Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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NEWS (2022)
Updates on information regarding industrial and commercial narrow gauge railway operations around Europe.

This section contains updates on narrow gauge sites (industrial/commercial, not preserved) still operating, or news regarding closures confirmed from recent vists or in 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


AUSTRIA:  September 2022
Lokalbahn Mixnitz
(Gauge: 760mm)

The small 4W electric E2, shunting at Mixnitz

The railway was visited on the 9th September 2022. The BoBo loco E4 was observered in use for the mainline work and left Mixnitz with the first train at approx 06:00 and there was a total of three return trips made. Two of the trips were with the bagged Magansite and one train consisted of the covered open wagons. The unusual end tippler at Mixnitz is still in use for unloading the open wagons.
E1 was observed to be out of use at Mixnitz but E2 is still operational and was observed shunting the sidings at Mixnitz.
Considering that several years ago, there was barely just one trip a day being made just a couple of times per week, in 2022 to see three trips being made on one day is good news.
(Posted 09.10.2022 Source: C J Winkel via John Raby)

The larger BoBo eletric E4 heading back to Mixnitz with a train of loose Magnasite.

IRELAND:  July 2022
Bord na Mona
(Gauge: 3ft)

A general update across the various railways operated by Bord na Mona as all the sites gradually cease operations.

All BnM peat harvesting finished in June 2020. Despite that, there is still a fair bit of narrow gauge action though its days are numbered. The railways at Coolnamona, Kinnegad, Prosperous, Kilberry and Ummeras are all finished, though occasional fuel trains could run on a few of these to service the 're-wilding' machinery. The railways at Gilltown and Monettia will finish around September.

Above; LM416 briefly disturbs the rural peace en route from Derrylea to Edenderry.

However, the briquette factory at Derrinlough is still in full production and will run for at least another year. As its local peat reserves are exhausted, its trains are having to travel around 25 miles (via 7 level crossings and a swing bridge!!) to reach peat reserves and, on a typical day, 4 rakes (trains) set off at 7am and, with luck, will be home 10 or 11 hours later. En route, they will pass the last regularly working Hunslet Wagonmaster, engaged in tracklaying and tracklifting. In August, this loco is due to lay the last ever new BnM branch line, including a level crossing, to reach the untapped bog at Clonlyon Glebe. There are no plans to replace this Wagonmaster, even though many newer locos are available.

Above; A loaded rake soars over the river Brosna, near the end of its 50 mile, 11 hour round trip from the briquette factory.

Elsewhere, the peat/biomass power station at Edenderry is still in use and trains travel 20 miles or so to outlying bogs at Derrylea and Rathdrum. Derrylea will be exhausted during the autumn but Rathdrum could keep going till early 2023.
Other railway systems at Coolnagun and Mountdillon remain in use to bring in peat and load it onto lorries which transport it to a stockpile (for Edenderry) at Croghan or to the briquette factory. The surviving peat trains are almost all hauled by the fleet of 50 state-of-the-art diesels rebuilt 2017-2019.
A major track disposal depot has been set up at Ballydermot and disused track is brought in by rail for scrapping. As yet, very few locomotives have been sold off but sales are likely to be stepped up this year and next.

The last of the line, Wagonmaster LM319 with its ancient mess van.

(Posted 23.07.2022 Source: Ted McAvoy)

AUSTRIA:  August 2021
(Gauge: 760mm)

A belated report from August last year. As european visits have been few and far between over the last 18 months it is pleasing to see confirmation of the timber trains back in operation on the Zillertalbahn.

As previously reported, specially built wagons by Innofreight have been obtained for this purpose and are mounted on the original transporter wagons. Apparently timber can still be moved with the original standard gauge wagons on transporters, but the new wagons are normally used. There are reported to be 30 of these new wagons.

(Posted 02.01.2022 Source: Patrick Aulbach)
HUNGARY:  August 2021
Csömöder Forestry Railway
(Gauge: 760mm)

This railway was visited in August 2021 and found to be operating to expected levels. The timber trains were working to the branches of Lenti and Kistolmacs. The line to kistolmacs has seen further new investment and the line has been extended 1 kilometer to terminate alongside the lake for the passenger trains.

(Posted 02.01.2022 Source: Patrick Aulbach)
HUNGARY:  August 2021
Balaton Kisvasut
(Gauge: 760mm)

The narrow gauge railway centred at Balatonfenyves was noted to be still in operation last August.

The trains were reported to be very busy with alternating trains to Csisztafürdö and Somogyszentpál with up to 10 trains per day. One of the MK48 locos was in charge when visited. Previously the destination stations of this railway (including Taska) were very low profile and modest, but recent investment has seen new platfroms built, and track renewals completed.

(Posted 02.01.2022 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

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© Steve Thomason 2022

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways