Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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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


FRANCE:  September 2023

La Florentaise, Baupte.
(Gauge 1000mm) It has been reported that the only peat railway in France is to close. At Baupte, peat has been extracted for 75 years and is currently used for hortculture. The 1000mm gauge railway has been reported very infreqently over the years as access to the site has typically not been allowed. The consession to extract the peat finishes in December 2026.
Although a large part of the area is already flooded, the operating company, La Florentaise, manages the water levels to allow peat extraction. After extraction ceases the water levels will rise causing an estimated 400 additional hectares to be flooded. Between 35 to 40 farms will be affected.

A previous photo taken in 2016 by Martin Barnsdall with the new (2012) Schöma loco.
(Posted 29.09.2023 Source: and Sylvain Monédière)
IRELAND:  September 2023
Bord na Mona, Boora system. (Gauge 3ft) Following on from previous news of the Irish peat systems closing down, there is belated news from the Boora system that the Derrinlough Briquette Factory closed down at the beginning of June. After 60 years in production it was the last surviving factory operated by Bord na Mona to close. It was orignally timetabled to close in 2024, but this had been brought forward by a number of factors; maintenance costs, the quality of the remaining stockpiled peat, and the drive to reduce CO2 emissions.
This is the latest in a long line of sad short sighted policy decisions in the British Isles driven by the need to achieve CO2 emission targets which in this case has now led to foreign peat and briquettes being imported into Ireland. According to Growing Media Ireland (GMI, the industry body), a large shipment of peat recently completed a 3,000km journey to reach its Irish destination, compared with an average distance of about 10km when sourced from a Westmeath bog.

A photo taken from the top of the Derrinlough Briquette Factory in 2004.

(Posted 29.09.2023 Source:

GERMANY:  June 2023

A report from a number of railways operating in the Niedersachsen area of Germany when visited in May 2023. No major changes to loco allocations were observed, so individual lists of locos that have been well recorded elsewhere are not shown.

Holthaus and Fortmann Torfwerk, Lohne.
(Gauge 600mm) Railway working normally but when visited it had only made one trip to the moors that day, and no further peat was being tipped. The newest CHL-20G Schöma was in the shed and it looked as though linework was being carried out by a small Schöma No.2398 plus a larger unidentified Schöma.

The two locos at the works ready to take out the next train.

Torfwerk Haskamp, Lohne. (Gauge 600mm) This peatworks is still in operation but the railway was not in use on the day of the visit. The last train to arrive was parked up on the tipping dock. One of the previous regular line locos, Diema 2309/1960 was on a hardstanding behind the works. It was not clear if this was derelict or waiting repair.

The photo shows Diema 2309/1960 off the tracks at the back of the site.

Torfwerk Bokern and Riesselmann, Lohne. (Gauge: 600mm) The whole works was disused and had not worked this year at least. All the track, locos, and rolling stock were still present but in a very overgrown and derelict condition. 5 of the locos were in a line up at the back of the site, and Schöma No.3013 looked as though it had been the loco last used, still attached to the last train of peat wagons.

Schöma No.3013 with weeds growing up around it, stands in the yard as the last loco to work here.

GERMANY:  June 2023

Torfwerk Schwegermoor, bohmte
(Gauge 600mm) Railway working normally. Trains were working to Kalkrieser Moor where 2 further moor locos were helping with the shunting. A loaded train was waiting to leave on the Hinnencamp Moor loading point with 2 further moors locos but was not operating on the day of the visit. Another of the 3 elderly Schöma locos built in the 1940s was found in a disused siding on Dammer Moor.

Schöma 5163 now over 30 years old hauls a full train back, seen about a mile from the works.

Torfwerk Warmsen, Warmsen. (Gauge 600mm) The railway had not been used on the day of the visit but several rakes of full wagons waited for tipping, with 3 locos attached to the most recent train to come in. A total of 10 locos were seen on the site, although at least 4 were now derelict. A picturesque location, remisicent of many smaller works seen in the past with a number of elderly Diema locos still in use.

Three or four locos are often used to head up the peat trains as the locos here are mostly fairly small and low powered. The most recent train to arrive waits for the locos to detach to allow the wagons to be pushed through the tippler.

Torfwerk Uchte, Uchte. (Gauge: 600mm) Visited on a Sunday, but all the usual Schöma locos were parked outside the works alongside the public road with the long rakes of empty and full wagons and it was clear that these continued in regular use. A total of 7 of the relatively new Schöma CHL-20G locos were seen parked by the works.

Three of the typical CHL-20G locos seen outside the works alongside the public road.

GERMANY:  June 2023

Klasmann-Deilmann, Vehnemoor
(Gauge 900mm) This railway was working normally with the long trains hauled by the 3 recent Schöma locos as usual. No barges were seen being loaded on the Küsten Kanal during the visit but HGVs were arriving for loading. In the past barges typically arrived 2 days per week.

About half a mile from the canal, the trpple headed train heads out to the moors.

Torfwerk Meiners, Borstel. (Gauge 600mm) Although visiting here on a Sunday the large fan of exchange sidings were as busy as usual with all rails well used and just a single loco visible.

Just a single Diema loco (lok No.23, Diema 2591) being used as a shunter had been left outside, but all other locos were safely locked away in the new loco shed.

Rühlermoor oilfield, Twist
Exxonmobil (Gauge 900mm) Near to the right hand road crossing there is a depot on the south side of the moors, and it is here where the track maintenace trains and equipment transporter wagons are stored.

Lok 28, Schöma No.5377, awaits it's turn for duty in the equipment and permanent way compound.

GERMANY:  June 2023

Rühlermoor oilfield, Twist
Klasmann Deilmann (Gauge 900mm) Klasmann Deilmann were also operating two peat trains into Ruhlermoor with both the 4 wheel wagons from Schöninghsdorf and also the larger steel bogie wagons also being tipped at Schöninghsdorf, but at the end-tippler across the road from the main site. no trains wre observed going into the Gross Hesepe works.

Two of the new Schömas based at Schöninghsdorf haul back a loaded train through the oilfield. These locos have a full remote control capability which the drivers use when shunting the trains out of the harvesting area.

Rühlermoor oilfield, Twist
Exxonmobil (Gauge 900mm) It seemed to be a busy time at Ruhlerfeld with 3 of the rail mounted mobile drilling rigs in operation on the oil fields each having one of the smaller Schöma locos in attendance. Two of the larger new Schöma locos (Nos.30 and 31) were in use with the hot water tankers and other wagons.

No30, one of the 3 large Schömas based here.

Rühlermoor oilfield, Twist
Jan Kwade (Gauge: 900mm) One of the Jan Kwade Diema locos was seen working, but the other two Kwade Diema locos were stored off the tracks in their compound. So No.13 appeared to be the only one available for use at present.

No.13 shunting a personnel carrier back to the main depot for a management visit later in the day.

GERMANY:  June 2023

Torfwerk Edewecht, Edewecht.
(Gauge 900mm) On the day of the visit, nothing was running in the morning, but a Küsten Kanal barge arrived at lunchtime and in the afternoon was being loaded with peat directly from the tippler and 3 rakes of peat wagons were in constant use, with trains being exchanged on the moors for each journey back. Work ceased by about 15:30.

Locos No1 and 2 in charge of line work back to the tippler seen on the moors shortly after exchanging wagons.

Holthaus and Fortmann, Südmoselfehn. (Gauge 600mm) This works finished sometime before 2021 and a quick visit was made to see what remained. The processing and tipping building was still standing with tracks leading inside. Most of the cage wagons appeared still to be on site. Much of the trackwork around the building was in place buried in the undergrowth, but looked as though it had all been taken up on the moors.

The tracks were still in position entering the tippling shed on the left of the building. A large number of the cage type peat wagons were still here behind the camera.

Torfwerk Wübbeler, Goldenstedt. (Gauge: 600mm) The tracks from the old Wübbeler peat works alongside the road had now deteriorated to such an extent it was not possible for any trains to use them. Although this works had occasionally been in use for one month each year since ceasing full time operation, it was not likely to have been used in the last few years. No locos were seen on site now.

The railway entered the works just on the other side of the shed visible in the centre of the photo. The peat moors are behiind the camera, but at one time the railway cross over the road about 100 years up to access further havesting areas.

(Posted 01.06.2023 Source: Steve Thomason)

AUSTRIA:  January 2023
(Gauge: 760mm)

The current oil traffic delivered in tankers, shown here at Unzmarkt with VL13 in charge.

Some positive news from Austria regarding the freight traffic on the Murtalbahn. Over the last few years there had only been a small amount of freight traffic in the form of oil tankers from Unzmarkt to Murau. The latest report suggests that this is set to increase with the take on of beer transport from the brewery in Murau. This transport is scheduled to begin this year and so far five SSrm wagons have already been renewed (5 more are needed) for transporting the beer containers.
(Posted 19.01.2023 Source: Patrick Aulbach)

The wagons planned to take the new traffic for the Murau Brewery.

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© Steve Thomason 2023

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways