The small canary is a recognized line since 1883 realized by the Compagnie des Chemins de fer du Midi between 1904 and 1927 under the dynamic impulse of the member of General Council Emmanuel Brousse to open up the region. Previously it was necessary to count with 12h by diligence to connect Perpignan with Bourg-Madame!
The topography of the moutain relief brings its prize of technical contraints: electric traction, oneway only on one meter wide and the famous 3rd rail which feeds 850 volts. To product electricity was necessary an electric factory and a dam: the Bouillouses lake on 150 hectares. The train drives unless 40km / h because of the slope at 6% and the curving bends.
Not less than 650 works of engineering are planned (bridges, galleries, breast walls, foothills...), 19 tunnels and 2 bridges : the famous viaduc Séjourné on two floors 236m length, it overhangs the river Têt at 65m high ; and the bridge Gisclard, one of the first metallis suspension bridges of France, with its 873 tons of steel on 253m length, dominating La Cassagne at 81m high.
During the firts tries of the bridge Gisclard in 1909, a terrible accident cost the death of six people, which the engineer Gisclard him-self. So we repelled the exploitation. In 1910 was inaugurated the first section between Villefranche-de-Conflent and Mont-Louis.
The second section between Mont-Louis and Bourg-Madame is open in 1911. Finally, the last 6km between Bourg-Madame and Latour-de-Carol are achieved in 1927 to allow the junction between the French and Spanish lines.
On its 62,8km the picturesque line crosses 27 train stations and connects the scattered villages of Haut-Conflent, Capcir and Cerdagne.
The Train Jaune is exploited by the SNCF (French national railway company), it is a TER (regional express train). It is impossible to reserve (except for groups). Just come to the train station 15 to 20 minutes before departure to buy your ticket!
These open-air baths at the heart of the moutain will surprise you.
They offer the oportunity to make a pleasant stop of well-being!
At 10 km from Mont-Louis, these 3 outdoor ponds take place in an extremely beautiful natural frame.
Its sulphurized, sodic and alkaline waters are ideal to relieve rheumatisms, respiratory tracts and skin problems.
Indoor: three hammam rooms, perfumed by essential oils, jacuzzis and possibility of massages.
At 12 km from Mont-Louis, the baths of Llo peak at 1 400m height in the excepional frame of the Gorges du Sèdre.
Naturally rich in sulfur and minerals, these waters relax and relieve rheumatisms or muscular pains.
Ponds (outside and inside), sauna, jacuzzis, hammam and possibility of massages.
At 23 km from Mont-Louis, the baths of Dorres overhang Cerdagne at 1 450m high.
Its waters spring at 42°C and are ideal for relaxation or at the return from a hike, in summer as in winter.
It is the most rustic site with its ponds in granite. From there is a fantastic view over the Puigmal massifs.
Possibility of massages.
The wildlife park takes place on 37 hectares of pine, on one of Carlit peak hillsides between 1700m and 1800m high, at 10 km from Mont-Louis. It is a real forest mountain space, divided into enclosure where the natural anvironment has been respected.
The park allows to discover, walking, the symbolic fauna of Pyrenees through two routes, one of 3,5 km long and a shorter of 1,5 km long. You can take your time, have a sto, picnic, observe at leisure the animals: izard, wild boar, ibex, wolf, bear, bison, reindeer, deer, roe deer, marmot...
At 20 km from Mont-Louis, caves offer magnificient set of limestones concretions, particulary colored, on two levels. The amzed visitor discovers there a perfectly preserved environment in several rooms on about 1km long. A lake, columns, hundreds of fistulas hang from the ceiling and a multitude of colors cheers up the magic visit.
At Sainte-Léocadie, 17 km from Mont-Louis, the musuem takes place in a building from the 18th century registred as French historic monument. It proposes to discover the facets of Cerdan territory through exhibitions, workshops, guided visits and cultural activities for the all family.