The International Steam Pages


Narrow Gauge in Catalunya, 2015, Part 2
FGC La Pobla de Lillet

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


Thomas Kautzor writes

FGC La Pobla de Lillet (600mm gauge, 3.5 km, http://www.trendelciment.cat ):

As part of its tourist operations, FGC also operates a modern 600mm gauge tourist line at La Pobla de Lillet. It connects a station next to the main road southwest of the village with the Museu del Ciment 3.5 km away and uses the right-of-way of an old industrial railway, which connected the FGC metre  gauge station at Guardiola with the cement works at Castellar de n’Hug. Much of the lower part of the line is shared with industrial access roads and in the village of La Pobla it runs through some back streets. Before entering this section some signals are turned on to warn car drivers that a train is approaching. At the lower station, a building next to the station houses an exhibition on the “Minor, Industrial and Tourist Railways in the Llobregat Valley”. There are two intermediate stations, one at La Pobla Centro and the other at Jardins Artigas, where provisions have been made to one day install a crossing loop if needed. The line’s depot and workshops are to be found at the upper station, ‘Museu del Ciment’, which is located next to the old Ashland Cement Factory.

The railway operates daily from the end of March to mid-November. There are two Schöma diesels, the first is No. 1 LLOBREGAT (Schöma CHL 60G 5607/1999).
The second is No. 2 CATLLARÀS (Schöma CFL200DCL 5627/1999, 2002 ex Tuecon Ivof (NL), regauged from 900mm) which is normally used as well as four open bogie coaches No. 01-04, also built by Schöma (Type GS-299, 5719-5721/2002 and 6393/2009, 3.8 t). No. 2 can be remote-controlled, in which case it is always works on the uphill side of the train, while on down trains the driver stands at the end of the last coach with the remote control pack.
On display in front of the depot at Museu del Ciment is Sociedad Hullera Española S :A. (SHE) 0-4-0T No. C (600mm, La Meuse 2864/1915, ex SHE Moreda) is on display at the head of a short mixed train, which is pushed back into the depot by the FGC diesel each night.
At La Pobla, two unidentified 600mm gauge diesel mining locos are on display outside next to the turntable.
The first one is one of a 12 Schöma CFL 60DCL supplied to Carbones de Berga SA in 1978 (No. 4192-4195 for 600mm and 4196-4203 for 500mm gauge); The one here is one of the 500mm gauge ones;
The 2nd locomotive is one of three 500mm gauge Diema DGL30/2 delivered to Carbones de Berga SA in 1971 (No. 3188, 3214 and 3215). The two others are preserved/survive as well, one at Museu des Mines de Cercs in Berga, the other at Castillo del Conde de Figols in Berga.

The museum has a varied collection of locomotives of different types and gauges from public and industrial lines of the area and beyond

Tranvía o Ferrocarril Económico de Manresa a Berga (TFEMB), later FC Manresa Guardiola 0-6-0T No. 29 (1000mm, Talleres Nuevo Vulcano 366/1901, often mistaken for No. 28 GIRONELLA, Krauss 3480/1896), withdrawn in the 1960s, it was previously plinthed in Barcelona’s Parque de la Ciudadela.
Explotaciones Potásicas, SA de Balsareny 4wDM No. 1 (1000mm, Metalúrgica de San Martin S.A. Barcelona Type GN130 No. 761/1966, built under license from Gmeinder) shunted FGC potash wagons at Balsareny until 1976 and at Sallent until 1985.
Salines de la Trinitat 4wDM No. 9 (770mm, RACO 1949) was used in the Ebro Delta salt pans until the 1960s, then sold for scrap. It was saved by CEFIS in 1987.
Hulleras de Sabero y Anexas (HSA) 4wDM No. 4 (600mm, Ruhrthaler 28/30 GDL/S2 2354/1941) was supplied new to Ferrovias y Siderurgica SA, Madrid in the middle of World War II. It was acquired by CEFIS in 1988 and restored. Coupled to it is a HAS food-carrying wagon (built at the HAS Leon workshops) used to carry miner’s lunches between the village and mines at Vegamediana.
Muñoz Solé Hermanos, SA 4wDM 1 and 2 (600mm, Construcciones Ferroviaires e Industriales, Cornellà, Barcelona 75/1958 and 125/1963 or 1967, built under license from O&K). Both locos were bought by Muñoz in 1975 for use at the Mina Tres Amigos in Almaret (Segrià), where they saw remained in use until 1989, after which they were preserved by CEFIS.
Carbones de Berga SA Bo-e No. 15 (500mm, AEG 220V 4249/1929) saw use at Mines de Figols until 1988.
Carbones de Berga SA 4wDM (600mm, Deutz GZ30 B, probably 58189/1967) was used at the Mines de Vallcebre (formerly owned by Serchs SA) until the 1980s, when the mines were closed.
Mines de Vallcebre explosives wagon (600mm).
Cloratita SA 4wDM No. 1 (600mm, O&K type M ?/1930) on display with an open inspection car built at the Tres Amigos d’Almaret mine workshops.

FMGP 0-4-2RT No. 2 MONISTROL (1000mm, Cail 2353/1892) from the Monistrol-Montserrat rack railway, in service until closure of the line in 1957 and then preserved at Monistrol, Balsareny and Gualba de Dalt before coming to La Pobla. It is on display together with Royal Coach A-1 (SIG 1892, 22 seats), which was used by King Alfonso XIII in 1904.
Hulleras de Sabero y Anexas (HSA) 0-4-2ST No. 9 VIZCAYA (1000mm, HK Porter 5143/1912, c1940 ex Minas de Trapa, c1918 ex R.F.E., preserved in 1988). The presence of this loco in the museum collection is explained because, when new, it worked in the construction of a hydro-electric scheme in the Pyrenees, not far from Castellar 
Industriès Benet, SA 0-4-0PM No. 2 (600mm, O&K ?/1934) was in use at the cement factory of Ogassa in Ripollès until 1958. In 1986 it was donated to CEFIS and later rebuilt by Mr Luis Montesinos. It is the only known survivor of its type.
Stored in the depot at Museu del Ciment is Azucarera de Madrid (AM) 0-10-0 No. 105 (600mm, O&K 50hp 4273/1910, in use at La Poveda until 1975), which was restored to working order and received a new boiler in 2002/3 for use on the line, but never used. 
To my surprise, the large CEFIS storage yard at the Museu del Ciment has been cleared. All of the items formerly stored here have been moved to other locations, either for storage, restoration or display.
This last photograph was taken at Bagà (12 km west of La Pobla) and shows Carbones de Berga SA Bo-e No. 7 (500mm, Jeffrey 1936 ?).


Rob Dickinson

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