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Photographer's Note

This is the "Orange Express" or "Tranvia" - a vintage electric tramcar system which links the western Mallorcan town of Sóller with its port, Port de Sóller some 5 Km distant. The trams provide a leisurely way for tourists as well as locals to travel between the towns and the journey is leisurely and relaxing as the tramcars pass through orange and lemon groves on the way. €5 each way and well worth every penny (or cent)!

Mallorca’s first electric tram line was inaugurated, running between Sóller and the Port of Sóller on 4th October of 1913. Construction of the Sóller tram began after the building of the Palma to Sóller railway line. The project for the tram line was designed and directed by Pedro Garau, and 4868 metres of track were laid. One outstanding feature of it is the iron bridge over the Torrent Major which was constructed by Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima. Initially the tram had an electric power station located in the Sóller station. The station was fed by a 65 horsepower "explosion" engine which worked a Siemens-Schuckert dynamo, providing a continuous 600 volt current.

Although the Sóller tram was designed for the transport of passengers, it was also used to transport merchandise down to the port. Fresh fish was carried from the Port to Sóller in a small isothermal car and coal was taken to the former military submarine base in the Port of Sóller and the “El Gas” factory on trailers; mines and torpedoes were also transported from the Caubet magazine.

The three motor trams, numbered 1 to 3, and their trailers 5 and 6 are the originals, dating from 1912, ordered from Carde & Escoriaza in Zaragoza. The open ‘jardinera’ trailers were acquired from Palma trams in 1954. The Sóller tramway also has five motor trams from Lisbon, numbered 20 to 24 and re-gauged to fit the 914 mm track gauge.

Here, Tramcar 21 has just stopped near the harbour at Port de Sóller and its passengers are about to disembark.

You can see a larger version of this picture here.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1262 W: 391 N: 4632] (18676)
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