No trams for a fortnight
The little vintage trams – they're over a hundred years old – are taking a well earned break from shuttling passengers up and down the narrow gauge line from Soller to Puerto de Soller at the moment. Essential maintenance work is being carried out to ensure that everything is in tip top condition for the next 50 weeks of service.
The maintenance is an annual event and is always carried out in the middle of winter when demand for the service is the lowest and also in the middle of the annual works on the railway from Palma to Soller which connects with the tram. At the moment there's a special bus service to replace the tram trips from Soller, though there is, as always, the regular TIB speedy bus service from Palma all the way down to the Port via Soller.
If you're a train/railways/tram enthusiast you may be disappointed that the opportunity to catch a glimpse of, or ride on, these beautiful old engines and carriages with acres of highly polished wood, brass trimmings and plaques from the famous old engineering companies from days of yore adorning the machinery.
Well the good news is that some of the contraptions used on the maintenance programme are every bit, if not more, interesting than the normal rolling stock. One little gizmo that can be seen on the tracks at the moment is a light railway trolley being used to examine the overhead lines which deliver power to the electric engines.
It's based on an old Hispano-Suiza car that was converted for use on rails around 90 years ago and it's still going strong. As you can see from the photo (a still shot from YouTube) it's half vintage car, half box, with a ladder stuck on the side! As someone fascinated since boyhood with anything that runs on rails, I'd love to see it tootling up and down the tracks. If you would too, get your skates on as the trams will run again on 22nd January!