Opened in 1912 with steam traction and electrified in 1929, the Palma - Soller railway is a curious 3ft gauge survivor of a bygone age. Built primarily to carry goods with limited passenger accommodation, by the late-1950s, the development of Mallorca as a major tourist destination and the emergence of the package holiday, saw happy holidaymakers take the place of goods and 103 years later, the entire 17-mile railway survives. Today, operating 11 months of the year, the railway is booming, with full-to-capacity service trains, specials and extra trains for coach parties, it's a phenomenal success story and one million passengers are carried each year.
All four original four motor coaches built in 1929 are still in service. These powerful 'locomotives' operate alongside 19 coaches, some dating to 1912, and on a typical day, three trains of six coaches are in service.
Filmed in May 2015, this programme takes a detailed look at the line and its principal stations of Palma, Bunyola and Soller plus some more remote and obscure halts. Various shunt moves are shown at Palma, and at Soller, the location of the main depot.
Additional trains for coach parties are featured at Son Rous with motors running around their trains; there's footage from an afternoon at the delightful location of Bunyola; numerous run-pasts show the railway in its varied surroundings with street running in Palma, through the olive groves near Santa Maria and onto the mountainous and tunnel sections from Bunyola to Soller. Every loco and coach in the fleet including works vehicles is shown.
Produced by - Train Crazy
Running time - 80 minutes
Format - 16:9 widescreen
DVD and Blu-Ray
Released - August 2015