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Benidorm - Denia line FGV Costa Blanca


Pete 75C
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The "Railways of Spain" sub-forum has been a little quiet of late, so I thought I'd add some pictures taken just a few weeks ago. For those that aren't aware, it is possible to travel by train/tram all the way from Alicante to Denia. Tram from Alicante as far as Benidorm and then diesel train the rest of the way. I confess to having a bit of a fascination with the section of line from Benidorm to Denia that is diesel-operated. Just a shame that pending an expensive upgrade, the section between Calpe and Denia is now shut indefinitely. The line is metre gauge throughout with several small request-stop halts. The line has been operated by FGV (Ferrocarril de la Generalitat Valenciana) since 1987 when it was taken over from Renfe FEVE and is no longer part of the national network.

Below are some photos taken at Altea, with some more taken at the interchange station at Benidorm to follow. Some of these have appeared elsewhere on the forum in conjunction with a layout topic, but I thought it worth adding them here.

If anyone has any "past or present" photos of the line, do feel free to add them here.

 

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Edited by Pete 75C
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Any idea why a section is fully paved Pete?

 

I haven't got a clue Mike. That's the section that runs from the level crossing just to the north of Altea station (3rd pic) a very short distance to the next station, Garganes, also in Altea town. There is a short section of tunnel although I doubt that has anything to do with it. I had thought perhaps it had recently been relaid and concrete "slab-track" is in fashion. The concrete slab appears to sit below rail height, so I doubt it's anything to do with vehicle access. A mystery.

Edited by Pete 75C
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I think I have some taken several years ago of a trip from Benissa / Teulada through to Alicante

 

Thanks Colin. I'd be delighted to see them if you still have them.

 

Moving on to Benidorm which is the interchange station. Trams from Alicante arrive from one direction and passengers just need to switch platforms to the diesel train to continue towards Altea/Calpe/Denia.

 

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A couple of shots showing the distinct difference in height between the tram/train platforms.

 

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There is a small maintenance/stabling facility at Benidorm station for the diesel units, but the main works for both tram and train is at El Campello, further south and nearer to Alicante.

 

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Leaving the station towards Denia, the line crosses a main road heading to the next station on the line, the appropriately named "Disco Benidorm", named after the large number of nightclubs in that particular part of town.

 

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Finally a shot of the little diesel train itself.

 

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Looks can be slightly deceptive. These units aren't totally new and are actually a rebuild from an earlier diesel unit, in service for many years (seen below, not my picture).

 

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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Crikey !.................... haven't been to Benidorm (Altea and Denia)  since 2002 when we were house hunting; the change is amazing.

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I need to turf out my photos from the mid-80s, when we were hauled by Babcock & Wilcox 'shunter' type locos working the 'Limon Express'...............an experience more scary than when ETA separatists blew up our hotel, as we slept !!!!

.

Brian R

Edited by br2975
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Had a neighbour in France who was from Denia. He gave me a photo of a lovely 264T on this line (Beyer Peacock, I think). If I find it, will scan and post here. Quite a contrast to those modern DMUs and trams.

I can't find any record of Beyer Peacock 2-6-4Ts in Spain - are you thinking of the FC Alcoy - Gandia, which operated a fleet of BP 2-6-2Ts (from 1890) and had a connection with the FC Carcagente - Denia (CD) at Gandia?

 

Two of the BP 2-6-2Ts survive and are plinthed locally. No 2 "VILLALONGA" is at Alcoy, and no. 7 "COCENTAINA" at Gandia.

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The FC Carcagente - Denia had six rather unusual 4-4-0 saddle-tanks built by Black Hawthorn in 1881-83 (one was later rebuilt as a pannier tank).  Two survive, as far as I know still at the yard of Industrias Lopez Soriano outside Zaragoza , but unfortunately no longer as accessible by the road-side as seen in this shot of no. 1 in 1988.

 

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Thanks Eddie. There must be hundreds of locos on plinths across Spain and even the Canaries, something we don't seem to do here no doubt because the weather would accelerate their disintegration. Incidentally, several steamers can still be seen at Industrias López Soriano near Zaragoza if you Streetview from the adjacent motorway bridge and a side road. I'm rather ignorant about things that burn coal, so I haven't a clue what's left. I did find the following link though, which may shed some light. Totally unrelated, this scrapyard is where the regauged Class 14 "Teddy Bear" met its end circa 2007. Interesting stuff.

 

http://www.locomotoravapor.com/aragon.htm

Edited by Pete 75C
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I need to turf out my photos from the mid-80s, when we were hauled by Babcock & Wilcox 'shunter' type locos working the 'Limon Express'...............an experience more scary than when ETA separatists blew up our hotel, as we slept !!!!

 

I'm sure the locos and carriages used on the Limon Express are still stored somewhere. AFAIK the popular tourist train ground to a halt (pun intended) over lack of finance. We recently stayed in Mascarat right at the foot of a hill that offers perhaps the best view of the line as it emerges from a tunnel straight onto a rather precarious-looking bridge. The hill turned out to be a mountain (in my mind) so I never did get up there with the camera. I had the wrong kind of shoes. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Others have managed a decent shot though...

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50899650@N07/20108624803

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Thanks Eddie. There must be hundreds of locos on plinths across Spain and even the Canaries, something we don't seem to do here no doubt because the weather would accelerate their disintegration. Incidentally, several steamers can still be seen at Industrias López Soriano near Zaragoza if you Streetview from the adjacent motorway bridge and a side road. I'm rather ignorant about things that burn coal, so I haven't a clue what's left. I did find the following link though, which may shed some light. Totally unrelated, this scrapyard is where the regauged Class 14 "Teddy Bear" met its end circa 2007. Interesting stuff.

 

http://www.locomotoravapor.com/aragon.htm

Thank you Pete.  Both the contents of Industrias Lopez and the road that passes the site have grown since that first visit in 1988.  I think I've posted a picture of the class 14 that was along the roadside in 2003 before (R601 0 3911 003 CMZ, ex D9549), which was one of a batch (three IIRC) sent over to Spain for a track construction company.  (Later in that same 1988 visit I saw a couple stabled outside Madrid Chamartin).

 

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No coincidence, I checked that webpage before posting, to confirm that the Black Hawthorn's were still at the same site.  It is perhaps the best guide to remaining steam locomotives in Spain, compiled and run by the Director of the Railway Museum at Gijon, with whom I've had the pleasure to correspond in the past and meet up for a side trip to visit a plinthed steam loco within the port complex there.

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Mention of the Limon Express led to me finding some pictures I hadn't seen before, taken at Benidorm circa 1969:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/26574143274

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/26575593843

 

Also, this webpage (in Spanish) which I'm slowly working my way through. Some fascinating historic pictures of the line including some rather odd traction:

 

http://www.spanishrailway.com/2012/03/15/ferrocarril-de-alicante-a-villajoyosa-y-denia-esa/

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Mention of the Limon Express led to me finding some pictures I hadn't seen before, taken at Benidorm circa 1969:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/26574143274

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/26575593843

 

Also, this webpage (in Spanish) which I'm slowly working my way through. Some fascinating historic pictures of the line including some rather odd traction:

 

http://www.spanishrailway.com/2012/03/15/ferrocarril-de-alicante-a-villajoyosa-y-denia-esa/

 

Interesting to see from the third link that a chap I know (and might see next month at an 'old boys' Christmas Lunch) was down there taking pictures in the days when the line was still steam worked.

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I can't find any record of Beyer Peacock 2-6-4Ts in Spain - are you thinking of the FC Alcoy - Gandia, which operated a fleet of BP 2-6-2Ts (from 1890) and had a connection with the FC Carcagente - Denia (CD) at Gandia?

 

Two of the BP 2-6-2Ts survive and are plinthed locally. No 2 "VILLALONGA" is at Alcoy, and no. 7 "COCENTAINA" at Gandia.

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The FC Carcagente - Denia had six rather unusual 4-4-0 saddle-tanks built by Black Hawthorn in 1881-83 (one was later rebuilt as a pannier tank).  Two survive, as far as I know still at the yard of Industrias Lopez Soriano outside Zaragoza , but unfortunately no longer as accessible by the road-side as seen in this shot of no. 1 in 1988.

 

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Could be one of those rather than a 2-6-4T. As so often with loco photographs, taken from an angle which makes the back part difficult to see.

 

As I recall, the cab on Joaquin's photo was not quite the same.

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Interesting to see from the third link that a chap I know (and might see next month at an 'old boys' Christmas Lunch) was down there taking pictures in the days when the line was still steam worked.

The one who used to man the LCGB stands and sell tickets for the S&KLR?

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Thank you for this ..............

 

Great memories of a 1985 honeymoon in Calpe with a superb view of the Penon in one direction and occasional glimpses of trains on this line passing through the hills in the opposite direction whilst sitting supping Moscatel from the local "Jovima" .......................

Edited by Southernman46
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Alicante, 4th. January 2006

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"Ifach" wandering aimlesly about the station and yard.

 

Is that an EE loco, Brian? Getting a definite Class 20 vibe from it.

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Is that an EE loco, Brian? Getting a definite Class 20 vibe from it.

Sorry to disappoint, but they were built by Babcock and Wilcox of Bilbao, with electrics by GE (Spain).  In other words, more in common with a Zimbabwe DE9 than an EE class 20 - despite obvious similarities. 

 

Two locomotives, nos. 1030 and 1032 were transferred down South by FEVE in the late 'eighties for working the "Limon Express".  

 

(Some sources say they were built by Alsthom/SACM, as others of similar type were - but not these two).

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Some more photos taken at the FGV terminus in Alicante, January 2006.

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Hard to imagine I land at El Altet airport several times a year, this was the last occasion I visited Alicante itself.

.

Brian R

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Edited by br2975
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