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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-06 01:53:07


7th March 2015




This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.

International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY



[086] Bulgaria/Greece - The railtour of three alphabets (part 3)
13th September. To Veliko Tarnovo station (strictly speaking should be Veliko T’rnovo) where 3
cylinder 4-8-2 No. 03.12, recently restored to working order, arrived with the e.c.s. from Gorna
Oryakhovitsa. Today’s run was south from here to the junction station at Tzareva Livada (also spelt
Tsareva Livada on the station nameboard and Careva Livada in the itinerary and maps!). Here
03.12 ran round, temporarily shunted off its ‘second tender’ (actually a bogie tank wagon used for
additional water supply) and took its three coaches up the steeply graded, electrified branch line
to Gabrovo. Symptomatic of Bulgaria’s industrial decline, Gabrovo’s large, electrified marshalling
yard adjacent to the station languished totally devoid of freight traffic and was gradually becoming
overgrown. The RTC special was understood to be the first steam-hauled train to reach Gabrovo
for 40 years. Whilst there, an infrequent branch electric train came and went, worked by a badly-
graffitied class 32, 4 car EMU of the communist era. 03.12 ran round and retraced its route to
Tzareva Livada, the steeply graded branch proving quite a challenge for the locomotive, even with
only three coaches, with a certain amount of wheel slipping. Gabrovo was described to the group
by one local as ‘the Manchester of Bulgaria, but all the industry has closed down’. Hence the
empty marshalling yard. From Tzareva Livada (where 2-6-2T No, 35.05 was noted, plinthed) the
tour returned to Veliko Tarnovo, where the ‘softies’ were set down for hotel and culture, while the
rest of the participants continued back to Gorna Oryakhovitsa for an organised visit to the
locomotive depot and workshops, sited at this strategic and complicated four way main line
junction. Reflective of the serious decline in BDŽ fortunes, many diesel and electric locomotives
were noted laid up. This depot maintains the small number of operational BDŽ steam locomotives.
In the workshops was 2-10-0 No. 16.01 of 1949, which our member had a large amount of haulage

with in 2007 and 2011, but is now stopped, and it remains to be seen if it will run again. Also here
was No. 11.10, the world’s only extant 4-10-0, but this unique loco does not look likely to become
a runner, having ‘donated’ its tender to 03.12. Then by bus back to the hotel in Veliko Tarnovo and
culture. Veliko Tarnovo is an impressive medieval walled city, Bulgaria’s first capital in the 12th
Century and now a world heritage site.

[087] Czech Republic - The information board at Dolni Poustevna
A member reports that the reopening of the short cross border line between Sebnitz (Sachs) in
Germany and Dolní Poustevna in the Czech Republic on 4 July 2014 (see BLNI 1208.167) meant
that a visit to the line could be included in his itinerary whilst travelling from Poland to the Czech
Republic. The new service starts at Děčín in the Czech Republic and passes through Bad Schandau
and Sebnitz (in Germany) before re-entering the Czech Republic at Dolni Poustevna and continuing
to Rumburk. Alighting at Dolni Poustevna he found a new information board by the side of the
huge station building, detailing the history of the line in Czech, German and English. This may be of
interest to members, so is reproduced below:
The railway between Rumburk, Sebnitz and Bad Schandau opened in 1856, 13 years before the first
train in the Šluknov region (Šluknov is the most northerly town in the Czech Republic). Construction
of the route between Mikulášovice and Dolni Poustevna began in 1903. The most difficult section
was the Vilémov valley which had to be crossed by a 190 metre long and 34 metre high viaduct.
The 5.2km long route was built by the Böhmische Nordbahn company which began operation of
the line on 15th November 1904. The station building at Dolni Poustevna contained customs
offices, storage facilities for both states, the telegraph office, waiting rooms for 1st, 2nd and 3rd
classes, the flats for Czech and Saxonian customs officers and a restaurant. Construction of the 600
metre connecting section from Dolni Poustevna to Sebnitz was performed by the Praha
construction company Franz Schön & Söhne between 7th November 1904 and 24th May 1905.
Construction was difficult with 20,000 m3 of rock and earth moved. Traffic officially started in June
1905 and was operated by the Böhmische Nordbahn company. It was now possible to travel from
Dolni Poustevna to Praha and Dresden by Express train. The service ended in the afternoon of 8th
May 1945. The last passengers were probably the expelled German inhabitants. Reopening was
considered in the 1960s and again since 1989. The construction works on the Czech side were
completed in 2009.
To our member’s surprise a bar still occupies a large room at the corner of the station building,
and offered a chance to celebrate the short grice with a glass of excellent Czech beer before
returning to Bad Schandau and continuing to Děčín.

[088] France – Challerange line threatened
Recent legislation on safety standards for French heritage railways has had the effect of slowing
trains down, and in some cases making the end to end journey too long for the tolerance of the
fare paying passengers.

Hence, the line between Amagne-Lucquy and Challerange is only done ONCE a year, which this
year will be on 15 August. Details available from nearer the date. Those still wishing
to travel on this line should note that according to L'Echo du Rail closure is envisaged in 2016.

[089] France - Reopening of line in eastern Corsica to be studied
South of Bastia the Corsican main line to Ajaccio turns sharply west at Casamozza. A line once
went down the east coast of the island from here to Ghisonaccia (opened 1888) and Porto Vecchio
(opened 1935). German forces destroyed 53 bridges on the line in WW2 before retreating, but
work was undertaken to restore some of these after the war, primarily between Casamozza and
Folelli where the line was rebuilt but closed in 1953. This is the section proposed for reopening -
possibly with an extension to Poggio-Mezzana. The driver is population growth in the area which
might be sufficient to support a train service.

[090] Italy - Cagliari light rail line extended
A 1.8 km (or possibly 1.7 km – Sources differ) extension of Cagliari’s 950 mm gauge light rail line
opened on 14 February. The new section runs on a mostly elevated alignment from Monserrato
Gottardo to Policlinico with two intermediate stops. The end-to-end journey time is 4 minutes.
The project received €24m from EU funds.

[091] Poland – More of line 301 to reopen
Jełowa is a station midway between Opole and Kluczbork. From here line 301 headed north-west
to join the Kluczbork – Oleśnica line at Namysłów. The northern end of this line is open as far as
Biestrzykowice for occasional military traffic (see BLNI 1195.419), and now it seems the southern
end may open again for 10.5km as far as Murów, where the sawmill is expanding production to
process 800,000m3 of sawn timber annually. The information comes from the Mayor, and has
credibility as work started in October to clear vegetation from the line. Reopening is planned
within the next two years, however the population of the town seems inadequate to support the
passenger service he claims to be seeking.

[092] Poland – Reason for retention of long freight line is discovered
A recent Turkol tour travelled the 150 km long freight line from Gniezno to Chojnice via Nakło n.
Notecią. This had been assumed to be an alternative route for through freight to Gdynia but it
seemed to be just for local freight, of which little was in evidence. Subsequently it has been found
that the line is retained primarily for out of gauge loads, and several pictures found on the internet
show passage of such loads.

[093] Slovakia - Trenčianska tramway to run in 2015
The tramway linking the main line station of Trenčianska Teplá with the health spa of Trenčianske
Teplice closed 10 December 2011 (see BLNI 1153.041) but was kept operational. It has now been
announced that trams will run three times a day, Friday to Sunday, in July and August.

[094] Spain - Benidorm- Altea
A year ago this was at least partly shut for some months for route refurbishment and
electrification; whilst the line is now nicely smoothly laid and features a long new viaduct
approaching Altea (only the southern of two tracks have been laid and someone has set up a little
shack encampment on the northern side!) no electrification works above foundation blocks for the
posts exist, so diesel units are still used beyond Benidorm. At Altea services pass towards Denia
right hand straight platform, and use the back platform westbound, the parallel track between is
rusty. At El Campello the stoppers ex Alacant (Lucerous) terminate in the back road and return
similarly, the fasts to Benidorm use the parallel main tracks.

Benidorm station on 22 December 2014 with trains from Alacant on the left and Denia on the right.

[095] Spain - Third Madrid tunnel not expected soon
When ADIF started drilling the third (1435 mm gauge) Atocha - Chamartin tunnel in 2010 it was
expected to be operational in 2012. In 2012 ADIF said the tunnel would open in 2014. Although
the bores (7.3 km) have been completed and ballast and track laid, there is no money to continue
as ADIF does not consider this line a priority. The shortfall of 75 million euros is 21% of the
estimated budget of 356 million euros. Signalling and erection of the overhead wiring are still

The (Madrid -) Medina del Campo - Zamora - Ourense, Valladolid - León - Asturias, Valladolid -
Burgos - Vitoria/Gasteiz - "Basque Country" (Bilbao and San Sebastián/Donostia) lines, and
amazingly even Alacant - Murcia, have a higher priority, such that the Madrid tunnel will not open
before 2018. So the through trains between the north and south of Spain will continue for a while
to change gauge at Valladolid, Atocha and Chamartin.

[096] Switzerland – Hope for Neuchâtel - La Chaux de Fonds
The original plan to replace this line, largely in tunnel, was rejected in a 2012 referendum.
However costs for renovation of the existing line are about the same as building a new line, so the
project may be resurrected with construction starting possibly in 2019.

[097] Australia - Travelling Queensland’s threatened railways (part 2)
The ‘Inlander’ – Townsville to Mount Isa. This 600 mile line runs through unrelieved outback scrub
scenery to serve Mount Isa which is a mining town. The huge mine lies immediately on one side of
the station producing copper, lead and zinc and there is a copper smelter too. The town is on the
other side of the railway. Naturally this produces plenty of rail freight although the actual number
of freight trains crossed during the journeys seemed low. On returning to Townsville our member
had a four hour wait for the once a week, ‘Sunlander’ to Rockhampton where the connection into
the ‘Spirit of the Outback’ was two hours at the awful time of 02:20 to 04:40, but at least it was
possible. Without this the entire trip would have collapsed.
Rockhampton – Longreach. The junction lies several km south and the ‘Spirit of the Outback’ was
dragged back to a junction and went round an avoiding curve onto the Longreach line with a
similar manoeuvre on the return over the direct curve. Well – that’s what it looked like – it was
dark in both directions! This line was a surprise as initially it was double tracked, fully signalled and
25kV electrified. There is very heavy coal traffic from the Blackwater and Emerald area to the
coast for export, with heavy double headed coal trains with a third loco in the middle. A very
lengthy section of the still double track line was being doubled as well, and major earthworks,
track-laying and electrification masts are in evidence. Around Emerald and Blackwater several
electrified branches go off to collieries which are out of sight, so may be lengthy lines. Beyond
Emerald the electrification ceases and track quality immediately deteriorates for the rest of the
journey to Longreach and no trains was passed for the entire journey, out and return. A blanket
speed restriction was applied due to heat expansion risk, arrival in Longreach being one hour late,
and the next day 2.5 hours were lost on the return for the same reason. 40km per hour for hour
after hour made for a very tedious day.
All our member needed to do now was finish off the main line north to Cairns, but with no
connection that day, all he could do was carry on to Brisbane and catch the next tilt train north. To
put that in a British perspective imagine trying to go from Mallaig to Inverness, but instead of
simply changing trains in Glasgow, the next connection is by a sleeper to Euston and the next
nightly sleeper to Inverness!

[098] Canada – News from Western Canada
Skytrain: It was announced on 13 February that opening of the Evergreen Line has been delayed
until Autumn 2016 due to delays in tunnelling. This Line will take over the existing VCC-Clark to
Loughheed Town Centre section of the Millennium Line, with the latter to operate between New
Westminster and the junction station of Loughheed Town Centre, where a third platform is under
construction, although at certain times of day there will be a one-stop overlap, with Millennium
Line trains extended to Production Way-University to serve students’ travel needs. On the Expo
Line, the extended Main Street-Science World station opened fully on 6 December, with all trains
now calling there; the next expansion project will see an additional platform provided for the Expo
Line at Commercial-Broadway. A referendum is to take place in the Spring on an additional 0.5%
sales tax to fund transport projects, including Skytrain extension from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street,
additional cars for Skytrain, Canada Line and West Coast Express, and three light rail lines in
Surrey, BC.
Arbutus Corridor, Vancouver: Canadian Pacific has won the first legal battle over the disputed
line, with the BC Supreme Court upholding the company’s right to remove the various community
gardens, unofficial cycle tracks etc. which have occupied sections of the trackbed. The City Council
nevertheless still intends to pursue legal action to have the line declared “abandoned”.
E&N Line, Vancouver Island: Subject to restoration of the tracks to an acceptable condition, VIA
Rail and the Island Corridor Foundation have revealed an intention that Monday to Friday
operation is to be confined to two round trips between Victoria West and Nanaimo only, with
provisional schedules showing departures at 06:30 and 12:00 from Nanaimo, returning at 09:15
and 14:45. The full line will only be served at weekends and Bank Holidays, with a 07:00 Nanaimo
to Victoria West forming an 09:45 departure all the way to Courtenay, 14:33 back from there to
Victoria West, and finally 19:00 to Nanaimo. Removal of rail tracks from the rebuilt Johnson Street
Bridge rules out any return to downtown Victoria.

[099] Iran - Shiraz metro opens
The initial phase of Shiraz Urban Railway Organization’s metro Line 1 was officially opened on 11
October. The first section runs for 10.5 km between Ehsan in the north of the city and Namazi in
the centre, with eight stations now open. Construction of Line 1 began in 2001. The line is to be
extended south from Namazi to Gol-e-Sorkh Square near the airport, taking it to 22.4 km with 20
underground stations and one surface station. Much of the line will be underground, with cut-and-
cover sections and 12.5 km of twin 6 m diameter tunnels. The 15 km Line 2 now under
construction will interchange with Line 1 at Imam Hosein Square. A 10 km Line 3 with five stations
is planned, along with Lines 4, 5 and 6.



This is provided as a service to members and details must be checked with the organisers.

[100] Czech Republic – Special train to Dukovany power station
Zelpage are running a special train on 25 April and 26 April including the very rare freight line from
Rakšice (JR244) to Dukovany nuclear power station, plus closed passenger lines to Hevlin and
Jemnice. Online reservation is necessary at
Note however that Desperate Railtours intend to visit this line and others nearby in August.

[101] Germany – Special Train on Tecklenburger Nordbahn
IBSE are running a special train to the Tecklenburger Nordbahn on Saturday 14 March 2015
Route: Lengerich-Hohne Pbf (depart from loco shed ca. 07:10) – Lengerich (Westf) – Hasbergen –
(Strecke 1620) – Osnabrück Goods Yd– Lüstringen – Osnabrück Goods Yd – Osnabrück Hbf lower
platforms – Ibbenbüren – Rheine (ca. 09:15) – Altenrheine – Spelle – Altenrheine – Rheine-
Stadtberg – Rheine Kanalhafen – Abzw. Uffeln – Uffeln Hafen – Abzw. Uffeln – Osnabrück-
Eversburg – Osnabrück Hbf lower platforms (ca. 15:10) – Osnabrück Hbf upper platforms –
Hasbergen – Georgsmarienhütte – Hasbergen – Lengerich (Westf) – Lengerich-Hohne Pbf (ca.
Price €90 (IBSE members €81) Payment on the train available for UK bookings.
To register email Dieter Galles at [email protected]


Note: Entries marked with a "+" were updated within the last four weeks.

Deutschland / Germany 2015

13/14. 03. + IBSE 13.III: Kalibahn draisine trip IBSE members only 14.III: Tecklenburger

28. 03. + DGEG Goods lines around Remscheid, Köln and Düsseldorf

28. 03. MKO (Norden - Emden Außenhafen -) Abelitz - Aurich - Abelitz (- Emden Hbf -

03. 04. + OSEF Shuttles Löbau(Sachs) - Ebersbach(Sachs) - Rumburk/Rumburg [DE/CZ]

03. 04. IG Nossen Nossen - Freiberg(Sachs) and back.

04. 04. + OSEF Shuttles Kamenz(Sachs) - Hosena

04. 04. IG Nossen u.a. Kamenz(Sachs) - Hosena

04. 04. EMBB Leipzig-Plagwitz - Gräfenhainichen - Ferropolis and back.

05. 04. EF Helmstedt Weferlingen - Helmstedt - Hannover a/ l (- Lügde(Westf) -) Helmstedt -

05. 04. + IG Nossen Nossen - Oberstößwitz and back.

18/19. 04. + DB RE16 and RB40 services from Witten Hbf to. Hagen Hbf diverted via
Wengern Ost , 18.IV 20:00 - 19.IV 23:00)

25. 04. + BNR u.a. Salzgitter-Bad - Werlaburgdorf

25. 04. + ??? Operating day Feldbahn Domsdorf

25/26. 04. Brückenbergbahn Trabi Shuttles, BÜ Reinsdorfer Straße - Zwickau B3 u. Pöhlau [also 20/21.VI,

02/03. 05. NbSE Shuttles Staßfurt - Westeregeln

03. 05. NVS (Gera Hbf -) Erfurt Gbf - Abzw. Dieselstr. (- Nordhausen) and back.
09. 05. + ASM Helmstedt - Weferlingen - Anst Quarzwerke - Süplingen Abzw - Anst Dönstedt
Steinwerke (Forsthaus Eiche) - Süplingen Abzw - Weferlingen - Helmstedt
09/10. 05. MEBF Shuttles Hafenbahn Magdeburg
10. 05. AVL Soltau(Han) - Hermannsburg and back.
10. 05. + Krollmann Tram excursion in Potsdam (ViP), departs Hauptbahnhof ca.08:40r
16. 05. MBK Berlin-Schöneweide - Berlin-Lichtenberg - Rüdersdorf MEG - Fredersdorf -
Müncheberg Übg - Buckow(Mark) - Berlin-Schöneweide
16/17. 05. Bahnpark Bahnpark Augsburg - Augsburg Hbf (- Utting) and back. [also 19,26.VII,
Augsburg 2,9,16.VIII]
23/24. 05. + IG Nossen Shuttles Nossen - Ziegenhain(Sa) IN PLANNING
24. 05. ??? Operating day brick railway Herzfelde
25. 05. ET Osnabrück - Recke and back.
25. 05. AVL Shuttles Walsrode - Bomlitz [also 15.VIII, 13.IX]
30. 05. + TEV (Weimar -) Erfurt Gbf - Erfurt Nord - Straußfurt - Sömmerda (- Großheringen -
30/31. 05. + EF Aken Shuttles Köthen - Aken(Elbe)
13/14. 06. FV BAE (Lutherstadt Wittenberg -) Pratau - Eilenburg
20. 06. Press (Chemnitz -) Cranzahl - Vejprty (- Lužná u Rakovníka) and back. [DE/CZ]
27. 06. BmD (Berlin -) Neustrelitz - Feldberg(Meckl) and back.
27. 06. TG Ferkeltaxi (Chemnitz -) KW Schwarze Pumpe and back.
25. 07. EMBB (Leipzig-Plagwitz -) Böhlen(b Lpg) - KW Lippendorf and back.
16. 08. TG Ferkeltaxi Shuttles Neuhausen(Erzg) - Olbernhau
05/06. 09. DB Shuttles Pockau-Lengefeld - Marienberg(Sachs)
12/13. 09. Krollmann Tram excursion: 12.IX:Leipzig (LVB), 13.IX:Gera (GVB)
26. 09. VFSEV [or 27.IX] Hafenbahn Heilbronn PLANNED
05/06. 12. FV BAE (Lutherstadt Wittenberg -) Pratau - Eilenburg (- Leipzig Hbf)
05. 12. (Nossen - Klingenthal -) Zwotental - Adorf(Vogtl) (- Nossen) IN PLANNING
+ IG Nossen

Europa / Europe 2015

06-08. 03. KŽC Special train in the Böhmerwald CZ
14. 03. TurKol (Poznań Gł. -) Wągrowiec - Rogoźno Wlkp.- Czarnków and back. [also 26.VII] AT
05. 04. MLV Special train to Zwettl [also 13.VI, 15.VIII, 26.IX, 5/6.XII] UA
u.a. Lupoglav - Učka, Divača avoiding line AT
17-21. 04. + PTG PL
18-25. 04. Wendelin u.a. Pidzamče - Lyčakiv
19. 04. Landesbahn (St.Pölten Hbf -) Schrambach - St. Aegyd and back.
19. 04. TurKol (Poznań Gł. -) Inowrocław - Kruszwica bzw. Barcin and back. PL

25/26. 04. + ŽelPage Brno dolní n. - Brno-Horní Heršpice - Ivančice - Oslavany - Ivančice - Rakšice - AT
JE Dukovany - Rakšice - Hrušovany n. J. - Hevlín - Hrušovany n. J. (- Znojmo - RU
Šatov - Znojmo -) M. Budějovice - Jemnice - M. Budějovice (- Telč)

25. 04. + Czerski (Wrocław Gł.-) podg. Piekary Wielkie/Abzw. Groß Beckern - Miłkowice Tow. -
01. 05. TurKol Węgliniec - Bielawa Dolna- Węgliniec - Zebrzydowa - Osiecznica Kliczków -
Zebrzydowa - Jawor - Borów - Jawor - Strzegom - Grabina Śl. - Strzegom -
Wrocław Zach. - Wrocław Gądów - Wrocław Gł. FULL

(Żagań -) Żary - Lubsko and back.

03. 05. + TurKol (Wolsztyn/ -) Międzychód – Wierzbno - Skwierzyna (- Gorzów Wlkp.) and

09. 05. FdBB Shuttles Mixnitz Lb - Breitenau Hst [also 25.V, 13.VI, 11.VII, 19.IX]

12-18. 05. DNV Elbląg – Frombork - Braniewo – Kaliningrad Hbf [PL/RU] [also 14-20.VI, 2-

14-17. 05. Siede Museum railways in North West France FR
23. 05. + TurKol (Wolsztyn -) Toporów - Sieniawa Lub.and back. CZ
23. 05. + ČD (Lužná u Rakovníka-) Protivec - Bochov and back. PL
30. 05. (Poznań Gł. -) Kołobrzeg - Kołobrzeg Port and back. [also 21.VI] SK
TurKol CZ
01-03. 06. Steam Story Special train in Slovakia PL
05-07. 06. PL
KŽC Special train around Lovosice
06-14. 06. PTG Central Sweden tour with 25 different freight lines PL
07. 06. + TurKol (Poznań Gł. -) Wągrowiec - Rogoźno Wlkp. and back. HU
13. 06. Legnica - Rudna Gwizdanów - Głogów - Żagań - Żary - Bieniów- Lubsko and SK
TurKol back. PL
Around Poznań PL
19. 06. TurKol Special train on Białośliwie narrow gauge CZ
25-28. 06. + TWKP CS
02-06. 07. PTG Special train in Hungary GR
04-12. 07. + KŽC
18. 07. + TurKol "Urlaub mit dem Triebwagen" in Slovakia and Hungary [SK/HU] PL
08. 08. (Poznań Gł. - Malbork-) Elbląg - Frombork and back. GR
15/16. 08. TurKol (Poznań Gł.) Międzyrzecz - Międzychód Letnisko and back. SK
30. 08. kolmix Kojetín - Tovačov [also 17/18.X] GR
TurKol Wrocław Gł.- Legnica - Kamieniec Ząbk.- Nysa(- Brzeg - Wrocław Gł GR
19/20. 09. Mercia Special trains in Kosovo [XK] AT

19-27. 09. DGEG includes Vatican City station TN

25.09- + SFS Special train in Greece
05.10. TurKol (Wrocław -) Legnica - Złotoryja and back.

03. 10.

03-10. 10. PTG Special train in Greece
09-11. 10. KŽC Special train around Bratislava

12-20. 10. PTG Special train in Peloponnese, southern Greece

15-29. 10. SERVRAIL Special train in Greece
17. 10. TurKol (Toruń Gł.-) Sierpc - Brodnica) (- Grudziądz - Toruń Gł.)

29. 11. Landesbahn Wien Praterstern - Mistelbach Lb - Bullendorf and back.

Overseas 2015

16-24. 05. Discovery Special train in Tunisia

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