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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)


Once an almost impenetrable barrier between France and Spain, the Pyrenees are shortly to be climbed and pierced by an electric railway now under construction. A connecting link is being built between the Southern Railway of France and the Spanish railway system, joining France with the whole of Spain. It is planned to connect Toulouse, in France, with Barcelona direct, while further west a line is to be built linking Pau with the Spanish city of Jaca. The French portion of this line is to be electrified mainly on account of the many tunnels there encountered, the severe curves, and the almost continuous grade of 4.3 per cent. The electrification is being accomplished in two sections, one from Pau to Bedous, and the other forward from Bedous to Canfranc. The first section is already completed, the equipment including three sub-stations with 750kw., 1,575 volt direct current sets, each set comprising two rotary converters in series.