You may not have seen one of these machines before. At least, I hadn’t. I am not usually known as a trainspotter, but when I saw this beast at Manacor train station last Saturday, I must admit that I was filled with curiosity.
What we see here is a railway track maintenance vehicle, manufactured by the Austrian manufacturer Plasser & Theurer. The company manufactures an extensive range of machines including the Unimat Compact 08-3S shown here, and exports its output to a staggering 104 countries worldwide. I imagine that the maintenance vehicle is used for small repair jobs as well as for restorations and refurbishing of the railway track in Mallorca. Since 2004, all train services on the island are provided by Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM), with the exception of the connection from Palma to Sóller which is the responsibility of Ferrocarril de Sóller SA.
You may be interested to know that I nearly got arrested after taking the photo (above). A security person of the Trablisa enterprise approached me to let me know that photos could not be taken in the train station vicinity of Manacor, or indeed anywhere along the SFM lines. Of course, I put my camera away immediately as I had no intention of trespassing. When I asked the good man’s name I was given a number that I did not understand and could not jot down for the lack of a pen. Instead, the uniformed man proceeded to ring the police force and warned me that he would have to arrest me if I would not stay put. You may not believe this, but within five minutes, two armed police officers of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía arrived to interrogate me. They were quite happy, however, to let me go after having checked my personal details including my fixed abode. I have no complaints to make.
The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 16th, 2010. The time was 15:25:54.