The International Steam Pages

The Hedelands Railway

James Waite reports:

This was a visit I made in May 2008 with Danish gricer Christian Cederberg to the 700mm gauge Hedelands Railway, located in a country park on the outskirts of Roskilde, a short distance west of Copenhagen. The line has been run since the 1980’s by the Danish Industribaneklubben who have been actively involved in the preservation of Danish industrial stock since they were formed in 1974. The line’s concession provides for a 7km line southwards from Hedehusgård station at Hedehusene, a village on the main Copenhagen – Roskilde road and about 2kms east of junction 10 on the Copenhagen – Roskilde morotway. The railway’s terminus is within easy walking distance of Hedeshune DSB station which is served by suburban trains from Copenhagen Central station. So far the society has built a little over 5km of line. 

When I visited, the line’s only working steam loco was Henschel 0-8-0T no. Da7 (18449/1921), a loco which had spent its working life at several Danish sugar factories and would not look out of place in the cane fields of Java! It was working turn and turn about with 6w diesel no. M24 which was apparently home-built at Naksov sugar factory in 1962. 

In the running shed OK 0-6-0T Hedelskabet no. 3 (7459/1921) was having the finishing touches put to it after extensive restoration which has taken over 10 years to complete. It should enter service in June 2008. 

There’s a museum with seven other steam locos of 600mm, 700mm and 785mm gauge, none in working order and in varying states of repair. To British eyes the star attraction here is undoubtedly a diminutive Bagnall from Valby gasworks in Copenhagen. It’s a really delightful loco and is kept in good condition. It must be the smallest Bagnall I’ve ever seen. There’s an extensive collection of narrow gauge diesels as well.

The country park is located in what used to be an area of extensive gravel pits and so is somewhat hillier than much of eastern Denmark. The line runs generally in a north/south direction. The steam loco currently faces north which wasn’t helpful for photography though there’s a turntable in the yard at Hedehusgård so maybe it’s turned from time to time. The most promising photo spots were along a stretch of line through Plantagen, near the southern terminus, where there’s an east/west stretch of line for a few hundred metres. Looking to the future tracklaying has just reached a bridge over the main Roskilde – Greve road which was built for the railway nearly 20 years ago. This looks to be a photogenic location and services should be extended over the bridge within the next couple of years.

This line’s well worth visiting. The passenger coaches look somewhat home-made but there’s enough freight stock around to help preserved the atmosphere of the Danish industrial narrow gauge. Roskilde is an interesting town. Some of Denmark’s working main line steam locos are kept there. The Viking Ship Museum is a major visitor attraction as is the immense brick-built Gothic cathedral where most of the Danish royal family are buried. The numerous sights in Copenhagen are less than half an hour’s journey away.

The railway runs Sundays only in 2008 from 11 May to 7 September. The website is at

Steam Locos

600mm gauge 0-4-0ST (Bagnall 1845/1920) ex-Valby gasworks, Copenhagen. Externally restored but not in working order.
700mm gauge 0-6-0T (OK 9350/1920) ex-Maribo sugar factory no. B5. Unrestored
700mm gauge 0-6-0T (OK 7459/1921). Restoration nearly complete, about to enter service
700mm gauge 0-8-0T (Henschel 18449/1921) ex Sakskøbing sugar factory no. Da7. Reboilered 2002. In working order.
700mm gauge 0-8-0T (Henschel 9997/1910) ex-Assens sugar factory no. 3. Awaiting restoration.
700mm gauge 0-6-2T “Sukkergris” (Krauss, Munich 6801 of 1913) ex-Maribo sugar factory. Undergoing restoration.
785mm gauge 0-4-0WT (Jung 2070/1914) ex-Norresundby Sulphuric Acid factory no. 1. Awaiting restoration.
785mm gauge 0-4-0WT (Jung 2075/1914) ex-Norresundby Sulphuric Acid factory no. 2. Awaiting restoration.
785mm gauge 0-4-0WT “Else” (OK 9350/1920) ex-Wright, Thomsen & Larsen. Externally restored but not in working order.
785mm gauge 0-6-2T (Krauss, Munich 6951/1914) ex-Faxe Laklbrud no. FJ V. Unrestored.

Rob Dickinson