Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS 2017
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

GERMANY:  October 2017
Humuswerk Gnarrenburg, Gnarrenburg
(Gauge 600mm) In October a visit was made to this peatworks which confirmed the main works was in operation. Trains leave the works and run alongside a drain before going over a bridge and crossing the main road. Next to the works the sidings held a number of older locos from now closed railways such as at Hagen. Locos No.13 and 14, the large older Diema locos were in use on line work, while one of the new Schöma locos was moving the wagons in and out of the tipper.

At the other end of the Gnarrenburg line, the unloading site at Huvenhoopsmoor had been disconnected from the main site in the last couple of years and was not in use when visited. However not all the tracks had been taken up and there is still potential for work to continue. The workers confirmed that it was due to be reopened next spring and start bringing in peat once again.

Diema No.17 (above) was standing by the tippler with at least one of the newer Schöma locos still in the shed.

Humuswerk Wolfsbruchermoor
(Gauge 600mm) This works was found to be in operation. Diema 2655 (previously used at Torfwerk Ainring) was in use on line work. The site does not stockpile any peat and loads directly into road transport, so can have extended periods without any rail movement while waiting for HGVs to arrive.

Diema 2655 taking a train of empties out to the moors.

Torfwerk Himmelmoor, Quickborn
(Gauge 600mm) This site was not operating on the day of the visit, but confirmation was given that work would be resuming in about 10 days time.

Humuswerk Aschhorn, Drochtersen
(Gauge 600mm) This large peatworks appeared to be in daily operation when visited.

Locos 13 (above), Diema 5240(assumed), and 14 Schöma 5520(assumed), were in use on line work, with a number of other locos parked around the works.

(All above Germany reports Posted 12.11.2017 Source: David Fletcher)
FRANCE  October 2017
Briqueterie Chimot, Marly
(Gauge: 600mm) This historic brickworks at Marly had exhausted the supply of clay at the current claypit and needed to move the 600mm gauge tracks to another site to serve a new source of clay. In September there had been an appeal to identify any sources of extra track required, but in the end after surveying the new route it was decided that it was not possible to use the railway to extract and transport the clay. So going forward, the transport of clay from the pit will be by road tractor. The 600mm line is still to be used, but not as frequently, running from the clay stockpile at the works to feed the brickmaking machines at the end of the drying sheds. The operation of the 500mm gauge line around the kilns to the drying sheds continues, and is unaffected.

In July 2004, a view at the claypit with the Plymouth loco was at the claypit loading several skips from the bucket and chain excavator.

(Posted 12.11.2017 Source: various)

GERMANY:  June 2017

A report from a number of railways operating in the Niedersachsen area of Germany when visited in May 2017.

Torfwerk Meiners, Lichtenmoor
(Gauge 600mm) The works yard on the main road was very quiet with just a single small Diema present. Checking the loading facility on the edge of the moors, there were several rakes of full wagons waiting unloading, with a couple of locos used for shunting. However, there were no lorries expected for the next day or so. The rail mounted elevator had not seen use for several years so the stockpiling of peat does not take place any more. Peat is tipped directly by the tippler/ elevator into waiting lorries. The overall Level of activity was confirmed by the staff here to be very low.
The photo shows the tippler on the edge of the moors with Diema 1640/1954 (assumed) used for shunting.

Euflor, Lichtenmoor (Gauge 600mm) This works was operating normally. The new Schöma performing the line work as usual. The traditional timber wagons are in use here and several of the elderly (1940s) Schöma locos were still in use shunting at the works and out on the moors.

The photo shows Schöma 5911/2004 (assumed) arriving at the yard with a train of 11 wagons for unloading.

Torfwerk Neustadt, Schneeren (Gauge: 600mm) Working normally with one train in use. As with Torfwerk Meiners above, all the locos are Diema. 8 locos were seen on site with possibly more out on the moors, but Diema 2636 was off the tracks in the yard. Trains are usually double or triple headed.

Coming out from the pine trees about halfway to the moors.

GERMANY:  May 2017
Torfwerk Wübbeler, Goldenstedt
(Gauge 600mm) No sign of any locos here now (unless locked up in the old tipping shed), previously they were stored outside. The line of peat wagons were still in the yard on the tracks under the trees, but no signs that the railway had worked this year at all. There was still some peat left in the stockpile on site. The line alongside the road that had been relaid a few years ago was now getting to be in a poor condition once again.
(Above) The line laid into the road just before the turning into the yard on the left. The line straight on does not now go anywhere. Previously it turned right over the road to the moors.

Torfwerk Böske, Goldenstedt
(Gauge 600mm) The works was not visited but when driving past the firm appeared to be working normally.
Wichmann and Tabeling, Telbrake
(Gauge 600mm) A passing visit confirmed that this works appears to be in normal operation, with the line out to the moor well used.
Sandbahn, Surwold
(Gauge 750mm) Passed on a Sunday but the Schöma and wagons were in the unloading shed as normal and rails to the Sandpit were well used so the line looked to be in use.

Erdenwerk Wietingshausen
(Gauge: 600mm) The small Schöma was seem at the head of the train of peat wagons in front of the tippler. However, the tracks leading away from the tippler were completely disused and parially buried in the mud. The railway may not have worked for many months. The tracks were still mostly in place out on the moors, but very rusty. The road crossing to the south side of the road had been taken up and the road had been tarmaced over so there was no trace of the railway on this side of the road, although the original mill building for the old Wuthenau works was still standing.

The picture shows the line of peat wagons going into the back of the tipping shed at Wietingshausen.

GERMANY:  May 2017
Gross Heseper, Klasmann-Deilmann
(Gauge 900mm) Major building work continues at the Gross Heseper site to expand the office space for the firm. No trains were noted into or from the tippler over a period of several days, although the tracks into the works had recently been used. The route across Heseper Moor to Dalum was still in place but now very rusty and overgrown. At Dalum itself the rails had only been removed from the area around the tippler but were still present on the moors.
The photo shows the entrance to Dalum unloading point with the tracks now removed to this point. At one time it branched off into the trees centre left for the tippler, far left in front of the tree line to access older workings, and off to the right for further parts of the moor. The whole area is now part of an integrated nature reserve for Dalumer Moor.

Torfwerk Haskamp, Lohne
(Gauge 600mm) Stopping briefly at the works, it all appeared to be working normally with full wagons waiting loading and the the 2 large orange Diemas coupled together for line work.

The photo above shows Diema 2103 outside the tippler and mill building at Torfwerk Haskamp.

Holthaus and Fortmann, Lohne
(Gauge: 600mm)Checking the yard at the weekend 5 of the small moor locos were parked up in the new loco shelter, and everything appeared to be operating normally with the line to the moor well used.

The Schöma (786/1947 assumed) converted to electric cable working was still in use hauling the wagons through the tippler.

GERMANY:  May 2017
Bokern and Reisselmann, Lohne
(Gauge 600mm) 3 locos were laid up on a siding at the back of the works that had not been used for many months. The line out to the moors had also not been used for possibly a couple of weeks or more, but 2 locos were in the yard with full wagons and there may have been recent activity possibly loading from the stockpile in the yard, pushing the wagons through the tippler for unloading.
The photo shows the small Schöma (2658/1963) used for shnting at the works at the head of a rake of empty wagons.

Torfwerk Zübragel, Vechta (Gauge 600mm)There had been no change here for a couple of years with the railway still in place although mostly now buried, and the lines of disused peat wagons still at the works. The locos were disposed of a long time ago.

The lines of peat wagons at the works which is still in production using road vehicles.

Gramoflor, Vechta Gauge: 600mm) The only trace of the previous railway here was the track embedded in the road next to the Zübragel yard.

Leading from the pointwork also previously going to the Zübragel works, these rails used to enter the reception sidings at Gramoflor.

GERMANY:  May 2017
Rühlermoor, Exxol Mobil
(Gauge 900mm) Operations here were as expected with both the oil maintenance trains and peat trains busy across the network. One of the rail mounted drilling rigs was in use with a number of the hot water tankers seen throught the day. Other rail traffic included track maintenance trains and flat wagons transporting large excavators. Typically the roads across the moors have a 5tonne limit, so everything has to be transported by rail. All operations usually start from 07:00 onwards and finish about 15:30 and earlier on Fridays.
Two of the large new Schöma locos (No.31 and No.30 behind) travelling along the internal railway at Rühlermoor.

Rühlermoor, Klasmann-Dielmann
(Gauge 900mm) Two loading areas using trains from Klasmann at Schöninghsdorf were in use. No trains using the large bogie wagons were observed from the Gross Heseper works. all trains were double headed, with 3 locos in use on some trains to help shunt the full trains out of the harvesting areas. The last peat trains here are usually about 15:00.
A normal double headed train from Schöninghsdorf shunting empty peat wagons in Rühlermoor, with the track gang relaying track behind in the distance.

Torfwerk Brinkmann, Scharrel
(Gauge: 600mm) There has been further expansion at the site of the old brickworks. The tracks have now been laid round next to the road from the new tipping area so trains can be shunted round the loop and out around the back of the works. Peat trains did not appear to be using the original peat mill over the road, which appears to be for maintenance of rolling stock and locos. Rakes of skips are still present in the yard but there were no signs that the clay pit was being reopened. Tracks were still present to the clay pit branch but very heavily overgrown.

The Schöma 846/1944 (assumed) used for shunting, at the hedshunt in the yard at Brinkmann.

GERMANY:  May 2017
Torfwerk Schwegermoor
(Gauge 600mm) Working normally with two trains in operation. Loading was taking place from both Kalkriese and Hinnencamp areas with the tracked hopper/loaders. The elderly Schömas from the 1940s were still being used on the moors to assist with loading. Inside the works there is just a run round at the tippler now and no other tracks. Locos and stock requiring repair/overhaul are moved to the workshops with forklift.
(Above) The Schöma 5163/1990 (assumed) arriving at the tippler at Schwegermoor with a full load of peat.

ASB Grunland, Neustadt
(Gauge 900mm) Only checked on a Sunday but all tracks appeared to be well used and a full train of wagons were waiting to be taken back to the works. The road crossing to the south side of the road was also back in use with newer harvesting areas to the south opened up a short distance from the road crossing.

Torfwerk Meiners, Borstel
(Gauge 600mm) (600mm Gauge) Seen after hours although the site appeared to be working normally. Additional peat was also in the process being taken from the stockpiles halfway up the line and being taken for tipping in the works.

(Above) One of the tiny DL6 Diema locos used for shunting on the moors.

Torfwerk Uchte
(Gauge: 600mm) Everything working normally. Visited after clsoing time but the usual large number of wagons and Schöma locos parked up next to the road clearly indicated everything was operating normally here.

The reception sidings in front of the main peat mill at Uchte.

Moorkultur Koch, Ramsloh
(Gauge 600mm) Appeared to be operating normally with two trains in use.
(Above) The Schöma 834/1944 (assumed) at the reception sidings on the edge of the moors at Moorkultur Koch.

Union Torfwerk, Scharrel (Gauge 600mm) A brief visit confirmed the site was operating normally. with the merging of the firm with Moorkultur Koch, most of the locos here appeared to be labelled as belonging to Torfwerk Koch.

(Above) Line of three locos parked up at Union Torfwerk.

Klasmann, Vehnermoor
Gauge: 900mm A passing visit confirmed this site was working normally. A barge was tied up waiting loading on the KüstenKanal. This is one of only 2 sites that load into barges from the narrow gauge which happens only a couple of times per week now.

Torfwerk Edewecht
(Gauge: 900mm) Seen outside of normal working hours but the railway appeared to be in normal operation with 7 locos around the works yard and all tracks to the moors well used.

Locos numbered 2, 6, and 1 plus the new Schoma 6116/2006, parked up at the yard waiting the next turn of duty at Edewecht.

ESTONIA:  April 2017
A couple of belated reports from Peter who visited a few industrial locations around the Baltic States in September last year.
Tootsi Peat Works
(Gauge 750mm)

(Above) One of the 4w overhead eletric locos by the tippler that were just used for shunting at Tootsi.
The peat works here closed in approx 2011. However a lot of the infrastructure is still in place. This may be partly due to some local inteest to create a museum on the site but nothing seems to have happened yet. A tourist train was being operated from here for a short time but also finished around 2011.
The buildings, loco shed, the large rotary tippler, wagons, and even one of the unusual overhead electric shunting locos, are still present.

The impressive main building at the Toosti peatworks is still standing. The railway and tipper are behind the trees on the left of the photo.
LITHUANIA  April 2017
Ezerelis Peat Works
(Gauge 750mm)
The picture below confirms the well used running line with the standard bogie wagons behind.

Ezerelis Peat Works was visited but no trains were found running. However, the tracks were were well used and all the site still appeared to be operational. The running line ran east a short way from the loco shed area and then headed south onto the moss where the loading operations take place.
The lines that head out to the east seemed to have been abandoned some time ago judging from the accumulated vegetation. A couple of locos could be seen at the shed, one green, one blue, presumed to be type TU6. Outside the shed compound was an ESU2 or SEP2 loco (?) OOU up a siding. There were also a number of the typical bogie wagons and a snowplough present.

(Above) A photo of one of the TU6A locos (number 2501) taken in 2005 outside the shed.

(Posted 23.04.2017 Source: Peter Hall)

GERMANY:  February 2017
Klasmann, Dalumer Moor

(Gauge 900mm) Confirmation has been recevied that the branch of the extensive Klasmann 900mm network to Dalumer Moor has been closed and track lifting has already been in progress.

The photograph on the left was taken on 5th January 2017. All the tippler and elevator and associated equipment has been removed and the area already landscaped. This now means that the branch all the way north to Georg-Klasmann Strasse will eventually be taken up right through to and including the main road crossing joining the main line. The area around the Dalumer unloading point had already become a nature reserve, but when seen in May 2016, 3 months before closure, trains were still being unloaded on a daily basis.

This photo was taken on the 21st May 2016. The last train finally ran from here in August 2016.
(Posted 04.02.2017 Source: Bart Donker)

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© Steve Thomason 2017

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways