Jim Clemens Collection Vol.38: 1960s Iberian Railway Holiday No. 2

With steam declining rapidly in the UK, Jim Clemens decided that summer family holidays should be taken in Iberia. 1960’S IBERIAN RAILWAY HOLIDAYS No. 2 covers mostly the rail scene in Spain and Portugal between 1966 and 1969.

Summer 1966 found the family on the Costa Blanca. The ESA narrow-gauge system is seen along the coast through Benidorm to Gandia. In Alicante a visit is made to the broad-gauge engine shed, and time is spent at the now-closed Benalua terminus that includes the through service from Cartaghena and Murcia to Valencia. A trip inland was also made to La Encina and Jativa.

Northern Portugal was the destination in both 1967 and 1968. Visits were made to mixed-gauge Regua in the Douro Valley. The broad-gauge station pilot here was a Beyer Peacock 0-6-0 dating from 1875 whilst on the metre-gauge we get our first glimpse of the asymetric 2-4-6-0 compound mallet tanks. In Oporto in addition to watching the City’s tram and trolleybus system visits are made to the narrow-gauge terminus at Trindade that includes 0-4-4-0 compound mallets at work, and also the newly-built (1965) broad-gauge engine shed at Contumil. The narrow-gauge system south of the Douro is visited at Sernada do Vouga, Oliveira de Azemeis, and Espinho. Services are seen on gauntleted track (narrow-gauge set inside broad-gauge) at Lousado and Famalicao, the branch onwards to Povoa de Varzim being particularly well covered. Other locations include Braga, Nine, Viana do Castelo, Valenca, and Moncao. There is also a few minutes of film taken in 1973.

The base in 1969 was Tarragona. By this time the all the 2-8-2 + 2-8-2 Garratts had been concentrated here; watch them on freight workings to Reus and Lerida. Visits are made to the Garratts home depot at Tarragona south, the refuelling point at Tarragona north shed, and Lerida shed. More steam is seen at Mora La Neuva, even the 4,000hp Spanish version of a ‘Warship’!

Also included are two short ‘bonus’ sequences that just happened to be on the same reels. ‘Railway Roundabout’ unused film & off-cuts purchased by Jim Clemens directly from Pat Whitehouse – Mauritius and the Reseau Breton metre-gauge in northern France.

Filmed in colour, a commentary plus sound track complement this look at the railways of Iberia mostly between 1966 and 1969.

Cover photo: 2-8-2 + 2-8-2 Garratt at Reus in July 1969.

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