Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2012
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

Bord na Mona Gleismac

AUSTRIA:  November 2012
Zillertalbahn (760mm gauge) The financial returns for 2011 were published recently for the railway, and both passenger and freight figures had seen an increase. Improved passenger volumes were due to increased frequency of the DMU services. Freight traffic had increased by 50% compared with figures from 2010. The primary reason for this is the recovery of the saw mill at Fügen-Hart. It was only a few years ago that road transport was posing a serious risk to the timber trains, with declining traffic levels on the railway, but this situation now seems to have been reversed.
(Posted 11.12.2012 Source: Today's Railways)

Stern & Hafferl, Gmunden to Vorchdorf (1000mm gauge) The Gmunden to Vorchdorf Localbahn is to loose its lakeside terminus at Gmunden. There have been a number of proposals over the years to cease the dual gauge station at Gmunden Seebahnhof. The latest initiative will see the line taken on a new formation after the Gmunden Traundorf station, and a new terminus built at Klosterplatz, but with the long term aim of joining up with the Gmunden city tram at Franz-Josef Platz. The current Seebahnhof station site is to have a hotel complex built on it.

A picture of the dual gauge Seebahnhof station from June 1995 with Railcar No.23110.
(Posted 11.12.2012 Source: Today's Railways)

GERMANY:  September 2012
Holthaus and Fortmann, Südmoslesfehn (600mm gauge) Site working normally with no change in motive power (2 Schöma and 1 Diema loco in yard, plus 1 loco assumed on moors). No trains were running on the day of the visit as 3 loaded rakes of wagons were waiting in the sidings to be unloaded.

Griendtsveen, Torfwerk Edewecht (900mm gauge) One of the newish Schöma locos (no.1) seen in charge of a loaded train returning to the works for tipping. At least some of the output is still transferred directly into the waiting barges on the Küstenkanal. The driver confirmed that there were only 4 working locos here now.

Griendtsveen, Torfwerk Brinkmann, Scharrel (600mm gauge) Site working normally. The old brickworks on the other side of the road from the original peat mill has been extended further, and all peat was being tipped there, with trains still using the route along the roadside to reach the works. The original works appears to be now only used for railway and equipment maintenance.

(Posted 10.10.2012 Source: Steve Thomason)

GERMANY:  September 2012
Torfwerk Gnarrenburg (Several sites) (600mm gauge) The main line and works at Gnarrenburg still appeared to be busy from the condition of the rails. At the old unloading point at Langenhausen, the elevator and gantry have all now been removed, and the yard appears to be in use just for occasional permanent way maintenance, with the usual small Diema present (see below).

The main tipping point for this railway is still half a mile down the nearby dirt road. The tippler and elevator at Klenkendorf have also been removed, and the land returned to grazing. There is now little evidence that a railway existed here. The other small site at Findorf was also abandoned, with just the elevator in place and no sign of recent use, with no wagons or locos.

Erdenwerk Wietinghausen, Schweringhausen (600mm gauge) Expecting to find this system all closed by this date, it was found to be still operational. Trains had been recently bringing in peat from right across the system from near the old works of Torfwerk Wuthenau. There were other loading points also in use nearer the works.

Seen above is the small 11hp KDL Schöma loco of 1956.

Torfwerk Holthaus and Fortmann, Lohne (600mm gauge) Passed on a Sunday, and confirmed that the railway is still operational. One interesting find outside was a Schöma loco now converted to electric power, with an electric motor installed, fed by a long electric cable from the works building. The assumption is that it works on the short stretch of track extending from the tippler/mill, pulling wagons through one by one.

(Posted 10.10.2012 Source: Steve Thomason)

GERMANY:  September 2012
Compo, Torfwork Uchte (600mm gauge) This busy site was working normally with long trains managed by double heading with the relatively new Schöma locos and also with a banking loco sometimes used.

Borstel Torfwerk

(600mm gauge) Site working normally with the usual long double headed trains, using the fleet of Diema locos.

Torfwerk Weener, Küstenkanal (600mm gauge) This site next to the Küstenkanal closed at some point prior to 2010. However, even today there is still much equipment dumped around the site, including one of the Diema locos on the hardstanding near the entrance gates.

(Posted 10.10.2012 Source: Steve Thomason)

GERMANY:  September 2012
Erdenwerk Archut, Hatzte (600mm gauge) This site works only sporadically, sometimes just for a few weeks in the year. It was found working on the 25th Sept, with a small Diema and the Schöma required to haul the trains back from the moors. There was only one last pile of milled peat on the moors that would take no more than about 4 trains to clear. As there was no other milled peat ready for loading, it was assumed that railway would close again after this was moved.

A further small Diema (DL6) is kept on the moors for shunting, and was used to assist with lifting the last of the temporary loading tracks.

Meyer Holsen Tileworks, Holsen

(600mm gauge) This is one of the last narrow gauge railways still transporting clay in Germany. It has not changed much over the years, except that now clay is brought in by lorry to the loading point instead of using the adjacent clay pit. The Diema loco hauls trains of 5 skips over the short line, running approx 20 trips per day.

Torfwerk Meiners, Westerhorn (600mm gauge) This works was on a break for a few days, but is still operational. It has completely re-located to the old Ernst Karl yard nearer to the moors. It used to run for approx a kilometer alongside country roads to a large tipping and packing building. The original terminus has been levelled and the old mill yard and storage yard is now a solar panel farm.

The old tracks by the roadside had only recently been removed sometime in the last 6 months. 7 Diema locos were on site with others likely to be present at the loco sheds on the edge of the moors.
(Posted 10.10.2012 Source: Steve Thomason)

GERMANY:  September 2012
Torfwerk Wübbeler, Arkburg (600mm gauge) In the last few years this peatworks had been working sporadically using the railway around May time. A visit on the 22nd Sept confirmed that although the rail connection from the peatworks to the moors was still in place it had become mostly obscured in places, and sections along the roadside have become badly damaged. Two Diema locos were seen in the yard (others may still be present), but did not look as though they had been used this year and possibly a lot longer. The tourist trips from the adjacent ‘Haus im Moor’ were still operating, with 2 Diema locos seen on site.

Torfwerk Steinfeld

(600mm gauge) A passing visit confirmed this site as still operational, but now with one of the relatively new green liveried Schöma locos transferred here (assumed to be from the batch of 4 purchased new by Meiners in 2006, but no makers plate visible) to manage the main line work.

Torfwerk Zubrägel (600mm gauge) This site also seemed to be having long periods of non railway operation in recent years, and was last confirmed to be working in the autumn time. However all wagons were lined up at the works, and only 2 locos were visible, both with at least six months of vegetation growing up around them. The track away from the works was in place, but looking very derelict.

(Posted 10.10.2012 Source: Steve Thomason)

GREECE:  July 2012
Diakopto-Kalavryta railway (750mm gauge) It was pleasing to receive a report of a narrow gauge railway still running in Greece, bearing in mind all the other austerity measures across the country and the sad demise of the Peloponnese Railway. The railway was visited on the 26th of May and found to be working to take a school special. The train consisited of two of the 3 car units coupled together. It was confirmed that there are five services on Saturdays and Sundays, with three on weekdays. There are still a number of goods vehicles still present, but no indication that they are still used.
A photo of the loco shed is shown below.

(Posted 12.08.2012 Source: Alan Feldon)
FRANCE:  July 2012
Blanc to Argent (1000mm) A major contract is under way to renew approx 28km of track on this passenger railway in Northern France. The railway has closed for 6 months to allow for completion of the work. It is due to reopen in September. The work is being done at a cost of 13.6 million Euros but once completed, trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 70Km/h. (Posted 08.08.2012 Source: Voie Etroite and NGN)

ITALY:  May 2012
Circumetnea, Sicily (950mm gauge) A photograph of the typical motive power on the Circumetnea railway in Sicily seen in a visit in early May 2012.

(Posted 12.08.2012 Source: Mike Jackson)
ENGLAND:  July 2012
Crossrail site, Paddington (approx 2ft, confirmation required) On the 9th of July, the site was visited again, and the second orange liveried loco was confirmed on site. This was confirmed as a Schöma. Conveyors had been installed for the removal of waste, and this is being taken away by the standard gauge, so the narrow gauge is not used for this. It is expected that the narrow gauge line will be used once the concrete tunnel sections need moving into place behind the TBMs when in use.

(Posted 08.08.2012 Source: Mike Jackson)

ENGLAND:  May 2012
Crossrail site, Paddington (approx 2ft, confirmation required) By the 10th of May rolling stock and a loco (a white Schöma) had been delivered to the CrossRail site at Paddington. The photo below (on the 18th May) shows initial testing being carried out with a loaded train.
It is reported that the tunnel boring machines started cutting on about the 8th May, and so the railway will have been required shortly after this date to move the concrete lining panels into place. By the 24th May a second loco had arrived on site, in orange livery.
(Posted 09.06.2012 Source: Paul Stanford)
Czech Republic:  May 2012
JHMD, Jindrichuv Hradec (760mm) A belated report from Patrick, from a visit in 2011, confirms that standard gauge frieght wagons are still being regularly carried on the line operated by JHMD centred at Jindrichuv Hradec. Apparently there is Frieght service between Jindrichuv Hradec and Kunžak-Lomy, which serves a scrapyard near the station of Kunžak-Lomy. A photo from 2011 is shown below.

(Posted 09.06.2012 Source: Patrick Aulbach)
RUSSIA:  June 2012
Alapaevsk Narrow Gauge Railway, Sverdlovsk region (750mm gauge) The Alapaevsk railway also known as the AUZHD, was once the largest narrow gauge railway in Russia, at 710km. Over the years this has shrunk back to the current estimated length of 200km. Just 30 years ago it was carrying about 1 million tonnes of timber a year and by the 1980's there were approx 50 locomotives still recorded on the line. Recent reports suggest that the whole railway had declined and operations were only taking place over parts of the original network, with many other areas demolished, and timber transport reduced to a fraction of it's original tonnage.
However, the railway is seen as a lifeline to a large number of isolated villages throughout the area, and significant pressure to repair parts of the network have now had some success with several bridges repaired in the last year, and an estimiated 30,000 sleepers replaced. The prime minister of the region has now pledged 50 million Rubles to the railway over the next 2 years. Details of this railway with historic and current photos, can be found here, and if using Google Chrome, the automatic translation works well from Russian into English.
(Posted 09.06.2012 Source: Andrey Ilin)

HUNGARY:  April 2012
Hungarian State Narrow Gauge (760mm) The 2 narrow gauge railways at Kecskemét and Nyiregyháza which were closed over 2 years ago, may see a reprieve. Lobbying has taken place for the reinstatement of both railways. A small amount of funding is set aside each year for the ongoing maintenance of these railways, but in reality little has been spent on them. This may now change, with short term plans to include excursion trains, but in the longer term it is possible scheduled services are returned to both railways.
(Posted 26.04.2012 Source: Today's Railways)

A photo of one of the Kecskemét MK48 class locos at Kiskörös in the final few years of operation before closure.
AUSTRIA:  April 2012
Ybbstalbahn (760mm gauge) This railway was recently cut right back to the former junction station of Gstadt. The good news is that services from Lunz am See to Göstling are to be revived, although this will only be as part of the museum operation based at Kienberg Gaming. These trains will start to run this summer on weekends only.
(Posted 26.04.2012 Source: Today's Railways)

An impressive photo of one of the older class TU7A diesels on the AUZHD Railway.
RUSSIA:  March 2012
Kambarka Engineering Works (Zavod KMZ), Urals (750mm gauge) Details and photos have been received from the Kambarka Engineering Works in Russia, which continues in operation, producing the standard designs of the 750mm gauge eastern block narrow gauge locos and rolling stock. There are also a number of interesting details of new locos and rolling stock now being produced. The web site is available by clicking here and if using Google, it can provide a reasonably good immediate translation from the Russian.
Some pictures received have been reproduced here (left and right).
(Posted 26.03.2012 Source: Kambarka Engineering Works)

A Photo showing one of the recent new build class TU7A locos from the Kambarka Engineering works.

ENGLAND:  March 2012
Corssrail site, Paddington (approx 2ft) At the end of February, the contractors started laying the railway to serve the tunnels on the London Crossrail project by Paddington. The gauge looked to be approx 2ft, but needs confirming. On Tuesday the 13th March the TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) were unveiled and by this time the narrow gauge tracks serving the tunnels were all in place and concreted in. There was no sign of locos or rolling stock.
Due to the length of this project, this site could be in use for up to 18 months. Further photos of the operations and railway can be found on the London Connections website here.

(Posted 26.03.2012 Source: Paul Stanford)
AUSTRIA:  February 2012
Zillertalbahn (750mm) A breif visit to the Zillertalbahn confirmed aparent healthy levels of timber traffic on the line. On a visit on the morning of Wed 15 Feb revealed No.12 shunting 6 standard gauge timber bogie wagons on transporter wagons. Passed on the 11:13 Jenbach to Mayerhofen was one of the Bo Bo Gmeinder locos, with a further 6 loaded and 6 empty log wagons on narrow gauge transporter wagons. On Friday 17th February loco DL12 was shunting empty inward log carrying wagons with several other wagon types loaded on transporter wagons (a standard gauge 4 wheel box van and a 4 wheel open wagon). Locals report that upto 4 freight trains a day are operating.
(Posted 25.03.2012 Source: Paul Sanford)
ENGLAND:  March 2012
Post Office Railway (2ft) An underground visit was made to one of the old 'stations' on London's Post Office Railway. It was found that it is still managed on a care and maintenance basis, with at least one loco operational on an intermittent basis. It is used to check the tunnels. The electified lines are assumed not operational now so the motive power is by battery electric loco.

(Posted 26.03.2012 Source: Nick Hartnell via Paul Stanford)

GREECE:  January 2012
Skala Polichnitas Salt Pans, Lesbos (600mm) On the island of Lesbos, the extensive salt pans were found to be using a 600mm railway on a visit in October 2011. The railway was previously thought to be out of use. Locomotives appeared to be a mix of small Schöma and Diema locos that have been re-engined. 3 trains were in use when visited. The salt pans are flooded in the spring, and it then takes approx 6 months for the evaporation process to prepare the pans for harvesting the salt in the autumn.
(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: January IRS Bulletin)
FRANCE:  January 2012
Chemin de Fer de Provence (1000mm gauge) The southern end of this Fernch railway is being completely relaid. Work started on the 4th July 2011, and was not due to finish until the 23rd December. Of interest was the use of 2 L45H BoBo diesels origniating from the Hunedoara railway in Romania. The locos had been converted to metre gauge by the workshops at Criscior and hired out to the contractors for the work.
(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: Today's Railways)
SCOTLAND:  January 2012
Auchencorth Peat Moss (2ft gauge) On an IRS visit in October last year the party were advised that the operators, William Sinclair Horticulture, would be ceasing use of the 2ft gauge railway by the end of October 2011. A conveyor system was planned to replace the railway to transport the peat from the harvesting areas.
(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: January IRS bulletin)

CZECH REPUBLIC:  January 2012
Tremesná to Osoblaha (760mm) Some belated reports from last year. In May 2011, this railway was confirmed to be working normally, with the standard class T47 diesel locos. This is now the only narrow gauge railway operated by Czech Railways, Ceské dráhy. It has no freight service.
The railway is still in daily use, and three of the 4 T47 diesel locos are operational.
(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: Patrick Aulbach)
UKRAINE:  January 2012
Beregovo to Irshava (750mm) Visited in July last year, the report confirmed the continuing operation of the railway with 3 return trains per day. Although at one time the line had intensive frieght traffic this is now finished. The line has an allocation of 5 Tu2 locos, but currently only 2 of these are operational. At Vinogradiv, the line's southern terminus, the picture shows the locomotive competing with local market traders for space on the tracks as it runs round the train.

(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: Patrick Aulbach)
HUNGARY:  January 2012
Kiralyret Forestry Railway (760mm) Patrick paid a brief visit in July 2011 to this Hungarian Forestry line to see the latest railcar in service here. This vechicle was built in the Railway's own workshops at Paphagy in 2010. It appears to be very sympathetically designed for the railway, with a tasteful colour scheme and timber boarded side panels.

(Posted 28.01.2012 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

GERMANY:  January 2012
Klasmann Deilmann Peatworks, Adorf (600mm) One of the last 600mm gauge peat railways in the area has been closed down. A report and photos were highlighted on the 28th December 2011 with large amounts of track panels stacked in the yard with all track lifted. This works was situated on Alt-Hesepertwist street in Adorf. The photo below shows the unloading area of the railway on May 2010.

(Posted 14.01.2012 Source: Die Feldbahn website)
AUSTRIA:  January 2012
Fleghiem Lainz, Vienna (500mm gauge) As highlighted at the end of last year this care home was targeted for closure and with it the famous railway that delivered meals to all the wards. One reported date gives the 27th November as the last date of operation. On the 14th December there was some special operations arranged for the benefit of enthusuasts/photographers. Recent pictures now confirm that the food trolleys are now being delivered by drop tail lorry, presumably as a temporary measure until the whole site is cleared.
(Posted 14.01.12 Source: Various)
BULGARIA:  January 2012
Septemvri to Dobronishte (750mm gauge) BDZ (Bulgarian Railways) have revised a list of withdrawals that were previously announced. There are still a number of cut backs on several services and a minimum 9% increase in fares. However, the good news is that this narrow gauge line has been reprieved and will not now close. Just one return working per day is to be ceased. Although the line makes a loss of approx £3.5million per year it is acknowledged to provide a vauluable transport function to many remote communities.
(Posted 14.01.12 Source: Today's Railways)
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