Foresty railway in Czarna Bialostocka

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The former forestry line at Czarna Białostocka
Video kamil25101

At the end of WWII there were 37 narrow gauge forestry railways in Poland. Incredibly, during the 1950s some of these lines were still being expanded, and in some cases there were even proposals to take them under the wing of PKP and make them public railways.

Now only a handful are left. The most famous is the Bieszczady Railway whose preservation was helped by a vigorous campaign supported by the Polish media. Less well known, but definitively worth visiting, is the forestry railway in Hajnowka which boasts two WWI 0-8-0T locomotives typical of the German Feldbahn.

Two other forestry railways are the subject of rebuilding plans: the Pionki Forest Railway – where the former locomotive depot had been rebuilt from scratch – and the forestry line at Janow Lubelski – where a collection of rolling stock has been established.

Finally, and almost unknown outside Poland, is the former forestry line at Czarna Bialostocka. In October 1990 a group of railway enthusiasts from the Warsaw Railway technical college organised a special train over the line. This was the trip that motivated a group of enthusiasts under the leadership of Maciej Kozlowski to try to save the line.

By the time the preservationists obtained access to the line, half of the 40 km route had been lifted, all the rolling stock had been sold or scrapped and several kilometres of track from the surviving 20 km branch had been stolen. Bearing this in mind the achievements of a small but dedicated band of volunteers has been remarkable. Isn’t there anyone out there running a 600 mm railway in Western Europe who would like to twin their line with this most remarkable narrow gauge survivor?

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One Response to “Foresty railway in Czarna Bialostocka”

  1. Robert Hall Says:

    The YouTube item gives a most interesting “video slide show”. Must admit to having had to go to the “crib” to remind self of precise location and nature of Czarna Bialostocka forestry railway – but memory duly refreshed.

    The 600mm (or Imperial-measures equivalent) gauge is IMO a delight – feel saddened by how relatively little of it, I have ever experienced. In Poland, for me – other than very much “in the bygoing” – only a visit, once, to the Znin museum line.

    Were I an eccentric millionaire running own 600mm gauge line in Britain, I would for sure be eager to set up twinning arrangements with C.B. …

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