THE PROMISE OF A NEW RAILWAY LIFE
Canfranc station (Spain), located on the edge of the Aragonese Pyrenees, was inaugurated in 1928 by Alfonso XIII. The fact that it was then the second largest in Europe is a clue to the prestige and influence with which it was conceived. The railway line was planned as the great gateway between Europe and Spain, which promised, as it did for some periods, the transit of goods, the emancipation of artists, the flow of new aesthetic and intellectual tastes and faster communications.
The building, with its glazed façade and a noucentista taste reminiscent of French palatial architecture of the time, was 241 metres long, 12 metres wide, with 75 doors on each side and 365 windows (one for each day of the year). A sophisticated showcase of Spain for the foreign travellers who alighted there.
Its international nature meant that two sets of tracks had to be installed, as the Spanish sleepers were of a different gauge and travellers had to change trains if they wanted to continue their journey to the border country. Thus, the station had double everything, platforms, ticket offices, police stations, customs... and a beautiful vestibule inside the station for transfers.