Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
Home | News | Railways | DVDs | DVD Services | Equipment | Links | Contact us
Back to current news
NEWS 2008
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

Poland Lxd2


AUSTRIA:  August 2008
Geriatriezentrum am Wienerwald, Vienna (500mm gauge) Visited on the 13th August to find battery loco Angelika (Struppe loco No.6), working lunchtime deliveries. This loco then retired to the shed/workshop where AEG loco number 1 and Struppe loco number 7 were stabled. The shell of Struppe Loco No.5 was in the wagon shed, along with the two Jenbacher diesels, No.1 (JW 1430/66), and No.2 (JW 1076/51).

DIABAS MINERAL, Saalfelden (600mm gauge) Although visited on a national holiday, it was confirmed that the site is still operational, with the usual Schöma (No.5398 of 1985) attached to the rake of wagons at the works. The Diema (retained as a backup loco) was also still present.
The Schöma photographed behind the works.
(Posted 07.10.08 Source: Adrian Foster)
JHMD, Jindrichuv Hradec (760mm gauge) Freight services appeared to running daily on this line when visited in July. Nova Vcelince (12km) was observed to receive 2 standard gauge wagons for scrap metal each day on the visit, and this train typically departed at approx 19:00 from Jindrichuv. A second loco was also in use to take back the loaded wagons when the empties arrived. On at least one occasion another wagon was taken to the branch just outside Jindrichuv.
Passenger services were seen to be also very busy.
(Posted 07.10.08 Source: David Meller)

IRELAND:  August 2008
Bord na Mona (3ft gauge) Some more updates about Bord na Mona from Ted McAvoy. The Coolnamona Works (horticultural peat) closes on 1/9/08. However the railway system will still continue to be used to harvest some peat for other works. So it will be tipped at Coolnamona but taken elsewhere for processing.

A completely new railway opened in early summer at Killaun, near Birr, Co Offaly. The line runs from a roadside tippler about 2 miles to the far end of the bog. Wagonmasters LM243 and LM297 have arrived to handle the traffic in around 40 bogie wagons. (Posted 26.08.08 Source: Ted McAvoy

GERMANY:  July 2008
Klasmann-Deilmann, Pappenburg (600mm gauge) Confirmation from Adrian Foster from his recent trip to Germany he found the above works had stopped use of the railway and has resorted to tractor and trailer transport. This works is found on the west side of the road appraching Pappenburg from the south.
(Posted 26.08.08 Source: Adrian Foster


AUSTRIA:  July 2008
Zell am See to Krimml (760mm gauge) This line has finally been privatised, from the 1st july onwards. ownership will lie with Salzburg Land who will contract out the operation of the railway to Salzburg AG (who also run the Salzburger Localbahn and the Schafbergbahn).

The contract confirms an investment of 32 million Euros into the railway infrastructure. This includes the new 2096 Gmeinder diesel, and the new driving trailers from Vrútky. The existing fleet handed over includes 3 of the 2095 locos and 6 DMUs.

The delayed reconstruction of the line to Krimml can now proceed, and the target is now for a full re-opening sometime in 2009. The reopening will also include timetable changes to reduce the duplication of road and rail services, and increase the frequency of train services.
(Posted 29.07.08 Source: Today's Railways


GERMANY:  June 2008
(Various gauges) A further update from another trip to the Feldbahnen of Germany.
The above picture is from the Klasmann-Deilmann system at Sedelsburg with one of the new Schöma locos returning to the main works.

The trip covered the Westermoor and Bockhorst area of Germany. All the following railways were observed to be operating normally;
Emslander Baustoffwerke, Surwold (Gauge: 750mm)
Weener Torfwerk, Bockhorst (Gauge: 600mm)
Klasmann-Deilmann, (on B401 ROAD) (Gauge: 600mm)
Griendtsveen Torf AG, (on B401 ROAD) (Gauge: 900mm)
Klasmann-Deilmann, Sedelsburg (Gauge: 600mm)
Griendtsveen Torfwerk Brinkmann (Gauge: 600mm)
Moorkultur Ramsloh (Gauge: 600mm)
Griendtsveen Torf AG, Vehnemoor (Gauge: 900mm)
Klasmann-Deilmann, Vehnemoor (Gauge: 900mm)

A second photo from Adrian (above) shows a double headed train leaving the works at Moorkultur Ramsloh.
(Posted 29.07.08 Source: Adrian Foster)

GERMANY:  April/May 2008
German Peatworks Update (gauge various) The following notes are from a visit in April and May to a number of industrial ng sites in Germany.
The following peat works were confirmed to be working normally; Torfwerke Meiners at Westerhorn, Torfwerk Schülp at Nortorf Schülp, Rostocker Humus at Gubkow, Torfwerk Dellstedt at Dellstedt, and Torfwerk Carl Hornung at Quickborn.

The electric line of LBT GmbH (Sodawek Stassfurt) at Staßfurt was confirmed still in use and the 2 recently aquired electric locos (built in 2006) at Bernberg were confirmed at the 900mm gauge ESCO-European Salt Company GmbH & Co. KG, Werk Bernburg. The peat works of Ernst Karl at Westerhorn had closed and all track has been lifted. Torfwerke Meiners appear now to be working the area as a new line has been built westwards across the site.

The above photo is an older photo of a couple of the LKM locos in use at Dellstedt. This maybe the last industrial location that these former DDR locos can still be seen working.
(Posted 6.07.08 Source: Brian Rumary)

POLAND:  2007/2008
ex PKP lines (750mm gauge) As there has not been an update on the Poland ex-PKP narrow gauge lines recently, the following notes may be of interest from a visit towards the end of 2007, with current updates where known.
Smigiel Freight services are at a low ebb, with most wagons terminating at Smigiel. In 2007 the standard gauge goods trains were dropping off the wagons at Stare Bojanowo at about mid-day. When services had been taken over from PKP, passenger services had been re-instated to the end of the line at Wielichowo, but by the end of 2007, these had been cut back to Sniaty once again. There is now a functional PX48 on the line that sees use by the Wolsztyn Experience from time to time.

Gniezno One of the Px48s from here has gone to Smigiel and another was under repair at the end of 2007. There appears to be 3 of the Lxd2s, which handle all the traffic. Much of the current freight traffic goes to a builder's merchant/coal depot within Gniezno (just before the crossing of the Witkowo road), with trips further along the line to Witkowo and Powitz far less frequent than in the past.

Sompolno Most track has been taken up here, and there had been no freight services since late 2001. The trackbed in the surrounding area has now been built on in places, and at one point even converted to a cycle path.
Krosniewice The railcars here had still been operating to Krzewie and Dabrowice recently. Although in the past there had been frieght services run occasionally to Krosnieweice, there has been little recent evidence of this. However the coal for the Brzesc Kujawski sugar factory which has continued is loaded from Ostrowy and travels via Krosniewice to Brzesc. Bagged sugar also traveled in the other direction. Unfortunately the local authoraties want to deveop the site around Krosniewice which the railway operators SKLP have naturally objected to. The last railcar ran on the 31st March pending an outcome of the issue.
Brzesc Kujawski Sugar Factory Until the last few months, regular freight had continued to this sugar factory, the last sugar factory in Poland using narrow gauge. Unlike previous years the LxD2 diesels were entering the factory itself for the collection of standard gauge vans with bagged sugar. Both the Wls150 locos were also in use, one on ash trains and one for coal.
Zbiersk The sugar factory closed a few years ago and there had been no rail traffic to it for a while. The timber traffic from a siding next to the factory appears to have ceased from approx 2004. The main traffic is stone to Zelazkow, which is dropped off at Opatowek in batches of 20+ sg wagons.

Pleszew Although the re-introduction of services started only recently, the railcar failed in early 2007 and was completely stripped down. SKPL's web site suggested services would start again in February, however they have not started again yet. SKPL have brought in a standard gauge loco which they use for the freight, having taken this traffic over from PKP a year or so ago.
Mlawa SKPL were appointed operator here and made one or more trial runs with freight to Przasnysz a couple of years ago. There were discussions regarding the use of container traffic, but this needed the installation of special equipment which no-one was prepared to pay for. Nothing has happened since and SKPL have pulled out.
Naleczow SKPL records a few years ago showed a few tons of freight shifted but it may have been a trial and nothing further was attempted. The only traffic in the last few years has been 'tourist' traffic. It is reported that the sugar factory at Opole has closed and the Lyd2 that shunted the sidings there is now at Naleczow, but not operational.
Przeworsk SKPL records confirm some freight traffic present on this line. What is carried travels only to/from Kanczuga, but it is unclear what exactly is carried. Timetabled passenger trains operate on summer weekends.
(Posted 30.04.08 Source: David Meller.


SWITZERLAND:  December 2007
HOLCIM, Brunnen (750mm gauge) It was reported in January this year that the railway operated by HOLCIM (previously K. Hürlimann Söhne AG until 2001) had not been operational since the end of last year. Stone that had already been quarried was to be brought down by the railway at some point, but after that the quarry and its associated railway is said to be officially closing.
(Posted 21.03.08 Source: Richard Bowen via IRS)
DENMARK:  January 2008
Pindstrup Peat, SE of Ålborg (700mm gauge) Although this peat railway has been reduced in length in recent years, it is still in operation. It is currently owned by Pindstrup Peat using two Schöma locos, with a Deutz loco in reserve. The 4km line terminates in an unloading tippler by the roadside.
(Posted 21.03.08 Source: David Levy via NGN)
IRELAND:  February 2008
Bord na Mona (3ft gauge) The long new railway to Rathdrum and Derries (east of Tullamore) has seen its first revenue trains. The peat is taken 22 miles from Rathdrum to Edenderry Power Station.

A new traffic flow starts from the 1st of March from Derries Bog to Croghan Tippler. The tippler was all but defunct in 2007 but has been revived.
Also, the first of the 0-4-0DH rebuilt Wagonmasters was photographed, see below;
The loco numbered LM 240 had a few teething troubles and it may be a while before it is seen in service. Another 15 conversions are planned, 3 of which are already under way.
(Posted 21.03.08 Source: Ted McAvoy)


CROATIA:  December 2007
Solana Ston, Ston (600mm gauge) Manfred Boeckl has confirmed that the salt pan railway at Ston is still operational from a visit in September. The working loco has been confirmed as a Jenbach Pony JW8.
The working loco is shown in the distance. The second loco is still derelict by the processing shed.
(Posted 19.01.08 Source: Manfred Boeckl)

HUNGARY:  December 2007
MAV (760mm gauge) It is being reported in the Railway press that the Hungarian State Railways wish to cease responsibility for the narrow gauge lines they still operate. There are now just 3 lines, Kecskemét, Niregyháza and Balatonfenyves.
The above photo shows one of the MK48 locos on the Kecskemet line in September 2007.

No buyers have yet been agreed, and for now they will continue to run as normal.
A second photo from Patrick shows a double headed train at the halfway junction station of Herminatanya in September 2007.
(Posted 19.01.08 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

Back to current news

© Steve Thomason 2008
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

Home | News | Railways | DVDs | DVD Services | Equipment | Links | Contact us
Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways