Updated December 22, 2000
This page will be used to give news on industrial railways around the world, but especially those in Germany & Austria, which is my main interest. There is also a Question and Answer section which hopefully can solve a few mysteries, and a Reports page with some of my trip reports from the last 30 years.
I am sorry to say that once again there has been no up-date to this page for some time, although there is a new report on a visit to Serbia in October. However I have finally got something done about adding a new feature to this web site. I have now started posting my reports on my foreign trips to a new page. These will be in the form of web pages that can be browsed online, and also word processor files that can be down-loaded. At the moment most of the content is in the latter (wp) form, as these files already exist, but work is proceeding on the html files. These will have links to some of the pictures I took on my many trips over the last 30 years. Why don't you go over to the Reports page and check it out?
If you have anything you can add to these reports, or anything else about industrial railways, why not contact me by email, snail mail, carrier pigeon, etc., so that we can all share it.
25 Kingscombe, Gurney Slade, Nr.Bath, BA3 4TH, England
Visits since 17th August 1999
I recently received the following report from Keith Chester, about industrial steam in Serbia:-There have been almost no changes to the steam situation due to the recent war and the reports dating from 1998 still hold true.
October 25 : "Zelvoz" Smederevo : shunting at this carriage & wagon repair works is still in the hands of a (leaky) 62-088, with 62-073 (in an even worse condition) as the standby loco. A diesel has recently been acquired but has been proved underpowered - most shunting thus remains steam.
October 26 : "Sinvoz" Zrenjanin : steam locos are still being overhauled at this repair works, currently no. 13 from Kostolac, 62-671 from Obilic and 600mm 0-6-0T DD 88/1949. Obilic is in Kosovo and the loco had arrived before the war started; it has been dismantled but no other work has been carried out on it. Whether it ever returns to Kosovo is a moot point. The repair of the two n.g. locos is well advanced; the DD 0-6-0T is intended for the Mokra Gora museum project.
Though not visited the situation elsewhere in Serbia is as follows:
Kostolac : the Davenport 0-8-0s continue to work into the opencast pit. No. 10 returned from Zrenjanin in January but has done little work; the frames are somewhat stiff and the loco tends to derail on the poor trackwork.
Jagodina : 62-642 returned from Zrenjanin in mid October 1999; due to a lack of both diesel and coal fuel, duties at Jagodina are shared by both steam and diesel locos working alternative trains.
Cuprija Sugar Factory : not working this season.
Cacak : 61-023 is occasionally steamed to work at any factory in Cacak which requires some shunting.
Resavica : the 120 class 0-6-0 has seen use in 1999 on regular shunting turns due to a lack of diesel fuel; if and when this will happen in the future is unpredictable.
Kolubara, Vreoci : standard gauge shunting is still in the hands of two 62's working 24 hours a day; Decauville no. 53-017 works occasionally, but is essentially in reserve.
Kolubara, Rudovci : the two Decauville 0-6-0Ts (53-018 & 29) are now both serviceable and have seen some use during 1999 in the opencast pit at Ceroviti Potok; both are also basically in reserve.
Lucani : this armaments factory was hit during the war & is currently not working; it is anticipated the 0-6-0F will however be returned to service.
Loznica : 0-6-0F no. 53-47 working and 53-46 OOU waiting to go to Zrenjanin.
Preservation : All the active JZ museum locos survived the war unscathed; 2-6-2 no. 01-088 is currently working special trains from Belgrade three days a week (!! - is Belgrade the steamiest capital in the world??)
The Mokra Gora project is proceeding at full speed. Professional track laying was due to begin on 25 October and it is hoped to complete three km going down the hill from Sargan station before the winter begins; a considerable amount of track material is stored at Sargan. The DD 0-6-0T at Zrenjanin will shortly be complete and removed to Mokra Gora to work on a 600mm forestry line to be laid on the trackbed of a former horse worked forestry railway which operated very close to the JZ 760mm line.
An 83 from Visegrad and CKD 0-6-0T no. 25-27 will both shortly go to Zrenjanin for overhaul for this project; the 0-6-0T should be used on reconstructiopn trains - ironically just over a decade ago it worked the lifting trains!
April & June 1999
In April I was in Eastern Germany again, visiting the Chemnitz and Dresden areas and then went on to Schleswig-Holstein. I was back again in June, this time mostly concentrating on the south of the country, getting information for the forthcoming IRS GE4 book. I have just posted a reports on these trips, with some pictures from the June trip, on my reports page.
Some sad news from Roland Beier. Apparently Österreichischen Mineralöl Verwaltung-AG are to stop using their big 0-6-0 fireless locos at their refinery in Gross Schwechat near Vienna. They have now contracted with the ÖBB to handle their shunting, using diesels. The fireless locos were still working on 19th August, but during September the ÖBB locos will gradually take over and the use of the fireless locos will stop by the end of the month. No.4 (the last steam loco built in Austria) may be preserved, whilst the others may be sold to Lenzing but this is still under consideration. Lenzing have been looking for new fireless locos, but could not afford to have them built new. They have since acquired some from Eastern Germany (see below), but they really wanted high-pressure machines (approx 20bar), while these Germany locos are only 12bar. The OMV locos are high pressure so they would suit Lenzing, if the price is right.
In June the Industrial Railway Society made a trip to Romania, to see some of the narrow gauge industrial lines. Most of the visits were to locations other than the usual forestry lines. For a report with photos see the Reports page.
In October last year I visited the 600mm gauge system of BTS Baukeramik in Erfurt-Gisperleben, and found that it had closed down for the winter, but was expected to reopen in the spring of this year. However Steve Thomason has been told by the company that they went bankrupt in March, and the narrow gauge will be disposed of. A great pity, as this was one of the last surviving brickworks lines in the old East Germany.
Joachim Leitsch sent some news items from the Ruhr:-
Coal winding ceased at Zeche Hugo in Gelsenkirchen at the start of 1998. Hugo and Zeche Ewald were merged from 1st July 1997, but had no underground connection at first. This was rather hastily put in this December, but apparently the conveyor belts are the wrong size and occasionally coal still has to wound at Hugo!
The Stadtwerke have decided to do a major reconstruction of Kraftwerke Lausward in the Hafen and change over from coal firing to natural gas. This will probably mean the end of most of the rail traffic. Both Jung locos were seen here, and Nr.3 has recently been repainted dark green and looks almost brand new. The other Jung was still in its old red livery. The old Henschel has not been seen for some time, but may still be inside the shed.
ex Tecklenburger Nordbahn, D23, 4/1982, via WLH
ex Stadtwerke Düsseldorf, Hafenbahn, DL5, /1989.
The Hafenbahn bought some old coal hoppers from Rheinbraun last autumn and use them for ferrying coal from ships to the power station. The ships are unloaded from a quay behind the Hermes paper mill. Hermes have a small Vollert 'robot' for their own use.
A Zephir road/rail vehicle was recently seen in the harbour area, but the owner is unknown.
Martin Schiffmann visited this scrapyard around Christmas:-
Near the Rangierbahnhof of Oberhausen-West is this small scrapyard. Normally Bunnick scraps old industrial plant, including some chemical works in the Ruhr, but sometimes they get the order to scrap the old work's locos as well. Fortunately the boss is something of a railway enthusiast and he has preserved two old locos. His first was a Hohenzollern fireless, which came here from a children's playground in Witten about 1986. This was originally No.2 at Dynamit Nobel AG., Werk Witten. The loco is painted blue and in rather good condition. The second loco is a 0-4-0 Deutz diesel, delivered new to Ruhrölchemiewerke der Steinkohlenbergwerke Mathias Stinnes AG, Werk Bottrop. Later this plant was taken over by "Chemische Werke Hüls" (CWH) at Marl. In the 1990's works at Bottrop finished and was scrapped. A few years before the plant closed this loco were used at the "Ahrensberg" storage tank depot at Bottrop-Ebel on the Rhein-Herne Kannel. It was moved to Bunnick's yard at the end of 1996.
Bad Anilin I
I was over in Germany again this month for a few more industrial visits. Below is a summary of the more interesting locations:-
VTG, Oelinsel, Duisburg-Ruhrort
There are two working locos here now, 11 & 12, both built my MaK. A former loco here is No.9. This is now preserved and stands with on old style tank wagon on a short length of track just inside the main gate.
Cronileg, Sympherstrasse, Duisburg-Meiderich
This scrapyard has three locos, only one of which appears to work. The working loco is Lok Nr.III (O&K), which came here in 1996 from the works of Süd-Chemie AG., Werk Moosbach. The other two are a Deutz (ex the Deutz works in Koeln) and an LKM from Dresden. Why they need three locos for such a small site is not really clear!
Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG, Werk Krefeld
Rail operations at the site are now handled by Eisenbahn & Hafen, who are based on Oberhausen. They have three locos here, two by Henschel (EH703 & EH731) and one by O&K (EH271). EH731 is an unusual type with a cab at each end.
Neusser Eisenbahn, Neuss
The company operate arround the docks area in Neuss and have a large loco depot off Heerdterbuschstrasse. They had six locos, one (I) from Krauss-Maffei and the rest (II - VI) from MaK. This year a new loco (VII) arrived from Siemens, who now own MaK.
Deuna Zement, Deuna, near Niederorschel
This is a very big works in open country, with its own electrified branch line from the DB. Does anyone know anything about locos at this site?
Romonta GmbH, Amsdorf, near Wansleben am See
The company extracts industrial wax from brown coal, and have their own opencast coal pit to the south of the works. There used to be an electric system linking the works, the pit and a brown coal briketting works, but the briketting works has closed and the coal now comes by conveyor belt. However there is still an internal rail system in the main works, which still uses fireless steam locos. The two Meiningen-built 0-6-0F's are used in summer, but only one in the winter. There are also three diesels, one V60D 0-8-0DH and two little LKM 0-4-0D's. There is also a display of three preserved locos set up outside the main fence - a V60D diesel, a Bo-Bo electric and a LKM 0-6-0F.
Just east of Amsdorf, on the way to Halle, there used to be a big potash mine. This has now closed, but part of the site is being used by the railway contractors Gleisbau GmbH Roblingen. They have two V60D 0-8-0D's on a part of the site, and a disused LKM 0-4-0D further down, in a works that used to belong to VEB Betonwerke Groebzig. The potash mine is now being filled in, but the old loco shed still remains. Dumped there are two fireless locos and a LKM diesel. The engineer at Romonta has been robbing the fireless locos of parts to keep his own machines going!
Kerpen & Kerpen GmbH & Co.KG., Niederlassung Holleben, Neustaedter Strasse, Holleben (near Halle)
Rail traffic to this depot has ceased, but the two LKM diesels were still locked in the shed.
Saechsische Binnenhafen Oberelbe GmbH, Hafenbahn Torgau
The track into the loco shed was being repaired and the three locos were standing in the further down the yard. According to a member of the staff the 0-4-0D and one of the 0-8-0D's (No.4) are still used.
Zapf Kalksandsteinwerke Falkenberg, Falkenberg
This concrete block works used to have a very attractive 600mm gauge system, but when the works was modernised it was replaced by a conveyor belt. All the track has been lifted, but the two little 4-wheel electric locos are still stored in the shed.
Vereinigte Energiewerke AG. (VEAG), Kraftwerke Jaenschwalde
This is part of a complex of brown-coal power stations near Cottbus. The construction of the power station started in 1976 and the first of six generating units opening in 1981 and the sixth in 1988. In 1991 it was decided to modernise the plant and modern emission control equipment was fitted. It is planned to keep the plant operating for another 25 years.
All rail operations at the power station were taken over by LAUBAG from November 1996. Some of the locos that used to belong to VEAG still carry their old 3xx series numbers. The electric locos bring in coal trains from the pits to three dumping points, one for each pair of boiler units. There are also some rather odd cable robots used here. The 'NoRa' type were built by Aluminium Werke Lauta, using the chassis from old CKD type BN150 diesels. The others were built at Kraftwerk Boxberg, on a single bogie from a coal tipper wagon!
In Cottbus there is a coal yard off the street Am Gleis. LOK 1 & LOK 3 (Kaluga) were dumped at the end of the yard, while the other two locos (LKM & Kaluga) were inside the loco shed. It was not possible to be sure who the actual owners of these locos are; the people in the scrapyard near the shed said that they don't belong to them. One loco has 'Costar' painted on the cab, but this could be a former owner. Can anyone help with the owner of these locos?
Stahlwerk Thuringen GmbH, Unterwellenborn, near Saalfeld
Enthusiasts who visited Saalfeld in steam days may remember the big iron works of the Maxhutte which stood at the top of the bank out of town, on the line to Gera. The Luxemburg group ARBED took over the old works in 1992 and quickly shut the rather elderly blast furnaces. However the kept the much more modern rolling mill, and later installed an electro-steel works, making steel from scrap.
Steve Thomason sent a report about narrow gauge industrial lines in the former East Germany. Unfortunately the narrow gauge continues to decline, with several more lines closed in the last year. This is a summary of the lines Steve visited.
BTS Baukeramik, Ziegelwerk Gispersleben & Erfurt - 600mm
The Gispersleben works was modernised about 3 years ago but the narrow gauge was retained to link these two works. However it was last used in November and does not look likely to work again. 3 LKM locos still here.
Chemnitzer Ziegelwerke GmbH., Crimmitschau - 600mm **
The works has closed and most of the track has been lifted.
Liebertwolkwitzer Tonwerk, Liebertwolkwitz, near Leipzig - 500mm **
Much of the site cleared, possibly for modernisation, and all track lifted. 4 Czech locos dumped at the works.
Sudhumus GmbH., Hartmannsdorf - 600mm
This peatworks is still in production, but the narrow gauge is now only used inside the works area. Two LKM Ns1 type locos here.
VEB Zuschlagst Lime Works, Hammerunterwiesenthal - 600mm
This works is on the hillside above Hammerunterwiesenthal station, on the Cranzahl n.g. line. It has not worked for years, but nearly everything is still on site. Locos may be locked away inside - does anybody know anything about locos here?
Impragnierwerk Wulknitz - 790mm
This wood treatment plant had some old Jung locos, which have now gone for preservation. They have been replaced by a Schoema loco, which used to belong to Balfour Beatty in the UK.
Sodawerk Bernburg, Stassfurt - 600mm **
This firm has a narrow gauge electric line from the works to a loading hopper beside the road to Forderstedt. Two locos were seen working here until 16.00. This is a very nice little operation, and very accessible at several points.
Radeburg Baustoffwerke GmbH., Radeburg - 600mm
This line is still in use, although not every day. There are two levels, linked by a chain-worked incline. There are 4 Ns1 locos. Until 1991 DR locos from the narrow gauge Radeburg-Radebuel line worked down a 2km branch to this works.
Ziegelwerk Muhr, Lichterfeld, Brandenburg - 750mm **
This line is still in use, and has a new Diema loco. The Diema does 6-8 trips a day on a 3km line to a clay pit. A 0-6-0D V10C shunts inside the works, and a LKM Ns3 does about one trip a day to a sand pit. 5 locos were seen, but more may be locked inside a loco shed at the end of the line.
Mattigka Sand und Kies GmbH., Patz (Klein Koris) - 900mm **
There are at least 8 V10C 0-6-0D's here and trains work westwards through the forest to the pits at frequent intervals. Operations end about 15.00, except on Fridays when the last train runs about 12.00. A line also runs eastwards across the main B179 road, between Konigswusterhausen and Markisch Buchholz, but this does not see much use.
Kalksandsteinwerk Niederlehme, Niederlehme - 700mm
The line to the pits is now out of use, but according to the staff, the narrow gauge is still used internally. However the company would not allow visitors.
Tagebau Burgwall GmbH., Zehdenick - 630mm
This very interesting operation supplies sand and clay to the works of Hebel in Zehdenick. The line runs several km north alongside the east bank of the river Havel, to pits at Burgwall. There are all sorts of disused branches to various old brickworks along the line. The mainline locos are 3 V10C's, with a Ns3 0-4-0D working inside the pit. There is also a connection at Burgwall to a long line belonging to the industrial museum at Mildenberg, and tourist trains are sometimes worked along that line at weekends.
Dollnitzbahn, Mugeln - 750mm
This is the old DR narrow line to Oschatz, and has now been privatised. It mostly serves the kaolin firm at the end of the line at Kemmlitz. There are regular kaolin trains from about 8.00 to 12.00 each day, but also passenger trains for school kids. Freight trains consist of either n.g. hoppers, or s.g. wagons on transporters. Most of the trains are powered by V10C's and a LYD2 0-6-0D from Poland, but the Meyer 0-4-4-0T steam locos are still used occasionally.
Steve Thomason produces an interesting series of videos of narrow gauge industrials railways in Europe - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Romania and the UK. Several of the lines above (marked **) are shown on his video "Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways in Germany (East)". I am afraid that as far as I know these videos are only available in PAL format, so they are not useable in the US, unless you have a multi-format VCR. For further details, you can contact Steve at:-
J & S Productions, 89 Milton Avenue, Eaton Ford, St.Neots, Cambridgeshire, PE19 3LJ, England
This is a section for questions about industrial railways, from myself and others, for which I hope someone can provide an answer. If you can help with any of the following questions, or if you have a query of your own, then why not drop me a line?
Mike Kennard visited the Stoomcentrum Maldegem, in Belgium last August, when he took this photo of three narrow gauge locos. The loco at the front is a Diema and the one at the back is a Jung, but what is the one in the middle? He has since been told that there is a 1949 built Deutz 4-wheeled battery loco at Maldegem - is this that loco and, if not, then who was the builder?
(c) M.Kennard 1996
The Chemin de Fer Touristique du Tarn, a French enthusiast line, are hoping to obtain an example of an industrial diesel loco from the former East Germany. They are seeking a LKM-built 0-4-0DM with side rods, of type Ns2f or Ns2h.
Does anybody out there have any suggestions as to where they might be able to obtain one of these, in not too bad a condition. They say that they have good workshop facilities and can rebuild and restore old locos, but they don't want old junk.
If you can help them with any information or contacts, you can contact the CFT Tarn at the following address (as far as I know they don't have email):-
M Jacques Daffis, Boite Postale 2040, F-31018 TOULOUSE Cedex 2, France
Or you can send me an email and I will pass it on.
Update: On 17th August 1999 I had the following email message from Jacques Daffis:-
"It is exact, we have purchased a LKM Ns2f, it is 248894/1957, from Thüringer Ziegelwerke Erfurt, Hongeda plant. Info for obtaining it came from Eisenbahnfreunde Bebra. But it was 60 cm gauge, and our line is 50 cm. So we arranged an exchange with Feldbahnhaulange Glossen, we sent the 60 cm axles + wheels sets, and they sent us the 50 cm gauge ones. Now the LKM is in process of restoration. We hope to have soon finished this work. We have just put in use one Schoma 4199/1978, purchased at Carbones de Berga (Spain). It was fully dismantled, and each bit of it repaired or rebuilt. We sent the axles + wheels + gearboxes to the Schoma factory for rebuilding, ant all the other works were made at our workshops (new body, air brakes, emergency brakes, new cab, new commands with dead man,etc). Thanks for your help Jacques Daffis".
A request for help from Dave Sherron, in Scarborough, Maine, USA:-
"Any chance you could help in a project? I'm looking for a parts catalogue for a Lister 'Auto Truck'. Andrew Neale published part of one and I have that one, but need the bigger catalogue with frame and engine details."
Is there anyone out there with access to Lister information who can help?
Dave can be contacted via email at MT14L@aol.com, or you can send me an email and I will pass it on.
Back to Homepage