Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2007
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 or news regarding closures, confirmed from recent vists, or the railway press. Please feel free to contribute to these pages and so help a broad cross section of railways, and countries to be featured. Click on the thumbnail pictures to see the larger picture.

The most recent reports will be at the top



GERMANY:  September 2007
la Fabrique de Charbon de Bois, le Chatillonnais, Dijon (600mm gauge) Some interesting photographs received from Gaby Bachet in France. There is an internal railway system of 600mm gauge in a carbon factory in the area of le Chatillonnais.
It appears to be all hand worked, and according to the report has 120 wagons. The rail system has 20 wagon turntables and the wagons are emptied by rotary tippler. More pictures of this interesting system will be loaded up onto the France Railways section of the web site shgortly.
(Posted 04.11.07 Source: Gaby Bachet)

IRELAND:  October 2007
Bord na Mona (3ft gauge) Further news from Ted McAvoy on his trips to Ireland. The BnM prototype for the famous Hunslet Wagonmasters. LM369, along with a Gleismac, a Ruston (LM117), and one of the small railcars (C69) have been saved for preservation.
The above photo confirms operations continue at the Derrinlough Briquette Factory.
Two fairly short new lines are under construction - one east of Mountdillon, Co Longford and one north east of Blackwater, Co Offaly. Both include level crossings and are to link working bogs to the existing rail networks. Of the other new sites, the railway system at Killaun, near Birr, is still to be completed and stretches of the lengthy Daingean line are having to be relaid and reballasted (due to subsidence) before trains start running this winter. (Posted 04.11.07 Source: Ted McAvoy)
AUSTRIA  October 2007
Zillertalbahn (760mm gauge) A further two new diesels have been delivered to the Zillertalbahn. D15 and D16 are of the same design as the previous 2 new locos. Three driving trailers and five new coaches are also in the process of being commissioned. doubling of the track is also being completed over two sections of the line. All this new investment is costing the Zilletalbahn approx 15 million Euros.
(Posted 04.11.07 Source: Today's Railways)

GERMANY:  July 2007
Solvay Sodawerk, Bernberg (900mm gauge) The company bought two Bo-BoE locos from Schalker Eisenhütte of Gelsenkirchen last year to assist with the transport of limestone from the nearby quarry. Of the two old LEW locos, No.1 has been sold, while No.2 remains out of use, probably as a spare. They are also reported to have purchased new hopper wagons.
(Posted 07.09.07 Source: Brian Rumary)

AUSTRIA:  June 2007
The transportation of freight (Talkum) on the Feistritztalbahn still continues, but at a lower level than previously. The trains run at present on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with two or three return trips leaving Weiz at about 5:00, 8:00 and sometimes 11:00 a.m. The photo shows one of the freights backing over the road to the talcum factory.

On the Murtalbahn two new oil transfer stations at Unzmarkt and Murau have been built. These will use the new tank-container wagons which are now completed and awaiting to be brought into service.
On the line from Mixnitz to St. Erhard there can be between two and four pairs of trains daily, with the first leaving Mixnitz at about 6:00 a.m. In addition to the freight trains, there are some non scheduled passenger specials using the small four wheel electric locos.
Finally it was confirmed that the weekly timber trains on the Ybbstalbahn are still running.
(Posted 07.09.07 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

ENGLAND:  August 2007
Monument Colliery, Forest of Dean (1ft 8ins gauge) The colliery is still in operation. No real changes have taken place since previous visits.
There is still an incline track leading out of the adit onto a turntable which allows for the tubs to be winched up and either tipped onto the grader, or turned onto a short line for the tipping of spoil.

Hopewell colliery, Forest of Dean (2ft gauge) The short rail incline and single bladed point emerging from the east of the colliery has been abandonned now, but the track is still in place. The main adit surfacing in front of the car part has been brought back into operation (using a cable hauled incline) from the end of last year. The track has been relaid and terminated at a small tippler by the car park. Coal is taken from here and graded and bagged at Phoenix Mine across the road.

The photo shows the tippler next to the car park for the museum.

Canop Drift Colliery, Forest of dean (??ft gauge) This site has expanded consderably since being taken over a couple of years ago. A lot of work has been done to stabilise the entrance and a large electric cutter has been lowered down and put to use.

Although the mine is still only worked on a part time basis, the output has increased considerably with the new equipment.
(Posted 07.09.07 Source: Steve Thomason)

AUSTRIA:  June 2007
Internationale Rheinregulierung, Lustenau (750mm) The quarry at Koblach serving the 750mm stone railway has been closed a year early. Confirmation has been received that all stone trains to the banks of the Bodensee ceased last year.
The rails at the quarry had been mostly removed when this photo were taken. The passenger services on the museum operation side of the railway still continue. If there are any organisations interested in purchasing some of the rolling stock (flat wagons, wooden tipper wagons, large skips) before it goes for scrap, please look on the For Sale web pages.
(Posted 30.06.07 Source: Björn Kaeding)

Murtalbahn (760mm gauge) Pictures have been received of new rolling stock on the Murtalbahn for freight services. Containers are being fixed to a number of bogie flat wagons for the transoprt of oil.

GERMANY:  May 2007
Brohltalbahn (1000mm Gauge) This tourist line still sees a small amount of freight from a quarry towards the top of the line. In the 1990s the railway purchased a BoBo diresel hydraulic loco from FEVE in Spain. I was only in April this year that this loco was finally overhauled for work on the railway and ran a test freight with a number of container wagons that the phonolith is now transported in. The loco has been given the number D5.
(Posted 30.06.07 Source: Today's Railways)
IRELAND:  May 2007
Bord na Mona (3ft gauge) West Offaly and Lough Ree power stations are both out of commission due to breakdown and are unlikely to be recommissioned before the end of August. Hence Edenderry will be the only place to see large scale operation of peat trains. The various horticultural sites (eg Coolnamona, Kilberry, etc) will be operating normally.

Also, pictured above, an impessive new narrow gauge bridge has been built over the Royal Canal near Daingean, Co Offaly. Regular Board na Mona peat trains aren't operating yet on this long new line but should be before the end of the year.
(Posted 30.06.07 Source: Ted McAvoy)

SCOTLAND:  May 2007
Recently closed Peat Railways (2ft gauge) All evidence of railway operations at Nutberry Peatworks had been removed with the last locos leaving the site a short time ago. The only track now present is in the old workshops. All tracks have been removed from nearby Creca Moss as well. The moors at both sites are now owned by The Scotts UK Ltd, and peat is havested by tracked vehicles and supplied to Hatfield Peatworks.
At Latham Moss, all track had been removed although the first part of the line out to the moors is still marked by the sleepers. The old loco shed was locked and it was not clear if the Lister loco was still present. The moors are now worked by tracked vehicles.
At Gardrum Moss (3ft gauge), the whole site was deserted, but all track was still present around the yard but rather overgrown. The two locos until recently stored in the loco shed had now gone. All track had been removed from the moors.

Ryeflat Moss (2ft 6ins gauge) No peat had been harvested here for a few months and the railway was not in use. Three locos were present; 'Rachel' the Barclay loco, outside the equipment shed. 'Jeffery', the Alan Keef loco and also 05 581, the Alan Keef loco from Ardeer Works were both inside the shed.

It was confirmed that this line would be taken up sometime over the summer and as with the other peatworks harvesting would move to using tracked vehicles.

Springfield Moss (2ft Gauge) This line is still operational. However no trains were running on the day of the visit.
The working loco was not identified as a fitter had taken it out to the moors. Around the workshops were T7 'Dolly' another Barclay, waiting attention. T5 built by Alan Keef was under repair with its engine in the workshops. T1 'Roland', the old MR was only a set of frames and a cab now.

Auchencorth Moss (2ft gauge) This system was very busy with 3 trains bringing in peat. The tracks on the moors had been connected in a circuit so the trains were running in a merry go round fashion. MRs T9 and T3 ('Sylvia'), plus a further unidentified MR were all on peat trains, with T6 another MR, on track maintenance work.

Whim Moss (2ft gauge) Two trains were in use for peat transport, T11 ('Elouise') a MR, and T4 ('Doris') the RH loco. A further unidentified yellow loco was out on the moors. The manager here confirmed that Whim Moss had another 2 years of operation after which it would be closed down and the railway removed.
The picture above shows Elouise on the left and Doris on the right at the unloading point.
(Posted 28.05.07 Source: Steve Thomason)

IRELAND:  April 2007
Bord na Mona, Loco News (3ft gauge) Bord na Mona continues its loco refurbishment and new loco build programme. New 4wDH locos LM437-440 were outshopped from Boora between 9/06 and 11/06. 437 went to Littleton on Co. Tipperary. 438 went to Mountdillon. 439 and 440 are based at Boora, usually found at Derrinlough Briquetting Plant. A further loco; LM441 is currently under construction at Boora.

The photo shows the newest BnM loco LM440 at Derrinlough on 04/01/07.

The next project for Boora is to rebuild 6 Wagonmasters. They will retain their jackshafts/con rods/coupling rods but a Clark hydraulic unit will be installed between the engine and reversing gearbox. LM203 and 240 have already been stripped down and are currently being rebuilt. All 6 rebuilds are for the Horticultural Division who are short of reliable motive power.
(Posted 04.05.07 Source: Ted McAvoy)

IRELAND:  April 2007
Bord na Mona, Prosperous (3ft gauge) At Prosperous there is a new railway serving a newly opened bog that feeds peat to Kilberry factory for packing. There are three locos, all rebuilt Rustons, and the tippler is of a novel design, with each each wagon raised on a hydraulically driven platform and emptied through a top-hinged side door. When this bog is worked-out, the tippler and all equipment will be moved to another site near Birr.

(Above) One of the rebult Rustom locos at Properous peat bog.
(Posted 21.04.07 Source: Kevin Payne)
GERMANY:  April 2007
Langeooge Island Railway, (1000mm gauge) The metre gauge island on Langeoog still operates freight trains, but these are reported to be under threat. The railway is managed by the local ferry company, who run at least one daily freight train but discussions are ongoing regarding the future of these.
(Posted 26.04.07 Source: Today's Railways)

ENGLAND:  March 2007
Hatfield Peat Works (3ft gauge) Hatfield have confirmed that all railway operations here have ceased. Last trains will have run sometime in 2006, and by March 2007 most tack on the moors had been lifted. The peatworks is still operating but peat now arrives by road from Scotland or Ireland. At least 2 of the Schöma locos may be moving to peatworks in Scotland. This now leaves Bolton Fell as the only operational peat railway in England.
(Posted 25.02.07 Source: David Grantham and The Scotts Co.)
ENGLAND:  March 2007
Wilmslow Peat Farm (2ft gauge) A visit at the end of 2006 confirmed that the 3 locos were still on site, locked in the former storage shed. However, contrary to the report in the IRS Bulletin, the firm state that all three locos are spoken for and are not for sale. Thery are waiting to move down south into preservation shortly.
(Posted 21.03.07 Source: IRS Bulletin)
ENGLAND:  March 2007
Sylvasprings Ltd, Bere Regis (1ft 6ins gauge) In November 2006 the 4wPH loco returned to the site after overhaul and continued to work the short section of track still in use with the three remaining flat wagons.
(Posted 21.03.07 Source: IRS Bulletin)

POLAND:  February 2007
Pleszew (750mm gauge) The first trains for several years ran on this short 750mm gauge line in September 2006. This was one of the several of the PKP lines line that closed in 2001, and until now had not found an owner or operating group willing to take on responsibility for the line. The 4km line is dual gauge for most of it's length and PKP still operate freight trains on the standard gauge. Both the Romanian Railcars and the Lyd1 locos are both in use.
(Posted 25.02.07 Source: Today's Railways)
AUSTRIA:  February 2007
Pinzgaubahn (760mm gauge) The reconstruction of this line is set to start this year with a target for completion next year. The new Gmeinder diesel and some new passenger stock are due for delivery this year. By summer 2008 the whole railway will be open once again, which should also include freight services using the refurbished transporter wagons.
(Posted 25.02.07 Source: Today's Railways)
GERMANY:  February 2007
Solvay Sodawerk, Bernberg (900mm gauge) This survivor from the DDR days is still confirmed operational from a recent visit. It still uses the large electric LEW BoBo brown coal locos to haul limestone from a quarry and over a river to the large soda works.
(Posted 25.02.07 Source: Narrow Gauge World)

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© Steve Thomason 2007
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