The International Steam Pages


Narrow Gauge in Catalunya, 2015, Part 1
FGC Ribes de Freser – Núria

This is one of a series of pages on this area of Spain, see also:


Thomas Kautzor writes about his 2015 visit to the FGC operated Ribes de Freser – Núria (1000mm gauge, 12.5 km, electrified 1500 V DC), http://www.valldenuria.cat/en/summer/rack-railway/. The electrified line and its rolling stock are described in detail at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vall_de_N%C3%BAria_Rack_Railway

The line connects with RENFE at Ribes-Enllaç station, which is also used as a storage shed for some of the stock, including non-operational E.2 OBISPO GUITART (SLM 3369/BBC 2970 of 1930), which was for a time on display on the Monistrol railway. The line’s center of operations is at Ribes-Vila (km 1.2), where the main depot and workshops are located. One of the sheds has been turned into a small museum, even though some of the items on display are still used on the railway. They include electric rotary snowplow 364.01 (SLM 3469/BBC 3680 of 1930), diesel rotary snowplow L09 (Stadler 238/MAN/Zaugg of 1995) and its matching diesel loco D9 (Stadler 237/SLM/ABB of 1995), E.3 JOSÉ ROGENT (SLM 3370/BBC 2971 of 1930) and 0-4-2RT No. 6 JULIAN FUCHS (SLM 748/1892). The steam loco was delivered new to the CFMR as No. 8 for use on the Aix-les-Bains – Le Revard railway in France, then sent to the Gornergratbahn (GGB) in Switzerland in 1898 and to the Montserrat line in 1921, where it was given the No. 6. It already spent a year on the Núria line in 1930/31. It was preserved in 1972 and finally came back to Ribes in 2002. 

Of the line’s four original three-axle electric locos, E.1 VIRGEN DE NURIA (SLM 3368/BBC 2969 of 1930) is still operational and was due to operate a special train with the ‘Coche-Salón’ Aaffw 51 on the day of my visit, but that was cancelled. E.4 RAMON ALBÓ (SLM 3371/BBC 2972 of 1930) was sent to the Montserrat line in 2003 for use on work trains.

Today the line is being operated day-to-day with SLM-designed two-car electric railcars A5 – A8 (MTM/SLM/BBC 1986 and 1995) and Stadler GTW 2/6 A10 and A11 (Stadler 2003), these last ones of the same type as the five trains in use on the Montserrat line. There is also a freight service, mainly foodstuff for the Núria restaurant and garbage in return.

E.2 OBISPO GUITART
Electric rotary snowplow 364.01
Diesel rotary snowplow L09
E.3 JOSÉ ROGENT
0-4-2RT No. 6 JULIAN FUCHS

The remaining pictures show the working railway, at Ribes-Enllaç, Rialb, Queralbs and Núria (2)


Rob Dickinson

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