Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2004
Updates on information regarding industrial and commercial narrow gauge around Europe.

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. Click on a thumbnail to see the larger picture.

The most recent reports will be at the top

Class 2091


CROATIA:  November 2004 Fish farm Poljana, Poljana(760mm gauge)Reported on the Frank Engel website is a facinating railway serving a fish farm in Poljana. This is situated between Garesnica and Daruvar. The lenght of the line is approximately 20km. There are 5 diesels of which one is a Jung OMZ122F. To see a translated version of this page follow this link to Frank's site; Poljana Fish Farm POLAND:  November 2004 Kalksandsteinwerk, Altkarbe, Kurowo (600mm gauge) This short railway of just 0.1km was confirmed working with a single loco in August 2004.
Cegielnia Gizyn, Gora Sl. (600mm gauge) A typical Polish claypit line with a double track incline into the works. Confirmed working in May 2004.
Cegielnia Jankow, Jankow (600mm gauge) This railway of 0.2km was confirmed working with the single Raba loco in March 2004.
Cegielnia Bojanice, Kwilen (600mm gauge) Since the brickworks at Iwno has closed down this is the last known railway in Poland using horse power. Confirmed working in May 2004.
See Frank Engel's site for details of these and other railways Feldbahn site (Select the option 'vorbuild' from the left hand menu for the industrial railways).
Alternatively see the translated site for details Feldbahn site (Select the 'model' option for the industrial railways).

AUSTRIA:  October 2004 Graphitbergbau Kaisersberg, Kaisersberg (600mm gauge) The mine was derelict when visited with track partly taken up, and all tubs abandonned on the surface. All the buildings have been demoished apart from part of the loco shed which still contains at least 2 of the Jenbach locos. By the state of the mine it could have been out of use for upto a year. The picture shows the Marie Stollen adit.
Werk Trieben, RHI Refactories, Trieben (900mm gauge) The Schöma loco was working normally from one side of the site to the other. Magnasite is moved in specially built hopper wagons on a line of approx 300-400 meters long. It was reported that the older battery loco has now been disposed of. (Posted 09.10.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

AUSTRIA:  October 2004 Ybbsstalbahn, Waidhofen (760mm gauge) Timber is still transported once a week on Tuesdays, but only if there is a requirement. It is transported from a yard at Grosshollenstein back to Waidhofen. The train leaves Waidhofen at approx 10:00, and arrives at Grosshollenstein at about 10:45. The loaded train then leaves at about 11:30 back to Waidhofen. Zillertalbahn, Jenbach (760mm gauge) The Zillertalbahn took delivery of a new loco in August 2004. This is one of 2 ordered in 2002 from Gmeinder, for both passenger and freight services. It is a diesel hydraulic loco weighing 50 tonnes. The second loco should be arriving shortly. For further details see the Zillertalbahn web site which has pictures of the delivery of the new locomotive; Zillertalbahn News (Posted 09.10.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

WALES:  August 2004 Welsh Water, Solva (600mm gauge) At Solva in Pembrokeshire there is a small water treatment works by the harbour. The only access to the works is now through a tunnel of approx 200 yards. A 600mm line laid in the tunnel exists to transport men and materials to the sewage works. There is about 50 yards of tracks in the sewage works itself. There is no pointwork and the track ends in a small wooden loco shed. There is no rolling stock and just a single loco still in nearly daily use. The battery loco was built by the Peterborough firm of Bradshaw Electric Vehicles, and has space at the back to carry supplies, etc (see photo). It is due to be sent away for repair soon due to the poor condition of the platework corroded by the sea air. (Posted 04.09.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

FRANCE:  July 2004 Briqueterie Chimot, Marley, Valenciennes (500mm and 600mm gauge) A visit on the 6th of July confirmed that both the railways at this brickworks are operational again this year. See the bottom of this web page for the initial report. The Plymouth loco has had a repaint and now the works plate is impossible to read. The total length of the line to the clay pit is probably less than 1km. Up to 6 skips are loaded by a very small bucket and chain excavator (see photo). (Posted 19.07.04 Source: Steve Thomason/Mike Jackson)

SPAIN:  May 2004 FEVE, Oviedo area, Asturias Province (1000mm gauge) At El Berron the tracks of the meter gauge still cross, and the diesel and electric units arrive every couple of minutes even on a Sunday serving one of the 7 platforms. The picture shows an EMU on the left hand platform with a double headed train of steel coil waiting for clearance. The Collanzo branch is the only branch not electrified, although appears to be passenger only. The power station at Soto de Ribera still receives coal by the meter gauge and ash wagons were also present. There is a centre cab loco derelict in the power station yard, but the sidings are all shunted by FEVE now. It is not known if the coal is Asturias coal or imported coal. Some collieries are reputed still to transport coal by FEVE, but none of these were found.
FEVE, La Robla, Leon Province (1000mm gauge) The 335km railway commonly known as 'La Robla' stretching from Bilbao to Leon still has two coal trains per day from the terminus at La Robla which is now freight only. On the 27th of May this train was double headed and arrived for loading at about 08:30.
(Posted 31.05.04 Source: Steve Thomason)
GERMANY:  May 2004 Torfwerk Ainring, Ainring (600mm gauge) It is reported that this peatworks which used a 600mm gauge line with Deutz locos has closed. This is apparently due to environmental reasons and the moors will now be allowed to revert back to their former state. The locos are still reported to be on site and part of the line is being considered for use as a tourist venture.
(Posted 31.05.04 Source: Gerhard Karl)

SPAIN:  May 2004 Ponferrada to Villablino, Leon Province (1000mm gauge) The initial several kilometers of track leading out of Ponferrada have all been taken up and because of considerable building work taking place in Ponferrada, all evidence of the railway had been removed (the previously dumped steam locos were not found). The museum (closed Mondays) still stands on the site of the original narrow gauge passenger station. The line now only starts 2km from the unloading point at Cubillos near to the power station. Trains were going into the power station for unloading and there were also unloading facilities in Cubillos station itself. One of the sheds at Cubillos was locked so it was not known if either of the refurbished steam locos were present.
A trip up the valley confirmed that no other collieries appeared to be using the railway for transport. Even Fabero Colliery which had a 600mm line until a couple of years ago and was connected to the Ponferrada line by overhead cableway has been disused for some time. All the previous ropeways and feeder systems appear to have all gone, although some of the collieries are still in production. The only customer appears to be the new washery based at Villablino, and a new road has been made into the station area so an endless stream of lorries are able to drive in and out.
Tracks are all still in place to Villaseca but long disused, with many rusting 4 wheel coal wagons. All coal is now transported in the new bogie hopper wagons. One colliery still working had been modernised and was using road transport. The branch from Villablino sheds to Caboalles has been taken up and converted into a walkway with a few mine tubs plinthed in a couple of places. Road improvements in the area have also helped to remove traces of the railway. Again nearly all the collieries at this end of the line had closed. The one or two still operating now use road transport. Pozo Calderon which had been connected to the metre gauge line by a short branch appeared to be one of the few pits still using an internal 600mm system, but no locos were visible on the surface.
(Posted 31.05.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

SPAIN:  May 2004 Pozo Carrio, Pola de Laviana (600mm gauge) This may be one of the last sites in Spain where you can see narrow gauge coal trains in a public street. A battery loco hauls long trains of tubs over a short section of roadside running in a minor street just outside Pola de Laviana. The train seems to run at least once an hour depending on how often the coal is brought up. The loco hauls the loaded tubs to the tippler across the road, and also materials from the stockyard back to the pithead. Previously this was then taken away to the washery by the FEVE metre gauge, but road transport is now loaded from the hoppers although the meter gauge tracks are all still in place. At least 3 battery electric locos were in the loco shed, with two new ones also in the shed without batteries. A further Kladno and a Czech double ended mines loco are out of use on the dump.  
Pozo Montsacro, La Foz (600mm gauge) This mine used to have a short 0.5km line to a large bunker storage facility on the hillside to allow transport to the washery by road transport. All the track had been lifted according to the staff over 10 years ago. There is an extensive 600mm gauge stockyard system, although mostly hand powered. A number of battery locos are used but were all underground on the day of the visit.
Pozo Santiago, Moreda (600mm gauge) This large coal mine has an extensive stockyard served by a large 600mm gauge network. A short line goes under the main road, over a river bridge and serves a small adit and storage facility on the opposite side of the river. Two battery locos were working the stockyard moving the tubs and bogies to the pit head. 2 preserved steam locos are present and several preserved Dufel overhead electric locos.
Pozo Samuno, La Nueva (600mm gauge) A line of about 0.5 km from the stockyard to the pithead was still in place here but had been disused for at least a year. The stockyard had been cleared and landscaped. The mine appeared to be in the last stages of closing down. One battery loco was still on site and the remains of another could be seen.
(Posted 31.05.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

IRELAND:  March 2004 Midland Irish Peat, Rathowen (2ft gauge) Lansdale Yard was working normally with the Diema (no.2639), the Ransoms and Rapier (both pictured), and the Alan Keef loco in the yard. At the mill, No.6 the MotorRail was present, with No.5 (Diema 2872) off the tracks in need of attention. Two locos were said to be track lifting out on the bog. No peat had been brought in for a while but the railway was to be used again in approx 2 weeks. Attymon Peat Co-operative, Attymon (3ft Gauge) The Clonkeen site was working normally but with the railway only in use approx 3 times per week when turf stocks required building up on the tiphead. Three locos were present LM38e, LM164Q, and No.4 (LM34 assumed).
The Attymon site was only starting to wake up from the winter layover with equipment being overhauled in the yard. This site was expected to be in production in 2 weeks time. Locos observed were Rustons LM17 and LM41 by the workshops, but the loco shed was locked. The derelict Simplex (LM346) was still on a siding near the works.
Bord na Mona, Coolnamona (3ft Gauge) Working normally but only bringing in peat from the northern branch. All three Wagonmasters (LM275, LM372, LM335) were in use. The rebuilt Ruston LM167 was out of use by the tippler and what was previously reported as the last working Simplex (60SL742) in Bord na Mona was found dumped out of use on a disused branch a few hundred yards from the works (pictured).
(Posted 08.04.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

IRELAND:  March 2004 Bord na Mona, Mountdillon (3ft gauge) The old power station at Lanesborough was finally switched off on the 31st of March. The last peat train arrived at about 14:30 from Derraghan Bog. No further peat trains will run now for about 6 months. The lines to the north of the power station had already been disconnected in association with the construction of the new reception sidings for the new power station. In the picture the new power station is in the centre with the original installation just right of centre. The new reception sidings are just to the right of the tracks in the picture. Bord na Mona, Bellair (3ft Gauge) Working normally with Wagonmaster LM246 (pictured) in charge of the short trains of milled peat. The peat is emptied directly into waiting lorrys for packing elsewhere. The disused Ruston LM102 is still behind the works. A third loco was out on the bog and its identity was not obtained. Bord na Mona, Monettia (3ft Gauge) Hunslet LM384 still in green livery was in charge of peat trains. The peat is tipped into lorrys and transported to Port Laoise. Wagonmaster LM233 was out on the bog with a fuel train and another Wagonmaster LM245 was stabled at the works. In front of this the two Gliesmac locos are still present (pictured) but out of use.
(Posted 08.04.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

IRELAND:  March 2004 Bord na Mona, Oweninny (3ft gauge) The Bellacorrick Power Station was due for closure along with the associated peat railways at Oweninny and Bangor Erris by the end of the year. It is possible that operations will continue into the first 6 months of 2005 on a limited basis. However over 8 miles of a total of 50 miles of track have already been taken up. In the picture the Simplex and the Deutz locos abandonned in the trees near the workshops are now beyond salvage with all the platework completely corroded. However several other out of use locos in slightly better condition are available for anyone wishing to provide thier own transportation. There will also be a large number of bogies as most of the peat wagons will also not be reused elsewhere. For further fetail please see the home page. Bord na Mona, Boora (3ft Gauge) The site of the old Ferbane power station has been completely cleared with all lines either taken up or disused in the immediate vicinity. Apart from any traffic over the tie line to the Blackwater system all peat is brought to Derrinlough Briquette Factory which runs 24 hours per day. At the end of March peat was being brought in from both the lines to the east and the west. At Boora workshops, all the lines to the east have been taken up, and the bogs here are being redeveloped as a country park. The photograph shows the workshops with the 4 new locos now approximately half complete. These will be numbers LM399, LM400, LM429, and Lm430 in the Bord na Mona fleet. The locos will be 120hp and weigh 12 tonnes. Bord na Mona, Blackwater (3ft Gauge) The old Shannonbridge Power Station was switched off on February 2004.This will mean that there will be little or no traffic on the Blackwater system until the new power station is commisioned. The new installation has been named the West Offaly Power Station, and is being built alongside the old power station in a similar fashion to Lanesborough. The large triangular building is for the storage of the huge quantities of peat needed to keep the new power station running and is locally known as the toblerone.
(Posted 08.04.04 Source: Steve Thomason)

AUSTRIA:  March 2004 Zillertalbahn, Jenbach (760mm) The timber traffic to Fugen-Hart was a substantial source of frieght traffic on the Zillertalbahn. Uncut timber was taken on transporter wagons to the sawmill next to the station. The ÖBB has now undercut the prices of the Zillertalbahn by offering a combined bid in association with a local truck company. It will be sad to see even more traffic on these already busy roads, especially in peak tourist periods. Because of the significant timber traffic to Fugen-Hart the railway had been considering the introduction of a third rail to the sawmill so that standard gauge wagons could be taken directly without the need for ng transporters.
(Posted 08.04.04 Source: Today's Railways)

AUSTRIA:  January 2004
ÖBB Narrow Gauge, Mariazell and Ybbstal (760mm gauge) It is reported that these two narrow gauge lines (which have often been the subject of closure rumours over the last few years) are again in the news. The ÖBB and NÖVAG appear to be considering a proposal which would involve the partial regauging of both lines, leaving only truncated narrow gauge lines operating more as tourist lines than a real commercial transport system.
POLAND:  January 2004
Ex-PKP, Sompolno (750mm gauge) Because of work stating to lift track on various parts of the disused Kujawy system the operating society at Gneizno organised a rescue train to Sompolno to obtain locos and rolling stock. Up to 4 Lxd2 locos were still stored in the sheds. The line towards Sompolno had not been used for nearly 2 years but the salvage operation succeeded in rescuing a Lxd2.
POLAND:  January 2004
Ex-PKP, Sroda (750mm gauge) Trains had started to run regularly here during last summer, however only one PX48 is available (PX48 1756). The trains are now only tourist trains running each Sunday, with just one trip per day with a 5 hour layover.
(Posted 21.01.04 Source: Today's Railways)

FRANCE:  October 2003 Briqueterie Chimot, Valenciennes (500mm and 600mm gauge) It is pleasing to report that this brickworks still uses railways of two gauges. The 600mm line is about 0.75km long and uses a Plymouth loco to haul clay from the nearby claypit. A separate 600mm line carries several rail mounted brick forming machines at the end of the drying sheds. A 500mm railway using a loco built by HEIM Frèses, Strasbourg. It is a Lilliput model of 9hp (thanks to Jacques Daffis for the identification of the loco). It is used to take the dried bricks from the sheds to the kilns, a distance of about 0.5km. The clay pit line only operates from April to October, but the 500mm line operates all year round. (Posted 11.09.03 Source: Charles Hinton)

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© Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways