RN SA 706 Passenger Car


RN SA 706 Passenger Car

Asturias Railway Museum, Gijón

This interesting machine was manufactured in 1928 by the firm Herederos de Ramón Múgica from Irún, Gipuzkoa. It was created as a third-class car for Compañía del Norte, where it received the number Cfhv 2108 in a long series of 158 vehicles. When it passed into the hands of Renfe, it was re-registered as Chv 1708 and years later, when it was no longer needed in the commercial fleet, it was converted into an assistance vehicle with the identification SA 706.

This was quite common in RENFE, which used obsolete passenger cars to convert them into service vehicles for different purposes.

It is a two-axle vehicle with a wooden van. It originally had six and a half compartments and a toilet in the central area, all connected by a side aisle. It had room for 67 passengers. As it was usual in third class vehicles, the compartments did not have interior doors or partition walls since the seat backs were used for this purpose. The lighting was gas-fired, later replaced by electric lighting, and had steam-powered heating.

These cars were initially used on all types of passenger trains, including express and post trains. However, with the arrival of more modern cars, they were relegated to secondary services.

When it was converted, it kept its exterior silhouette, including its elliptical-shaped roof. Nevertheless, the interior underwent several alterations. Bedrooms, a dining room and a meeting room to house the personnel during their journeys were integrated. The car was assigned to the rolling stock service in Gijón, to intervene in case of accidents, vehicle repairs, etc.

Finally, it was ceded by RENFE to the Asturias Railway Museum, which proceeded to refurbish it. It has been on display since the opening of this institution. It has even been used for the filming of some movies, once again running on RENFE tracks.

There are very few two-axle passenger cars preserved in Spain. The SA 706 is a vehicle with a great heritage value, representing the largest partial-aisle series that rolled in our country.

Guillermo Bas Ordóñez