Thursday, 7 July 2016

Broad - and narrow - gauge at Salou


3 above - Salou station 27.6.2016 (all copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

Last week we made a quick trip on the broad gauge RENFE line from Tarragona to Salou, from where we were going to catch the bus back to La Pineda where we were staying.

There was a real surprise by the station - what appeared to be a metre gauge track set in a playground, ending ina  small wagon turntable. At the other end there was a playground locomotive. I've never seen this set up before. Even more of a surprise around the corner was a steam loco and carriage, obviously connected to the track we'd just seen.

Further research (when I got back) revealed that there had been a metre gauge line running from Salou to Reus, about 9km. Amazingly this line remained open until 1975 - the amazing thing was that it was no lnger running as Salou is a wonderful seaside resort and the line connected to the town of Reus -mwhat a fantastic tourist attraction it would have been! Spain of course was a very different country back in 1975, rather backwards, a fascist dicatorship and EU membership a very distant dream. More info on this line here. You can of course still travel from Reus to Salou by train, but on the broad gauge and by a longer route.

(All above 27.6.2016 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

Postcard of Salou metre gauge station.

Early days in Reus with steam trams and street running!

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