Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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DVD Running Time: 60 minutes

This is the first of 5 Narrow Gauge at work videos dedicated to the 'feldbahn' railways of Germany. Each video covers an area; North, West, Central, South, and East, and the series covers a total of 40 to 50 industrial narrow gauge railways still operating since 1997, and in many cases still running into the year 2000.

This video focusing on the central region of Germany, mostly covers railways bounded by the triangle of Osnabruck, Bremen, and Hannover, as there is very little narrow gauge activity south of this region now. The footage was taken in 1997, and 1999. There is also a small amount of non digital footage from 1995, and 1996 included.

In this video most of the locomotives seen are from the firms of Diema and Schöma, and cover mostly peat lines, with a couple of exceptions. Working footage of the following is seen; Torfwek Drebber, Torfwerk Wübbeler, Torfwerk Haspkamp Lohne, Torf und Humus werk Uchte, Torfwerk Zubrägel, Torfwerk Gramann, Freistatt Torfwerk, Erdenwerk Wietinghausen, Dachziegelwerk Meyer-Holsen, plus several other locations.

Please see below for stills from the production

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A loaded train gently meanders its way through the woods to the tipping shed at Torfwerk Wübbeler. Plenty of sanding is necessary.

Rounding the final curve into the yard at Torfwerk Haskamp at Lohne.


The yard shunter at Torfwerk Drebber is a 1953 Schöma loco. The line loco is a smaller Diema loco seen on the right.

The sole loco on the railway at Meyer-Holsen Tileworks is a 1957 Diema, one of the few railways not associated with the peat industry in this area (Date: 1997).


A large Schöma loco, plus another four locos (one behind) is required to haul a huge train off the moors at Uchte. The firm operating here is now called Torf Und Humuswek Uchte, although it has seen several changes in the last few years (Date: 1999).

The railway at Freistatt Torfwerk still exists, but only now for tourist trains. One of the line's old Schöma locos is seen shunting wagons into the tippler a few years ago (date: 1995).


At Vechta, one the Diema locos of Torfwerk Anton Gramann is pictured crossing the road next to the works (Date: 1997).

sharing the same railway as Anton Gramann above, Torfwerk Zubrägel use an elderly Schöma for the line work. Seen here just coming off the moors with a loaded train (Date: 1997).


The frequent driving postion for the driver is walking in front of the loco and sanding the rails (Date: 1997).

One of three or four small Schöma locos at Erdenwerk Wietinghausen, nearing the works with a loaded train (Date: 1997).


Back at the outskirts of Uchte, a loaded train passes under the town bypass, and is about to pass in front of a line of houses before crossing another road into the peatworks (Date: 1995).

By 1999 at the same location, there is no trace that a railway ever existed. All the tracks removed and the road surfaces repaired.


Steve Thomason 2013

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways