James Waite reports:
The Jokioisten Railway is a preserved 750mm gauge in southern Finland. The line was opened in 1899 and ran for 24kms from
Humpilla, on the Turku to Toijala main line, southwards to Forssa, a
cotton milling town. At Forssa it connected with an overhead electric tramway run by the cotton milling company.
The preservation society began running trains on the line in 1971 while the line was still working
commercially until closure came in 1974. The preservation society acquired the central portion of the line, from Minkio to
Jokioinen, and reopened it in 1978. In the early 1990's they rebuilt the
northern stretch between Humpilla and Minkio and now operate over 14.2km of the
The railway operates on Sundays during the summer with some extra days. We visited for the annual steam gala over the last weekend of July 2007. Operating dates and timetables are on the railway's site at
The headquarters, running sheds etc are at Minkio and, along with several diesels and unrestored steam locos, there are now
five working steam locos described below:
- Äänekoski-Suolahden Railway 0-6-0T no. 1 (H.K. Porter works no. 2313 of 1901). The second of two locos supplied by Porter to this railway. After the line closed in 1943 the loco was used for internal traffic at Äänekoski Paper Mills until withdrawn from traffic in 1964. It continued in use as a stationary boiler until 1966 and arrived for preservation at Minkio in 1971. The loco first ran after restoration in 2005. It's too small for regular traffic and only runs on special occasions.
- Jokioisten Railway 2-6-2T no. 4 (Tubize works no. 2365 of 1947). The first of two locos ordered from Tubize after the railway’s only modern loco was sent to the USSR by way of war reparations in 1945. The loco continued in use until the closure of the railway in 1974 and hauled the last train on the railway. Sold to the preservation society in 1978. The locomotive was fully renovated at the Finnish State Railway’s Kuopio locomotive works between 1985 and 1988.
- Jokioisten Railway no. 5 “Orion” (Tubize works no. 2369 of 1948). The second Tubize loco. Laid aside needing major boiler repair in 1954 and sold for preservation in the UK in 1972. Later acquired by the Welshpool & Llanfair and first ran there after restoration in
2000. Sold to the JR in September 2006 and arrived at Minkio, the line’s operational base, in October 2006. The loco acquired the name “Orion” at the W&L and has retained it at the JR. It was making its first public appearance at the steam festival.
- Hyvinkään-Karkkila 2-8-2T no. 5 (Tampella works no. 289 of 1917). The first loco to be built in Finland after the country achieved its independence from Russia in 1917. She spent her working life on the Hyvinkää-Karkkila railway until it closed in 1967. She became the first loco to work in preservation on the Jokioisten Railway in
- Loviisa-Vesijärvi Railway 2-8-0 no. 6 (Tampella works no. 141 of 1906). Operated on this railway, on the south coast of Finland, until the line was closed in 1960 for conversion to 1524mm gauge when it was preserved on a plinth at
Loviisa. Moved to Minkio in 1982 and first ran after restoration in 1998.
Steam locos awaiting restoration
- Loviisa-Vesijärvi Railway 2-8-0 no. 7 (O&K works no. 9454 of 1921). Ran until the railway’s closure in 1960 for conversion to 1524mm gauge. Preserved at Minkiö since 1995.
- Harvialan Metsarautatie 0-6-2T no. 2 (Tampella works no. 256 of 1916).
- Åminneforsin Tehdasrata 0-6-0WT no. 2 (OK works no. 12782 of 1936).
- Honkataipaleen Tukkirautatie 0-6-0WT no. 1 (Krauss, Munich works number 6206).
- Äänekoski-Suolahden Railway 0-6-0F no. 3 (OK works no. 11990 of 1929).
At Forssa a tiny Siemens overhead electric loco from 1898 is preserved in a glass case outside the old cotton mill complex in the centre of town It's well worth seeking out this tiny loco which is not much wider than the track gauge.
I thoroughly enjoyed this line. In addition to the locos quite a lot of the original rolling stock survives as well as the original buildings at Humpilla and
Minkio. Minkio is about one hour's drive from Tampere airport into which Ryanair flies from Stansted and several other European airports.