Islas Canarias (Canary Islands) is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. They form an autonomous community of Spain.
The group is made up of seven main islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro – and a large number of smaller islands. Of these, only Tenerife has a railway; a railway is planned for Gran Canaria.
In 1901, an electric street tramway opened on Tenerife, between the island capital Santa Cruz and La Laguna. It was extended to Tacoronte in 1904. The system closed in 1951.
The first line of a new tramway system opened in 2007. The 12.5km line links Santa Cruz and La Laguna. A second line opened in 2009. An extension to line 2 is under construction; extension to line 1, and a new line 3, are proposed.
Also proposed is a new 80km standard gauge electric railway linking Santa Cruz with Costa Adeje in the south of the island. A similar railway is under consideration which would serve towns in the north of the island.
In 1893, a steam tramway opened on Gran Canaria, between the island capital Las Palmas and Puerto de la Luz. It was electrified in 1910, briefly reverting to steam operation in 1944 before closure.
An experimental rapid transit system using low profile cars running on elevated concrete tracks operated briefly in Las Palmas in 1974, with limited success.
Around 2004, a feasibility study was conducted into a new 50km Iberian (1668mm) gauge line from Las Palmas to Maspalomas in the south of the island. Progress on implementation has been slow, and although detailed plans are now available and various preparatory works have been undertaken, at the time of writing construction has yet to begin.
Photo image by Espen Franck-Nielsen from Wikipedia