Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2011
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

Swinefleet Peatworks

ENGLAND:  October 2011
Far Ings Tileries, Barton Upon Humber (2ft gauge) This railway had not been in use since 2001, however the MotorRail loco had been stored in the original loco shed until fairly recently. The whole site is being redeveloped as a visitor centre, and is planned to go into production again. The loco is being retained as part of this new display, although it is unclear if this will be just as a static exhibit.
(Posted 27.11.11 Source: IRS Bulletin)
IRELAND:  October 2011
Templetouhy Works, Bord na Mona, Littleton (3ft gauge) This is the last remaining site that Bord na Mona regularly harvest block peat. It is reported that the reserves of suitable peat are nearly exhausted and this season is likely to be the last. The area is likely to be taken over for milled peat production to supply the main Littleton works.
(Posted 27.11.11 Source: IRS Bulletin)
AUSTRIA:  November 2011
Fleghiem Lainz, Vienna (500mm gauge) Vienna has been undertaking a major review of the way it looks after it's elderly. 9 new care homes are being built and the old home at Lainz is being closed down. More care is being pushed back into the community where possible, and therefore the railway will not be required. One of wards has already been closed down and the patients tranferred. The 500mm gauge railway in use for the delivery of food to each of the buildings is due to close down by the end of 2011.
(Posted 27.11.11 Source: Various, inlcuding the Care Home website)
ENGLAND:  October 2011
Bolton Fell Peat Works, Heathersgill (2ft Gauge) An application had been submitted to the EU to designate Bolton Fell Moss as a Special Area of Conservation. This has been upheld and William Sinclair, the current operators of the peat works there are now working with Natural England on a phased withdrawal of all peat harvesting operations, formally finishing by November 2013. Peat has already ceased to be harvested and the railway is continuing in use for the clearance of remaining stocks out on the moors back to the works. The the railway is likely to cease operation significantly before the formal end date.
(Posted 27.11.11 Source: William Sinclair Website)

HUNGARY:  August 2011
Forestry Railways (600mm and 760mm gauge) Further branches have been closed on the forestry railways in Hungary. The system at Mesztegnyö (760mm gauge) had a branch to Soponya of 5.7km. In recent years it had been reduced in length, but now with timber traffic ceased, and also due to lengths of the track being stolen, it has been lifted in 2010.
The railway at Almamellék (600mm gauge), another line that had seen limited timber traffic in it's recent past, is also being cut back. The branch to Lukafa which has already been fenced off, is being officially closed.
(Posted 29.08.11 Source: Today's Railways)
FRANCE:  August 2011
Degussa, Baupte (1000mm gauge) A visit was made to the peat moors at Baupte near Cotentin. The metre gauge peat railway which is reported only to operate in the summer months is confirmed as still active. Although exact identification of the locos has not been possible, the same 2 locos as seen last year were in use. Loading (with an excavator) of at least one of the trains was taking place only about half a mile from the works.

The two photos were taken on the 23rd August 2011. The railcar was also confirmed still present, but it is not clear if this is still used. Following the aquisition of Degussa's food ingredients business by Cargill Foods in 2006, it is not clear if Cargill now own the complete site.
(Posted 29.08.11 Source: Martin Barnsdall)

GERMANY:  July 2011
Teichgut Birkenhof, Aschheim (600mm gauge) Near Munich the fish farm at Ashheim used a railway typically during the autumn for many years. It's confirmed that the last year of operation was in 1999, but all the track was still in place until recently. A lot of track lifting took place at the start of the year in January and much of the rail is now stockpiled in the yard. However, around the area of the dam some rail and pointwork is still in place.

The two photos are from the year 2000, just one year after rail operations had ceased at the fish farm.
(Posted 04.07.11 Source: German Feldbahn Forum)
POLAND:  July 2011
Cegeilna Igloobud, Debica (600mm gauge) One of the better known brickworks railways in Poland has closed down. Part of the 4km route of the Igloobud 600mm gauge railway passed through the town and under a railway bridge shared with road traffic, which was controlled by traffic lights. Major work on the railway bridge was completed in 2009, but then the works went bankrupt in 2010. All the railway items had then been put up for sale.
(Posted 04.07.11 Source: German Feldbahn Forum)

GERMANY:  May 2011
Ziegelwerk Röben Idunahall, Schermbeck (600mm gauge) The railway at this brickworks ceased operation in 2001. Since approx 2003 there had been a private collection of locomotives gathered here to potentially run trains on a preserved basis. Also the brickworks had recently been considering opening up another claypit to be served by the railway once again. Confirmation has now been received that a part of the railway has been taken up inside and outside of the brickworks. The photograph opposite, a short distance from the works shows where the line used to run alongside the road and past a layby. The bridges that were crossed a short distance further on still have track on them but there are now apparently plans to raise one of the bridges, requiring major construction work and if/when this happens it seems unlikely that an unused narrow gauge track will be re-instated.

The photo shows remaining rails enbedded in the road in Schermbeck in April 2011.
(Posted 24.05.11 Source: Erik Kuiper)
GERMANY:  May 2011
Döllnitzbahn (750mm gauge) This line, famous for it's transport of kaolin until a few years ago, still had a small amount of commercial traffic in the form of a transport contract for school children with the local transport authority. The local authority have now decided to use road transport rather than rail, and so it is likely that the last school train will run on the 8th July. Even income from the regular weekend tourist/museum trains will be hit because the only working Saschen-Meyer steam loco has just ceased working because of boiler maintenace requirements. Financially this leaves the line in a precarious position, and it has applied to the local authority for additional funding.
(Posted 24.05.11 Source: Today's Railways)

BULGARIA:  April 2011
Septemvri to Dobrinishte (760mm gauge) It is reported that this line is to close at the end of this summer. The line has apparently not paid it's way for a long time. It is 125km long and is the last operating narrow gauge railway in Bulgaria.
In recent years the large steam loco 609 76 had been restored for use on the railway and it is not confirmed if any part of the railway is to be retained as a tourist line which will allow continued use of the loco in the country.
(Posted 02.05.11 Source: Today's Railways)
Kemat Skalna, Near Cheb (600mm gauge) Operations have restarted on a limited basis this year on this clay railway. The scale of extraction is reduced compared to previous years.

The photo shows one of the line's several Czech built BN30 locos in the clay pit.
(Posted 02.05.11 Source: Jiri Kanski via Mike Jackson)
ENGLAND:  April 2011
Ayle Colliery, Alston (2ft Gauge) This mine was found still to be working when visited in January. One of the Clayton battery locos was in use on haulage out of the drift, and a number of the other disused locos were still found on site.
Clarghyll Colliery, Alston (1ft 7ins Gauge) This mine, visible from Alye Colliery, has been opened and closed a number of times in the past. It was last worked in 2001 using main and tail haulage but now appears derelict. It is reported that there is a requirement for the mine to be sealed and dismantled by the end of the year. (Posted 02.05.11 Source: IRS Bulletin)

POLAND:  March 2011
Smigiel Line (750mm gauge) The former PKP narrow gauge line from Wielichowo to Bojanowo has ceased all services from the 1st January 2011. The line had been operated by SKPL prior to their withdrawal. There appears to be some controvery regarding the rationale behind the cessation of services, but the line has now been handed over to the Smigiel Town Council who currently have no plans to operate the railway. Fortunately there is still plenty of support for the railway for any thought of dismantling to be considered. Since cessation of the passenger and freight services at the start of the year there has now been one special service organised by the Wolsztyn Experience in February. There are high hopes that it could at least see a new lease of life as a tourist line.
(Posted 09.03.11 Source:

Krosniewice SKPL (750mm gauge) No services have run in the past year at this once busy station. Operations had ceased here due to differing requirements of the operators SKPL and the town council. In summary, the mayor of Krosniewice had not renewed the operating licence at Krosniewice because SKPL refused to sell off parts of the railway infrastruture (workshops, etc) to allow redevelopment for other purposes.
Although last year some remedial work had been carried out by volunteers to try and keep the area in good repair, the future does not look positive. The level crossing immediately south of the station has been partly asphalted over, and there has been a fire in the old office buildings. The latest news suggest that the workshops have been stripped of the machinery, and level crossing barriers have been removed and cut up. One of the line's historic Mbxd1 railcars (no.168) has been moved away from the railway. Workshops at Pleszew have refurbished the railcar and in January it was delivered to Milicz to support a possible restoration of a part of the narrow gauge railway in the town.
(Posted 09.03.11 Source:
SPAIN:  March 2011
FEVE (1000mm gauge) In a direct contrast to the fortunes of the Polish narrow gauge, in Spain FEVE have submitted proposals for two significant extentions to their metre gauge services.
On the Collanzo route in the San Isidro valley there are plans to extend the line a further 6kms at a cost of 6.1 million Euros. FEVE apparently already have sufficent funds to undertake this work.
The second proposal relates to a 11.5km extension using a number of previous railway formations from Astillero station. Construction could be completed within 18 months at a cost of 12 million Euros.
(Posted 09.03.11 Source: Today's Railways)

AUSTRIA:  January 2011
Former ÖBB lines (760mm gauge) NOVOG (Niederösterreichische Verkehrsorganisations Gesellschaft) took over operation of several of the Austrian Narrow Gauge lines from the 12th December. The railways included are the Mariazellerbahn, Ybbstalbahn, and the lines centred at Gmund (now operating preserved services). On the Mariazellerbahn, previously the branch from Obergrafendorf to Mank had been secure but is now closed. New EMUs are on order from Stadler with the aim of doubling passenger numbers thoughout the railway.
The remaining short stretch of the Ybbstalbahn from Waidhofen to Gstadt is to remain open at present, but the rest of the raiway is now formally closed.
(Posted 29.01.11 Source: Today's Railways)
GREECE:  January 2011
Greece Metre Gauge Network (1000mm gauge) In December a number of routes on the Greek Railway network have been suspended. This includes all the metre gauge network (Excluding Diakoftó to Kalávrita).
Unfortunately the metre gauge railway was in the news again in early Decenber due to a fatal accident. A DMU derailed and ended up on it's side while running the Náfplio to Tripoli service. The train was only carrying 4 passengers at the time.
(Posted 29.01.11 Source: Today's Railways)
ITALY:  January 2011
Ferrovie della Calabria (FC) (950mm gauge) Operations on the Cosenza to San Giovanni in Fiore line had been cut back to Spezzano della Sila earlier last year because of subsidence, and was completely closed in November 2010. Services on the Cosenza to Catanzaro line were disrupted at 2 points also due to subsidence and an unsafe bridge. On the FC line to the south, the route from Gioia Tauro to Cinquefrondi has been closed due to flood damage and the operators have released no date for the re-opening. The other route on this line, Gioia Tauro to Palmi, is also closed for maintenace work at present.
SPAIN:  January 2011
FEVE (1000mm gauge) A 7.1Km section of double track has finally been completed on the Gijón to Pola de Laviana route. The final stetch laid was between El Berrón and Carbayín. The double track has signalling which allows for both way working, and potentially allowing trains every 10 mins.
(Posted 29.01.11 Source: Today's Railways)

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