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The Núria Rack Railway train celebrates 90 years

Notice date: 22-03-2021
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Tags: vall de núria rack railway, rack railway, 90 years, commemoration

An exhibition will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Rack Railway, the only means of transport to access the Vall de Núria station


Inaugurated on March 22, 1931, it was integrated into the railway structure of the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1986


The Núria Rack Railway is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, being the quintessential transport for the valley and the only way to access the Vall de Núria mountain resort. Coinciding with this anniversary, there will be a commemorative exhibition on the history of the Rack Railway that can be visited from June and will be officially inaugurated by Sant Gil, patron saint of the Vall de Núria.


A benchmark among mountain railways

On March 22, 1931, the Núria Rack Railway was inaugurated, a railway with exceptional technical characteristics that soon became a benchmark among mountain railways throughout Europe. The increase in pilgrims visiting the Sanctuary of Núria and the growth of winter sports had highlighted the need for a means of transport to reach the Vall de Núria, until then only accessible on foot.


The inauguration was initially to have King Alfons XIII, who was unable to attend due to political instability that culminated in his exile and the proclamation of the Second Republic.


Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) took over its management in 1986, which led to an extensive modernization process that involved the arrival of new rolling stock and the modernization of the facilities. Four new automobiles were put into service, locomotives and passenger cars were modernized, workshops were built and tracks were replaced.


Years later, the new Ribes-Enllaç depot was built, the Queralbs station was remodeled, the new Roc del Dui tunnel came into service and new cars were acquired.


The rack railway today

Among the most recent actions carried out on the Rack Railway line are the renovation and adaptation of the Queralbs and Ribes-Vila stations and the acquisition of a new hybrid locomotive, two passenger cars and two intermediate trailers; as well as the renovation of part of the tracks and the replacement of older catenaries and electrical installations.


Last year a new online ticketing system was launched and, since the summer, the rack railway has a free audio guide that, through innovative audiovisual content, offers passengers unpublished stories, historical images. and curiosities of the mountains and the environment through a mobile app.


The Núria Rack Railway, which receives more than 280,000 visitors a year, travels 12.5 km and overcomes a drop of 1,000 meters in 40 minutes. During its journey it passes through the stations of Ribes-Enllaç, Ribes-Vila, Queralbs and Núria. TheRack Railway is a sustainable transport that does not produce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere because its electricity consumption comes from solar energy. This aspect, together with the project to install a geothermal energy system as an energy source for the buildings that make up the Vall de Núria complex, preserve the environment and the environment of the valley.


Image: One of the classic trains of the Cremallera arriving at the Vall de Núria (Author: Carles Salmerón, 1980)


Interesting links:

- “Núria Rack Railway: the new motor and mobile material”: https://www.fgc.cat/llibres/vall_de_nuria/index.html




The Núria Rack Railway train celebrates 90 years
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