Yellow Train of the Pyrenees, France
The Little Yellow Train is a historic metre-gauge railway in the French Pyrenees. The train takes passengers on a spectacular journey through the stunning countryside, starting at Villefranche de Conflent and journeying to the summit at Bolquère Eyne – France’s highest railway station at 1,592 metres. Finishing its journey at Latour de Carol, high up in the Pyrenees, near the Spanish town of Puigcerda, it’s easily one of the most scenic railway journeys in France. Not only are the views spectacular, but the whole experience is full of excitement and nostalgia, travelling on a little bright yellow train on a journey that dates back to 1903.
Prices from: €13.60
Departing from: Col de Saint-Ignace, France
Journey length: 35 minutes
Little Yellow Train of the Pyrenees route
The journey begins in Villefranche de Conflent in the eastern Pyraneese, 50 kilometres inland from Perpignan and travels to its terminus at Latour de Carol. The journey is filled with natural beauty, with the train trundling over ravines, viaducts and through narrow gauges and ascending to the summit of Bolquère Eyne. On the 62.6 kilometre journey passengers are treated to views of rocky mountain gorges, historic fortresses, tumbling valleys and fortified villages. One of these villages is Mont Louis, steeped in military heritage with a commando training centre. Terminating at the small town of Latour de Carol near the French/Spanish border, passengers can connect with the French railway line from Toulouse, and the RENFE Spanish line to Barcelona.
As the name suggests, the train is bright yellow in colour, with seven of the original ten carriages still operating. Luckily some parts of the rolling stock have been modernised, and carrier SNCF has added two modern panoramic carriages with air-conditioning, toliets and electric doors. Depending on weather there are also some open-air carriages, allowing for un-obstructed views of the French countryside.
Why we love it
What can be more adorable than riding on a bright yellow train? Not much. But train aside, the journey is utterly spectacular, trundling through the rugged Pyrenees, fortresses and mountain villages – all in just 35 minutes.