Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2003

Updates on information regarding industrial and commercial narrow gauge around Europe.

Jung Loco at Lagrive

This section contains details of narrow gauge sites (industrial/commercial, not preserved) still operating, confirmed from recent visits. Also, news regarding closures, etc. Please feel free to contribute to these pages and so help a broad cross section of railways, and countries to be featured.

The most recent reports will be at the top

ENGLAND:  25th October 2003
Narrow Gauge Expo, Swanley
Exhibitions are not normally highlighted in these pages but the country's largest narrow gauge exhibition takes place on Saturday the 25th October. The venue is the White Oaks Leisure Centre, Swanley, Kent. Apart from many layouts and models, there are various society stands and traders (model suppliers, books, videos, etc).
(Posted 05.10.03)
BULGARIA:  August 2003
(600mm Gauge) Some photos of a 600mm salt railway in Burgas taken on the 8th August this year. There are 5 locos, all Unios (picture). Little is known about the railway but the rolling stck comprises of substantial wooden bogie wagons (picture).
(Posted 21.09.03 Source: John Williams via Mike Jackson)
ITALY:  September 2003
FAL, Bari
(950mm Gauge) Ferrovie Apullo-Lucane are building a new 11 kilometre narrow gauge line from Bari to Bitritto.
(Posted 11.09.03 Source: Today's Railways)
GERMANY:  September 2003
(1000mm Gauge) Phonolith is still transported on this line, although new tanker wagons are used rather than the previous hopper wagons. A new loading point has been built alongside the old loading hoppers at Brenk (picture) and this siding showed signs of recent use, maybe once or twice per week. Back at Brohl one of the O&K diesels was in bits, and the other was standing out of use in the yard. Does anyone know what locomotives are now used to haul the phonolith trains?
(Posted 11.09.03 Source: Today's Railways)
AUSTRIA: 20th August to 30th August 2003
Murtalbahn, Steirmark
(760mm Gauge) This is one of the more scenic of the Austrian lines and still has regular freight services as well as passenger services. There are 3 tunnels on the line so transporters are not used. Timber is still carried nearly daily from Ramingstein to Unzmarkt. Tankers as well as covered vans are taken to a 'Lagerhaus' at the end point of the line about a kilometer past the Tamsweg main terminus at least a couple of times per week. A pleasant surprise on the 21st September was that U11, the Krauss 0-6-2T currently on the line for the twice weekly tourist services took charge of the freight for the day, picking up the empty timber wagons and bringing a loaded train of timber back from Ramingstein. (picture). Normally either VL12 or VL13 were in charge of the freight trains (picture) which tended to leave Murau at about 08:30 in the morning.
(760mm Gauge) This line still sees regular freight from the talcum factory at Oberfeistritz, currently departing Wiez at 07:00 in the morning. Steam loco 83-180 from Banovici coal mine was in charge of the tourist services to Birkfield (picture).
RHI Refractories, Werk Trieben
(900mm Gauge) This works was formerly known as Veitsch-Radex GmbH. A single Schöma loco (picture) is used to move small 4 wheel hopper wagons on an internal system. Much of the railway is visible from the main road. The previous battery loco here is either now out of use, or has been scrapped.
(760mm Gauge) This 10km line to the factory at St.Erhard was working normally when visited on the 27th August. Loco E3 was in charge of the frequent service between Mixnitz transfer yard and the Magnasite factory (picture).
(Posted 11.09.03 Source: Steve Thomason)
Sokolov Brown Coal Mine, Sokolov
(900mm Gauge) It has been reported that the 900mm overhead electric railway based at Sokolov ceased normal operations in March this year. At one time the system had over 250km of permanent track. All but one of the electric locos have been scrapped.
(Posted 11.09.03 Source: Today's Railways)
GERMANY:  June 2003
Heidelberger Zement, Keifersfelden
(900mm Gauge) Limestone was transported from a quarry for over 5km using electric locos from the brown coal industry ( picture ). The whole works has apparrently been closed down at the end of 2002. Tourist services had also been run during the summer in recent years, and a final tourist train ran in May.
(Posted 26.07.03 Source: Today's Railways)
SWITZERLAND:  March 2003
H Hürlimann Söhne, Brunnen
(750mm Gauge) A line of approx 1km in length is still used to transport limestone to a cement works near Brunnen station. Three Diema locos were present with one working.
(Posted 26.07.03 Source: Adrian Foster via NGN)
GERMANY: 30th May to 5th June 2003
Torfwerk Holthaus and Fortmann, Lohne
(600mm Gauge) The line work is now carried out by the relatively new Schöma (picture), otherwise the railway was working normally.
Torfwerk Bernard Hülskamp, Campemoor
(600mm Gauge) Railway working normally. The road crossing to the moors on the north side of the road is now out of use. The tracks stop in front of the works now (picture). Three of the locos were working out on the moors assisting with loading and one was on track laying duties.
Euflor Humuswerk, Lichtenmoor
(750mm Gauge) The sign to this peatworks now shows as Euflor. The railway was operating normally, with two of the 1940's Schöma locos shunting on the moors(picture), and one loco on line work. There were 5 locos on site.
Torfwerk Evers, Vechta
(600mm Gauge) Railway still in use for about 200 metres to move peat from the stockpile to the tipping shed. Three locos are present to assist with this task including Adele, the elderly Schöma (picture). The track still exists to the main line of Zubragel/Gramann but is completely out of use.
Uchte Torf und Humuswerk, Uchte
(600mm Gauge) Still in operation and as busy as ever using mainly new Schoma locos(picture) often double heading the long trains. However the older workings nearer Uchte linked by the roadside track up to the main works have all been abandoned. On close inspection the tracks are still in place, even along the dirt track to the peat moors. At an old refueling depot on the moors all the old Torfwerk Werner Most locos were found out of use.
Klasmann Torfwerk, Ederwechterdamm
(900mm Gauge) This is the railway that was converted from 600mm a short time ago. Peat is loaded directly into barges on the Küsten Kanal from here. The railway was working normally with the new Schoma in use on line work (picture).
Brinkmann Torfwerk, Scharrel
(600mm Gauge) Railway working normally. Recently taken over by Klasmann, and all wagons are now standard Klasmann issue, although all locos are still the original Brinkmann locos. Clay is not now transported. The branch to the claypit looks as though it has been abandoned for some time, although the tracks are still in place under the mud and grass. The old brickworks has been converted to unload and store peat with a couple of extra lines put in round the back for unloading (picture).
Torfwerk Weener, Werk Esterwegen
(600mm Gauge) Railway working normally. The 2 Diema locos are in use on line work. No stockpiling is being done and the peat is loaded directly into lorries.
Torfwerk Brill, Adorf
(600mm Gauge) The railway has all been removed but about 200 metres north of the works a large dump of equipment had dozens of wagons, locos and large quantities of track. There were at least 8 Diema locos, 1 Schöma, and one homebuilt loco (picture).
Other German Industrials, Niedersachsen: The following railways were all confirmed working normally; The Sandbahn at Surwold, Torfwerk B Haskamp at Lohne-Kroge, Torfwerk Alfred Thomann at Lohne, Torfwerk Riesselmann at Lohne-Brägel, Schwegermoor GmbH, Ehernborg and Fortmann at Füchtenfeld, Torfwerk Warmsen, Union Torfwerk at Scharrel, Karl Meiners at Lichtenmoor and Torfwerk Zubragel and Gramann at Vechta. Wichmann and Tabeling at Telbrake, have rerouted thier railway from the back of the works, but is still in operation. Torfwerk Böske at Arkeburg is also working but there is considerable redevelopment of the whole site at present.
The railway at Torfwerk Geanka at Campemoor is still mostly in place with all track and wagons present but has been out of use for some time. It was confirmed that Diepenauer Tonwerk has had most of the track taken up in the clay pit and up the the incline and the railway ceased. Torfgesellschaft Essern has ceased it railway, but there is a local attempt to run passenger/museum trains on the line with 2 of the original locos (picture). Torfwerk Rohenkohl at Wehrbleck is completely derelict but the Diema is still in the shed. Torfwerk Drebber at Drebber has also closed down a while ago, but again there still a couple of locos on site and have been used occasionally. The tracks have all been taken up and the site partially cleared at Griendtsveen Torfwerk at Schöningsdorf. Also nearlby, the site of Torfwerk Veldkamp at Ostende has been completely cleared and nearly nothing remains.
(Posted 15.06.03 Source: Steve Thomason)
ENGLAND:  May 2003
Scotts UK, Swinefleet Peatworks
(3ft Gauge) This site had not been working since April 2002 but Scotts stated that it would be used maybe next spring to bring the last of the peat. Sadly this is unlikely to be the case. The site has been completely abandonned and the sheds and offices are all derelict (picture)with all equipment removed. Most of the track is still visible and an odd wagon is still present. The track where it can be seen is in a very poor state. At Bank Top a couple of Scotts employees were working now employed by English Nature on reclaimation work. MR40S302 is dumped off the tracks here with other disused equipment. Just prior to Bank Top a line of about 18 wagons had been dumped half off the track (picture). The small amount of peat that is left to bring in would not justify the work required to re-instate the track back to the mill. It maybe possible that limited use could be made of tracks from the moors back to Bank top.
Scotts UK, Hatfield Peatworks
(3ft Gauge) Two of the Schöma locos were were working normally. No. 5130 plus slave was employed on line work, and No.5129 plus slave was pulling back the 34 wagons from the run round loop to the loading point a kilometer away (picture). The third Schöma, No. 5220 was found in the machine yard off the tracks OOU with MR 40SD507 (picture). Staff confirmed that MR 40SD527 was still at the far end of the line acting as a buffer stop. Employees estimate that there is sufficient peat to be brought in to keep Hatfield operating for another 1-2 years.
(Posted 16.05.03 Source: Steve Thomason)
HUNGARY:  April 2003
Nyíregyháza, MAV
(760mm Gauge) It is reported that in April this MAV railway was having problems with motive power, with only 2 locos in working order. There were buses between Herminatanya and Balsa.
Királyrét, AEV
(760mm Gauge) At this former forestry railway 4 out of 5 coaches were in need of repair. Trains were only running with a single coach. It is hoped that these problems were only temporary.
(Posted 17.05.03 Source: Fodor Illes via Petr Mircev)
POLAND:  March 2003
Sugar Beet Railways
(750mm Gauge) Kruszwica sugar factory still used the railway in the 2002/2003 season, although traffic levels were lower than normal. The railway is still due to close this year. Tuczno, a system thought to be safe for a least a few years has apparrently announced that it too will be closing its railway this year.
Gliwice Steel Plant
(785mm Gauge) Railway closed and two LYd2 locos sold.
(Posted 02.03.03 Source: Marek Szymanski)
SPAIN:  February 2003
La Robla
(1000mm Gauge) By the end of 2002 the track inprovements were nearly complete. The upgrade is to allow through passenger trains from Bibao to Leon. This part of the line has been freight only for over 11 years.
(Posted 02.03.03 Source: Today's Railways)
UKRAINE:  February 2003
NG Tour in The Ukraine
News of rail tours are not normally shown in the news section but East Europe Rail Tours are running a 100% ng tour of commercial and industrial ng railways in the Ukraine. Full details can be found thier website at:
(Posted 02.03.03 Source: Jim Colley)
POLAND:  February 2003
Dobre Sugar Factory
(750mm Gauge) The 3 Lyd2 locos from here have been overhauled and re-engined by Interlok. The locos are to operate a tourist service on the St. Kitts Sugar Railway. It is to be operated by the White Pass and Yukon Railroad management team. Lyd2 01 was already on the island by December 2002.
(750mm Gauge) This ex-PKP line has finally been taken over by the local authorities. The first train hauled by PX48 ran in September last year. However there would appear to be no regular service advertised on the line.
(750mm Gauge) Regular services have been reinstated in several directions on this ex-PKP line on the Kujawy network. Services by both Romanian and Polish railcars resumed in November last year.
(Posted 02.03.03 Source: Today's Railways)
HUNGARY:  January 2003
(760mm Gauge) After work on the track, trains have now run to Palmajor, towards Somogyszentpal. However it was last reported that it was to be the Csiszta branch which was to be the only branch to remain open. We will await further reports.
(Posted 13.01.03 Source: Today's Railways)
BULGARIA:  January 2003
Pazardzhik to Varvarta
(760mm Gauge) It is reported that from the 1st of October 2002 that BDZ closed this narrow gauge line.
Tscherveny Brjag to Orjachovo
(760mm Gauge) This line was also closed on the 1st of October, but has been opened again for limited services.
(Posted 13.01.03 Source: Today's Railways)
POLAND:  January 2003
(750mm Gauge) This former PKP line has been reopened under private ownership. The company that operate freight services at Zbiersk now operate this line and the first train ran on October 2002.
(Posted 13.01.03 Source: Today's Railways)
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© Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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