Vall de Núria Rack Railway

The Vall de Núria Rack Railway (Catalan: Cremallera de Núria, IPA: [kɾəməˈʎeɾə ðə ˈnuɾiə]) is a mountain railway in the Pyrenees mountains in the north of the Catalonia region of Spain. The line connects Ribes de Freser with Queralbs and Vall de Núria in Ripollès, Girona. As Queralbs is the highest point in the valley reachable by road, the rack railway is – along with the old footpath / mule track – the only way to reach the shrine and ski resort at Núria.

Cremallera de Núria
Crem nuria.jpg
A Stadler GTW train on the adhesion section of the line.
OwnerFerrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
LocalePyrenees in the north of Catalonia
OpenedMarch 22, 1931
Line length12.5 km (7.8 mi)
Rack systemAbt
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
Electrification1500 V DC Overhead line
Maximum incline15%

The line opened on March 22, 1931, and has been electrically operated from the start. It became part of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) on January 2, 1984 and remains in their ownership. The line connects to the main R3 line at Ribes de Freser, but the stations have separate access.

The line is 12.5 km (7.8 mi) long and has a rail gauge of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in). The first 5.5 km (3.4 mi) of the line is operated by conventional rail adhesion. The remainder of the line is operated as a rack railway, using the Abt system and with a maximum gradient of 15%. In total the line overcomes a height difference of 1,062 m (3,484 ft). The line is electrified with an overhead supply at 1500 V DC.

Three generations of rolling stock exist on the line. The original stock consisted of passenger cars hauled by four six-wheeled electric locomotives, numbered E1-E4, built by SLM and BBC in 1930–31. They were supplemented by four two-car electric trains numbered A5-A8, built by SLM and BBC in 1985.

The final generation is represented by two low-floor electric motor coaches of type Stadler GTW and numbered A10-A11, built by Stadler Rail in Switzerland in 2003. The line also owns a diesel rack locomotive, D9, used on works trains and to push the snow plough.

Cars A10 and A11 are identical to the rolling stock of the Montserrat Rack Railway. The Montserrat line is also owned by the FGC and some stock is shared between the lines. Locomotive E4 is transferred for use on work trains.

Rolling stockEdit

Rolling stock of the Montserrat Rack Railway are listed, if they are or were also used in Vall Núria

Picture link Number, name type (UIC) Year built History Additional info
  E1 Virgen de Nuria
E2 Obispo Guitarat
E3 José Rogent *
E4 Ramon Albó
Cb g2 1930 SLM 3368/BBC 2969
SLM 3369/BBC 2970
SLM 3370/BBC 2971
SLM 3371/BBC 2972
E1 in working condition
E2/E3 Monument
*ex Elias Rogent
E4 2003 to Montserrat
  A5 Puigmal[1]
A6 Torreneules
A7 Taga
A8 Balandrau
(Aa1)(Aa1)+(Aa1)(Aa1) g4 1986
  D9 Bbo de 1995 Stadler 237/SLM/ABB Also used on the Montserrat line D9
  L09 2 dhs 1995 Stadler 238/MAN/Zaugg Rotary snow plough L09+D9
  DM6 Bbo de 2004 Stadler Built for Montserrat line, transferred to Vall Núria in 2006 DM6
  A10 Noufonts
A11 Bastiments
2'Bbo 2' g2d 2003 Stadler 825–826 Cogwheel-GTW, same as AM1–AM5 (Montserrat). A10 transferred to Montserrat and repainted with Montserrat Rack Railway colors. It was renamed to "La Roca Foradada". A11 will be transferred soon to Montserrat.
  H12 2'Bbo g2d-de 2019 Stadler Dual-mode electro-diesel locomotive
  11, 12, 21, 22, 23 B 1930 Abffw 11–12
Bffw 21–23
12 = Cinema carriage
22 = Monument with E2
51 As 1930 Aaffw 51 Saloon
  01, 28 Haik 1930 Affw 1**, Bffw 28 Box car
  02, 03, PM02 R 1930 Affw 2, Bffw 25, 24 Flat car
(PM02 = Montserrat)
27, 29 X 1930 Bffw 27, 29** Service vehicle (27 = Montserrat) 29
Gk 1930 K52–K54 Small box cars
70.951 ex K 52 = Tank car
  M44, 062 Kklm 1930 M44,M?? 062 = Montserrat
P22–P26 Kkp 1964, 62 MGB/FO Uce 4861,62,67,
MGB/FO Gb-v 4433',
MGB/BVZ K 2641 (1962, 1989 ex X 2906)
Flat cars
P24 with cement mixer
P25–P26 with thermic container
  P27−P28 B 1949 MGB/FO B 4244–45
ex SBB A 182–183 (SWS)
Bought in 2008, still with original livery, 4244 with auxiliary cab
  B 2273 and Bt 2275 B 1963/98/19 MGB/BVZ B 2273 and 2275 (SIG, 1998 verlängert) Bought in 2019, used with H12 and repainted blue in 2020 to match that locomotive
  364.01 2 g1 1930 SLM 3469/BBC 3680 Rotary snow plough
  KCw 29 Fd Service vehicle for track ballast
  T5 X Catenary car, without cogwheel

**) Original roster, built by Vereinigte Westdeutsche Waggonfabrik A.G., is said to have been formed of Affw 2, ABffw 11–15, Bffw 21–28 and Aaffw 51. However, box car 01 was rebuilt from Affw 1 and there was a Bffw 29; at the same time ABffw 13–15 and Bffw 26 were off the roster.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "RailPictures.Net Photo: A5 FGC (Ferrocarrils Generalitat Catalunya) Bhe 4/8 at Queralbs, Spain by Peter Hürzeler".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°24′N 02°09′E / 42.400°N 2.150°E / 42.400; 2.150