Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Zaragoza, Canfranc

After spending some days in Catalonia, I'm returning back to Sweden. The trip will go through one of the four border stations between Spain and France, and this time it will be Canfranc located in region Aragon.
First I'm taking a Regional train to Barcelona
Palautordera station
253 100 Traxx F140 DC is a Class 253 locomotive with Iberian gauge and 3kV DC
At Barcelona Sants station I'm switching to the AVE train to Zaragoza
I choose the Turista Plus class, which is a 1st class coach but without food and drinks included, but it is possible to purchase both at the cafeteria coach.
In order to be able to choose a seat, the ticket has to be flexible (the most expensive option). AVE S103 train has 2 preferente coaches and 1 turista plus coach. Renfe do not give an option to select a seat or buy a seat reservation for Interrail pass holders.

Passing near Sant Sadurní­ D'anoia station and the Iberian gauge Barcelona-Vilafranca-Tarragona line
The link between Barcelona-Madrid high speed railway and Mediterranean Corridor
Passing over Tarragona-Reus-Lleida railway
The trip from Barcelona to Zaragoza takes 1h40m with high speed train (stops in Tarragona and Lleida). Regional Exprés train for the same route takes 4h51m

Puigverd de Lleida - Artesa de Lleida

Lleida Pirineus

After 1h40min trip, I have arrived to Zaragoza
Zaragoza Delicias station opened in 2003
The station is serving both long distance and regional trains, and it has 10 tracks
Zaragoza is the fifth largest city in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville. The tram network in Zaragoza re-opened in 2011 after being disappeared since 1976.
Monumento al Justiciazgo
CAF Urbos 3 tram

Plaza España
The most impressive building in Zaragoza is the Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Plaza del Pilar

Ebro river is the second longest on the Iberian peninsula, it is 930km long

The old bridge Puente de Piedra is decorated with 4 lions since 1991
The lion statues were designed by Francisco Rallo Lahoz.
The bridge was constructed between 1401-1440
On the other side of the river is the old station - Estación del Norte
During many years this was the important station in Zaragoza, but it is now disused
This is where the railway tracks were located

Monumento a Francisco de Goya - one of the most important painters in Spain
Narrow streets of the old town

Calle de Alfonso I

Palacio de los Condes de Morata o de Luna

Plaza San Felipe

Today is a hot day, +34C
I will take my next train from Zaragoza-Goya station
It is an underground station which opened in 2012 and it is served by Cercanias and Regional trains
It has a platform with space for two tracks, but only one side is used

My next train is a Renfe Class 596 - which is a diesel single car
This is a service between Zaragoza and Canfranc
At Huesca station, the train is changing direction
After leaving Huesca, the train is heading north towards Pyrenees mountains. There are two daily services between Zaragoza and Canfranc, and the trip takes 3h48min

The train is moving slowly up


At Sabiñánigo, there is a longer stop due to waiting for a train from the opposite direction

International services between Spain and France on this line were suspended since 1970. There are plans to re-open the railway traffic from Canfranc to France.

Last stop in Canfranc.

Canfranc international station opened in 1928
From Wikipedia: "The station has 365 windows, and platforms over 200 metres long. The large size—the second largest station in Europe, known at the time as the "Titanic of the Mountains"—and extensive infrastructure were necessitated in part by the need to transfer all transiting passengers, baggage and freight between Spanish and French trains, because the French rail standard gauge of 1,435 millimetres was incompatible with the Spanish gauge of 1,668 millimetres at the time and hence prevented through-traffic."

The railway to France was using Somport railway tunnel
The line that was opened and electrified in 1928, was closed south of Bedous after a major derailment accident on 27 March 1970, which destroyed the L'Estanguet bridge south of Accous.

It is possible to walk some meters inside the tunnel, it is very cold inside.
Canfranc is located at the 1195m above sea level

The town is very small, and it is hard to get a good overview of the station, but it is possible to walk around it.

Seems that not much has happened here since 1970

During the evening, there is a light show at the station

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