A mole tale: The history of a little RR In 1890, Mr. Manuel Martí -a wealth businessman-, obtained the concession for building a RR between Hendaya and Elgoibar. Soon, he sold the rights of the San Sebastian-Elgoibar branch and retained (for speculative purposes) the rights of the main line between Hendaya (in the french border), Irun (in the spanish border) and San Sebastian (the capital city of the Guipuzcoa spanish province), distant apart some 20 kilometers. Around 1903, the wise Mr. Martí sold his then over-valued concession to the "Compañia del Ferrocarril de San Sebastian a la Frontera Francesa" ("St. Sebastian & French Border RR Company"), that already owned the San Sebastian-Hernani tramway, and that had its main station in Loyola (then an small town near San Sebastian, today a suburb of this latter). So, by 1913 the little metric railroad was already operating (international!) passenger and freight traffic with electric traction. The 20% of the line were tunnels (with a -then- respectable one of 2072 meters), with the most of the rest of the line running thru dire trenchs, all sort of factories' sidings and crowded urban passings. Only a 10% of the line lenght ran across open country and hilly grasslands, so the RR was soon nicknamed "El Topo" ("the mole") by the local people. In the first Photo, you can see the "Topo" across the urban center of San Sebastian, in October 1915. Their tracks were partaged with the Hernani-San Sebastian tramway, a "sister" company. The second image show the Loyola station in September 1955. At this point the Topo and the Hernani tramway separate their paths/tracks. The tramway took to the right, and the Topo continues straight (at left, you can see two "Topos" crossing). At background and out of sight, is the longest tunnel of the line (around 6800 feet).