Disused station at Dobra Nowogardzka. Photo Remigiusz Jozefowicz.
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For over 5 years years now the Municipal Council at Dobra Nowogardzka has been negotiating with PKP S.A. to take over that portion of the Stargard Narrow Gauge Railway (Stargardzka Kolej Wąskotorowa, Pol.) (Saatziger Kleinbahn, Germ.) that lies within their boundaries. Simultaneously the the Stargard Municipality hasbeen negotiating to take over the section that lies within their boundaries. Sadly neither council saw fit to obtain a licence granting them pro tem rights to use the railway land prior to the conclusion of negotiations. In the meantime, without an effective custodian, a great deal of track has been stolen on both sections. Dobra council officials estimate that some 20% of the track may be missing on their section.
The Stargard Narrow Gauge Railway. Map Wikipedia Commons.
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Now the land acquisition is almost complete and the Internet has been buzzing with rumours that the Council are planning a major reconstruction of the railway with the introduction of regular passenger services. The facts are rather more prosaic. On completion of the railway transfer the council will ‘look for an investor who has the financial resources to rebuild the railway’. So another worthwhile railway gets parked in cloud cuckoo land.
It is a great pity. The Stargard Narrow Gauge Railway is a fragment of the Pomeranian narrow gauge railway network which at its greatest extent in 1939 stretched to 640 km. The Stepnica-Golczewo-Gryfice-Trzebiatow sections were the subject of my first attempt at railway preservation lobbying in the late 1960s. Whether my puny efforts effected the eventual outcome, I don’t know. The Stepnica branch was acquired by the municipal government of Stepnica and turned into a cycle path around 2005. The Gryfice-Trzebiatow section was acquired by the Reval Town Council who run steam-hauled tourist trains on 40 km of line between Gryfice and Pogorzelica.
Robert Hall has written a scholarly article for BTWT on the Pomeranian narrow gauge railway network. I am just waiting for the weather to clear so that I can take some photographs to accompany his text.
Stargard Szczecinski (Stargard Pom. Germ.) Station in 1903.
Photo Wikipedia Commons.
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