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Latour de Carol - Enveigt (France - Spain)

In the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees, between the 'bourgs' of Enveigt and Latour de Carol, an exceptional station is located.
Lines from Toulouse, Barcelona and Perpignan meet in the French station next to the Spanish border. The cumulation of three different gauges combined with three different electrification systems makes this station unique.

international operation France - Spain
'Le train jaune' to Villefranche

related articles
Cerbère - Port Bou (France - Spain)

map of French network
map of Spain network

video (without sound)
interrail2002@le-train-jaune (42 MB)

related links
Trains du Sud-Ouest
La gare internationale de Canfranc
SNCF information on 'le train jaune'
trains en voyage: Latour de Carol-Enveigt

All trains have to terminate in Latour de Carol. In spring 2003 about 5 services to/from Toulouse-Matabiau (by SNCF) and Barcelona-Sants (by RENFE) are provided daily. Additionally night-trains to/from Quimper and Paris-Austerlitz reach Latour de Carol.

Latour de Carol in the 20's
Latour de Carol in the 20's
Views of the station of Latour de Carol in the 20's.
© Collection Jean-Pierre Vergez-Larrouy

Also destinations like Tourcoing/Lille and Belgium (Brussels, Ostend, Schaerbeek) were included in the timetable during the last years. The quantity of services by 'le train jaune' (also operated by SNCF) to Villefranche (with connection to Perpignan) varies through the year.

 international operation France - Spain
As the french and spanish tracks are constructed with different gauges (1435mm and 1676mm) no trains run the whole way from Toulouse to Barcelona. Passengers have to change trains, which are scheduled to offer a direct connection. Occasional freight-trains pass the border and are worked to Puigcerda, where goods are reloaded. The double-track line to Puigcerda consists of two seperate tracks with different gauges and electrified at different currents. Three different gauges
three gauges next to each other
With regard to its closed pendant Canfranc, Latour de Carol offers the third possibility to travel between France and Spain by train beside Irùn and Port Bou. Operation between Ax-les-Thermes and Latour de Carol was completely replaced by autocars in the early 80ies, but has been continued due to public interest.
In summer 2003 the infrastructure operator started to adapt the Spanish line Borgonya - Ripoll for standard-gauge operation.

 Le train jaune
Between 1903 and 1927 the line from Villefranche-Vernet les Bains to Latour de Carol was built and established a link with the Transpyrénéen Toulouse - Barcelona. With regard to the landscape 19 tunnels and 2 enormous bridges had to be constructed on the 63 km long metric-gauge line electrified at 850 V by third rail.

Latour de Carol - in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees
'le train jaune' - SNCF class rollercoaster
'Le train jaune' ready to depart
Metric-gauge meets normal-gauge
Various impressions of Latour de Carol and 'le train jaune' taken in september 2002

Today SNCF operates between two and five trains per day on the highest French railway-line, which are mainly used by tourists. At Villefranche a connecting service to Perpignan is offered.

page last updated: 26. March 2018 ©1998-2013 Thorsten Büker