Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2005
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



AUSTRIA:  November 2005
Zillertalbahn (760mm gauge) Contrary to expectations of reductions in freight traffic on the Zillertalbahn due to inceased volumes of timber moving by road, a visit in the summer suggests this is not the case. There are still between 2 to 4 trips per day of 5 or 6 standard gauge transporter wagons from Jenbach to Schlitteres and Fügen. The two new Gmeinder locos were working this traffic when seen during the summer.

Rohrdorfer Zement, Kiefersfelden (900mm gauge) Confirmed by a visit in July, the overhead electic line here has been brought back into use under new ownership. The same locos and rolling stock appear to be in use, but the limestone is transferred into road transport at the old factory for a further 30km journey to Rosenheim.
In July, 2 trains were being run per day. The photo show the train at the overhead loading hoppers near the quarry.
(Posted 27.11.05 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

WALES:  October 2005
Aberllefenni Slate Works, Aberllefenni (2ft gauge) The adit at ground level previously worked by the battery loco had been filled in with waste slate. The rails crossing over the road were still in place but had not been in use since 2003.

The slateworks itself is still in operation. The Clayton loco is to be preserved on site.

Ty'n-y-Cornel Level, Clogau Gold Mine (2ft gauge) This adit is just behind a small farmhouse at the end of a road from Bontddu. This had been working on a limited basis on and off over the last few years. However, all surface track now taken up except for a few feet extending from the adit.
Llechfraith Level, Clogau Gold Mine (2ft gauge) On the opposite side of the road from the above site, the tracks emerging from the adit can be seen from the public footpath. The rails have been disused for some time, and the track over the river bridge has been fenced off.
Gwynfynydd Gold Mine, near Dolgellau (2ft gauge) Most surface track had been pulled up or displaced by recent operations. The site could have been disused for over a year or more. The site resembles a scrap yard with much equipment brought to the surface and dumped. Excavators, crushers, mines tubs, Emco shovels, etc.

The adit, which is out of the picture to the left of the brick building, was firmly closed and it was not possible to confirm if any of the battery locos were still inside.
(Posted 31.10.05 Source: Steve Thomason)

CROATIA:  August 2005
Salt Works, Nin (600mm gauge - assumed) It has been confirmed that the railway serving the salt pans at Nin in Croatia is still operating. There is just one diesel loco which appears to be locally built, and 10 wagons. It is not known if the other surviving salt railway at Ston was loco worked, and if it is still in use.
(Posted 26.09.05 Source: Today's Railways)
AUSTRIA  August 2005
Localbahn Mixnitz - St.Erhard (760mm gauge) On the 22 August violent storms in the Mixnitz area washed out 3 sections of track on this line. The line is unlikely to be operating again until at least mid October 2005. The last time this happened was in 1958.
Zillertalbahn and Pinzgaurbahn (760mm gauge) Further new narrow gauge locos have been ordered from Gmeinder. D13 and D14 were built in 2004 for the Zillertalbahn, and it has placed an order for two more. The Pinzgaurbahn has also put in an order for one. The new locos will have a top speed of 80km/h. The Pinzgaurbahn is to purchase new coaching stock, and the track is to be upgraded as part of the long term plans for the line. The new locos are set to arrive in 2006.
(Posted 26.09.05 Source: Today's Railways)

GERMANY:  July 2005
Ziegelwerk Neuschwander, Brackenhein (600mm gauge) At the end of 2004, the short railway here closed. The works is reported to have been sold, and the railway taken up. This was the last regular working 'Feldbahn' in the Baden-Württemburg area of Germany.
ROMANIA  July 2005
Visiu de Sus (760mm gauge) An 0-8-0T O&K steam loco has been overhauled for use on the Viseu de Sus line for both timber trains and passenger trains. The loco is 764.211 which had previously operated on the forestry lines of Margina and Berzasca, but had been plinthed in the Village Museum in Buchurest for many years. The work is costing 70,000 Euros, and was due for completion for summer 2005.
AUSTRIA  July 2005
Pinzgaurbahn There was a head on colision between two trains hauled by the 2095 locos on 2nd July 2005. A driver and one passenger was killed with over 30 people injured. Both locos suffered heavy damage.
8 days later severe flooding in the area resulted in sections of the track being washed away. Reports suggest that it could take up to 5 months to completely reopen the whole line, at a cost of 10 million Euros.
(Posted 17.09.05 Source: Today's Railways)

LITHUANIA:  May 2005
Sulinkin Durpes, Radviliskis (750mm gauge) Just 2 locos (TU6) appeared to be in use. The current small works terminates just north of Radviliskis station. It has a running line of over 12km to get to the peat moors. This stretch is due for closure shortly, after which the railway will only be used to transport peat to the edge of the moors.

Pravieniskes II Timber railway (750mm gauge) A unique railway of just a couple of kilometres in length. This railway is used to move timber from a sawmill to a nearby prison. An MD54 railcar was in use hauling bogie flat wagons of timber. There is a nearby loco shed containing a further couple of locos of narrow gauge and standard gauge, assumed out of use.
The photo below shows the MD54 railcar as it crosses the road next to the prison with several wagons of cut timber.

LITHUANIA:  May 2005
Tytuvenu Durpes, 50km south of Siauliai (750mm gauge) A small peatworks with just a single operational loco (TU6C), with further locos dumped. The running line on this system had been cut back from its original length. No harvesting was currently taking place.
Ezerelis Durpes, near Kaunas (750mm gauge) Two TU6a locos were available for use with an SEP-2 railcar on track maintenance. This line is quite short, approx 2-3km to the peat moors.

Panevezys to Rubikiai State Railway (750mm gauge) A large number of TU2 locos were present in various states of repair at the depot at Panevezys. A KP4 in excellent condition was plinthed at the entrance to the broad gauge station, which must be a strong contender to be brought back into steam for the railway. The only traffic here is via booked excursions, usually at weekends, although there was evidence of a small amount of timber traffic. The line is 68km long but very flat and uneventful until nearing Anyksciai.
Here there is a museum established with a variety of locomotives and rolling stock. Further TU2 locos were also stabled here for shorter trips. The management here are doing an excellent job to promote the line as a tourist attraction, and as the only remaining State NG line in the country it has a positive future.

LITHUANIA:  May 2005 Silutes Durpes, (Silute, near Klaipeda) (750mm gauge) A large firm with up to 5 locos (TU6) in use. There are 3 unloading points at the works, which is situated alongside the main road north from Silute. The main line is over 4 kms long. It takes the trains approx 30 mins to reach the loading area on the moors. The photo on the right shows one of the TU6 locos being loaded on the moors.
The photo below shows one of the TU6 locos being loaded on the moors.
Rekyva Durpes, Siauliai (750mm gauge) A smaller peat works with two unloading points. Visited on a weekend, but 2 locos normally in use. This peatworks utilises part of a disused state narrow gauge system to access the moors.
(Posted 16.06.05 Source: Steve Thomason)

GERMANY:  May 2005 Torfwerk Bernhard Wübbeler (600mm gauge) It is a pleasant surprise to find a narrow gauge railway re-instated for industrial use. This peatworks at Goldenstedt-Arkeburg ceased peat transport several years ago, and the site had been developed as a visitor park using the railway to take visitors onto the moors. During a visit in April it has been found to be back in use for the transport of peat using three of the locos that had been retained.
Torfwerk Gramann, Vechta (600mm gauge) This company has ceased the use of the railway. It used to share the same line to the moors as Zubrägel Torfwerk.
The railway at one time served 4 peat companies to the south of Vechta. Zubrägel, situated next to Gramann, are the only company that now use this line of about 4kms in length. (Posted 29.05.05 Source: Andreas Christopher Website)

WALES:  May 2005 Nanthir Coal Mine (2ft gauge) This coal mine near to Seven Sisters may be the last of the small coal mines in South Wales to use a railway to haul wagons to the surface for tipping. There is only about 50 yards of track on the surface with a run round loop feeding an end-tipping platform.
This adit is Nanthir No.2, as the original Nanthir mine disappeared under the adjacent open cast workings several years ago. 4 wagons are winched to the surface 5 times per shift. (Posted 29.05.05 Source: Steve Thomason)

LITHUANIA:  April 2005 Panavezys (750mm gauge) The line between Panavezys and Rubikiai does not now have any scheduled services. Currently the status of the line appears safe with an agreement that it will remain open for charter services. (Posted 02.04.05 Source: Eastern Star via the NGN) Industrial Tour Commercial Railway Tours are not normally highlighted in these pages but a tour by FarRail Tours taking place in May 2005 does deserve mention. The tour is to Lithuania and is to visit several narrow gauge peat lines in the country, as well as the system at Panavezys. For further details of this tour which is just 1 week long, please visit the web site for FarRail Tours at Lithuania NG Tour . Their main site is at . (Posted 02.04.05 Source: Udrius Armalis)

ENGLAND:  February 2005 Ayle East Drift, Alston (2ft gauge) The mine is reported as being temporarily out of use from a visit back in October. The usual variety of battery locos were still present. (Posted 12.02.05 Source: Ian Hughes via the NGN) The Alye drift seen in 1999.
Poppleton Nursery, York (2ft gauge) An internal railway had historically been used by this ex-British Rail nursery located next to Poppleton Railway station. 2 Locos were sited here, but wagons were usually hand pushed. It had not been in use in the last couple of years and is now being formally closed down and all railway stock sold. (Posted 12.02.05 Source: Graham Warner via the NGN)

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).

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© Steve Thomason 2005
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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