The International Steam Pages


Narrow Gauge Steam Railways in Europe

I have been a narrow gauge freak for over 30 years, back then, many countries boasted working narrow gauge steam - by which I mean (by and large) railways with a gauge of less than one metre, but which are not 'miniature' again it is an arbitrary decision on my part. Now those countries with real narrow gauge steam can be counted on the fingers of one hand and nowhere is it remotely plentiful. So this page has to widen its scope to include operating museums and railways which will organise charter trains for visiting groups etc. If you have got to this page through search engines, please be aware that similar information is available for those who are broader minded through my main international steam pages. See also my museums page which will include references to non-active steam.

As always, updates, additions and corrections will be very welcome.

If your interest extends beyond steam, then the following sites will provide useful information along with that on steam:


This page covers European narrow gauge steam railways, either scroll down the page or click on a continent for a further menu - the non-European list is now kept separately.

Africa
(24th Jun 11)
Americas
(16th Aug 16)
Asia
(4th Nov 16)
Australasia Europe
(22nd Mar 17)

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Narrow Gauge World, a bi-monthly UK publication with a significant international slant

Voie Etroite a bi-monthly French publication with a significant international slant


Europe

For lists which includes many European Museum sites see European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways http://www.fedecrail.org/en/index_en.html and http://www.innvista.com/culture/travel/rail/museuro.htm (various languages). If you are prepared to spend some time browsing then the pictures on this site will take you to many preservation sites - http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix_frameset.html.

Austria
(22nd Oct 15)
Belgium
(30th Sep 13)
Bosnia
(9th Oct 14)
Bulgaria
(23rd May 14)
Czech Republic
(21st Apr 15)
Denmark
(1st Jun 08)
Estonia
(18th Nov 09)
Finland
(16th Jun 12)
France
(10th Sep 15)
Germany
(16th Aug 16)
Greece
(19th Nov 16)
Hungary
(24th Sep 10)
Ireland
(24th Feb 12)
Italy
(8th Sep 15)
Latvia
(18th Nov 09)
Netherlands
(30th Sep 13)
Norway
(13th Aug 13)
Poland
(28th Dec 13)
Portugal
(4th Oct 07)
Romania
(14th Sep 15)
Russia
(16th Jun 15)
Serbia
(9th Mar 11)
Slovakia
(4th Aug 11)
Spain
(22nd Mar 17)
Sweden
(1st Feb 17)
Switzerland
(26th Oct 16)
Turkey
(29th Jan 10)
Ukraine
(11th Oct 10)
United Kingdom
(3rd Sep 07)

Austria (updated 22nd October 2015)

For an English language summary of extant lines please check out http://www.austrian-railways.org/argng.htm (link is dead, hijacked 26th March 2012). These are direct links to most of the operating railway's websites which are largely German language although the major ones have parts in English. The amount of steam activity varies from daily in the tourist season to occasional.

There is a list of 14 narrow gauge railways (some closed, some non-steam) on Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Narrow_gauge_railways_in_Austria amazingly at the time of writing it does not include some of those in the list below...

Belgium (added 30th September 2013)

Thomas Kautzor reports on De Bakkersmolen, a flour mill, bakery and restaurant in Essen-Wildert which has a short 600mm gauge tourist railway (30th September 2013).

Stoomcentrum Maldegem has a 600mm gauge railway. None of the five steam locomotives present is serviceable, but one at least will be restored fairly soon. Read Thomas Kautzor's report (30th September 2013).

Bosnia (updated 9th October 2014)

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The coal mine at Banovici has working steam, although I believe its status is now spare to diesels. For the reports check the Europe page on this site (latest report may be 9th October 2014). Click here for James Waite's photo report of a double headed charter in February 2012 (2nd March 2012)

Bulgaria (updated 23rd May 2014)

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2-10-2T 60976 has been reported active on special trains on the Septemvri to Dobriniště line - for picture of it in action in 2007 see the links on http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/bg/narrow_gauge/steam/609/pix.html. James Waite has sent a report of his visit (4th October 2007). Thomas Kautzor has sent a survey of 'preserved' (= extant) narrow gauge locomotives in the country but at this time (23rd May 2014), only 60976 is serviceable.

Czech Republic (updated 21st April 2015)

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An extraordinary story is the construction of a replica 600mm gauge Orenstein and Koppel 0-6-0T by 'Kolínská Lokomotivní'. Chris Capewell found it nearing completion in early September 2014 and Ing. Svatopluk Šlechta captured the locomotive on 4th October 2014 during its first test run at Sendražice (Kolín) on the restored railway there (see below). For more information see http://www.1loco.eu/EN.building.replicas.steam.locomotives.php or http://www.1loco.eu.

Thomas Kautzor adds (21st April 2015) "It was built by 1. Kolínská Lokomotivní, which is owned by the Bednar brothers from Brno. They have restored a number of standard and narrow gauge steam locos so far, including the two Brigadeloks MI-631 and MI-611 for the Ventspils park railway: The OK 40 HP 0-6-0T is their only newly built loco so far but they are also offering to build other OK 0-4-0T and 0-6-0T models (10 to 50 HP): There is, however, not a big market for newly-built narrow gauge steam locos, because financial cost of acquiring an existing loco and restoring it is roughly equal.

They have however built a non-working replica Brigadelok for display in a park in Zemplínske Hámre (eastern Slovakia). The loco looks very close to the real thing and even incorporates some parts taken off MI-631 from Ventspils when is was overhauled at Kolin:

http://www.zemplinskehamre.sk/galerie_detail.php?id=1468&gal_id=39

http://www.kovarstvisokolik.cz/restaurovani/Parni-lokomotiva.html

http://www.teraz.sk/fotodennik/historia-a-sucasnost-obce-zemplinsk/81612-fotografia.html

http://humenne.dnes24.sk/unikatny-projekt-v-zemplinskych-hamroch-za-viac-ako-milion-eur-vacsina-penazi-pride-zo-svajciarska-174816

The 40 HP OK was on display at the Prag Technical Museum for three month over the winter 2015-5.

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The narrow gauge lines from Jindřichův to Hradec and Obrataň operate a diesel service with steam on summer weekends and special days, for their own website see http://www.jhmd.cz/. In addition to the U47 here originally, Heinrich Hubbert adds (1st September 2008) that in August 2008 there were two further steam locomotives working - a Resita and a PX 48. James Waite has sent a report of his visit (2nd September 2008), to which I have added a couple of loco portrait shots (30th August 2014)..

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Chris Cairns was here on 3rd and 6th August 2012 and variously found U37.002, U46.001 and U46.101 at work (13th August 2012).

Heinrich Hubbert adds (1st September 2008) a Resita 0-8-0T is now available for special workings on the last CD narrow gauge line between Osoblaha and Třemešná in the North East of the country - see http://www.orchestrion.cz/narrow.htm for basic information on this railway and http://ftp.czechtourism.com/133premier/en/cd/en/news/news133.htm (link is dead) for information on steam operation (at least in 2006). James Waite has now been there to see a repatriated (from Bosnia) Skoda 0-10-0 at work (updated with historical notes, 28th February 2011).

Thomas Nugent (via Chris Allen and Chris Hodrien) reports (14th August 2008):

"I went to a restored narrow gauge railway in a large industrial town called Kolin, a pleasant 50 mile round trip along the Labe by bike (the old paddle steamer is still there by the way, untouched). I was at Kolin last year when restoration work was still under way, but it is now open to the public and runs a weekend service. I had a look at http://www.mapy.cz and it appears that all of the buildings have been erected in the past couple of years. Money came from the EU as well as local companies such as Toyota. They have a web site with some English content - http://www.zeleznicka.bloudil.cz/?lang=cz. It was built in the 1840s to carry sugar beet from the fields to the processing plant."

The Zbýšov museum of industrial railways, and its associated 600mm gauge line between Zastávka u Brna and Zbýšov are close to Brno. The operating line runs on the trackbed of an old standard gauge line originally built to connect coal mines at Zbýšov with the main line at Zastávka. They have a 1951-built CKD 0-4-0T which runs on some dates and operate some of their extensive collection of historic diesel and electric locos on others. Details of their 2012 schedule are at http://www.reuz.cz/uvod/ (Czech language - the steam dates are the ones in the list starting "Jízdy s parní lokomotivou"). Note that there's a connecting main line steam special from Brno scheduled for 22nd September 2012. There are briefer details of the line at http://www.mpz.cz which has an English-language page. (All this paragraph revised thanks to James Waite, 24th November 2011)

Up in the north east of the country there's the Mladejov 760mm gauge line, now a heritage steam railway but formerly an industrial line. Two of its distinctive Krauss Linz locos survive and have both been in operation in 2011. Its website, Czech language only, is at http://www.mladejov.cz/uvodni-stranka. For some excellent pictures of the railway when it was still real, see http://spz.logout.cz/uzke/cz_mladejov/mladejov.html (Czech language, added 18th November 2009). 

Denmark (updated 1st June 2008)

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For an excellent summary see "A VISITORS' GUIDE TO NORDIC (SCANDINAVIAN) NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS" by Philip Pacey. James Waite visited the Hedelands Railway at Roskilde in May 2008, you can read his report

Estonia (updated 18th November 2009)

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At Lavassaare is what is called a museum but is actually preserved narrow gauge railway - see http://www.museumrailway.ee/. James Waite was here in July 2009 (25th July 2009). For more information on Peat Railways in Estonia, please see this page - http://spz.logout.cz/uzke/ee_tootsi/ee_t-l.html. It is in Czech but readily and (dare I say it) quite well using Google translate. This link added on 18th November 2009.

Finland (updated 29th August 2009)

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The Jokioinen Railway is a preserved 750mm gauge in southern Finland. The railway's website is http://www.jokioistenmuseorautatie.fi and you can also read James Waite's report of a July 2007 visit (with a 29th August 2009 interesting diesel update). See also "A VISITORS' GUIDE TO NORDIC (SCANDINAVIAN) NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS" by Philip Pacey and this Finnish site which lists quite a few former narrow gauge lines in the country - http://www.netti.fi/~kpaanane/narrow.htm (link dead by April 2015).

Jussi Tepponen has produced a survey of Narrow Gauge Survivors in Finland which includes links to operational railways and static exhibits (16th June 2012).

France (revised 10th September 2015)

A key website is that of UNECTO (http://www.unecto.fr/), but see also http://www.lafrancevuedurail.fr/cftliste.htm, note narrow gauge lines may not be immediately obvious among any lists I have seen. 

The magazine Voie Etroite has a list of tourist railways, many of which of course will not be narrow and maybe not even steam!
http://www.voieetroite.com/annu_cft.htm.

This section has historically been allowed to grow in a totally unplanned manner. After some prodding and assistance I am happy to present it in a more helpful manner: Given the shape of the country (almost square) the best way to list the lines seems to be alphabetically by region / area:

Auvergne

Bourgogne

Centre

Ile de France

Lorraine

  • Toul Military Railways, Lorraine, NO STEAM but a cracking tale, see Thomas Kautzor's report from July 2014 (10th Aug 2014)
  • Fort d'Uxegney, no steam currently, but see Thomas Kautzor's report from July 2014 of an interesting embryonic railway linking two former forts (10th Aug 2014)  

Midi-Pyrénées

Nord Pas-de-Calais

Picardie

Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur

  • Thomas Kautzor has produced a 'potpourri' of preserved items in this area which includes some narrow gauge items, some of which are steam, but none active (10th September 2015).

Rhône Alpes

  • CF Vivarais (metre gauge) Perhaps the best known of all French preserved railways, it suddenly closed in 2008 (18th April 2008) but has since risen from its death bed. Robert Brown has pointed out than Euros 13,000,000 has been invested in the CF Vivarais with the result that 'Velorail' services were available in 2011, railcars ran in 2012 and steam returned in 2013. The main website was http://www.mastrou.com/ ((site ineffective by September 2015), now it is http://trainardeche.fr/wp/ (English). The restoration has been recorded in a series of pages from May 2011 http://www.forum-train.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5972&start=0. The only real downside is the loss of the connection to the main line at Tournon with its mixed gauge running. By 2015, SACM Mallet 414 is now also operational and alternates in service with SLM Mallet 403. Thomas Kautzor was here just after re-opening in July 2013 and you can read his somewhat jaundiced report of what he found. "Must try harder" sums it up (20th September 2013).
  • There's precious little steam (and none of it active) in James Waite's report on the narrow gauge railways of Mont Blanc, but plenty of interest to the ng enthusiast in general (25th August 2011, updated 21st October 2013 and again 20th June 2015).

Germany (Updated with new pictures of the Öchsle Museumsbahnnew reports, 21st June 2015 with the Brohltalbahn, 30th May 2015 with the Dampfkleinbahn Bad Orb and 26th May 2015 with the Schlossgartenbahn Karlsruhe)

For a summary of extant lines please check out http://www.schmalspurbahn.de/ (German language site). A further internet search should identify English language sites where they exist. I have not been able to identify an English language site covering the German narrow gauge (steam) railways adequately.

Not strictly an operating railway, although it has a lengthy demonstration line some 2km long is the Frankfurter Feldbahn Museum, you can read about James Waite's June 2009 visit (added 21st June 2009). Chris Yapp was here in June 2012 and you can see his photo report (14th June 2012). Thomas Kautzor was here at the end of May 2014, this place is now very special (6th June 2014). Thomas Kautzor attended the Museum's 40th anniversary celebrations in May 2015 (19th May 2015).

In the same style are two short railways visited by Thomas Kautzor, Nüremberg's Feldbahnmuseum 500 e.V (30th September 2013) and Berlin's Parkeisenbahn with appendix covering 'Merapi' a Javan Returnee... and information on its sister locomotives, (both added 30th September 2013).

The following are, perhaps, among the better known of those operating steam services, being mainly in the former East Germany and having maintained 'real steam' into reunification, but now they are all effectively 'preserved' operations. But there is a lot more than these if you dig around in the site above and I shall be happy to add specific recommendations to the list below.

Bavaria

Hessen

  • Dampfkleinbahn Bad Orb is an unfashionable 600mm line which is nevertheless 6.5km long. Read Thomas Kautzor's report (added 30th May 2015).

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:

  • Bad Doberan's Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn "Molli" GmbH - 900mm - http://www.molli-bahn.de. The railway has commissioned a brand new extra locomotive to deal with its buoyant traffic http://www.molli-bahn.de/Dampflokomotive_99_2324-4.295.0.html (added 7th December 2008, link dead by October 2014). It was delivered on 25th March and will presumably enter service shortly reports Louis Cerny (19th April 2009).

  • Putbus - Göhren, Rügensche Kleinbahn GmbH - 750mm - http://www.rasender-roland.de.

Niedersachsen

Sachsen:

There are reports of visits to these lines elsewhere on the site:

Sachsen-Anhalt

  • Harzer Schmalspurbahnen GmbH - 1000mm - http://www.hsb-wr.de/ - If you search Google using "site:www.hsb-wr.de Harzquer Railway" then there are several English language pages with information but I have yet to find any page linking them! Trevor Heath has uploaded some pictures from his September 2008 visit (added 14th October 2008). Edward Buchanan has provided a short reminder of how steamy and attractive this railway is (16th August 2016).

Baden-Württemberg

North Rhine-Westphalia

  • The metre gauge Selfkantbahn (http://www.selfkantbahn.de/ operates over a 5.5 km section of the former Geilenkirchener Kreisbahn (GKB), a 37.7 km long metre gauge railway near the border with the Netherlands. Thomas Kautzor was here in April 2014 (27th May 2014).

Rheinland Pfalz

  • The metre gauge Brohltalbahn is mainly diesel operated but has a newly restored Mallet, read Thomas Kautzor's account of a June 2015 visit (21st June 2015). While in the area, Thomas also checked out some Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn remains on the other side of the Rhine.

The following are historical notes which were originally hosted on the main Europe page but are more appropriately now placed here.

David Thornhill (19th March 2003) has gently chastised me for not promoting the steam on the various narrow gauge systems of the former East Germany, some of which could then fairly be regarded as very real. Read his review of the services (updated 14th December 2003).

Louis Cerny has visited the well known Harz lines and has sent a short report (10th November 2003). Louis also reports on an unusual gauge narrowing on this railway with consequential new steam service (9th April 2006): "The Harzer Schmalspur Bahnen will formally open its new line from Quedlinburg to Gernrode (converted from 1435mm to 1000mm gauge) on April 8th with a special 5 hr 33 min trip from Quedlinburg to Brocken using three steam locomotives. My understanding is that a regular service of three steam round trips per day (plus additional railcar trips) between Quedlinburg and Gernrode will start June 26, and that test steam trains have operated since March 4th." Louis also tells me the welcome news (1st December 2008) that at long last the Freital-Hainsberg - Dippoldiswalde - Kipsdorf "Weißeritztalbahn" will have re-opened as far as Dippoldiswalde on 14th December 2008. 

Roland Beier points out that when the long trumpeted transfer of the Radebeul Ost-Radeburg line occurs (expected in December 2003, again in April 2004 and now most likely in May 2004) then this will finally bring to an end scheduled steam on DB. (7th April 2004). Andreas Illert adds (8th September 2004) - the transfer of the Radebeul-Radeburg line from DB to BVO Bahn GmbH (the operator of the Cranzahl-Oberwiesental line) happened on June 21, so scheduled steam on DB is over (once again after 1977).

Greece (updated 19th November 2016)

Many metre gauge steam locomotives survive, but I have not seen any suggestions that any are serviceable. The 600mm line to Milies has been part restored as a tourist operation but owing to fire risk, their steam locomotives see limited operation. Local railfans charter steam trains here from time to time. For more pictures visit http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/gr/narrow_gauge/steam/pix.html which also includes static preserved items elsewhere in the country.

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James Waite went to Volos and rode one of the rare specials on 6th March 2010 - read his report which includes pictures of other preserved narrow and metre gauge items (15th March 2010).

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The 750mm gauge line between Diakofto and Kalavryta is a (part) rack system which in theory could see steam charters but no reports of such seem to have been made in recent years. The line is reported open and working normally with new diesel railcars after repairs in November 2009 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diakofto_Kalavrita_Railway. In the circumstances of the country as a whole, astonishing news is that DK 8.001 based at Kalavryta has been overhauled and since joined by a coach. Test runs within the station (May 2015) and to Kerpini (June 2015) have been completed and once remaining considerable formalities are completed the way will be open for occasional special trains. The picture is courtesy of Nikos Kantitirs. For a local version of the story and an extended YouTube clip, see http://www.kalavrytanews.com/2015/06/Steam-Locomotive-dk-8001-on-test-Run-at-Kalavrita.html. (9th July 2015) James Waite attended the 120th anniversary celebrations in November 2016, read his report (19th November 2016).

Hungary (updated 24th September 2010)

Particular mention should be made of the Gysev operation, the 3.6km museum railway "Széchenyi" in Nagycenk with regular scheduled steam - see https://www.gysev.hu/portal/page/portal/INTERNET/GYSEV_ONLINE?p_h_menu=2&p_v_menu=3.

There appears to be a 14km preserved forestry railway at Lillafüred with some steam operation - read James Waite's report (added 24th September 2010), James also visited Szilvasvarad nearby which has one steam locomotive which may be serviceable.

The Királyrét Forest Railway connects Kismaros and Szokolya, located near the Duna-Ipoly National Park and the Slovak border. Ex Romanian 490.2004 operates here from time to time but you'll have to negotiate this website to find out exactly when - http://www.kisvasut-kiralyret.fw.hu/ (17th November 2009).

Peter Nettleship recommends the Budapest Children's Railway (formerly the Young Pioneers' Railway until 1990), in the Buda Hills and easily combined with rides on the rack tram and funicular - see http://www.gyermekvasut.com (moved from the museums page, 21st November 2009, link dead by 25th October 2016), according to their website steam is used at the weekends.

Ireland (updated 24th February 2012)

The vast majority of Ireland's wonderful 3ft gauge railways were swept away many years ago. The Irish Steam Preservation Society have a small operational railway of relatively recent origin - http://irishsteam.ie/.

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James Waite has sent me a report of his own visit (updated 14th June 2010) to the following systems:

James has made further visits to the West Clare Railway (updated 4th November 2010). See their own website - http://www.westclarerailway.ie

Not strictly for this section as it is non-operational, but as I don't list Irish museums... James Waite has sent a report of the Ulster Transport and Folk Museum which has many narrow gauge exhibits (24th February 2012).

Italy (updated 8th September 2015)

Italian steam was always 'different' and so were their narrow gauge railways, being built to 950mm gauge (they built the Eritrean railway too). See also on this site Italian Railway Heritage and Preservation - with links to areas with narrow gauge steam.

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The best known of such railways are those on Sardinia, several of which have steam locomotives which are nominally serviceable but they seem only to be used for well-heeled tour groups and even then, not entirely in accordance with the advertised schedule... James Waite was in Sardinia in May 2009 and provided an illustrated report (17th June 2009).

Also on the mainland in Calabria there are two 950mm gauge sections run by the Ferrovie della Calabria, both of them very much working railways. James Waite has produced an article on the Ferrovie Calabro-Lucane including a map (updated 24th February 2010, based on a previous article, 26th November 2009). The article has now been updated to reflect 353's return to service (8th September 2015).

One is based on Cosenza and consists of two lines up into the mountains, one of which finishes at Catanzaro Lido on the south coast and includes a short rack section down an escarpment from Catanzaro city. In theory three steam locos are available for tourist trains out of Cosenza. RTC had, optimistically as ever, promised to run all three of them, no's. 353, 403 and (rack) 504 in action on three days in September 2008. In practice it was fortunate that 353's boiler certificate had been temporarily extended which allowed it to operate on one of the days as 403's repairs were never going to be completed in time (the loco was recently described as 'a kit of parts') and 504 is currently in Cosenza works with front end problems... It was probably a good job that the local vino is very palatable!

The second section is based on Gioia Tauro. There's been no active steam here for many years but Breda-built 2-6-0T 188 has been kept in semi-open storage at Gioia Tauro depot and there's a long-term plan to restore it to working order.

These pictures are courtesy of James Waite:

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Latvia (updated 18th November 2009)

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There are two operational railways at Ventspils and Gulbene - read the report James Waite's July 2007 visit (updated 25th July 2009). See also this Czech language report on non-steam operation at Gulbene - http://spz.logout.cz/uzke/lv_banitis/banitis.html (added 18th November 2009) 

Netherlands (updated 30th September 2013)

See this site for a list of Dutch railway museums - http://www.railmusea.nl.

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Recommended (by James Waite) narrow gauge destinations are below - you can read his report on them (added 25th September 2007):

  • Valkenburgse Meer (National) Narrow Gauge Museum (SVM) (700mm with other gauges as exhibits), Valkenburg near Leiden. Kees Plug writes (13th February 2016) "We recently (2015) changed our name from Stoomtrein Valkenburgse Meer / Nationaal Smalspoormuseum to Stoomtrein Katwijk Leiden. Accordingly the name of the site has changed to www.stoomtreinkatwijkleiden.nl. We now also have an English page www.stoomtreinkatwijkleiden.nl/english/." 

  • Museum R.T.M. Ouddorp (1067mm) - http://www.rtm-ouddorp.nl/ (look for the English icon)

This park also has an operational narrow gauge steam locomotive - First Drenthe Association of Steam Aficionados (EDS), Barger Compascuum, see Thomas Kautzor's report (30th September 2013).

Norway (updated 13th August 2013)

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For an excellent summary see "A VISITORS' GUIDE TO NORDIC (SCANDINAVIAN) NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS" by Philip Pacey. On this site, you can read James Waite's accounts:

  • ”Tertitten” - the Urskog-Hølandsbanen Railway. James was back for spectacular steam with sun and snow in December 2010 - see his report! The show will be repeated on December 19th (God permitting for the sun) and again on New Year's Eve when a certain gentleman called Roar Stenersen will be driving the latter news added, 15th December 2010). Chris Yapp has provided an update (13th August 2013).

  • The Setesdalsbanen (updated 16th October 2008). Chris Yapp has provided an update (13th August 2013).

  • The Lommedalsbanen is an industrial railway museum with a short 600mm gauge running line of around one kilometre in length in the forest near Lommedalen which is about 10 km from Sandvika on the main Oslo to Drammen road. See Chris Yapp's short report from 2013 (13th August 2013).

Poland (updated 26th December 2013)

For a general introduction, see www.narrowrail.net/ (added 28th December 2013), http://www.cleeve.com/poland/ and http://www.schmalspurbahn-in-polen.de/ (German language).

It seems that the children's railway in Poznan has at least one serviceable steam locomotive, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Railway_Maltanka, see also http://polishrail.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/celebrations-at-maltanka/ (26th December 2013).

Mark Palmer prodded me into providing some better information on the Polish narrow gauge scene and now James Waite has produced an article which summarises the situation in 2012 (updated 3rd August 2012). That report is now clearly dated and a rare good bit of good news is that the Krosnice Park Railway is now operational with some services operated by PKP Px48-1907 which was formerly on the Nowy Dwór system. For more information consult http://krosnicepelnapara.pl/cms/index.php/narrow-gauge-railway-of-krosnice (26th December 2013, link dead by October 2014).

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The Sroda line, which friends of Mark Palmer visited in 2011 (they said it still looked much the same as in my 1995 photos), is a steam-worked preserved operation running at summer weekends, see http://www.sredzkakolej.pl/ (some information in English). Click here for a report of James Waite's visits for charters in April 2008 and 2012 (14th June 2012).

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The Gniezno line may run summer weekend tourist trains, but it currently has problems, see http://www.gkw-gniezno.pl/ (Polish only). Click here for a report of James Waite's visit for a charter in April 2012 (14th June 2012).

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James Waite visited Cisna - a former forestry railway in the Carpathians now a tourist railway - for one of their fairly rare steam days (updated 13th June 2010). 

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James Waite visited the Żnin District Railway (and the Wenecja narrow gauge railway museum) in April 2012 for a charter with their steam locomotive (15th May 2012)

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James Waite visited the Gryfice Railway (and associated metre gauge museum) back in 2008. As the railway reaches re-opening after reconstruction, his report is very welcome (17th June 2012).

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James Waite completes his survey of the remaining preserved railways with some steam operation with a visit to Elk (1st August 2012)

Portugal (updated 4th October 2007)

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).

No active steam 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).

Romania (updated 14th September 2015)

The railway at Viseus de Sus remains operational on a reduced scale - click here for the reports. As of mid-2008, the service was suspended owing to severe flood damage, but the line has since re-opened.

Since when a number of narrow gauge steam locomotives have been restored to operational condition. Bertram Frenzel reports on the possibilities to see active steam in the country (14th September 2015), either on tourist trains or authentic recreations.

Russia (updated 28th July 2015)

For an entry point into the world of Russian (and former Russian Empire) narrow gauge start here - http://narrow.parovoz.com/indexe.php. Unfortunately the rest of the site is in Russian...

The Wikipedia entry for Narrow Gauge Rolling Stock known to be incomplete but useful especially for the content on this page (16th June 2014) 

Hardly active steam but a fascinating 2014 story is the recovery of two abandoned narrow gauge steam locomotives from Puksinka in Sverdlovsk Oblast (1st April 2014).

James Waite tells me that the narrow gauge museum at Pereslavl (email contact: "office at kukushka.ru") had a steaming week which saw Ft4 0-6-2T on Monday-Tuesday (two days, June 18th/19th 2012) and the Kp4 0-8-0 on Thursday-Friday (two days, June 21st/22nd 2012). The Ft4 loco is 0-6-2T Ft4-028 (Фт4-028 in Cyrillic script), one of a series built for the USSR as WW2 reparations by the Finns and the only survivor of its class. The KP4 loco is Kp4-469 (Кп4-469), one of the Polish-built PT-4 locos (=Chinese C2's), (all this 6th May 2012). James returned in June 2012 to see two of the locomotives in steam (27th June 2012).

There is a narrow gauge railway and museum at Pereslavl, see http://narrow.parovoz.com/pereslavl/main-e.html and the official site (in Russian) http://kukushka.ru (added 31st May 2008) but there is now (24th November 2009) an English version http://www.kukushka.ru/english/ which should be expanded as time allows. James Waite was here in August 2009 (added 11th August 2009). 

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There is a children's railway at Rostov-on-Don, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/ru/narrow_gauge/steam/pix.html for pictures. James Waite and Thomas Kautzor (of course!) were there in November 2009 (added 9th November 2009). Thomas Kautzor visited a couple of other narrow gauge lines in the area at the same time (non-steam!) the Apsheronsk Forestry Railway and the Guamka Gorge Tourist Railway (both 12th November 2009). A picture of Gr - 185 working on 1st May 2015 was posted on Facebook (6th May 2015).

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Similarly at Nizhni Novgorod - James Waite and Thomas Kautzor were here in August 2009 (added 11th August 2009). The (new) St. Petersburg Children's Railway has active KP4 447 reports Harvey Smith (updated 28th July 2015).

Wikipedia states there were  52 children's railways in the former Soviet Union at the time of its break up and lists some of them and those in satellite countries. For a Russian site dedicated to them see http://www.dzd-ussr.ru/.

Serbia (updated 9th March 2011)

There is working steam at Kostolac Open Cast Mine, several 900mm Davenport 0-8-0's like UNRRA locomotives are here. For the reports check the Europe page on this site.

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There is a narrow gauge railway and museum at Mokra Gora.

James Waite has a little belatedly supplied an illustrated report of his visit to Mokra Gora in June 2008 (9th March 2011).

Slovakia (updated 4th August 2011)

See Paul Steane's excellent enthusiast's guide to travel in Europe  http://egtre.info/wiki/Main_Page.

There is a metre gauge children's railway in the Cermel Valley near Kosice - which uses U36.003 'Sam' / 'Katka'.

Čiernohronská Železnica Čierny Balog is a 760mm gauge former forestry railway. It operates over 17km of track from Hronec zlieváreň (some 2km from Chvatimech ŽSR) station to Vydrovobetween. 

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See (links revised 18th November 2009):

Part of the former Kysuce-Orava railway is a 7km 760mm gauge line starting from Skanzen Station, about 20km east of Čadca, it includes a reverse. As far as I can gather it is part of the Kysuce Village Museum. See (all added 18th November 2009):

http://www.expea.sk/EN/sluzby_nazelanie.html (link is dead but it was a good source on Slovak railways in general, added 18th November 2009) states that "The Kysuce-Orava Forest Railway (KOLZ) came into existence by joining the Kysuce Forest Railway and the Orava Forest Railway - both railways are 760 mm gauge. At the peak of its fame, it had 110km. It had exclusively served for transporting wood. Its exceptionality lies in its well-preserved system of switch tracks. At present, the railway is divided into two parts: the part in the region of Kysuce as the Historical Forest Zig Zag Railway(HLڎ) and the part in the region of Orava as the Forest Zig Zag Railway Tanečník - Beskyd (Lڎ). In future, the two railways shall be reconnected." It will be the former which is described above, the latter appears to be diesel powered.

As of June 2011, the latter has an operational steam locomotive "Gontkulak" which operates every Saturday and Sunday until October over 3.3 km of track, 5 times a day. See http://www.oravamuzeum.sk/index.php/oravska-lesna-zeleznica/o-zeleznici. (Thanks to James Waite for this, 4th August 2011.)

Spain (updated 22nd March 2017)

Steam trains, mainly for school parties, run between Martorell Enllac and Monistrol de Montserrat on the metre gauge FGC between November and May. You can read James Waite's account of his visit in November 2010, James has also sent an items on (static) preserved steam locomotives around Girona (updated 8th August 2015) preserved narrow gauge steam and more in Aragon (16th February 2012).and (static) preserved steam locomotives in Asturias (10th July 2012).

Thomas Kautzor has been back to the area and reports on the metre gauge rack FGC Ribes de Freser – Núria and the 600mm gauge FGC La Pobla de Lillet, neither has active steam but there are some interesting steam survivors among the non-steam preserved stock (8th August 2015).

Thomas Kautzor reported on the metre gauge CIFVM La Poveda on the outskirts of Madrid which has limited running dates owing to fire risks (20th January 2016).

There are a few narrow gauge items in Thomas Kautzor's report of a February 2016 visit to Andalusia (22nd March 2017), Thomas has also sent a report on the remains of the salt pan railways on Ibiza and Formentera (22nd March 2017).

Sweden (updated 1st February 2017)

For an excellent summary see "A VISITORS' GUIDE TO NORDIC (SCANDINAVIAN) NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS" by Philip Pacey. For Swedish language pages on the history of narrow gauge railways here see http://www.historiskt.nu/smalsp/smal_main.html and http://www.jarnvagshistoria.se/index1.htm (27th August 2011). Modellers will be interested in the diagrams which are to be found on http://www.snabcon.se/gammal.html (1st February 2017).

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James Waite has provided a report of his visit to the Jädraås–Tallås Järnväg (JTJ) - a 891mm preserved line (17th September 2007), similarly the Östra Södermanlands Järnväg (ÖSlJ), (the East Södermanland Railway, new report 12th November, the old pictures are still available), Uppsala–Länna Järnväg (ULJ) (2nd October 2007), Anten-Gräfsnäs Järnväg and Skara-Lundsbrunns Järnvägar (joint report, added 10th October 2007).

 

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See also Fritz W. Klasing's brief photo report of a set of visits in July 2011 (12th August 2011). Keith Chambers' report on a visit to Småland has no live steam but plenty of narrow gauge interest including preserved steam locomotives (27th August 2011).

Chris Yapp visited a number of these narrow gauge lines in July 2012 and his illustrated report updates James Waite's original reports (3rd August 2012).

James Waite reports on the Hultsfred- Västervik Järnväg, another 891mm gauge line some 220km south of Stockholm (21st July 2015)

Switzerland (updated 26th October 2015)

The following excellent links provide a good guide:

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Thomas Kautzor reports on the Schinznacher Baumschulbahn, until recently the country's only 600mm gauge steam railway (updated 26th October 2016). The Parkbahn Letten near Zurich, now has an active steam locomotive used on special occasions (11th September 2015). 

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Click here for James Waite's report on his visit to the Rhätische Bahn in February 2008, updated 2nd January 2009 with a link to public steam trains in 2009. He returned in March 2009 to see the railway's snowblower in action (6th March 2009).

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The metre gauge Chemin de Fer du Jura operates two former CP Mallets from time to time. You can read Thomas Kautzor's report (12th September 2015)

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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).

This railway celebrated its centenary in 2014 and Filippo Ricci reports on the celebrations (30th August 2014).

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James Waite was has been a regular visitor to Switzerland through 2009/2010, the lines are metre gauge unless otherwise indicated:

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There's precious little steam (and none of it active) in James Waite's report on the narrow gauge railways of Mont Blanc, but plenty of interest to the ng enthusiast in general (25th August 2011)

Turkey (added 28th January 2010)

James Waite sent a report on the Rahmi M Koç museum, Istanbul (2nd October 2007) indicating that two narrow gauge steam locomotives were 'missing'. Richard Foster has added an update (29th January 2010) which indicates that narrow gauge steam will soon be running in the heart of Istanbul.

Ukraine (updated 11th October 2010)

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There is a children's railway in Kiev - see http://www.hotels-kiev.com/child_railway.htm for information and http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/ua/narrow_gauge/steam/pix.html for pictures which show Gr 336 active in 2005. It is apparently still serviceable but is only used on high days and holidays, James Waite arranged such a visit to coincide with Independence Day 2010, his report includes a trip to the working (diesel) narrow gauge system at Gaivoron (8th September 2010), James later returned to Gaivoron in October 2010 and sent some pictures of Gr 280 at work (11th October 2010)

There has been a preserved narrow gauge railway for some time between Irshava and Vynohradiv - see http://spz.logout.cz/uzke/ua_borzava/borzava.html (needs translating from Czech) which continued to operate into 2010, albeit with diesels. Gr 6 286 was at Irshava but has now been relocated to Kolochava, reports Jonathan Sutton (8th September 2010) who has sent some pictures

United Kingdom (added 3rd September 2007)

This page offers links to most operational UK narrow gauge railways - http://www.narrow-gauge.co.uk/links/.

This page professes to list of all known UK narrow gauge railways http://www.uklocos.com/ngrs/downloads/ngrs-guide-2012.doc.

See also UK Heritage Railways Site but there is no specific narrow gauge list.


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk


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