Oldest broad-gauge Wagon in Spain restored
The railway museum in Móra la Nova restored the oldest broad-gauge wagon in Spain, built in Belgium in 1881. The restoration of the MZA G-522 low-sided wagon was completed last July. This wagon arrived at the Museum last summer from Lleida where it had been abandoned for decades, which contributed to its general poor condition and the disappearance of several pieces.
After an important general cleaning, it has been necessary to replace part of the damaged metal profiles, to manufacture four new stops, to install a new pull hook, to place all the new carpentry and to manufacture four new custom-made laminated stele springs, since the only spring that remained in the wagon was in a bad state, not guaranteeing proper operation.
In order to be able to document the origin of the wagon, in the absence of any reference or plate, the collaboration of Javier Fernández López and Manuel González Márquez has been of great help. Based on photographs and the dimensions of the wagon, they have been able to find out this is an original carriage of the Aranjuez-Cuenca railway, built by Nicaise et Delcuve in Belgium in 1881.
It belonged to a series of wagons G-509 to G-588 that passed to MZA when this company absorbed that of Aranjuez-Cuenca and they were destined to perform services throughout its network. Of the 79 wagons, only 8 arrived at RENFE in 1940, as their use was limited by the lack of brakes. In any case, the useful life of the G-522 was spent mainly in the MZA stage. For this reason, the restoration has focused on this period.
In the middle of the 1950s, the G-522 was left in the Meta flour mill in Lleida, where it was abandoned until the high-speed train works in the city brought it back to light. An entity from Lleida wanted to preserve it and it was removed until 2021 when it was transferred to the Railway Museum in Móra la Nova. Today it is the oldest known broad-gauge wagon preserved in Spain and now, moreover, it is fully operational.