Archive for November 24th, 2008

Competition – mystery picture 2

Monday, 24 November 2008

Entries now closed.


So where’s this? What is this.

Dyspozytor’s ‘hump competition’ continues. Part 1 is now closed. We asked, Where is this? What is this? Gavin Whitelaw and Gordon Dudman earned one point each by identifying the location correctly as Dolgoch on the Talyllyn Railway – the first railway in the world to be ‘rescued’ by volunteers. Each then received a reminder that they should also try to identify the subject of the picture more precisely. Gordon identified the water rushing out of the hillside as the ‘water extraction point’ for the old water tower and gains an extra point. BTWT acknowledges the use of one of zadabiel’s Talyllyn Railway photographs on flickr in our previous competition post. (Details of licensing here.) However, the competition continues, there’ll be more questions and even if you didn’t succeed first time round, there’s still time for you to fight your way to the top.

So what about today’s picture? (Click to see an enlargement.) With the two ashtrays in the middle ground, the dark varnished furniture, and the railway layout bridging the gaps between the furniture, it looks like Dyspozytor’s dream pub. Tell us where it is and what it is and you could earn two points.

Links to some Dolgoch photographs:

The grass is greener…

Monday, 24 November 2008


Narrow gauge transporter wagons in Austria

(Click to see this photo, and others, on the SLB Pinzgauer Lokalbahn website.)

The 760mm gauge Pinzgauer Lokalbahn runs from Zell am See to Krimml in Austria. It still operates timetabled passenger services, as well as regular freight services, and steam-hauled tourist trains in the summer months.

In the late 1990s, Polish transport economist Juliusz Engelhard, who believed that narrow gauge railways had no future as transport undertakings, pressed PKP to divest themselves of their n.g. lines by the end of the decade. Thanks to Mr Engelhard – today the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure responsible for rail – only the Smigiel, Kalisz, Przeworsk and Pleszew Railways narrow gauge railways, survive precariously as lines that are operated primarily as transport rather than tourist undertakings. But, with Poland’s Kafkaesque regulations and greedy local authorities, even the tourist-only railways are far from secure. Meanwhile just over the border…


Bertsdorf Station on the Zittau Railway.

(Click to see this photo, and others, on the Schmalspur-Modell-Forum discussion group)

Zittau, which is situated in what was once East Germany, is only a couple of miles away from the Polish border, but its 750 mm gauge railway line, the Zittauer Schmalspurbahn could be 1,000 miles away. When Deutsche Bahn, the state railway operator, announced that the line was due to close in 1998, the local authorities at parish, town and county level combined togeher to form the Sächsisch Oberlausitzer Eisenbahn Gesellschaft (SOEG) to act as the custodian and operator of the railway. As the picture shows, with the help of funding from the local authorities, the SOEG maintain the track in tip top condition. There is also an active support society, the Interessenverband Zittauer Schmalspurbahnen (IZS).

Perhaps SKPL should seriously consider taking its most difficult local authorities on a short trip to East Germany?

More information:

  • Zittau Railway history – IZS website
  • Zittau Railway – SOEG website (short video of Bertsdorf Station before the track was remodelled)