdrawn. The only remaining Intercités de Nuit are now from Paris to Briançon, Rodez and Latour-de-Carol.
There are also 10 daily TER services for Toulouse from here.
Operated with Z 27500
TER Midi Pyrenees is using Z 27500 with 3 coach version (here a double train).

The end of the Iberian gauge track.

BB 7200 from 1979 for Corail Intercites
The station has not only 1668mm (Renfe) and 1435mm (SNCF) tracks, here to the left is a train used for 1000mm track, the train is named Petit Train Jaune (Yellow train).
The train is actually yellow and it runs from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg in the French Pyrenees. It is named after its yellow and red colours, derived from the Catalan flag.
The trains are powered by electricity at 850 volts DC, supplied by third rail. The maximum speed of the train is 55 km/h.
This car is named Z 100 and they were built between 1908-1912.

There is a ticket office for French trains here. Tickets for Spanish train can not be bought here, but they can be on the train.

The night train has only 3 coaches here, sleeper, couchette and seat coach.

The line for yellow train.
The line between La Tor de Querol and Puigcerda has not been modernised since 1929
So we are slowly approaching town of Puigcerda.

La Molina, which is a famous ski resort
It is the site of the first ski lift in Spain, opened on 28 February 1943, and Spain's first ski school, which opened a year later.
The line has several tunnels

Ribes De Freser

Next larger town is Ripoll where I make a stop.

In the front the tower of Monestir de Santa Maria de Ripoll

Riu Ter
Plaça Gran
Railway bridge
Railway tunnel

Exposition of Sèrie 1000 de Renfe, a locomotive built specifically for this line in 1927 and taken out of service in 1987.
The old station building

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