Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2016
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 ensure a broad cross section of railways and countries are featured. Click on the thumbnail pictures to see a larger picture.

The most recent reports will be at the top

Terres Rouge

AUSTRIA:  August 2016

(Gauge 760mm) On The 7th July the Murtalbahn was affected by flooding, an issue which has impacted many of the Austrian ng lines over the years. The section between Unzmarkt and Murau was affected which is where it runs close to the banks of the river Mur. A replacement bus service was established and fortunately by the 16th July the service was reinstated so the damage was not serious. There was also minor impact due to further storms on the 26th July.
(Posted 27.08.2016 Source: 760net)
FRANCE:  August 2016
La Florentaise, Baupte
(Gauge 1000mm) A visit to the peat works at Baupte in northern France found the seasonal peatworks still in operation. From a distance the new Schöma loco was seen to be in use. The full peat wagons were being unloaded in the yard by an exacavator.

The new Schöma loco in the yard at Baupte.

ISOMAT, St Vaast de la Hougue, Normandy
(Gauge possibly 600mm) The firm of ISOMAT, who fabricate sails and booms for sailing ships have a narrow gauge railway running parallel to their buildings with a couple of points with track leading into their workshops. There also seems to be at least one length of unconnected track leading out of another workshop. No wagons or locos were seen, but if still in use, it is likey to be a hand worked line.

(Posted 27.08.2016 Source: Martin Barnsdall)

HUNGARY:  June 2016
Csömödér Forestry Railway
(Gauge 760mm) A visit to Hungary in May this year found this system still in operation for timber transport with trains observed on several branches including Bucsuta (Bankürtös Branch) and Szentpeterfölde. Timber trains also now run between the two sawmills at Lenti and Csömödér. The timber from the trains is processed in the mills or transhipped to the standard gauge at Csömöder. The first few kilometres of the Lenti Branch to Szilvagy are under reconstruction to take heavier Rolling stock, which will also allow the steam loco to run on this part of the line in future.

On of the railway's many C50 locos in charge of a heavy train of logs on the way back to the sawmill in May 2016.

MAV Balatonfenyves
(Gauge 900mm) The MK48 loco was found to be working trains here, instead of the usual C50 locos.

The timetable has always been focused on provding a service to the local villages and the first train still runs at 05:30 in the morning. The status of this line has sometimes been precarious and has been cut back in recent years, but track maintenance was in progress during the visit, which may suggest the line is thought to have a reasonable future.

Gemenc Forestry Railway
(Gauge 760mm) A visit to Gemenc found evidence that timber trains were still in operation. Previously the timber siding alongside the standard gauge siding had appeared to be out of use, but although no such trains were running on the day of the visit, trains had been in operation recently. Passenger trains were also running daily to take visitors into the national park.

The timber siding at Gemenc.

(Posted 12.07.2016 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

GERMANY:  May 2016
Torfwerk Edewecht, Vehnemoor
(Gauge 900mm) Still in operation, but not on the day of the visit and no barges arrived for loading. The newest loco here is the CHL-40G which was at the works with two other Schöma locos. There was a full rake of wagons, but no unloading was taking place. The line to the moors used to leave due south, but this has been taken up, and residential gardens have extended onto the old trackbed. The line now runs eastwards paralleling the main road for the first kilometre.
The photo shows loco 21, an elderly Schöma on track laying duties out on the moors.

Klasmann-Deilmann, Vehnemoor
(Gauge 900mm) the site was working normally. At the canalside both end tipplers were in constant use, with the output going directly into articulated lorries. The barges on the Küsten Kanal are still loaded directly from the tippler here, but this does not now happen every day, usually a couple of times per week. The branch which forks off to the west after about a kilometre is not currently in use. The concession at Vehnemoor allows for operations to continue harvesting peat until 2023.

The photo shows a self-propelled track laying machine arriving off the moors.

Trains here are now hauled by 3 new Schöma locos triple heading rakes of 4 wheeled wagons. The additional loco has allowed the length of the trains to be increased from 24 to 36 wagons. A winch has been constructed on a set of Schöma frames and is used to slowly pull the long sets of wagons past the excavator by remote control, to allow single person operation when loading on the moors.

The three CHL-40G Schöma locos pull away from the sidings to take another train out to the moors.

GERMANY:  May 2016
Klasmann-Deilmann, Küsten Kanal West
(Gauge 900mm) Running west to east along the north bank of the canal, this works was the second narrow gauge railway site along the stretch from Bockhorst to Sedelsberg. The railway had closed a number of years ago and now all is left is the hardstanding where the lorries used to turn in for loading. All the rest of the site has been landscaped and no trace of the railway now exists.

The photo shows the landscaped site which will now quickly return to nature.

Torfwerk Weener, Küsten Kanal
(Gauge 600mm) This site was the first site on the north of the canal between Bockhorst to Sedelsberg. The area has still not been completely cleared, with a number of buildings still present in the original yard of the railway. All track had been taken up several years ago.

Grientdtsveen, Küsten Kanal
(Gauge 900mm) Apart from the Klasmann Sedelsberg tipping point, this peatworks is now the only other peatworks in operation on the canal between Bockhorst to Sedelsberg. It was confirmed in use when passing, with loading operations into articulated lorries taking place.

Sandbahn, Surwold
(Gauge 750mm) Although this site was visited on a Sunday, the roadside railway was confirmed as still operational with the heavy profile rail well used and the train visible in the tipping shed.

Torfwerk Hülskamp, Hülsberg
(Gauge 600mm)The railway and the small Diemas had not been used here for many years and now the site has been cleared and turned over to a milled peat operation. All evidence of the railway operations has been removed.

The photo shows the hardstanding where the tippler and elevator used to be.

GERMANY:  May 2016
Exxon Mobil and Jan Kwade, Rühlermoor
(Gauge 900mm) The restricted area of Ruhlermoor to the north and south of the road from Rühlertwist to Rühlerfeld still continues to be operated by Klasmann-Deilmann and the oil and gas companies. There are over 100 oil well heads with each one pumped by a nodding donkey. Every one of these has a siding off the main line to allow rail mounted vehicles access right up to the well head.

The photo above shows 2 of the Jan Kwade operated Diema locos. THe third was in use out on the moor.

there is a network of lightly laid roads across the moors which are not usually accesible by the public (apart from a cycleway route). No heavy road vehicles are allowed on the roads because of the unstable nature of the surface, so everything is moved by rail. Every day from early morning, at least 6 locos can be in use by Exxon Mobil and Jan Kwade around the site.

No.30, a Schöma CHL-60G is the largest type of loco on the site, seen here with 2 of the hot water tank wagons.

Many of the small peat fields in between the lines of oil wells are harvested by Klasmann-Deilmann, and during the visit both the Gross Hesepe and the Schöninghdorf peat trains were operating inside this area.

Loco 31 is a newer sister loco to No.30, seen here transporting some support vehicles back to the Exxon Mobil yard after a day's work.

No.25 is a CHL-30G seen in charge of a track laying train for the moors. With the length of running line, the amount of pointwork, and the heavy use the network gets on a daily basis, track maintenance is a full time activity.

When visited over a couple of days, all work appeared to cease each day by 15:00, and so a lot of the locos return to the compounds around this time, easily observed via a number of road crossings in the area. On Fridays, the closing time seemed to be around lunchtime.

Schöma No.32 in the above photo, was the newest loco seen on the site and as with most of the new Schöma locos is able to remotely controlled by the driver. It is seen transporting spare oil pipes which are transported between pairs of bogies. The pipes are loaded and unloaded in the Exxon Mobil compound then taken to the required oil well.

No.27 is another CHL-30G loco, captured at a well head with a drilling rig and support vehicles, all rail mounted.

GERMANY:  May 2016
Klasmann-Deilmann, Sedelsberg
(Gauge 600mm) The site was working normally with both the new and old tipping sheds still continuing in operation, so both entrances to the works were in use, but most traffic goes via the new tipplers to the back of the site. There was only one operational loco in the loco shed (Schöma running number 6947). The 2 road workshops were busy but apart from a single wagon, there was no railway equipment under repair at the time of the visit. There is a small servicing area a couple of kilometres out on the moors where 5 locos were parked.

In the original tipping shed, a Schöma rests between shunting wagons onto the tipplers.

At the far end of the railway, the unloading point at the Küsten Kanal was working normally. There is also now a siding here used for loading peat into wagons which has been delivered by lorry from elsewhere. This is then taken back to Sedelsberg for tipping and processing.

The photo shows an undentified Schoma loco leaving for the moors a short distance from the works.

Torfwerk Koch, Ramsloh
(Gauge 600mm)Even if the south west line to the moors is only in use now for tourist traffic, the unloading facility a few hundred metres down the road appears to be as busy as ever with at least 2 trains in use.
Schömas numbered 31 and 22 wait under the trees with full trains for unloading.

GERMANY:  May 2016
Torfwerk Brinkmann, Scharrel
(Gauge 600mm) Railway working normally. Peat was being delivered to both the older peat mill, and the new site built around the old brickworks.
The above photo shows the Diema No.10 in charge of a train of empties passing the road crossing about a kilometre from the works.

Klasmann-Deilmann Werk Schöningshdorf
(Gauge 900mm) Works in normal operation with the tipplers continuously emptying the 4 wheel wagons serving a steady stream of articulated lorries. The trains were double headed and were being loaded at Rühlermoor. The branch that goes south, running parallel to the road towards Rühlertwist, is currently disused and it was not clear if this was permanent.

Schoma locos class CHL-40G with running numbers 6317 and 6318 cross the main Schöningshdorf road approximately a kilometre from the works.

The unloading facility a couple of kilometers from the works, on the otherside of the canal bridge, was not in use on the day of the visit but does continue to see regular traffic.

The tipplers at Schöningshdorf are simple hydraulic end tipplers unloading 2 wagons at a time.

GERMANY:  May 2016
Klasmann-Deilmann, Werk Gross Hesepe
(Gauge 900mm) The works was in normal operation with double headed trains arriving every couple of hours, consisting of a mix of new and older end opening bogie wagons which were being loaded at Rühlermoor at the time of the visit. These are tipped using a cable worked end tippler. There is a three road workshop on site and all loco maintenance for the network is carried out here.

One of the Diema locos shunting a train of bogie wagons onto the moors for loading.

Although it has been reported that all operations in Dalumer Moor had finished, the tippler at Dalum which is the unloading point to the south of the network (next to junction 23 of the motorway), was still in regular use. It was loading large articulated lorries directly from the tippler and elevator.

The photo above shows a rake of bogie wagons being emptied at the back of Gross Hesepe works.

Humuswerk Wietmarschen, Füchtenfeld
(Gauge 600mm) A brief visit here confirmed that all the railway had recently been taken up. Large amounts of rail was piled up, and all of the wagons were stacked in the yard. A person at the works advised that the locos had left the site about a couple of months ago, although it was not confirmed where they had moved to.
The photo shows the main yard, now the only track present because it had been embedded in concrete.

FRANCE:  January 2016
La Florentaise, Baupte
(Gauge 1000mm) A recent report confirms that the peat railway at Baupte is still in operation (assumed still to be just during the summer months). Historically, access to this site has been difficult, so a good quality picture of No.1 seen here, is well received. The loco is reported to be built by LLD (Locotracteur et Locomotives Diesel) sometime between 1948 and 1954. It has now been sold to the Bon Repos Railway in Britanny and has now moved to this new location. This was made possible because the railway at Baupte purchased a new Schöma loco in 2012. The site has changed ownership recenty from 'Degusssa' to 'La Florentaise'.

(Posted 13.02.2016 Source: Christian Labetoulle)
RUSSIA:  January 2016
Various Railways
(Gauge 750mm) An update on some fascinating Russian narrow gauge lines that transport peat, timber, and sand have been highlighted to us. Although just outside of the usual 'European' scope of this website, they are worth including here it is felt that others may find these of interest. Agreement was obtained to publish a couple of pictures here.

The photo above is of the Pishchalskoye Peat Railway and further details can be found here; Pishchalskoye Peat Railway
The railway is 750mm gauge and and has an operational length of 35km.

This photo is of the Alapayevsk Railway which was reported to be 600km in length at it's height. Today it is still reported to be 250km long. The recent photo confirms that timber continues to be transported, and both these featured railways run passenger services as well. The details can be found at; Alapayevsk Narrow Gauge Railway.
Some other ineresting railways are linked here with basic facts on the railways, track plans, and sample photos;
Decor-1 factory railway.

Loyginskaya narrow gauge railway.

Kobrinskaya narrow gauge railway.

(Posted 13.02.2016 Source: Yaroslav)

One of the new class M27 railcars pictured in summer 2015.

JHMD, Jindrichuv Hradec
(Gauge 760mm) Although not exactly up to the minute news, in 2014 the JHMD had commited further investment in passenger services resulting in 4 new railcars which were delivered at the end of 2014. 4 of the Polish Romanian built railcars (MBxd2) have been rebuilt with a body shell resulting in a very striking appearance giving rise to the nick name of 'Nautilus'. These have been designated class M27 and have completed the first full year of operation in 2015. Previously passenger services were operated by one of the BoBo diesels and often just a single coach.
(Posted 17.01.2016 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

The round porthole windows have given rise to the 'Nautlius' nickname which is not helped by the current livery.

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© Steve Thomason 2016

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways