The International Steam Pages


Steam in Europe 2017

Europe

Albania
(21st Jun 08)

Armenia
(1st Sep 08)

Austria
(10th Feb 15)

Azerbaijan
(18th May 10)

Azores
(3rd Oct 14)

Belarus
(30th Nov 08)

Bosnia
(27th Jun 16)

Bulgaria
(26th May 15)

Croatia
(27th May 15)

Cyprus
(8th Sep 15)

Czech Republic
(10th Feb 15)

Estonia
(17th Dec 10)

Finland
(13th Oct 15)

Georgia
(8th Oct 05)

Germany
(1st Dec 08)

Hungary
(27th Dec 08)

Iceland
(22nd Mar 16)

Italy
(20th Jun 15)

Kosovo
(28th Sep 13)

Latvia
(25th Jul 09)

Lithuania
(26th Sep 09)

Macedonia
(14th Nov 08)

Moldova
(24th May 07)

Montenegro
(4th Oct 08)

Norway
(15th Dec 10)

Poland
(16th Aug 16)

Portugal
(14th Mar 09)

Romania
(12th Oct 15)

Russia
(22nd Jan 17)

Serbia
(30th Aug 10)

Slovakia
(1st Apr 15)

Slovenia
(25th May 15)

Spain
(20th Jan 16)

Sweden
(3rd Jun 15)

Switzerland
(22nd Dec 10)

Turkey
(21st May 16)

Ukraine
(29th Nov 15)

Plandampf
(10th Jan 09)

Fireless Locos
(1st Feb 17)

Railway Cranes
(4th Jan 17)

 

Many countries here are also covered elsewhere on this site. In particular. there is information on narrow gauge railways in Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom as well as some of the countries above.

This site has never aimed to cover heritage/preserved steam in (Western) Europe. For information on these I recommend:

Fabrice Lanoue produces a regular XLS (Excel) Spreadsheet of forthcoming steam events in Europe. I do not want to put his address here, but if you would like to be added to his list, then please email me at the address at the bottom of this page and I will forward your email to him (added 15th July 2010). 

For a site with an amazing site with a huge number of images check out RailfanEurope - http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix_frameset.html. Several links to folders in this site have been added to this page (24th May 2007).

Another site well worth visiting is Enthusiast's Guide to Travelling the Railways of Europe - http://egtre.info/wiki/Main_Page.


Albania Index

It always seemed likely that derelict steam locomotives survive in the country, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/al/steam/pix.html. I am pleased to say we now have confirmation at first hand coming from James Waite (21st June 2008).

Armenia Index

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Mark Enderby reports on two (inactive) steam survivors in Yerevan (1st September 2008). 

Earlier Tim Littler of GW Travel reported in late 2002: "Very poor country and railways in dire state with virtually no traffic. Yerevan has only four local trains per day plus a train to Tbilisi every other day. There was one L class on Yerevan depot that had been partially restored but work stopped when the restorer died. The steam reserve at Masis was mostly cut up. The steam reserve at Gyumri has gone except for several locos (steam and diesel) trapped in the old depot that had been destroyed during the 1988 earthquake."

Austria Index

Information on preserved steam on the narrow gauge is available elsewhere on this site.

The last active working steam locomotive in the country is an 0-6-0F at Ulmerfeld-Hausmening (10th February 2015).

Azerbaijan Index

John Dodds reports (21st June 2008): "I've found two 0-10-0 tender locos just outside Sumgait on the road going north and three and a half loco 2-10-0 tender type at the back of the main station in Baku. Its dangerous to search too hard for anything around the railways because they are still considered by the authorities as a strategic part of the defences!!! I have been arrested twice, once for attempting to take a photo of the 2-10-0s and the second time I was arrested was for taking a photo of a door with a Moorish arch at the main railway station . So be careful!". (This being part of the former Soviet Union, I assume the 0-10-0s are from the ubiquitous E/Em/Er class or similar and the 2-10-0s most likely L class. RD)

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Harvey Smith has spent some time here in 2010 and has sent me some pictures and information about what he has found including the (former) Baku Children's Railway (18th May 2010).

Earlier Tim Littler reported after a visit in late 2002: "Very efficient and well run railway, only steam noted at Balandry depot on the outskirts of Baku where there were several intact L's and Er's and the remains of many more. The management had indicated that their reserve of approx 100 locos was being cut up."

Azores Index

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James Waite alerted me to two reports which confirm the continued existence of two broad (7ft 01/4in) gauge steam locomotives at Ponta Delgada in the Azores - see that from Chris Brady from some time back http://chrisbrady.itgo.com/azores/broad.htm and that of a June 2008 visit by Colin Churcher http://www.railways.incanada.net/Azores/Azores.html, the latter has links to pages describing other relics (16th October 2008). James has now been to Ponta Delgada and has sent a fascinating first hand report which includes a lot of historical background on broad gauge harbour railways (updated 3rd Ocotber 2014).

Belarus Index

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There are railway museums in Brest (opened in 2002) and Baranovichi (opened in 1999), see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/by/steam/pix.html for some good pictures. See my museums' page and also some pictures provided by Torsten Schneider (30th November 2008).

Torsten Schneider adds (16th November 2008) "Contrary to rumours on the web (railfaneurope, farrail newsletter) there has been no commercial steam-shunting in Osopovichy (or elsewhere in Belarus) in recent years. However a number of steam locomotives is still serviceable. As a friend from Minsk reported, among them are Er 739-93 (built 1935) from Krichev depot which featured in a WW2-movie in Brest in September 2008, Kriegslok TE 8021 was under steam near Minsk in 2007 also for a movie, and Er 789-10 in 2006. Apart from the collections in the open-air railway museums in Brest (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, best visited in the morning) and in Baranovichi (apparently closed Sundays) there are also some steam locomotives plinthed in or near railway stations (seen at Lida, Maladishna, and Orsha) or in depots (seen at Baranavichy)."  

Bosnia Index

According to the FarRail Blog, issued a steam ban on 7th May 2015 , which also means the end of transfer trips to the ZFBH stations (Sikulje - Lukavac, Dubrave - Ljubace and Durdevik - Zivinice). That would leave only the narrow gauge steam shunting at Oskova/Banovici in operation (12th May 2015). Bernd Seiler indicated that the Durdevik - Zivinice transfer will be done with road trucks for the time being. I now understand that this is a Railways Inspectorate issue and that officially this is a temporary ban until the steam locomotives receive appropriate safety devices (14th May 2015). On 13th May 2015, Hugo visited Tuzla and confirmed the ban was in place although everyone hopes for a work around. At Bukinje 33-248 was being sandblasted, 33-504 was standing on the depot outside and 33-236 was inside and ready to be switched with another 33 (17th May 2015). According to the FarRail Blog, the ban was subsequently lifted on 22nd May 2015 (27th May 2015), at least as far as the class 33 was concerned. The situation with the class 62 is not known.

Now (13th July 2015) steam operation on ZFBH  is again part suspended, see the FarRail Blog, thanks to Bill Jamieson for passing this bad news on. Since the original report it has been clarified that the ban does not apply to the normal day to day transfer trains but to charters beyond the normal limits in the junction stations (15th July 2015). Rob Pritchard's detailed report of a September 2015 visit seems to confirm this (30th September 2015). John Raby took a small group in early October 2015 which had a judicious mix of real and charter steam (12th October 2015), a have also added a PS to Bill Jamieson's earlier detailed 2014 report of a visit to Oskova (22nd October 2015),

The steam ban is back according to reports I have had from John Raby and Bernd Seiler, to save me some editing, the FarRail Blog has the details but basically the Kriegslok are 'confined to barracks', this time it seems to have come from the mine company itself (26th November 2015). The first report I have had of the effect of this comes Jakob Stilling (22nd March 2016). Rob Pritchard was back again in May 2016 and his report indicates that 'real steam' activity was restricted to Kriegloks shunting (26th May 2016), John Raby offers a similar alternative report with a little bit of industrial heritage thrown in (27th June 2016).

For a summary of the main sites using real working steam then see Keith Chester's original reports dating from 1997/8. Basically the list comprised coal mines in Kakanj, Breza, Tuzla area, Banovici area  and some locations around Lukavac. There have been numerous reports since then which I have grouped together. If you are planning a first trip, then I strongly recommend reading these through to give yourself an overview - I have not been to Bosnia since the early 1970s and I am not competent to do such a thing!

Hugo Richter was in the Tuzla area in September 2014, he has provided a short report (27th November 2014). Bill Jamieson spent a length spell at Oskova at the end of September 2014, so his report which is essentially a log will be of help to others less familiar with the operation here (9th October 2014).

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The Bosnian floods of May 2014 are likely to have caused disruption of steam workings in the short and medium term reports Jakob Stilling (27th May 2014), now see Jens Ingemann's parallel report (4th June 2014). George Shields' May revisit has been added to the earlier reports (23rd May 2014). Trevor Maxted was in Bosnia in March 2014 and reports that 19.12 will have a brief spell in action... Otherwise it's the usual suspects in his illustrated report (25th March 2014). I have since appended overlapping reports from George Shields and Paul Jobber (28th March 2014). I now have an additional report from Terry Andrews from the beginning of the month which includes useful bus information (1st April 2014). Later Bill Jamieson has supplied a detailed report from an extended visit to Oskova in early March 2014 (3rd April 2014). Andrew Naylor has posted a nice set of pictures taken at Bukinje depot on 10th June 2014, including several showing a Kriegslok under heavy overhaul (27th June 2014) and Will Sherston adds a post-flood perspective (2nd July 2014), the same report now has some later notes from Edward Buchanan (11th July 2014). Bosnia is definitely fashionable in 2014. John Raby has been here in September 2014, read his illustrated blog (25th September 2014).

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Tim Murray was here over Easter 2013 and reported that 62.111 at Durdevic was back in occasional use and confirms 62.663 is active at Zenica (17th April 2013). Andrej Hoffman visited in February 2013 and found more than enough activity to keep him happy (13th March 2013).
Unusually, Mark Palmer visited independently using public transport in early 2012. His report contains a mass of useful information for others with a more relaxed than average attitude to gricing and travelling - my kind of bash in other words (7th June 2012). Gareth David was here in June 2012 and his account also includes details of local facilities (11th June 2012), Gareth has now been back again in September 2013, he bumped into Mark Palmer who was also revisiting. Their two reports have now been combined (15th October 2013).

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Richard Turkington was here in April 2012 (14th May 2012).to which i have now appended John Athersuch's report of an earlier visit in March 2012 (pictures added 14th June 2012),  while James Waite was back a Bosnian Steam Weekend (2nd March 2012) - basically a 'Turkey Shoot' in the snow!
Tim Murray was back for more in early April 2011 (6th May 2011). His blow by blow report will be useful for other potential visitors but activity was influenced by the parallel LoRie tour group. Dave Habraken was here a little later and you can read his report (10th May 2011). Keith Chambers spent three days in the Tuzla area in July 2011 (12th August 2011). Kurt Rethagen adds (27th February 2011) that "After 2 years without steam, Breza now again has a 62 loco for shunting. The picture shows  62 363 on Saturday morning 19th February 2011! The mine is on the main road at the south end of the town, the name is Sretno.

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Olivier Foiche was here between 8th and 13th February 2011 (added 21st February 2011) and again between 26th March and 2nd April 2012 (11th April 2012). Updates to the earlier report are indicated by (2012) as appropriate.
Kakanj (Pogon Ceparici Catici) (dieselised 2012), Zenica (mine) (2011), Lukavac Soda Factory (dieselised 2012), Durdevic, Bukinje, mine closed, the engines were inside the shed.
Banovici : 83-159 was under overhaul inside the workshop. On narrow gauge, 83-158 was shunting at Oskova. On standard gauge, shunting with diesel engine. Now 83-159 has returned to service and 83-158 is not stopped (2012)
Dubrave : 33-504 was running. Two or three trains to Ljublace. Freshly repaired 33-503 was running (2012)
Sikulje : 33-064 was running. Two or three train to Lukavac. 33-236 was running, 33-504 to store in Bukinje (2012)
Zenica Mine: 62-633 was running (2012)
Breza: 62-363 shunting (2012)

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I have a report from Richard Neun (30th March 2010), a report from Fabrice Lanoue (17th May 2010), a report from May 2010 from Jens Ingemann (6th June 2010), he was also back for more in July 2010 (14th September 2010) and Trevor Maxted visited in September 2010 (2nd October 2010).

James Waite was in 'Republika Srpska' which is technically part of Bosnia and has sent some pictures of preserved steam in Prijedor and Banja Luka (29th March 2011).

For an historical look at the 760mm gauge railways of the former Yugoslavia visit this site - http://www.penmorfa.com/JZ/index.htm. Similarly visit this non-English forum -  http://www.zeljeznice.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=2204 (link broken by 25th October 2016).

Bulgaria Index

It's been four years since the last report from a country that is looking to get into the steam railtour market. Clive Hepworth reports on a visit to Sofia depot where the active standard gauge fleet is kept and restoration and repairs carried out (26th May 2015).

Robin Patrick joined the LCGB tour in April/May 2011 and has sent an illustrated report - featuring no less than five different steam locomotives (18th May 2011). This could be a country to watch as two more are under active restoration.

Thomas Kautzor tells me (20th March 2011) "According to the following news: http://bdz.bg/novina.php?id=1947, trains KPV 13208 Sofia 12:10 - Bankja 12:39 and KPV 13207 Bankja 14:05 - Sofia 14:33 will be steam-hauled by 01.23 for the period March 21 to April 09, 2011. The train will consist of two 2nd class coaches and the regular fare of EUR 0,80 applies."

See my narrow gauge page for information on the Septemvri to Dobriniště line with its occasional steam specials.

Croatia Index

Not a country which has featured on this website before as it has a 'no steam' policy. However, James Waite has sent a report of a visit which includes the Zagreb Railway Museum and several other preserved items (29th March 2011, updated with Clive Hepworth's notes, 27th May 2015). Fabrice Lanoue has chipped in with picture of other extant steam and preserved items in the country (4th April 2011).

Cyprus Index

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Hugh Ballantyne reports on a nostalgic visit to see what remains of Cyprus Railways (11th March 2004). James Waite elaborates (including pictures) with more details of the remains of the Cyprus Mines Corporation railway (9th December 2006), this report has since been updated (28th March 2009).

Ken Jones and James Waite have contributed a further 2011 update which includes pictures of the numerous surviving narrow gauge internal combustion locomotives (28th October 2011) as well as books on the island's railways. I have now added positive news about and a picture of the Cyprus Railway Museum (updated 8th September 2015). The museum finally opened its doors on late 2014, for more information see the preceding link.

Czech Republic Index

Kevin Hoggett has sent me some pictures of the ZOS Ceske Velenice railway works in the Czech Republic, with a preserved 475 under repair but more interestingly, a blacksmith's shop with working steam hammers (19th May 2006).

Bryan Acford visited for Steam Charters in September 1997. Christian Oboth reports on festivities:"150 years of Prerov-Ostrava-Bohumin line. On May 1st to 4th 1997, the anniversary of the electrified mainline was celebrated with 475.1142 and 498.106 on specials (and some plandampfs) Prerov - Bogumin, further specials Ostrava hl.nadr.- Ostrava Stred - Ostrava Kuncice - Bohumin by 433.002, 354.1217 and 464.202, and Ostrava hl.nadr.- Josefova Jama coalmine by 313.423 and 423.041. At Josefova Jama, enthusiasts were surprised by steaming 328.011 and 310.911. Loco exhibition at Ostrava presented all the running engines, ÖBB- „liancon", PKP - Ol 12.7, Pm 36.2, Ok22.31 and Tr 5.65. The only steam loco at Bohumin was 477.060. Outside the station, a very derelict 475 is dumped."

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Roland Beier reports "At Usti nad labem there is a chemical plant which still uses two fireless steam locos: No.200/201, both are 0-6-0F and were built at Meiningen in 1988 (the usual ex-DDR design)." Now Jakob Stilling has sent this picture of one of them crossing the road between the two parts of the factory in April 2005 (added 9th March 2006). One of them was still at work in August 2012, http://www.forum.gscalecentral.net/m232944-print.aspx (19th October 2013, link dead by 26th April 2014), thanks to Mark Palmer for this one. Now Keith Chester has visited and reports that this operation ceased in November 2013 (15th December 2013), see the 2014 update (10th February 2015).

Estonia Index

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James Waite visited the Estonian Museum Railway, Lavassaare in July 2009 (25th July 2009).

Peter Klaus tells me (3rd October 2010) that "the Estonian south-west railway (Edelaraudtee ) has restored this L-3297 (known also as Kaspar), Its first public run was made on 10th September 2010 between from Türi to Tallinn and return. Future plans include steam charters from 2011. As this is not a passenger train locomotive, train speeds are limited to about 50-60km/h. This is the only currently working steam locomotive on the 1520mm gauge in the country, all the others are monuments and mainly also class L." For more information about charters etc visit http://www.edel.ee/kaspar_en/ (17th December 2010, link dead by 25th October 2016).

Finland Index

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Harvey Smith was based here and sent me a survey of preserved steam in the country (23rd May 2007). This precipitated an email which brought news of two preserved "steam engines/tractors" formerly used for log haulage (29th May 2007). I also have a report from James Waite of a visit to the preserved narrow gauge Jokioisten Railway (22nd August 2007).

Harvey Smith has subsequently produced a list of active preserved main line steam locomotives in Finland (updated 24th June 2010). Fancy a steam charter here?Check out http://www.hoyryveturimatkat1009.fi (link amended 25th October 2016).

Georgia Index

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News of this former part of the Soviet Union is thin on the ground. I have no reason to believe there is any active steam here but John Athersuch has sent some pictures of steam survivors here (6th February 2004). Earlier Tim Littler reported after a visit in late 2002: "No local steam noted and we covered a large part of the country from Batumi on the Black sea to the Azeri border, with side trips to Vale and Telavi."

Further information on possible industrial steam, and definite steam survivors in Georgia (Caucasus) has now been sent by Torsten Schneider, the following observations were made during a trip between July 27th and August 9th, 2005. The information on the steam survivors is given as an addendum to John Athersuch's original report (Torsten's pictures added, 8th October 2005).

In the summer 2005 issue of Georgian Airways' inflight journal there is an article featuring the ferro-alloys plant in Zestaponi in Western Georgia, one of Georgia's biggest industrial units. I was intrigued by a note under the heading "Upgrading" saying, I quote: "..., three rail steam engines have been purchased, ...". Not expecting to be allowed into the plant, we (my Georgian guides and myself) nevertheless tried. While waiting for a head engineer's permission I heard steam whistles several times (naturally not necessarily from locos), and nobody we talked to dismissed our repetitive mentioning of "steam" locomotives (if that is what my guides hopefully said). Eventually we were not allowed inside, but we were told that all locos they have cross a public road where I would be allowed to take pictures (and had already taken one of a TGM4, a typical Soviet industrial diesel loco). On the other side of the road there is a small depot, again on company ground (no photos, but we were allowed in), where I saw more TGM4s, and no facilities for steam locos whatsoever. We were told that TGM4s had recently been acquired second-hand from the Ukraine. Thus, the situation seems clear, no steam. 

There is a website on narrow gauge railways on the territory of the former Soviet Union (http://www.parovoz.com/indexe.php, link dead by 26th April 2014 ) which is referred to in Torsten's report.

Germany Index

For information on narrow gauge lines please my Narrow Gauge Steam Railways page.

Andreas Illert reports on a situation that blurs the distinction between working steam and preserved steam (27th May 2006): "Concerning working steam in Germany, there has been a very interesting situation in Thueringen recently. As to privatisation of railway operations, a call for tender was issued to transport wood from Schleusingen via Meiningen to Eisenach, about once a week from February to the end of April. The contract was won by the railway enthusiast group of Eisenach. Obviously steam is competitive, with high prices for diesel and staff costs for the volunteer crew at a reasonable level. 52.8075 2-10-0 then worked the 1200-tons-trains without operational difficulties, over quite steep grades and in weather conditions changing from snow to wet spring over the period.

For some time this country has been covered occasionally under Plandampf. Bryan Benn's home page http://www.germansteam.co.uk/ (amended 2nd September 2007) covers Germany in general, with a proper plandampf site http://www.plandampf.co.uk (new address 1st April 2005) with regular information on upcoming Plandampf and other Sonderzug. Good news for visitors with limited German language skills! There is now a proper German Language site run by LoRi although it offers a regular English language newsletter - see http://www.plandampfteam.de (added 3rd August 2007), see also Revierdampf's page (English and German) http://www.revierdampf.de (added 10th January 2009).

Hungary Index

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Colin Young has sent some pictures of the Hungarian Railway Museum in Budapest. (27th December 2008).

Iceland Index

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Iceland must be the only country in the world to have preserved 100% of its steam fleet. James Waite reports on his visit to see both locomotives. (14th August 2008), Dennis Graham advises (10th March 2016) that "Minør" is put indoors during the winter and is inaccessible during that period..

Italy Index

Information (in English) on Italian steam has never been easy to come by for as long as I can remember. Now Stefan Paolini has provided a wealth of information which will be of great use to potential visitors (first posted 21st August 2008), latterly Filippo Ricci has taken up the torch:

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James Waite also provided a report of his visit to the Naples Railway Museum (first referred to on the museums page, 28th February 2008) and a day out with 625.177 near Milan in May 2008 (22nd August 2008). He has also been to Sardinia for steam in May 2009 (17th June 2009) and the FS heritage depot at Pistoia (20th June 2015).

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Filippo Ricci reports on a number of steam runs in late 2010, proving that it is still possible (just) to get steam on to the main line in the country (12th January 2011). He sent a further gloomy report covering 2011 and the early part of 2012 (San Marino non-steam part updated 16th Jun 2012).

Kosovo Index

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Earlier reports will be found under Serbia, the only location where active steam can be found in Kosovo is the coal mine of Obiliq (Serbian: Obilic) 10 km northwest of Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo with its three 62 class locos. Roland Beier was here in January 2002 and Mark Blount-Stonham in June 2003. Read what they found (11th June 2003). Torsten Schneider found things very quiet in March 2007 (2nd April 2007). James Waite was here in October 2008 and you can read his report (14th November 2008). Fabrice Lanoue found 62-670 shunting in the mine next to the power plant and tripping to the station at Obilic/Kastriot on 6th May 2010 - access was permitted on request (17th May 2010). 62-673 and 62-636 were outside the shed. Dave Habraken was here in April 2011 and you can read his report (10th May 2011).

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Further to the reports above, it seems that steam may now be finished here http://www.drehscheibe-foren.de/foren/read.php?30,5731490 - thanks to Thomas Kautzoe for this one (18th January 2012).

Andrej Hoffman was here in August 2013 and found this Porter 0-4-0ST at the edge of the Belaćevac coal (lignite) mine. It is similar to the other two reported preserved in Serbia (24th September 2013). Thomas Kautzor adds that the gauge is 760mm and he believes this and a sister here originally worked at Banovici (28th September 2013).

Latvia Index

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There are several museums here with steam locomotive exhibits and at least two operational preserved narrow gauge steam railways. Click here for a report on a visit from James Waite (updated 25th July 2009).

Lithuania Index

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There are three preserved narrow gauge steam locomotives in the country. Click here for a report on a visit here from James Waite (9th August 2007). On 20th September 2009, temporarily borrowed Estonian Kch4-332 worked a special train to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Panevezys - Anyksciai narrow gauge line. James Waite's picture shows it passing over the broad gauge mainline near Panevezys station (added 26th September 2009).

Macedonia Index

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There are a number of preserved steam locomotives in the country, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/mk/steam/pix.html. I would appreciate more information! (added 24th May 2007). James Waite was here in October 2008 and you can read his report (14th November 2008).

Moldova Index

A new country courtesy of Frank Engel (15th October 2000). At Ungheni I found some class TE engines still in use for heating in the depot! I also observed an engine of class Er, but I couldn't check out the numbers, because I was caught by the police immediately (border area!)... Henry Posner III adds (15th September 2001) "4 weeks ago I was able to ride CFM Tiraspol-Chisinau and Beltsy-Chisinau. I was hoping to find a strategic reserve of steam locos at Ungheni en route from Beltsy (CFM crew interviewed said that in 1985 steam training occurred there in case of war) but consistent with Frank Engel's report all that's left are 2 2-10-0s and 1 0-10-0 at Ungheni diesel shop, all unnumbered and apparently in use for steam heating, plus 1 green 2-10-0 about a mile north of the station on steam heating duty inside a factory on the west side of the line from Beltsy. The 'preserved' steam loco referenced in the Quail rail atlas of Moldova/Ukraine at Beltsy has disappeared."

There are at least three preserved steam locomotives in the country, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/md/steam/pix.html. I would appreciate more information! (added 24th May 2007).

Montenegro Index

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There are just two (preserved) steam locomotives in the country. James Waite went to see them in September 2008, read his report (4th October 2008).

Norway Index

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James Waite has provided yet another delightful pen picture of a preserved narrow gauge steam operation ”Tertitten” - The Urskog-Hølandsbanen Railway (added 31st August 2007). And for the world's most northerly (preserved steam) train, read about the railways of Spitzbergen (30th August 2008).

For information on narrow gauge preserved steam, pleas check out my narrow gauge steam pages (15th December 2010).

Poland Index

For comprehensive lists and information on surviving Polish steam locomotives, check out this Polish language site - http://www.holdys.pl/tomi/index.php (link corrected 27th March 2012).

See my narrow gauge pages for information on preserved narrow gauge steam operation (latest update 28th December 2013).

The notes below chronicle the ups and (mainly) downs of the scheduled steam hauled trains out of Wolsztyn which eventually led to their suspension in 2014. Now agreement has been made for them to restart in December 2016, following a June agreement between private Polish freight operator PKP Cargo and regional governments. It is understood that PKP Cargo will transfer the Wolsztyn shed and locomotives to a new heritage foundation funded by the company and regional governments. Passenger services to be steam operated are likely to be on the routes from Wolsztyn to and from Poznan or Leszno, in western Poland (16th August 2016). Thanks to Trevor Heath, Tom Schultz and Alex Mayes for forwarding the information.

For information on the Wolsztyn Experience check out http://www.thewolsztynexperience.org/, as of the beginning of 2009 the organisation faces many problems but its mere survival is extremely welcome. For the background to the Wolsztyn Experience see this excellent video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZzRhsGWFOw (7th January 2009). The steam service was suspended at the end of March 2014, however, it seems this was not the end and while the hoped for resumption did not occur in June 2014, all is not lost, yet. For more information on the Wolsztyn Experience, see http://www.thewolsztynexperience.org/news_events.php (7th June 2014). Main line specials and footplate experiences continue (27th April 2015). It was expected that public steam services will now resume in January 2016 according to a local report (http://www.thenews.pl/1/11/Artykul/214697,Steam-locomotives-back-on-track), thanks to John Raby for this one (24th July 2015), but it seems (see above) that this didn't happen. 

Wolsztyn  has been the centre of a working steam museum railway for as long as most of us care to remember but now it seems it may be almost all over (16th June 2008). PKP has removed steam from the Wolsztyn - Poznan line and by mid-June there was just one steam working a day Wolsztyn - Rezno and even that was only a temporary reprieve until July 4th 2008 with a subsidy from the Wolsztyn Experience. See http://polishrail.wordpress.com/ and linked stories for the grisly details, a site which, unfortunately, is not available to me directly in China although good friends have mailed me the relevant text. It seems that maybe there is some politicking going on here between the railway which derives little direct financial benefit from the steam operation (probably quite the reverse) and the local authority which benefits indirectly from the tourism it generates. It underlines that these days, with very few exceptions, just about any kind of steam operation in the world  is definitely a 'luxury item' which has to compete in the market. Later news is that following discussions between all the parties involved, a reduced steam service will resume on 1st October 2008, this being supposedly guaranteed for 8 months and will include trains to Poznan and Lezno (21st June 2008). Louis Cerny reports that at the beginning of July, he saw four locomotives in steam over a period of a week with steam haulage to Lezno only, with Poznan services supposedly to resume after the summer break (9th July 2008). It is not just the operation at Wolsztyn which is under threat. John Raby (24th June 2008) has alerted me to the fact that the railway has instigated a scrap drive - understandable for well represented types in 'Barry' condition, less so for a plinthed locomotive. See http://polishrail.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/7-steam-engines-on-death-row/ for more information.

Alexandre Gillieron sends some depressing news (14th November 2009):

"There are actually only three steam locomotives available at Wolsztyn for timetable line workings with the following boiler expiry dates :

Ol49-7, exp. 06/2011, Ol49-59, exp. 06/2010, Pt47-65, exp. 04/2011

Not fit anymore for line working, the ex-Prussian Tr5-65 may get an extension of its boiler certificate for another six months, theoretically this engine should have been written off this month (November 2009). Polish 4-6-0 Ok22-31 and Prussian Ok1-359 have already been out of use for months and a repair of one of these historic engines is unlikely...

The repair shop at Gniezno has finally been closed down with some equipment going to Leszno, where Polish 'Pacific' Pm36-2 is also stored waiting repairs. From now the Leszno shed should perform small boiler and mechanical repairs on the Wolsztyn engines, but owing to the decision of PKP-Cargo to eliminate any costs for steam operations, this means more or less the end of regular PKP steam, it's maybe just a question of months before its final demise.

Another bad sign for steam operations around Wolsztyn is the start of the upgrade work on the Poznan line by next year. The allowed speed should be raised to 100 km/h and the infrastructure modernized, leaving no chance for the steam trains to operate. The only hope could be to re-opening of the Sulechow or Nowa Sol lines, introducing a pure museum-operation, but again this is a major financial problem and only a private or local funding would allow it.

Concerning former steam shed at Gniezno, there are now plans to destroy the two historical Prussian half-roundhouses and to convert the complete site to a mall/supermarket complex - no comment needed! There are also rumours that the site may be kept and house the existing Warszaw PKP museum engines. Indeed the site at Warszaw (former main station closed down during the late 60's) may be cleared in order to make room for future road extensions (anyone who has visited Poland recently has certainly noted the definitive 'supremacy' of road traffic, both individual and trucking, turning most of the roads of this country into one of the worst driving nightmares one could imagine...)"

Louis Cerny adds (11th July 2010): "In Poland, the Wolsztyn - Poznan line was seen for seven days June 27 - July 3. On each of the days 2-8-2 Pt47-65 handled two 162 km round trips (5:11 and 13:30 from Wolsztyn, 8:55 and 17:13 from Poznan) at or close to schedule. The runs are well-patronized by locals and are the same fare as the diesel railcars (about US$4 each way). This was 2268km of running in seven days, not including movements between stations and servicing facilities. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the highest distance in the world for a single steam locomotive for those seven days.

For another 2011 Wolsztyn Experience first hand report read http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=31831 (9th August 2011). Paul Ash sent a more optimistic report than I have read for some time (1st August 2011):

"I was there for two days on June 8/9 2011 and enjoyed an afternoon on the footplate, driving the 15.45 from Leszno to Wolsztyn with 0-149.59 doing the work. For a South African, Wolsztyn roundhouse was a marvellous sight: a working, steam shed with its infrastructure intact and good hope for the future. The fitters were busy taking the motion off the Pm 36 Pacific ahead of a trip to Warsaw along with stable mate 0-149-59 to meet the Polish president. Trevor Jones tells me the Wolsztyn Experience will have the use of four locomotives in 2012, which will allow participants a greater number of turns at the regulator and on the shovel. The Marshal of Poznan has apparently taken great interest in the operation and funds have been made available to further develop the Wolsztyn shed and operation as a tourist attraction. Wolsztyn is on the tourist map, jobs have been saved – and others created – and mainline steam operations have a future. All I can say is I wish there was that sort of vision from the South African rail and tourist authorities." Click on a thumbnail for a larger picture in a new window:

Chris Yapp added on October 24th 2011:

There are three locos in working order now – Ol49-7 will be withdrawn when its boiler certificate expires in November; Ol49-59 is in service but failed with a piston ring problem on 18th October and repairs are being undertaken at Leszno; and Pm36-2 is serviceable and has operated a substantial share of the service this year. It is expected to remain operational until the end of April next year – with a farewell rail tour on 14th April 2012. At present, steam normally works the following services:

  • 06:28 Wolsztyn-Leszno

  • 09:32 Leszno-Zbaszynek

  • 11:50 Zbaszynek-Wolsztyn (tender first as there are no turning facilities at Zbaszynek).

  • 13:30 Wolsztyn-Leszno

  • 15:45 Leszno-Wolsztyn

Steam services on the Leszno-Zbaszynek route will finish when the works on the Wolsztyn line are completed – currently planned for late this year. The plan is to have four engines to work the Wolsztyn-Poznan service for the foreseeable future. They will be Ol49-23 which is to be overhauled, Ol49-59, Ol49-69 which will return from overhaul to replace Ol49-7, and Pt47-65 which requires some work to enable it to replace the Pm36 next spring.

Latest news via Trevor Heath (10th January 2014)

"After 13th December 2013 (new timetable) regular traffic only on the Wolsztyn – LESZNO  line, not Poznań. The timetable (in service currently Ol 49-69) for Leszno is: 

77420 Wolsztyn (6:07) – Leszno (07:26) 
77451 Leszno (9:46) – Wolsztyn (10:59) 
77428 Wolsztyn (13:16) – Leszno (14:36) 
77459 leszno (16:42) – Wolsztyn (17:55)"

I have never tried to cover the activities here in great detail because Poland is now part of mainstream western Europe and as Wolsztyn  is so well known in enthusiast circles. For more information (in German) try http://www.parowozy.com.pl/indexd.html (or http://www.parowozy.com.pl for the original Polish version) - this link amended 29th May 2007).

I have now moved all my Polish reports which are now very dated. Click as appropriate:

Colin Young has sent some pictures of his visit to the Chabowka Railway Musuem which has many steam exhibits in June 2008. (24th December 2008)

For other reports/information, check out David Longman's Gallery and Wolsztyn steam trains (a little dated with 2005 timetable).

Portugal Index

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Portugal is not one of my 'traditional' countries, but I have a report from James Waite of his visit to the south of the country for some interesting industrial steam survivors at Lousal and Aljustrel (24th December 2008). James returned in January 2009 to visit a couple of the country's railway museums near Lisbon (6th March 2009). James had a rapid return and reported on a day out in the Porto area (14th March 2009).

Metre gauge Mallet E214 has been serviceable in recent years but a combination of fire bans, gauge conversions and sundry other problems have severely limited operation. The last report of it I have was that it had been "moved from Regua to Guifoes works for inspection" in April 2007, by September 2007 it was back in Regua where there were 5 other Mallets in fair condition (report by Trevor Heath - click here for pictures - added 4th October 2007).

Romania Index

Apart from occasional (expensive) standard gauge steam charters, interest here centres on the narrow gauge forestry heritage, with the Viseu de Sus system still operational in 2007, although the Far Rail newsletter stated in October 2007 that steam hauled logging trains had not run for some time and steam was only used on tourist trains (27th October 2007).

Ameling Algra points out (21st June 2004), an excellent German language website covering the Romanian forestry lines - http://www.wassertalbahn.ch/. Click here for information an appeal to restore 764.211 for the Viseu de Sus system (29th March 2005). The line was badly damaged by floods in July 2008 and remained closed for some while until it was rebuilt - see http://www.wassertalbahn.ch/ and click on 'news' for the latest information (12th August 2008). The Farrail newsletter (May 2009) states that the line has now been largely rebuilt and is 'open for business', good news indeed (30th May 2009). Kevin Hoggett joined a 'narrow gauge' tour in September/October 2015 and serendipitously stumbled on a 'real steam' working (12th October 2015).

Henry Posner III has suggested I pass on information from Ing. Vasile Muresan, the General Manager of the 16 February workshops. One of their specialties is steam (both overhaul and - so far for light railways - new construction) so check out http://www.remarul.gmi.ro/ (added 11th December 2001).

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There are a number of reports charting the final decline of the forestry railways:

After closure in October 1999 (last train October 7th), the Siclau Association was set up to conserve and hopefully preserve as much as possible of the Covasna system including the Siclau incline.

I believe that the only standard gauge steam locomotive apart from specials in regular use in 1997 was N3 404 (0-6-0T) at Covasna which shunted on most days. Roland Beier added: "A friend of mine visited the Arad area early in March (1997) and found two CFR class 50 shunting at Curtici and Arad: 50.541 and 50.558. This might have been a temporary measure to overcome a local shortage of diesels on short notice but anyone passing Curtici (the border station to Hungary) and Arad by train is invited to take a close look and find out if these workings continue."  Greg Howells tells me that there are lists of extant locos in the country on http://www.railfaneurope.net/list/romania.html and http://www.railfaneurope.net/list/europe.html

Click here for information on plans to run standard gauge tourist trains (information received on 8th September 2004, updated 13th September 2004). An online report stated that 230.516 would start regular tourist service around Suceava in August 2011 (15th August 2011), but pictures elsewhere on the web suggest that enthusiasts won't be rushing here (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/hurricane189/6026111408/ and associated images).

Russia Index

Click here for an introduction to former Soviet Union steam classes (24th December 2008). There is a lot of information on Russia on my Museums' Page. Harvey Smith suggests the following links for companies offering steam tours in the country (12th July 2010):

Moscow

St. Petersburg

Rostov on Don (see also Thomas Kautzor's report linked below)

  • http://www.retrotur.ru/ (link dead 21st October 2013)

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James Waite and Thomas Kautzor have made visits to various narrow gauge children's railways and museums which are linked from my narrow gauge page (12th November 2009). Thomas has also ridden one of the increasingly popular 'Retro Trains' (11th November 2009), he adds (17th August 2010) that his local contact has told him "LV-0233 (Lugansk 1956) has been acquired from Urdoma reserve in November 2009 with intentions to overhaul it and use it on overnight excursions out of Rostov." See (in Russian) - http://www.retropoezd.ru/ (added 8th June 2012).

Retro trains are usually the preserve of L/LV or ER steam locomotives. It now seems that those in the St. Petersburg area use the earlier SO 2-10-0 locomotives, these pictures courtesy of Dmitry Kolesnikov (26th October 2011) show SO17 2359 and SO18 2018 on a training run on 10th October 2011 with a short but authentic rake of freight wagons.

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Harvey Smith has relocated from Moscow to St. Petersburg and has now provided an indication of further attractions there beyond his earlier reports.

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Harvey Smith has also provided a series of pages on attractions in the country:

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Harvey tells me that the collection at Podmoskovnaya Depot now includes a former Kriegslok which is being restored (8th June 2012), possibly it will feature in a film.

This loco was previously kept at Roslavl as part of a strategic reserve of near serviceable steam locos, Dmitry Kolesnikov was here in July 2012 and you can read his photoreport (21st August 2012). It has now moved to St. Petersburg (24th December 2014).

Parker Wilson spent some months based in Moscow from late 2015. His report, which updates Harvey Smith's accounts, includes many photographs (13th July 2016).

Richard Brown has sent me a list of interesting developments in Southern Russia. At the moment, this are is hardly at the top of the average (railway) tourist's must visit areas, but with regular steam specials, it might just be one for the future (1st January 2016). He has followed this up with a detailed list of the known existing steam locomotives in the area, many of which are 'runners' (3rd February 2016). There is a further update available for July 2016 (12th July 2016) which includes Eastern Russia alongside that for May 2016 (10th May 2016). Richard has now  sent details of the recovery of several US built Ye 2-10-0s from the east of the country (21st September 2016) and a December 2016 update (20th December 2016).

Dmitry Kolesnikov reports (26th October 2011) that the three year restoration of SU 214-10 is complete and it has been moved to Richskaya Museum (see above). Dmitry was part of a small group from VOLZD (literally the Russian railroad amateurs, http://volzd.ru/volzd-e.html) who did all the hard work, the final result is quite superb.

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A date to note for visiting enthusiasts is the Russian VE day (9th May, not 8th May as in the west), the retro train runs for VVIPs and surviving veterans on this day (see link above), in 2011 it featured L 2344 and ER 774-38 seen here at Richskaya after the outing (25th May 2011).

Leslie McAllister boarded the 4,234 km BAM (Baikal Amur Magistral) steam express in June 2000 - read his report of the longest railtour of all time.....(5th September 2000). One place that got a mention was Sakhalin Island in the far east, formerly Japanese occupied, Tim Littler has provided some pictures of the D51 at work then (31st December 2007) and Harvey Smith (who worked there for 2 years) has reported on some (inactive) steam survivors there (14th May 2007).

In mid-2007, Colin Young sent me some snatched pictures of a couple of L class on a special passenger train in the Lake Baikal area, I didn't upload anything as there was no information on the operation - it now seems this was "The Retro Train" based in Irkutz - more information would be very welcome (19th October 2007).

Information about Russian steam in far away places continues to dribble out... Henry Posner III reports (15th October 2003): "In Krasnoyarsk diesel shop, on August 5, L-3150 was undergoing preparation for storage, having worked a 2-coach shuttle to Divnagost (end of the branch line to the hydroelectric dam) 2 days previous for Railway Worker's Day (first Sunday in August). Personnel interviewed indicated that there is a sizable strategic reserve of steam on the Krasnoyarsk Railway to the west at Bogotol."

In late 1998 I was told that 'Steam was being used again on the Trans-Siberian Express'.  It sounded too good to be true so I ignored it.  When I was in Bago (Myanmar) in late January 1999, I got talking to a Dutch couple who had recently been across Russia (and on through Mongolia to China) and they confirmed they had steam haulage for part of the way. 

There have been two reports also of steam in the far east of the country. A German traveller reported in October 2004 "While traveling recently on the 19CH China - Moscow train, a steam-hauled pw-train was spotted in the freight yards about 2km after Borsja station (about 3 hours from the China-Russia border)". Charles Towler adds (5th November 2004) "I also observed steam in this area while on train 20 going towards China, passing this area on the 22nd September 2004. I saw L Class number 3899 in steam coupled inside a TEM2 diesel on a freight (possibly engineers) train. Sadly I wasn't quick enough with my camera! The station name was either Ehchn Torey (or Zchn Torey - I can't be sure from the cyrillic in my notes). The only other steam locos I saw though were obviously dumped, three L class in the yard close to Zabaikalsk station, which I explored during the long tedious stop there and others near the depot. I had previously passed this way in 2000 and seen a loco in steam, but I couldn't identify it in the dark."

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Further to the above, Russian sources in late 2010 indicated that real steam (whatever the Russian word is, it translates as "Wild Steam"), is now restricted to two places in the country, the first is Borzja in the remote Chita / Trans-Baikal region. The locomotive shown in the thumbnail left is L class 2-10-0 0945 which is reportedly used for shunting around the depot, strangely, for something that must be a pet, it looks most uncared for. The picture was taken by SA Kopolitov on 22nd November 2010 - you can view the original full size by clicking on the thumbnail (11th January 2011).

The second (right) is 0-6-0T 9P-19489 at a depot in St. Petersburg this one is very much 'a pet' and is used as shed pilot occasionally - click on the thumbnail for a full size image courtesy of Dmitry Zinoviev (12th January 2011).  

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Travellers on the Trans-Siberian Express can see static preserved steam along the way, reports Toma Bacic who has supplied some pictures (more added 9th January 2011).In the Far East of the country Alexander Sokolov has sent some pictures from Khabarovsk (17th September 2011).

Tim Littler (of GW Travel Ltd/Trans-Siberian Express Company) writes: (16th May 2001): "GWT's P36 (the only privately owned locomotive in Russia) was steamed for the first time in St Petersburg on the 17th April and on 28th April worked a 580 mile test trip around Lake Ladoga, NE of St Petersburg. No problems were encountered and the engine will make its first revenue departure on 22nd May when it takes an 800T, 14 car GWT 'Trans-Siberian Express' out of St Petersburg. Restoration at St Petersburg Moskovski Sort depot took just under 3 months with 14 people working 7 days a week to complete the job on schedule. A new shed will be built within the depot limits to accommodate the 200 tonne 4-8-4 and we expect it to be used on 5 tours and for over 2,000 miles in 2001. By 2004 it will be used on 27 day trips and several longer tours. We plan to restore a second P36 in 2003." A later note (9th November 2002) says: "We are researching the possibility of improving the performance of our locomotive P36 0032 by adding a lempor exhaust system installed by Phil Girdlestone, who has made two visits from South Africa to Saint Petersburg  this year. If agreed, we hope to have the work completed this winter. In any case performance has been improving with 73 mph achieved on our last  public trip and 82 mph on an earlier test trip."

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The left picture is P36-0032 on 26th April 2007, the occasion of the launch of GW Travel's Golden Eagle train, the one on the right dates from 2001.

Serbia Index

Steam in Serbia survives in a number of industrial locations where they are now pretty well used to visitors. The original list included Kostolac, Svetozarevo, Carriage Factory, Smederevo, Paper factory Cacak, sugar factory at Cuprija, Loznica, Lucani, Vreoci, Jagodina, Resavica, Smederevo, Kraljevo. Of course, there have been casualties as covered in the later reports.

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Also of note is the Sargan Mountain Railway / Mokra Gora museum.. This is a spectacular rebuilding project and Fabrice Lanoue tells me (17th May 2010) that is will be extended to Visegrad at the end of August 2010. This is his picture of 83-173 in May 2010. Wayne Weiss tells me that a local Denver paper in the USA reported the first public train ran on 28th August 2010 (30th August 2010).

First you need to read the the base reports for Serbian steam:

Henry Posner III has send me some pictures of preserved steam at the large steelworks USS-Smederevo (30th May 2009).

Robin Patrick was part of a comprehensive tour organised by Enthusiast Holidays/LCGB in May 2007. You can read his illustrated report (29th June 2007). James Waite was here in November 2007 (25th November 2007)  and I have appended Tim Murray's report of a visit made at the same time (19th December 2007). And James went back again for what is now really the tail end of steam in Serbia in April 2009 (23rd April 2009)

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Steve Newman was the latest in a long trickle of visitors to see the most authentic surviving European real steam (27th March 2007). James Waite was in Kostolac in November 2005, real working steam is alive and well here (14th December 2005), a friend of Trevor Heath visited in October 2006, nothing was moving but operation was scheduled to restart on 16th November 2006 (added 27th October 2006). Steven Pratt visited Kostolac with a group from the Railway Touring Company in August 2005 and found just 13 in use (added 6th October 2005).

For many narrow gauge pictures of Serbian narrow gauge see this site - http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/sp/narrow_gauge/pix.html.

For an historical look at the 760mm gauge railways of the former Yugoslavia visit this site - http://www.penmorfa.com/JZ/index.htm.

Slovakia Index

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A casual (non-enthusiast) visitor found a (green) museum locomotive which appeared to be a 477 4-8-4T shunting at Poprad. I am not sure if this counts as 'real' or not! (23rd August 2001). It could well have been 447.013 (now in blue livery) seen by Colin Young in December 2009 on a special train to Kosics (11th July 2010).

Colin Young attended a steam festival in Bratislava in June 2008, a large number of locomotives were in steam, a sign that rail tours on the main line here may have a healthier future than elsewhere (24th December 2008).

The story of former Romanian rack locomotive 4296 (former 40.006) at Tisovec is covered in the hill railways section of this website (latest update 4th September 2014) and there is a photoreport of the first trains on a separate page (11th October 2014). The 2015 operating timetable is available on http://www.zubacka.sk/sk/blog/jazdy-parnej-zubacky-a-historickych-vlakov-v-roku-2015/, thanks to Alex Jesserer for this (1st April 2015). 

Slovenia Index

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There are regular public excursions on the Bohinj Railway (http://www.abc-tourism.si/) using 2-8-2 06-018 at Euros 75pp (14th December 2014). Clive Hepworth reports (27th May 2015) that "25-026 2-8-0 WLF 2656/1920 is working the tourist service out of Celje and Jesenice-based 33-037 2-10-0 Hens.27943/1944 pictured (left) at Bled Jezero on the first steam special of the year on May 9th returning from Nova Gorica. At the time of my visit 2-8-2 06-018 Borsig 12207/1930 was the serviceable spare for the Jesenice engine."

James Waite was here in March 2008 and reported on his visit to the railway museum and the working fireless at the Ljubljana power station (18th March 2008). I have updated it with a few notes form Clive Hepworth (27th May 2015).

Robin Patrick was part of a comprehensive tour organised by Enthusiast Holidays/LCGB in May 2007. You can read his illustrated report (29th June 2007).

Jonathan Allen travelled in the former Yugoslavia Tour (20-25 July 2003) - read his report (31st August 2003).

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Keith Chester writes: (11th April 1997): "Have just heard from Walter Rothschild, who tells me that the 0-6-0F at Ljubljana power station is still there and he thought it was still in use. So one more for your fireless collection!" Over the years Continental Railway Journal 132 (June 2002),.Olivier Foiche (late March 2004), Rob Fraser (mid-September 2005) and Fabrice Lanoue (28th/29th April 2010) have reported it at work. Potential visitors would do well to read Neil Edwards' account from his 2011 visit (19th October 2013).Since when there have been no reports save Mark Palmer saw the loco (inactive) in passing in September 2013 and two YouTube videos uploaded in April 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcpkwl9f2Q and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXw2iy-r04w suggest it is probably still active (19th October 2013). Geoff Warren visited on 15th February 2014 and found it at work (23rd February 2014). Dave Scudamore found it at work on 8th June 2014 (15th August 2014). Clive Hepworth confirms (27th May 2015) it was still in use in May 2015, however "the power station is increasingly dependent on wood pulp and the timber train seems to arrive late in the evening and so most work for the fireless is overnight."

Spain Index

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The Rio Tinto museum and railway is definitely not real, but a fascinating reminder of what must have been a fabulous industrial system in its heyday. James Waite was here in April 2009 for one of the few days in the year when the operational railway uses steam, (23rd April 2009). For a list of preserved steam locomotive is Spain, see this comprehensive site http://www.locomotoravapor.com/index.htm (16th January 2010).

Steam trains, mainly for school parties, run between Martorell Enllac and Monistrol de Monserrat on the metre gauge FGC between November and May. You can read James Waite's account of his visit in November 2010 (14th November 2010).

Thomas Kautzor visited Central Spain for a few days in mid-December 2015 and reports on a potpourri of items of railway and general steam interest (20th January 2016).

Sweden Index

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Please see my European narrow gauge steam page for various links to such preserved railways, (latest update, 3rd August 2012).

Neil Edwards attended the Swedish Railway Museum's 100th birthday celebration on 23rd May 2015, his report includes pictures of nine centenarians in steam (3rd June 2015).

Switzerland Index

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The Rhätische Bahn Steamblower may not run more than once a year but arguably it constitutes real steam. James Waite followed up his 2008 visit to the railway with an excursion to see the snowblower in action in March 2009. (6th March 2009).

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Click here for James Waite's report on his visit to the Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke in September 2009, a spectacular (part) rack metre gauge railway with some pretty well travelled steam locomotives (11th November 2009).

James Waite has made a series of visits to Switzerland for steam on the narrower gauges - such events can need special planning as they tend not to be frequent on all systems, the lines are metre gauge unless otherwise indicated:

Please also see my European narrow gauge steam page for various links to such preserved railways.

Turkey Index

Çamlik Railway Museum (see below) was faced with closure (4th May 2011) owing to lack of money - see Alan Castle's full report. I've no idea what happened but it was in rude good health when Clive Hepworth visited in October 2013 (19th October 2013). See also the railway museum pages for other visit reports.

More than 10 years ago, I said that It was not impossible that steam survives in one or two industrial locations....  That can't be true now. Just look out for large dumps of locos and occasional tourist trains.  But this site http://www.trainsofturkey.com/index.htm contains a mass of information on the railways of Turkey and is essential reading for anyone interested in its railways (16th September 2005), backed up by this steam picture gallery http://www.1974.trainsofturkey.com/index.htm (added 12th August 2009). In particular the list of 'preserved' (maybe 'reserved') steam locomotives on this page - http://www.trainsofturkey.com/w/pmwiki.php/Steam/PreservedSteam, notably in the railway museums at Camlik and Ankara. Jochen Ickert visited Usak on 21st June 2007 and confirmed the status of many of the steam locomotives on the list (updated 12th September 2007). Terry Wallace has reported on his 2009 visit which broadly confirms previous reports (31st August 2009).

The various verbal (and occasional email) reports I have of tours and attempted tours to Turkey in the last few years would be enough to put a lot of people off ever trying again. However, Vic Allen (Enthusiast Holidays) and his local contact went to visit TCDD HQ and it seemed that at long last they were prepared to take such a venture more seriously and prepare properly for it. Read Vic's report of the visit and consequent action (27th December 2002). Alas all came to nothing and a proposed tour in 2004 was again cancelled (20th November 2004).

Christoph Oboth joined a steam tour (of Asian Turkey) in September 1999. Read his report (4th October 1999). John Raby tells me (17th December 1999): "Despite tailoring their tour of Turkey to where most of the engines are kept - Usak, a Japanese group recently abandoned plans for a New Year 2000 tour of Western Turkey based on Usak when they were promised only one loco (a Kreigslok) for their tour. They had been ready to go if they could have a Krieg, the Stephenson 46105 and a G8 or G10. At the point of initial discussion, these locos had been suggested by the Turks along with the Henschel based at Afyon. One Krieg that might give up on the first day for any number of reasons with nothing else in reserve is no basis on which to run a tour. Not surprisingly, the tour will not run. TCDD needs to do something about this situation otherwise there will be no more tours of Turkey behind steam."

Further to this I hear from Johs. Damsgaard Hansen (13th October 2000): "For your information there have been two steam specials in Turkey late September/early October 2000 organized by Intraexpress (one week) and Dietmar Kramer (three days). However both tours suffered from the disastrous steam situation at the TCDD. Only two locomotives, a "Kriegslok" and the "Skyliner" could be used, which probably may mean the end to steam specials in Turkey."

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James Waite has sent a report on the preserved railway attractions of Istanbul, which includes the Rahmi M Koç museum, Istanbul (added 2nd October 2007). Richard Foster has added an update (29th January 2010) which indicates that narrow gauge steam will soon be running in the heart of Istanbul. So far that doesn't seem to have happened, but Thomas Kautzor visited in April 2016 and reports on further progress at this world class museum (21st May 2016)

Ukraine Index

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For an interesting (Russian language, readily translated) page on preserved narrow gauge locomotives in the country see http://rail.org.ua/cgi-bin/ib/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=44, (link dead 25th October 2016). However, I understand that some of them have moved from the locations given, so check before making a visit (20th June 2010). See also my own narrow gauge page for information on working narrow gauge railways (updated 11th October 2010).

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Now that broad gauge steam in action here is likely to remain just a memory for the most part, Harvey Smith has pointed out that the locomotive preserved outside the south end of the  main station at Kiev is a unique survivor (14th August 2013). Incorrectly styled as FD 20-058 for the sake of political correctness, it is in fact JS 20-058, the JS standing for Joseph Stalin. She is the last of the class to survive. 649 were built between 1933 and 1942, the picture is courtesy of Gorkem Akyol.

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It seems that the South Western Railway of Ukraine operated Retro trains using L 3055 in the Kiev area in 2012 (http://nerht.heritage-railways.com/es/EasternStar047.pdf). There are a number of YouTube videos of the occasion, all appear to have been taken in June when the operation would have benefited from an influx of visitors for the Euro Football Championship. Just what the operational dates were is unclear but it seems to have been daily between at least 16th and 27th June 2012. More information would be welcome especially concerning whether the trains have been repeated at all in 2013. The picture is courtesy of Gorkem Akyol. (All this 15th August 2013)

Click for full size image. Fabrice Lanoue joined part of a short steam tour organised by Wolfram Wendelin in September 2013. You can see what he found (25th October 2013). Click here for details of Wolfram's May 2014 tour with L 3535 (4th January 2014). Later news is that the tour has been cancelled owing to the uncertainties over the political situation in the country (27th January 2014). L 3535 returned to mainline action in late October 2015 when it ran a charter for Wolfram Wendelin in the west of the country, you can now read Fabrice Lanoue's short report with copious illustrations (29th November 2015), also included were charters with Er 787-86 and narrow gauge GR 280.
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In addition to the locomotives at the museum at Kiev Passenger Station, 9P 17485 is preserved at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. The picture is courtesy of Gorkem Akyol. (15th August 2013).

Parker Wilson has sent a picture of a famous preserved SO in Dnepropetrovsk (26th October 2015).

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On 1st November 2015, the Ukrainian Railway Heritage Association marked the National, Railway Workers' Day (actually 4th November) with a special train from T Shevchenka station (Smila) to Hrebinka, hauled by privately owned SU 251-86, a round trip of 244 km. This link is to a news item shown on TV. http://vikka.ua/news/49075-cherkaschinoyu-proihav-ekskursijnij-retro-potyag-video.htm.Thanks to Ivor Harding for this one (4th November 2015). 

Harvey Smith has posted a picture of an armoured Od Class at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow, now he informs me that there is a similar locomotive Od 1147 preserved near Kanev (Kaniv) in Cherkaska Oblast some 150Km North of Kirovgrad (49°45'38"N, 31°25'04"E) http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/pg_view.php?ID=19917&LNG=RU, with an armoured train  http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/?ID=154630&LNG=RU (1st August 2011). Ivor Harding has now given the correct co-ordinates (above) from personal observation, which are slightly but significantly different from those quoted in the links! Picture 19917 is taken from the north side looking east and 154639 from the south looking west (26th October 2011). There is also an armoured train in Odessa with Ov 3818 - http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/pg_view.php?ID=24836&LNG=RU#picture (26th October 2011). Wilson Parker has added another example at Sevastopol, Crimea (21st April 2015).

Roland Beier writes: "When I visited Korolewo (around 60 km east of Csop, which is the border station to Hungary and Slovakia) in winter 1995/96 they still had a Er class in steam for shunting." There was a lot of publicity about a return to steam here - what has happened? Of course, there were regular steam railtours with the museum fleet..... David Huntbatch joined a New Year 2003/4 tour and gives a brief illustrated overview (28th January 2004). Henry Posner II I adds (7th November 2005): "While visiting Chernovitsi on Sunday October 23rd 2005 I was surprised to hear a steam whistle. Subsequent discussion with shed staff indicated that 3 steam locos are available for tourist work. On shed were L-5141, L-3535, both cold, leading me to assume that a third L was working a tourist charter. Also noted was dumped Er 799-82 and an unidentified but possibly serviceable narrow gauge 0-8-0 on blocks (gauges were intact in cab but paint blistered on both sides: at the front of the loco "159" was noted as part of its number)."

Since when even the museum operation has ground to a halt with a grand 'last steam tour' in 2008 although odd day trips continue as noted above..

Fireless Locos (including Americas and Asia) Index

A while back, Brian Rumary came up with a surprisingly long list of such locos in Germany and Austria, sadly the link is now dead (25th October 2016), http://freespace.virgin.net/brian.rumary/Fireless.htm. Andreas Illert has provided an updated illustrated list of known German fireless operations (updated 5th October 2013) and Mark Palmer confirms activity at Mannheim, Herne and Osnabruck in February 2013 (8th July 2013, pictures from Osnabruck added 7th November 2013). I owe Thomas Kautzor an apology as I misplaced his May report of a visit to Herne which I have now appended to Mark's account (9th July 2013). Andreas Illert has provided a gloomy PS to the 2013 reports above for Romonta and Sodawerke Stassfurt (27th October 2013) and now SASOL Herne (10th December 2013). Geoff Warren caught SASOL Herne working in February 2014 (12th March 2014), Andreas Illert was here in March 2014 and I have appended his report to the existing ones (1st April 2014). Peter Illert's report of the situation at Mannheim has now been added (8th May 2014). Now Christoph Obert tells me of a 'new' loco for Grosskraftwerk Mannheim and continuing operation at Herne (14th December 2014). Two visits by the Illert brothers to Grosskraftwerk Mannheim in January 2017 produced a Meiningen 0-6-0 'in steam' both times and shunting once, but the 'new' 0-8-0 was not active (1st February 2017)

Now see Andreas Illert's good news from Romonta and news of continuing fireless activity in Austria (updated 19th February 2015). Andreas has been back to Romonta and I have uploaded his illustrated report separately (6th August 2015). Now Peter Illert reports that activity at Grosskraftwerk Mannheim was at a high level in early November 2015 (27th November 2015). The Illert brothers returned to Romonta in May 2016, read their update (5th June 2016), a visit to Sodawerke Stassfurt found two fireless locos parked at the loading point and they did not move between 12.00 and 14.00. Peter Illert visited Romonta Amsdorf/Roeblingen on Saturday 17th December 2016 . He found the fireless on the spoil train, with the operation pattern unchanged to previous reports (1st February 2017).

See also Slovenia (updated 27th May 2015) above, that in the Czech Republic finished in November 2013 (updated 15th December 2013), see the 2014 update (19th February 2015). Finally, how many Cuba visitors saw the 'new' fireless 1664 at mill 520 Noel Fernandez (see the 1999 Cuba report for a picture)? 1664 was at work in February 2002, the only fireless active during that Zafra (22nd March 2002), but the firelesses at Brasil Mill were reported to be going strong in both the 2007 and 2008 Zafra seasons (2nd June 2008), since when I have had no news.

Thomas Kautzor points out (24th July 2013) that DLM bought three fireless locos from Germany:

Jung Nr. 5 (C-fl, Jung 13254/1959), 2009 ex Martinwerk GmbH, Bergheim/Erft Nr. 5;
FLC 03 147 (Swiss ID E 3/3 Nr. 90 85 9380 001-8 - C-fl, Raw Meiningen 03 147/1987) 2009 ex Akzo-Nobel, Heinsberg-Oberbruch Nr. 2, ex Regiobahn Bitterfeld GmbH (RBB) Nr. 13, ex VEB Chemiekombinat Bitterfeld, BT Wolfen Nr. 13;
FLC 03 160 (Swiss ID E 3/3 Nr. 90 85 9380 002-6 - C-fl, Raw Meiningen 03 160/187) 2010 ex Museumsbahn Küstenbahn Ostfriesland, 1995 ex VEB Liquörfabrik Zahna.

The idea seems to have been to recondition them and then hire them out, whether that ever happened, I do not know. In any case, the DLM website shows a demonstration day at the Falken Brewery in Schaffhausen on 7th September 2012, http://www.dlm-ag.ch/en/news/175-vorfuehrungen-der-dlm-speicherlokomotiven-in-schaffhausen.  

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Harry Valentine came up with proposals for a 21st Century Fireless Steam Locomotive (12th November 2000).

After a long break it was good to hear (10th January 2002) that at least one of the firelesses at Benxi steelworks in China was still running in April 2001, I am sure that is no longer the case. The last active (original) firelesses in Asia at Semboro Sugar Mill in Java, Indonesia (22nd July 2002) were working again during the 2010/11/12/13/14 seasons (updated 15th August 2014). 

Click for full size image. Click for full size image. The three 2011 fireless conversions at Pagottan sugar mill were all working during a visit on 1st August 2012 (added 2nd August 2012). The pictures are courtesy of Wilson Lythgoe (24th August 2012) and they have been reported running again in 2013 but in an orange livery (16th June 2013). 7 and 8 were at work in early August 2014 (15th August 2014).

Plandampf Index

This site has never claimed to offer up-to-date information, what is here is believed correct with the dates given, corrections are always welcome!. This information is repeated on a separate page (now of historical interest only).

Good news (27th May 2003) for English speaking enthusiasts is that UK contact David Sprackland is now on Email (address revised 10th January 2009). See also Bryan Benn's home page - http://www.germansteam.info (link dead by October 2014), he also has a proper Plandampf site http://www.plandampf.co.uk (new address 1st April 2005). 

There is now a proper German Language site run by LoRi although it offers a regular English language newsletter - see http://www.plandampfteam.de (added 3rd August 2007), see also Revierdampf's page (English and German) http://www.revierdampf.de (added 10th January 2009).

Railway Cranes (Steam and Hand) Index

The surviving railway cranes feature now includes pages on Eastern Europe (updated 29th October 2016) and Western Europe (updated 4th January 2017)


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk


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