Ligne de Cerdagne

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Ligne de Cerdagne
Pont gisclar 082004.jpg
The unusual rail suspension bridge at Pont Gisclard between Sauto and Planès
Overview
Other name(s)Yellow Train
Statusoperational
LocaleFrance
Stations22
History
Opened1910
Technical
Line length63 km (39 mi)
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
Electrification850 V DC third rail
Operating speed55 km/h (34 mph)
Highest elevation1,593 m (5,226 ft)
Route map

Villefranche-de-Conflent
TER Occitanie to Perpignan
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Access to Fort Libéria
N116
Canal de Villefranche
la Têt
Correc de Vall-Llobera
Serdinya
D27E
Ribera de Vallmarsana
Rue du Moulin
Joncet
D27
la Têt
Olette Canaveilles-les-Bains
Rivière de Cabrils
la Têt
D57
Nyer
Rivière de Mantet
Thuès-les-Bains
Torrent de Faget
Rue d'Entre Valls
Thuès-Carança
la Carança
la Têt
Pont Séjourné
N116
Torrent de Canals
Fontpédrouse
C1
Sauto
Souterrain del Pallat
N116
Souterrain Terra Blanca
Pont Gisclard
la Têt
Planès
Planes
Rec de Molí
el Jardó
D10
Mont-Louis/La Cabanasse
N116
D10
Bolquère-Eyne (1593m)
Rec de Bolquera
Ruisseau de Ricaut
Font-Romeu/Odeillo/Via
D29
Galerie de Vià
l'Angust
Coll Rigat (1493m)
Galerie de St.Vincent
Estavar
Chemin d'Estavar
el Segre
D33
Saillagouse
N116
Cami de Llivia
Err
D33B
D33E
D89
Sainte-Léocadie
D33E
D30A
Rec de Rigat
Osséja
D30
Cami d'Aja
Bourg-Madame
N116
el Segre
N116
N152
Ur/Les Escaldes
Riu d'Angostrina
Riu de Brangoli
Rue d'Ansaneres
Avenue de la Campory
Rue de la Halte
Béna/Fanès
R3 to Barcelona
Rue du Train Jaune
Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg
TER to Toulouse

The Ligne de Cerdagne, usually referred to as Le Petit Train Jaune (English: Little Yellow Train, Catalan: Tren Groc), is a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) gauge railway that runs from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg in the French Pyrenees. Construction started in 1903 and the section to Mont-Louis was completed in 1910, followed by an extension to Latour-de-Carol in 1927.[1][2]

It is 63 kilometres (39 mi) long and climbs to 1,593 metres (5,226 ft) at Bolquère-Eyne, the highest railway station in France. The line serves 22 stations, fourteen of which are "request stops" (i.e., the train only stops when specifically requested by passengers). There are 19 tunnels and two bridges, one of which is, unusual for a railway bridge, a suspension bridge. The line is single-track with passing loops at, for example, Mont-Louis and Fontpédrouse-Saint-Thomas-les-Bains.

The trains are powered by electricity at 850 volts DC, supplied by third rail. The power is supplied by hydro-electric generators on the River Têt. The maximum speed of the train is 55 km/h (34 mph). Two types of train are used; ones using modern, entirely closed two-car multiple units and others using old style trailer carriages and powered carriages - most are enclosed but when the weather allows, open carriages are also used. The open carriages allow dramatic views as the train traverses the twisting route and are popular with tourists. Line maintenance vehicles are stored at Villefranche-de-Conflent.

It is named after its yellow and red colours, derived from the Catalan flag. The line was constructed to provide an all-weather route from the high Cerdagne valley to the coast, but the adjacent N116 road has been progressively improved, there has been population loss in the Cerdagne and the rail link is now chiefly a tourist attraction whose long-term future is in doubt.[citation needed]

List of stations[edit]

Crossing a viaduct
km Station Altitude (m)[2] Local attractions[2]
0 Villefranche-de-Conflent-Vernet-les-Bains-Fuilla
(interchange with services to Perpignan)
427 walled town, Fort Liberia, Grottes Les Canalettes
4.990 Serdinya 526
6.229 Joncet 550
9.720 Olette-Canaveilles-les-Bains 608
11.613 Nyer (halt) 664 Nature reserve, exhibition of bats at the Maison de la réserve
13.860 Thuès-les-Bains 747
16.273 Thuès-Carança 789 access to the Gorges de la Carança
19.704 Fontpédrouse-Saint-Thomas-les-Bains 1051 Baths at St-Thomas-les-Bains
22.727 Sauto 1224
25.222 Planès 1373 11th-century church
27.871 Mont-Louis-la Cabanasse 1511 Citadelle de Mont-Louis; Mont-Louis Solar Furnace
30.214 Bolquère-Eyne 1593 summit of the line
34.925 Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via 1534
42.463 Estavar 1328
44.670 Saillagouse 1302
46.613 Err 1335 10th-century church of Our Lady of Err
48.389 Sainte-Léocadie 1281 Musée de Cerdagne
52.835 Osséja 1241
55.689 Bourg-Madame 1144 Espace d'Art Contemporain; border town
58.711 Ur-les-Escalde 1188 romanesque church
61.384 Béna Fanès
62.561 Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg
(interchange with services to Toulouse and Barcelona)
1247 Enveitg castle and baroque chapel

Electrical discharges[edit]

In 1911, railway workers reported a fireball on the third rail between kilometres 28 and 40. A similar phenomenon occurred again when a train was hit by one of these fireballs during a thunderstorm. Lightning rods were installed where these events had occurred and the phenomenon has not been reported since installation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pourageaux G (2008), Les cent ans du Train Jaune, Editions La vie du rail. (in French)
  2. ^ a b c "The yellow train". Pyrenees - Cerdagne. Retrieved 14 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°30′14″N 2°07′40″E / 42.50389°N 2.12778°E / 42.50389; 2.12778