Train Juane is a yellow train that snakes its way up the Pyrenees from Villefranche-de-Conflet and climbs up to the highest train station in France at Bolquere. If you are planning your summer holidays in france with the kids and your are looking for some great days out, then taking the Train Juane should be near the top of your list. The views and scenery are magnificent and the kids will enjoy all the fresh air and sleep all the way home!
Holidays in France with kids: Train Juane
The 'Yellow Train' (or Ligne de Cerdagne to give it its official name) is a narrow guage railway that was built around 1903. Along its 63 kilometre route it climbs up to 1,593 metres at Bolquère-Eyne, the highest railway station in France. There are 19 tunnels and two bridges along the way. The best seats are to be had in the open carriages which give you a full uninterupted view. The Eastern Pyrenees really is a beautiful part of South France and I would heartily recommend that you take the train to see the views - as opposed to the back of the Caravan in front of your car.
Route: The Petit Train Jaune runs between Villefrance-de-Conflent and Latour-de-Carol. Villefrance-de-Conflent is on the N116 from Perpignan (exit A9 autoroute at Perpignan Sud).
Fare: In 2010 the adult fare was €34 Euros return fare for the whole 63km route (Enquiries: 08 92 35 35 35). This is a bit pricey, but shorter routes are possible. Further details can be obtained from the website at: Train Juane.
Villefranche-de-Conflet is a beautiful old fortified town. The pedestrianised grid-like streets are perfrect for wandering about in the summer sun - offering excellent shade. There are one or two excellent restaurants here as well - together with the usual cafe-bars and pizza places. Also just outside the rampart walls you will find a small dinosaur museum in a cave. I am not entirely sure what it is like inside - I have not been inside - but I presume that it must contain some fossilized remains. We have stopped at Villefranche-de-Conflet a couple of times on the route up to skiing at Font Romeu and it has always been a toss up between a quiet-ish beer or trooping around the dinosaur museum with the kids. The beer has always won mainly because the kids have plenty of space to bugger off and play on the castle ramparts and leave us in peace!