Perpignan to Latour de Carol. Le Petit Train Jaune.
Le Petit Train Jaune (the Little Yellow Train) travels along the single-track Ligne de Cerdagne, from the base of the Pyrénées, all the way to the top at Latour de Carol.
And as the maximum speed of the train is 55kmh (about 34mph) on the steep and twisting route up and down the mountains, this is delightfully slow travel.
For most of the year, the Little Yellow Train uses fully-enclosed carriages. However, during the Summer months, open trailer-style carriages are also used. Great for photography, and children just love these carriages – especially when the train passes through each of the 19 tunnels along the route, or when the train crosses the spectacular Pont Gisclard suspension bridge, with the valley floor a long way down.
Because the terminus at Latour de Carol (La Tor de Querol in Catalan) is actually the meeting point of three magnificent railway lines (Le Train Jaune; the French train that climbs the Pyrénées from Toulouse; and the Barcelona suburban train which descends the Pyrenees on the Spanish side), it is neccessary to travel along one of the lines twice if you want to travel on all three routes (which I do). So this Around the World by Train route actually involves two journeys on the Little Yellow Train: first climbing to the top of the Pyrenees, and then continuing to Barcelona; and, later, descending the mountains after arriving from Toulouse.
So this really is the best of both worlds.
Web resources for Le Petit Train Jaune:
Official Train Operator: www.ter.sncf.com/occitanie/ (French)
Le Petit Train Jaune / Ligne de Cerdagne (Wikipedia)
On the Little Yellow Train to Fairyland (Telegraph Travel)
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[photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org]