It always seemed likely that derelict steam locomotives survive in the country, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/al/steam/pix.html.
I am pleased to say we now have confirmation
at first hand coming from James Waite (21st June 2008). Now, Thomas Kautzor
tells me that one of them, the Tkt48 at Durres is being repaired/repainted in order to be plinthed at the location of Tirana's old
(28th June 2018). Thomas visited in 2022 to
see it (17th August 2022).
Mark Enderby reports on two
(inactive) steam survivors in Yerevan (1st September 2008) to which Jez
Graham has added a L class (19th February 2020). Apparently the narrow gauge
0-8-0T on the pioneer railway was still there in
mid-2023. (24th August 2023).
Earlier Tim Littler of GW Travel reported in late 2002: "Very poor country and railways in dire state with virtually no traffic.
Yerevan has only four local trains per day plus a train to Tbilisi every other day.
There was one L
class on Yerevan depot that had been partially restored but work stopped when the restorer
died. The steam reserve at Masis was mostly cut up. The steam reserve at Gyumri
has gone except
for several locos (steam and diesel) trapped in the old depot that had been destroyed
during the 1988 earthquake."
Jez Graham writes (16th November 2017)
of his 2016 visit. You can find this preserved locomotive on Gyumri
station. Interestingly there were 2 pioneer railways in Armenia, the
relatively well known example in Yerevan and a second one in Gyumri,
(aka Leninakan). The Leninakan pioneer railway was closed following the
catastrophic 1988 earthquake, which destroyed large parts of the city
and killed an estimated 45,000 people. This 2km railway had one diesel
and one Finnish built steam locomotive A few more details of this line
can be found on this website:
(the steam locomotive survives at the Pereslavl
Museum in Russia RD).
Modern railway traffic in Armenia is confined mostly to freight
operations. The capital, Yerevan has only 4 local passenger departures
a day and one international service on alternate days. The locos and
rolling stock that I saw were all ageing Soviet era equipment but had
definite character. I was fortunate to time my visit, to catch the
morning train to Gyumri but missed pretty much everything else!
report of a visit to the Nizhny Novgorod Railway Museum shows a similar
locomotive to the Gyumri one..
Information on preserved steam on the narrow
gauge is available elsewhere on this site.
The last active working steam locomotive in the
country is an 0-6-0F at Ulmerfeld-Hausmening
(10th February 2015), Tom Short visited in April
2017 (18th April 2017).
John Dodds reports (21st June 2008): "I've found two 0-10-0 tender
locos just outside Sumgait on the road going north and three and a half
loco 2-10-0 tender type at the back of the main station in
Its dangerous to search too hard for anything around the railways
because they are still considered by the authorities as a strategic
part of the
defences!!! I have been arrested twice, once for attempting to take a
photo of the 2-10-0s and the second time I was arrested was for taking
a photo of a door with a
Moorish arch at the main railway station . So be careful!". (This being
part of the former Soviet Union, I assume the 0-10-0s are from the
ubiquitous E/Em/Er class or similar and the 2-10-0s most likely L class. RD)
Harvey Smith has spent some time here in 2010 and has sent me some pictures
and information about what he has found including the (former) Baku
Children's Railway (18th May 2010).
Earlier Tim Littler reported after a visit in
late 2002: "Very efficient and well run railway, only steam noted at Balandry depot on
the outskirts of Baku where there were several intact L's and Er's and the remains of many
more. The management had indicated that their reserve of approx 100 locos was being cut
James Waite alerted me to two reports which confirm the continued existence
of two broad (7ft 01/4in) gauge steam locomotives at Ponta
Delgada in the Azores - see that from Chris Brady from some time back http://chrisbrady.itgo.com/azores/broad.htm
and that of a June 2008 visit by Colin Churcher https://churcher.crcml.org/Personal/Azores/Azores.html,
the latter has links to pages describing other relics (16th
October 2008). James has now been to Ponta
Delgada and has sent a fascinating first hand report which includes a lot of
historical background on broad gauge harbour railways (updated 3rd October 2014).
Mike Clendining was here on 10th October 2018, the locos are
still in place and there has been no progress in establishing a proper home for
them, let alone finding the money to restore them (28th
Torsten Schneider adds (16th November 2008)
"Contrary to rumours on the web (railfaneurope, farrail newsletter)
there has been no commercial steam-shunting in Osopovichy (or elsewhere
in Belarus) in recent years. However a number of steam locomotives is
serviceable. As a friend from Minsk reported, among them are Er 739-93
(built 1935) from Krichev depot which featured in a WW2-movie in Brest
in September 2008, Kriegslok TE 8021 was under steam near Minsk in 2007
also for a movie, and Er 789-10 in 2006. Apart from the collections in
the open-air railway museums in Brest (closed
Mondays and Tuesdays, best visited in the morning) and in Baranovichi
Sundays) there are also some steam locomotives plinthed in or near
railway stations (seen at
Lida, Maladishna, and Orsha) or in depots (seen at
Durk Houtsma reports that casual visitors can still find 'real' steam at work
here (11th October 2022). He reports "On Sunday 2nd October I passed at Oskova to see if there is a steam locomotive running on the
standard or narrow-gauge. Stopped at a old bus stop and walked up to the rails, and at the normal-gauge unloading place for the Coal washery was the Yugoslav 62-125 in service with very friendly personnel. Could walk around, take pictures and they invited me inside the loco. Driver spoke very well English, and he told me the narrow-gauge was diesel. The 62-125 was only in service because of some problems with the diesel engines, but that happens
often." Further "3rd October I drove to the Dubrave coal loader, arrived at 9 and around 12 the loco 33-248 did some moves. Only brought some new cars to the loading place, and parked again."
Also "Sikulje Mine should be another in service they told me at Dubrave, but is very difficult to come close nearby.
" For a few pictures see https://flickr.com/photos/the_knitter/albums/72177720302584328.
With conventional steam at an end in Java (Indonesia) and steam in China
likely to go the same way before the end of 2021, Bosnia may have become the
last place in the world to operate 'Real Steam'. I asked John Raby if he knew
what was happening in the country and with his tour leader's hat on, he replied
(8th September 2021).:
"The main attractions in Bosnia have been (on the standard gauge) Dubrave and Sikulje coal loaders which are still shunted by 2-10-0 ex-German kriegsloks (where augmented shunting can be arranged), the workshops at Bukinje where they are serviced, the occasional standard gauge steam shunt at Oskova possibly with a class 62 Yugoslav-built USA tank one of 2 working locos (normally every 11 days to coincide with the diesel being serviced) and on the narrow gauge, steam shunting through the washery at Oskova (these days normally 'by arrangement’)* along with steam charters over the full line from Oskova via the workshops and coal loader at Banovici to the open cast mine at Turija (around 7.5km) with a classic class 83 0-8-2.
* I was told that steam use was more likely in summer when the diesels struggle with overheating on the slow shuffle stop/start shunt moving the coal wagons over the hoppers 2-3 at a time. The shunt can be done by one loco so the one small diesel is the normal motive power.
Note that these observations are based on an October 2018 trip! I plan to get in touch with my guides to see if they are up to organising any more trips. They may have moved on to other things..."
If anyone has more up-to-date information, do please get in touch with me (RD -
email address at the bottom of the page).
According to the FarRail
issued a steam ban on 7th May 2015, which also means the end of
transfer trips to the ZFBH stations (Sikulje - Lukavac, Dubrave -
Ljubace and Durdevik -
Zivinice). That would leave only the narrow gauge steam shunting at
operation (12th May 2015). Bernd Seiler indicated
that the Durdevik - Zivinice transfer will be done with road trucks for
being. I now understand that
this is a Railways Inspectorate issue and that officially this is a
ban until the steam locomotives receive appropriate safety devices
May 2015). On 13th May 2015, Hugo visited Tuzla and confirmed the ban
in place although everyone hopes for a work around. At Bukinje 33-248
was being sandblasted, 33-504 was standing on the depot
outside and 33-236 was inside and ready to be switched with another 33
May 2015). According to the FarRail
Blog (link dead by March 2023), the ban was subsequently lifted on 22nd May 2015 (27th
May 2015), at least as far as the class 33 was concerned. The situation
with the class 62 is not known.
Now (13th July 2015) steam operation on ZFBHis again
part suspended, see
Blog, thanks to Bill Jamieson for passing this bad news on. Since the
original report it has been clarified that the ban does not apply to the normal
day to day transfer trains but to charters beyond the normal limits in the
junction stations (15th
July 2015). Rob Pritchard's detailed report
of a September 2015 visit seems to confirm this (30th
September 2015). John Raby took a
small group in early October 2015 which had a judicious mix of real and
charter steam (12th October 2015), a have also
added a PS to Bill Jamieson's earlier detailed 2014 report of a visit to Oskova
(22nd October 2015),
The steam ban is back according to reports I have had from John Raby and
Bernd Seiler, to save me some editing, the FarRail
Blog has the details but basically the Kriegslok are 'confined to barracks',
this time it seems to have come from the mine company itself (26th
November 2015). The first report I have
had of the effect of this comes Jakob Stilling (22nd March
2016). Rob Pritchard was back again in May 2016 and his
report indicates that 'real steam' activity was restricted to Kriegloks
shunting (26th May 2016), John Raby offers a similar
alternative report with a little bit of industrial heritage thrown in (27th
Tom Short visited in April 2017
and found things much as in 2016.(18th April 2017). Steve Newman and Rob
Pritchard were here in
September 2017 and report much the same (updated
13th October 2017). Tom Short was back again in
April 2018 (2nd May 2018).
Rob Pritchard spent a week here
in autumn 2018 and, in the circumstances, was well satisfied (18th
October 2018). Keith Chambers adds (4th June 2019):
"I was in the Tuzla area recently and visited Banovici, Oskova, Sikulje, Bukinje, Durdevik and Dubrave. I can confirm that the situation remains much the same as in recent reports on your site so won't repeat it all. Suffice it to say that at least three steam locos continue to work daily. 33-236 was working at Dubrave on both my visits (23/05/19, 24/05/19), an unidentified 33 class was shunting at Sikulje on 23/05/19 and 83-158 was shunting on the high level at the washery at Oskova on 22/05/19. Usual scenario on the standard gauge low level here except that for the first time the shed doors were wide open so I was able to get a good look at 19-12 and 62-125 inside. 19-12 clearly in working order. On 24/05/19 I went to Doboj to find the narrow gauge 0-10-0 plinthed outside the Serb Republic Railways HQ in the town which I found as expected. At the depot there is quite a collection of withdrawn and dumped diesel and electric locos. Of interest is the fact that many of them still carry their JZ plates and livery and look as if they have been dumped for a considerable time."
For a summary of the main sites using real working steam then see Keith
Chester's original reports dating from 1997/8. Basically the list comprised
coal mines in Kakanj, Breza, Tuzla area, Banovici area and some locations
around Lukavac. There have been numerous reports since then which I have
grouped together. If you are planning a first trip, then I strongly recommend
reading these through to give yourself an overview - I have not been to Bosnia
since the early 1970s and I am not competent to do such a thing!
Hugo Richter was in the Tuzla area in September 2014, he has provided a
short report (27th November 2014). Bill Jamieson spent a length spell at Oskova at the end of September 2014, so
his report which is essentially a log will be
of help to others less familiar with the operation here (9th
The Bosnian floods of May 2014 are likely to have caused
disruption of steam workings in the short and medium term reports
Jakob Stilling (27th May 2014), now see Jens
Ingemann's parallel report (4th June 2014). George Shields' May
revisit has been added to the earlier reports (23rd
May 2014). Trevor Maxted was in Bosnia in March 2014 and reports that
19.12 will have a brief spell in action... Otherwise it's the usual suspects in
his illustrated report (25th March 2014). I
have since appended overlapping reports from George
Shields and Paul Jobber (28th
March 2014). I now have an additional
report from Terry Andrews from the beginning of the month which includes
useful bus information (1st April 2014). Later Bill Jamieson has supplied a
detailed report from an extended visit to Oskova in early March 2014 (3rd
April 2014). Andrew Naylor has posted a nice set of pictures taken at
Bukinje depot on 10th June 2014, including several showing a Kriegslok under
heavy overhaul (27th June 2014) and Will Sherston
adds a post-flood perspective (2nd
July 2014), the same report now has some later
notes from Edward Buchanan (11th July 2014). Bosnia is definitely fashionable in
2014. John Raby has been here in September 2014, read his
illustrated blog (25th September 2014).
Tim Murray was here over Easter 2013 and reported that 62.111 at Durdevic was back in occasional use and
confirms 62.663 is active at Zenica (17th
April 2013). Andrej Hoffman visited in February 2013 and found more than
enough activity to keep him happy (13th March 2013).
Unusually, Mark Palmer visited independently using public transport in early
2012. His report contains a mass of useful
information for others with a more relaxed than average attitude to gricing and
travelling - my kind of bash in other words (7th June 2012). Gareth
David was here in June 2012 and his account
also includes details of local facilities (11th June 2012), Gareth has now
been back again in September 2013, he bumped into Mark Palmer who was also
revisiting. Their two reports have now been
combined (15th October 2013).
Richard Turkington was here in
April 2012 (14th May 2012).to which i have now
appended John Athersuch's report of an
earlier visit in March 2012 (pictures added 14th June 2012),while James Waite was back a Bosnian
Steam Weekend (2nd March 2012) - basically a
'Turkey Shoot' in the snow!
Tim Murray was back for more in early April 2011 (6th
May 2011). His blow by blow report will be
useful for other potential visitors but activity was influenced by the parallel
LoRie tour group. Dave Habraken was here a little later and you can read
his report (10th May 2011). Keith Chambers spent three
days in the Tuzla area in July 2011 (12th August 2011). Kurt Rethagen adds (27th February 2011)
that "After 2 years without steam, Breza now again has a 62 loco for shunting.
The picture shows62 363 on Saturday morning 19th February 2011! The mine is
on the main road at the south end of the town, the name is Sretno.
Olivier Foiche was here between 8th and 13th February 2011
(added 21st February 2011) and again between 26th March and 2nd April 2012 (11th
April 2012). Updates to the earlier report are indicated by (2012) as
Kakanj (Pogon Ceparici Catici) (dieselised 2012), Zenica (mine) (2011), Lukavac Soda
Factory (dieselised 2012), Durdevic, Bukinje, mine
closed, the engines were inside the shed.
Banovici : 83-159 was under overhaul inside the workshop. On narrow
gauge, 83-158 was shunting at Oskova. On standard gauge, shunting with
Now 83-159 has returned to service and 83-158 is not stopped (2012)
Dubrave : 33-504 was running. Two or three trains to Ljublace. Freshly repaired
33-503 was running (2012)
Sikulje : 33-064 was running. Two or three train to Lukavac. 33-236 was running,
33-504 to store in Bukinje (2012)
Zenica Mine: 62-633 was running (2012)
Breza: 62-363 shunting (2012)
I have a
report from Richard Neun (30th March 2010), a
report from Fabrice Lanoue (17th May 2010), a
report from May 2010 from Jens Ingemann (6th June 2010), he was
also back for
more in July 2010 (14th September 2010) and Trevor
in September 2010 (2nd October 2010).
James Waite was in 'Republika Srpska' which is technically part of Bosnia and
has sent some pictures of preserved steam in
Prijedor and Banja Luka (29th March 2011).
The coastal area of the former Yugoslavia (now broadly Croatia with Bosnian
hinterland) once boasted a fabulous 762mm narrow gauge system. Thomas Kautzor
has been to see what is left (17th
For an historical look at the 760mm gauge railways of the former Yugoslavia
visit this site - http://www.penmorfa.com/JZ/index.htm.
visit this non-English forum -
(link broken by 25th October 2016).
It's been four years since the last report from
a country that is looking to get into the steam railtour market. Clive Hepworth reports
on a visit to Sofia depot where the active standard gauge fleet is kept and
restoration and repairs carried out (26th May 2015).
Robin Patrick joined the LCGB tour in April/May 2011 and has sent an
illustrated report - featuring no less than five different steam locomotives
(18th May 2011). This could be a country to watch
as two more are under active restoration.
Thomas Kautzor tells me (20th March 2011) "According to the following news:
trains KPV 13208 Sofia 12:10 - Bankja 12:39 and KPV 13207 Bankja 14:05
- Sofia 14:33 will be steam-hauled by 01.23 for the period March 21 to
April 09, 2011. The train will consist of two 2nd class coaches and the
regular fare of EUR 0,80 applies."
See my narrow gauge page for
information on the Septemvri to Dobriniště
line with its occasional steam specials.
Not a country which has featured on this website before as it has a 'no
steam' policy. However, James Waite has sent a
report of a visit which includes the Zagreb Railway Museum and several
other preserved items (29th March 2011, updated with Clive Hepworth's
notes, 27th May 2015).
Fabrice Lanoue has chipped in with
picture of other extant steam and preserved items in the country (4th
The coastal area of the former Yugoslavia (now broadly Croatia with
Bosnian hinterland) once boasted a fabulous 760mm narrow gauge system.
Thomas Kautzor has been to see what is left
(17th August 2022). For an historical look at the 760mm gauge railways of the former Yugoslavia
visit this site - http://www.penmorfa.com/JZ/index.htm.
Hugh Ballantyne reports on a nostalgic visit to see what remains of Cyprus Railways (11th March
2004). James Waite elaborates (including pictures) with
more details of the remains of the Cyprus Mines Corporation railway (9th
December 2006), this report has since been updated (28th
March 2009 and 22nd May 2023).
Ken Jones and James Waite have contributed a
further 2011 update which includes pictures of the numerous surviving narrow
gauge internal combustion locomotives (28th October 2011)
as well as books on the island's railways. I have now added positive news about
and a picture of the Cyprus Railway Museum (updated
8th September 2015). The museum finally opened its
doors on late 2014, for more information see the preceding link.
Kevin Hoggett has sent me some pictures of the ZOS Ceske Velenice railway works in the Czech
Republic, with a preserved 475 under repair but more interestingly, a
blacksmith's shop with working steam hammers (19th May
Bryan Acford visited for Steam
Charters in September 1997. Christian Oboth reports on festivities:"150 years of Prerov-Ostrava-Bohumin line.
On May 1st to 4th 1997, the anniversary of the electrified mainline was celebrated with
475.1142 and 498.106 on specials (and some plandampfs) Prerov - Bogumin, further specials
Ostrava hl.nadr.- Ostrava Stred - Ostrava Kuncice - Bohumin by 433.002, 354.1217 and
464.202, and Ostrava hl.nadr.- Josefova Jama coalmine by 313.423 and 423.041. At Josefova
Jama, enthusiasts were surprised by steaming 328.011 and 310.911. Loco exhibition at
Ostrava presented all the running engines, ÖBB- „liancon", PKP - Ol 12.7, Pm
36.2, Ok22.31 and Tr 5.65. The only steam loco at Bohumin was 477.060. Outside the
station, a very derelict 475 is dumped."
Roland Beier reports "At Usti nad labem there is a chemical plant which still uses
two fireless steam locos: No.200/201, both are 0-6-0F and were built at Meiningen in 1988
(the usual ex-DDR design)." Now Jakob Stilling has sent this picture of one
of them crossing the road between the two parts of the factory in April 2005
(added 9th March 2006). One of them was still at work in August 2012, http://www.forum.gscalecentral.net/m232944-print.aspx
(19th October 2013, link dead by 26th April 2014), thanks to Mark Palmer for this
one. Now Keith Chester has visited and reports that this operation ceased in
November 2013 (15th December 2013), see the
2014 update (10th February 2015).
Waite visited the Estonian Museum
Railway, Lavassaare in July 2009 (25th July 2009).
Peter Klaus tells me (3rd
October 2010) that "the Estonian south-west railway (Edelaraudtee ) has restored this
L-3297 (known also as Kaspar), Its first public run was made on 10th September
2010 between from Türi to Tallinn and return. Future plans include steam
charters from 2011. As this is not a passenger train locomotive, train speeds
are limited to about 50-60km/h. This is the only currently working steam
locomotive on the 1520mm gauge in the country, all the others are monuments and mainly
also class L." For more information about charters etc visit
(17th December 2010, link dead by 25th October 2016).
News of this former part of the Soviet Union is thin on the ground. I have no reason to
believe there is any active steam here but John Athersuch has sent some pictures of
steam survivors here (6th
February 2004). Earlier Tim Littler reported after a visit in late 2002:
"No local steam noted and we covered a large part of the country from Batumi on
the Black sea to the Azeri border, with side trips to Vale and Telavi."
Further information on possible
industrial steam, and definite steam survivors in Georgia
(Caucasus) has now been sent by Torsten Schneider, the following
observations were made during a trip between July 27th and August
The information on the steam survivors is given as an addendum to John
report (Torsten's pictures added, 8th October 2005).
In the summer 2005 issue of Georgian Airways' inflight
journal there is an article featuring the
ferro-alloys plant in Zestaponi in Western Georgia, one of Georgia's
biggest industrial units. I was intrigued by a note under the heading
"Upgrading" saying, I quote: "..., three rail steam engines have been
purchased, ...". Not expecting to be allowed into the plant, we (my
Georgian guides and myself) nevertheless tried. While waiting for a
head engineer's permission I heard steam whistles several times
(naturally not necessarily from locos), and nobody we talked to
dismissed our repetitive mentioning of "steam" locomotives (if that is
what my guides hopefully said). Eventually we were not allowed inside,
but we were told that all locos they have cross a public road where I
would be allowed to take pictures (and had already taken one of a TGM4,
a typical Soviet industrial diesel loco). On the other side of the road
there is a small depot, again on company ground (no photos, but we were
allowed in), where I saw more TGM4s, and no facilities for steam locos
whatsoever. We were told that TGM4s had recently been acquired
second-hand from the Ukraine. Thus, the situation seems clear, no
There is a website on narrow gauge railways on the territory of the former Soviet Union
(http://www.parovoz.com/indexe.php, link dead by 26th April 2014 ) which
is referred to in Torsten's report.
For information on narrow gauge lines please my Narrow
Gauge Steam Railways page.
Andreas Illert reports on a situation that blurs the
working steam and preserved steam (27th May 2006):
"Concerning working steam in Germany, there has been a very interesting
situation in Thueringen recently. As to privatisation of railway
operations, a call for tender was issued to transport wood from
Schleusingen via Meiningen to
Eisenach, about once a week from
February to the end of April. The contract was won by the railway
enthusiast group of
Eisenach. Obviously steam is competitive, with high prices for diesel
and staff costs for the volunteer crew at a reasonable level.
52.8075 2-10-0 then worked the 1200-tons-trains without operational
difficulties, over quite steep grades and in weather conditions
changing from snow to wet spring over the period.
For some time this country has been covered occasionally under Plandampf. Bryan Benn's home page
http://www.germansteam.co.uk/ (link dead 29th October 2017) covers Germany in general, with a proper plandampf site
(new address 1st April 2005, link dead 29th October 2017) with regular information on upcoming Plandampf and other
Sonderzug. Good news for
visitors with limited German language skills! There is now a proper German Language site run by
LoRi although it offers a regular
English language newsletter - see http://www.plandampfteam.de
(added 3rd August 2007), see also Revierdampf's page (English and German) http://www.revierdampf.de
(link broken 1st November 2019, added 10th January 2009).
Colin Young has sent some pictures of the
Hungarian Railway Museum in Budapest. (27th December 2008). Thomas Kautzor
was in town in April 2022 for an aborted charter on the children's railway but
took the opportunity to photograph some
interesting bits and pieces (not at the main railway museum) (17th August
Iceland must be the only country in the world to have preserved 100% of its
steam fleet. James
Waite reports on his visit to see both locomotives. (14th
August 2008), Dennis Graham advises (10th March 2016)
that "Minør" is put indoors during the winter and is
inaccessible during that period..
The sad fact is that Italy is running out of steam. However,
Ursina Della Monte suggests things are not quite as
bad (18th October 2022) as Thomas Kautzor
(immediately below, 13th February 2022) and Stefano Paolini
(further below, 16th August 2022) suggested:
"With FC 353 under repair since the beginning of this month (the last Winter trip on
31st January was cancelled due to the death of an FC official), Italy is now down to one single working
(main line) steam locomotive: FS 685.089 (Pistoia).
In late 2021, FS 640.003 (Pistoia), 640.143 (Torino Smis, needs boiler repairs) and 740.409 (Pistoia) were still operational. 940.022 at Verona is still awaiting certification, while 940.041 (La Spezia) needs to have its rear axle replaced."
The information below is now rather dated (20th
September 2018) although hopefully that concerning museums will still
largely be valid. Jonathan Sussams has suggested that visitors might enjoy railway journeys in historic trains from Milan and Siena courtesy of the Treno Blu volunteers:
Information (in English) on Italian steam has never been easy to come by for
as long as I can remember. Now Stefano Paolini has provided a wealth of
information which will be of great use to potential visitors (first posted 21st
August 2008), latterly Filippo Ricci has taken up the torch. The August 2022
notes below are again the work of Stefan Paolini.
An introduction to Italian Railway Heritage and Preservation
forum links amended 20th December 2011.
An outline guide
to heritage sites (including steam specials scheduled for
A detailed Regional Guide to Italian Heritage Steam - Part 1,
and Part 3
Italian steam update (4th March 2009)
A site which lists upcoming heritage railway operations - http://smf.photorail.com/index.php?board=68.0
(added 6th February 2013, link broken by November 2020). There is now a good
(16th August 2022)
The same site provides a list of all preserved Italian State Railways motive power
http://smf.photorail.com/index.php?board=72.0 (link broken by November 2020) and stock lists of the Italian private, tram and light rail operators, including heritage motive power if still present, here
(added 6th February 2013, link broken by November 2020). Stefan Paolini advises
"The section with all preserved material is still on, here: https://www.photorail.it/forum/index.php?board=72.0
(16th August 2022).
Filippo Ricci visited the annual Milan Smistamento Porte Aperte
in March 2013, read his report (27th March 2013).
It is unrealistic to edit the old pages, instead for the time
being this main page will carry the key information. Stefano sums up the changes
since 2013 (16th August 2022):By all means read the
old material but it is only there for historical completeness.
In 2013 the Fondazione FS was established to manages all the historic world connected to FS.
So the state and regional owned museums (Pietrarsa, Trieste Campo Marzio - which is now closed due to heavy restoration), any locomotive or coach or wagon on FS rails is
now owned and under the responsibility of Fondazione FS. Those pieces which are in service or are
under repair are also maintained and driven ONLY by people of FS or Fondazione FS.
Hence more volunteers are excluded! Any association which in the past was an
able to offer help in depots, shops and on board of trains have cast adrift, in same cases
not at all pleasantly... Future plans for Fondazione FS could see it set up a
completely new IF (Impresa Ferroviaria) like DB or Arriva which would run its own trains with its own personnel, to enter also private entities
as in the Sardinian steam operation by ARST or in the rebuilding project for the long gone San Marino railway.
In these 9 years of work much has been done, for example, a complete
restoration of all locomotives preserved in Pietrarsa, which is now a fabulous
railway museum. It operates 11 lines closed in these last 12 years as tourist only railways, with heritage material (sometimes steam,
but quite often diesel): See https://www.fondazionefs.it/content/fondazionefs/it/la-fondazione/binari-senza-tempo.html. It's working
on the reopening of three other lines, one in the Puglia region, two in Sicily.
It's working on a much needed updating of safety systems on its ancient electric
locomotives and much else besides.
Fondazione FS can actually count on 95 people. Of these, only a small percentage is
capable of carrying out heavy shop work, most do not have the necessary skills
or experience. Hence all repairs and even routine maintenance have to be outsourced to external
organisations. Generally these have have no experience in railway matters in
general and steam locomotives in particular. Not a single steam locomotive has seen a complete overhaul (RG Revisione Generale) since the last one they
received while still in traditional service! The last steam locomotives to
come out from Pietrarsa was 740.187 in December 1975! In the last 47 years,
all these century old plus steamers have seen only running repairs, exchanges of parts,
cannibalisation of other sisters, etc....
So this is why we are actually in this situation. FS actually has just FOUR
usable steam locomotives in the whole of Italy:
625.017 in Rome (rarely used as steam hauled trains are a very rare
thing in Central and Southern Italy )
640.003 in Torino
740.409 in Milano (moved when necessary also works in Veneto Region)
940.041 in Torino
Stop. That's it, not a single one more. No locomotive at all in Tuscany!
The following are technically under repair, but don't hold your breath waiting
for them to be finished:
625.177, 640.121, 640.143, 685.089, 685.196, 728.022, 740.244, 740.278, 740.423, 940.022
The time needed for each varies from some months (685.196 and 940.022) to some years!!!
880.051 broke down last year but is now simply parked in a shed in Milano.
Sister 880.001 is fully operational but lacks the paper work to run on RFI rails. Last but not least,
you can add 625.116 in Luino; once plinthed alongside the lake, it has been completely overhaul by volunteers.
Of course, it doesn't have the right paperwork and cannot run so those
involved have made arrangements with a private Swiss operator and it can travel only on
As you will note, there is no Franco Crosti 741 in the list; it has been so badly
misused that it needs a complete overhaul to return it to steamable
condition... Similarly there is no chance in the near future to see repairs to
744, 746 or other giants.
Meanwhile in the private world, little is left active.
FNM 200 and 240 are under repair for many years;
SAFRE CCFR.7 has been stored in a shed for 11 years.
FCL / FAL 402 is on display in a museum in Potenza, sister 421 was overhauled in 2000
but has since run just FOUR trains.
FC 353 is again in service, working some weekends on the Sila line, 403 is still dismantled in Cosenza depot, together with rack loco 504 which
has been jacked up in Cosenza since 2005.
ARST / FDS in Sardinia counts only on Caprotti 400. Sister 402 is under overhaul, ancient Goito 43
has been in Cagliari Museum since 2001, all the other steam locomotives (5 in Macomer and 5 plus 7 in Sassari) are a long time rusting
Finally, any privately owned locomotive is no longer allowed to run on RFI rails
unless it is equipped with safety systems. Some derogations are possible, but
the required work on the locomotives will require money to be spent.
So - for example - all the steam locomotives of MFP Museo Ferroviario Piemontese (T3 N.7, 422, 640 and 880) are now simply
lumps of steel sitting in their sheds. The same is true for 640 and 740 owned by Di Giacomo in
Finally Stefano adds (16th August 2022):
One last thing, my site is still on at www.photorail.it . The sections
I linked years ago are still there, check this submenu: https://www.photorail.it/forum/index.php?action=gallery;cat=16.
This link is to a really quite small collection about tourist lines: https://www.photorail.it/forum/index.php?action=gallery;cat=236.
Earlier reports will be found under Serbia, the
where active steam could be found in Kosovo was the coal mine of Obiliq (Serbian:
km northwest of Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo with its three 62 class locos. Roland
Beier was here in January 2002 and Mark Blount-Stonham in June 2003. Read what they found (11th June
2003). Torsten Schneider found
things very quiet in March 2007 (2nd April 2007). James Waite was here in
October 2008 and you can read
his report (14th November 2008). Fabrice Lanoue found 62-670 shunting in the
mine next to the power plant and tripping to the station at Obilic/Kastriot on
6th May 2010 - access was permitted on request (17th May
2010). 62-673 and 62-636 were outside the shed. Dave Habraken was here in April
2011 and you can read
his report (10th May 2011).
Further to the reports above, it seems that steam
may now be finished here http://www.drehscheibe-foren.de/foren/read.php?30,5731490
- thanks to Thomas Kautzor for this one (18th January 2012). Thomas returned in
2022 and confirms that steam is well and truly
finished here (17th August 2022)..
Andrej Hoffman was here in August 2013 and found this Porter
0-4-0ST at the edge of the Belaćevac coal (lignite) mine. It is similar to the
other two reported preserved in Serbia (24th
September 2013). Thomas Kautzor adds that the gauge is 760mm and he
believes this and a sister here originally worked at Banovici (28th
There are several museums here with steam locomotive exhibits and at least
two operational preserved narrow gauge steam railways. Click
here for a report on a visit from James Waite (updated 25th July 2009).
There are three preserved narrow gauge steam locomotives in the country. Click
here for a report on a visit here from James Waite (9th
August 2007). On 20th September 2009, temporarily borrowed Estonian Kch4-332
worked a special train to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Panevezys -
Anyksciai narrow gauge line. James Waite's picture shows it passing over the
broad gauge mainline near Panevezys station (added 26th September 2009).
A new country courtesy of Frank Engel (15th October 2000). At Ungheni I found some
class TE engines still in use for heating in the depot! I also observed an engine of class
Er, but I couldn't check out the numbers, because I was caught by the police immediately
(border area!)... Henry Posner III adds (15th September 2001) "4 weeks ago I was able
to ride CFM Tiraspol-Chisinau and Beltsy-Chisinau. I was hoping to find a strategic
reserve of steam locos at Ungheni en route from Beltsy (CFM crew interviewed said that in
1985 steam training occurred there in case of war) but consistent with Frank Engel's
report all that's left are 2 2-10-0s and 1 0-10-0 at Ungheni diesel shop, all unnumbered
and apparently in use for steam heating, plus 1 green 2-10-0 about a mile north of the
station on steam heating duty inside a factory on the west side of the line from
The 'preserved' steam loco referenced in the Quail rail atlas of Moldova/Ukraine at Beltsy
There are at least three preserved steam locomotives in the country, see http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/md/steam/pix.html.
I would appreciate more information! (added 24th May 2007).
There are just two (preserved) steam locomotives in the country. James Waite
went to see them in September 2008, read
his report (4th October 2008).
For comprehensive lists and information on surviving Polish
steam locomotives, check out this Polish language site - http://www.holdys.pl/tomi/index.php
(link corrected 27th March 2012 but dead by May 2023)).
See my narrow gauge pages for information on preserved
narrow gauge steam operation (latest update 28th
It is more than 2 years since I added anything on Wolsztyn, now
Michael Walton has sent me information and a few
pictures covering the situation at the end of 2019 (24th
January 2020). Michael now tells me (16th May 2021):
There are now 3 live feed cameras in the depot area at Wolsztyn, you will find the first here and subsequent
others from that page:
They have kept running almost entirely through COVID except for the usual Xmas closure.
The notes below chronicle the ups and (mainly) downs of
scheduled steam hauled trains out of Wolsztyn which eventually led to
suspension in 2014. Now agreement has been made for them to restart in
2016, following a June agreement between private Polish freight
operator PKP Cargo and regional
governments. It is understood that PKP Cargo will transfer the Wolsztyn
shed and locomotives to a new heritage foundation funded by the company
and regional governments. Passenger services to be steam operated are
likely to be on the routes from Wolsztyn to and from Poznan or Leszno,
Poland (16th August 2016). Thanks to Trevor Heath,
Tom Schultz and Alex Mayes for forwarding the information. In the event
regular service started
on Monday, 15th May 2017, 6.25 ex Wolsztyn to Leszno with Ol49-59. This
was the same locomotive and the same crew as on
31st March 31, 2014 (when daily steam has finished). For daily updated
information http://www.parowozy.com.pl can be
recommended (14th May 2017). Thanks to Robin Garn
of BahnEpoche magazine for this information, the
pictures below (click on the thumbnail) are his and were taken between 15th and
17th May 2017:
For information on the Wolsztyn Experience check
as of the beginning of 2009 the organisation faces many problems but its mere
survival is extremely welcome. For the background to the Wolsztyn Experience see
this excellent video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZzRhsGWFOw
(7th January 2009). The steam service was suspended at the end of March
2014, however, it seems this was not the end and while the hoped for resumption did
not occur in June 2014, all is not lost, yet. For more information on the Wolsztyn Experience, see http://www.thewolsztynexperience.org/news_events.php
(7th June 2014). Main line specials and footplate experiences continue (27th
April 2015). It was expected that public steam services will now resume in January
2016 according to a local report (http://www.thenews.pl/1/11/Artykul/214697,Steam-locomotives-back-on-track),
thanks to John Raby for this one (24th July 2015), but it seems (see above) that
this didn't happen.
Wolsztynhas been the centre of a working steam museum railway for as long
as most of us care to remember but now it seems it may be almost all over (16th
June 2008). PKP has removed steam from the
Wolsztyn - Poznan line and by mid-June there was just one steam working a
Wolsztyn - Rezno and even that was only a temporary reprieve until July 4th
2008 with a subsidy from the
Wolsztyn Experience. See http://polishrail.wordpress.com/
and linked stories for the grisly details, a site which, unfortunately,
available to me directly in China although good friends have mailed me
relevant text. It seems that maybe there is some politicking going on
between the railway which derives little direct financial benefit from
operation (probably quite the reverse) and the local authority which
indirectly from the tourism it generates. It underlines that these
very few exceptions, just about any kind of steam operation in the
worldis definitely a 'luxury item' which has to compete in the
news is that following discussions between all the parties involved, a
steam service will resume on 1st October 2008, this being supposedly
for 8 months and will include trains to Poznan and Lezno (21st
June 2008). Louis Cerny reports that at the beginning of July, he saw
four locomotives in steam over a period of a week with steam haulage to
only, with Poznan services supposedly to resume after the summer break
July 2008). It is not just the operation at
Wolsztyn which is under threat. John Raby (24th June 2008)
has alerted me to the fact that the railway has instigated a scrap
understandable for well represented types in 'Barry' condition, less so
plinthed locomotive. See http://polishrail.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/7-steam-engines-on-death-row/
for more information.
Alexandre Gillieron sends some depressing news (14th
"There are actually only three steam locomotives available at Wolsztyn for timetable line workings with the following boiler
expiry dates :
Ol49-7, exp. 06/2011, Ol49-59, exp. 06/2010, Pt47-65, exp. 04/2011
Not fit anymore for line working, the ex-Prussian Tr5-65 may get an extension of its boiler certificate for another six months,
theoretically this engine should have been written off this month (November 2009). Polish 4-6-0 Ok22-31 and
Prussian Ok1-359 have already been out of use for months and a repair of one of these
historic engines is unlikely...
The repair shop at Gniezno has finally been closed down
with some equipment going to
Leszno, where Polish 'Pacific' Pm36-2 is also stored waiting repairs.
From now the Leszno shed should perform small boiler and mechanical
repairs on the Wolsztyn engines, but owing to the decision of
PKP-Cargo to eliminate any costs for steam operations, this means more
or less the end of regular PKP steam,
it's maybe just a question of months before its final demise.
Another bad sign for steam operations around Wolsztyn
is the start of the upgrade work on the Poznan line by next year. The
allowed speed should be raised to 100 km/h and the infrastructure
leaving no chance for the steam trains to operate. The only hope could
be to re-opening of the Sulechow or Nowa Sol lines, introducing a pure
museum-operation, but again this is a major financial problem and only
a private or local funding would
Concerning former steam shed at Gniezno, there are now
plans to destroy the two historical
Prussian half-roundhouses and to convert the complete site to a
mall/supermarket complex - no
comment needed! There are also rumours that the site may be kept and
existing Warszaw PKP museum engines. Indeed the site at Warszaw (former
main station closed down during the late 60's)
may be cleared in order to make room for future road extensions (anyone
who has visited Poland recently has certainly noted the definitive
'supremacy' of road
traffic, both individual and trucking, turning most of the roads of
this country into one of the worst driving nightmares one could
Louis Cerny adds (11th July 2010): "In Poland, the
Wolsztyn - Poznan line was seen for seven days June 27 - July 3. On
each of the days 2-8-2 Pt47-65 handled two 162 km round trips (5:11 and
13:30 from Wolsztyn, 8:55 and 17:13 from Poznan) at or close to
schedule. The runs are well-patronized by locals and are the same fare
as the diesel railcars (about US$4 each way). This was 2268km of
running in seven days, not including movements between stations and
servicing facilities. I wouldn't be
surprised if that was the highest distance in the world for a single
steam locomotive for those seven days.
For another 2011 Wolsztyn Experience first hand report read
(9th August 2011). Paul Ash sent a more optimistic report than I have read for some
time (1st August 2011):
"I was there for two days on June 8/9 2011 and enjoyed
an afternoon on the footplate, driving the 15.45 from Leszno to
Wolsztyn with 0-149.59 doing the work. For a South African, Wolsztyn
roundhouse was a marvellous sight: a working, steam shed with its
infrastructure intact and good hope for the future. The fitters were
busy taking the motion off the Pm 36 Pacific ahead of a trip to Warsaw
along with stable mate 0-149-59 to meet the Polish president.
Trevor Jones tells me the Wolsztyn Experience will have the use of four
locomotives in 2012, which will allow participants a greater number of
turns at the regulator and on the shovel.
The Marshal of Poznan has apparently taken great interest in the
operation and funds have been made available to further develop the
Wolsztyn shed and operation as a tourist attraction. Wolsztyn is on the
tourist map, jobs have been saved – and others created – and mainline
steam operations have a future. All I can say is I wish there was that
sort of vision from the South African rail and tourist authorities."
Click on a thumbnail for a larger picture in a new window:
Chris Yapp added on October 24th 2011:
There are three locos in working order now – Ol49-7 will be withdrawn
when its boiler certificate expires in November; Ol49-59 is in service
but failed with a piston ring problem on 18th October and repairs are
being undertaken at Leszno; and Pm36-2 is serviceable and has operated
a substantial share of the service this year. It is expected to remain
operational until the end of April next year – with a farewell rail
tour on 14th April 2012.
At present, steam normally works the following services:
Steam services on the Leszno-Zbaszynek route will
finish when the works on the Wolsztyn line are completed – currently
planned for late this year. The plan is to have four engines to work
the Wolsztyn-Poznan service for the foreseeable future. They will be
Ol49-23 which is to be overhauled, Ol49-59, Ol49-69 which will return
from overhaul to replace Ol49-7, and Pt47-65 which requires some work
to enable it to replace the Pm36 next spring.
Latest news via Trevor Heath (10th January 2014)
"After 13th December 2013 (new timetable) regular traffic only on the Wolsztyn –
LESZNOline, not Poznań. The timetable (in service currently Ol 49-69) for Leszno
77420 Wolsztyn (6:07) – Leszno (07:26)
77451 Leszno (9:46) – Wolsztyn (10:59)
77428 Wolsztyn (13:16) – Leszno (14:36)
77459 leszno (16:42) – Wolsztyn (17:55)"
I have never
tried to cover the activities here in great detail because Poland is now part of mainstream western Europe and as
Wolsztynis so well known in enthusiast circles. For more information (in German) try http://www.parowozy.com.pl/indexd.html
(or http://www.parowozy.com.pl for the
original Polish version) - this link amended 29th May 2007).
I have now moved all my Polish reports which are now very dated. Click as
Colin Young has sent some pictures of his visit
Chabowka Railway Museum which has many steam exhibits in June 2008. (24th
For other reports/information, check out David
Longman's Gallery and Wolsztyn
steam trains (a little dated with 2005 timetable link to
broken by November 2020).
Thomas Kautzor has produced
an illustrated list of surviving Portuguese
steam locomotives which includes a number now outside the country (17th
Metre gauge Mallet E214 has been serviceable in recent
years but a combination of fire bans, gauge conversions and sundry other
problems have severely limited operation. The last report of it I have was
that it had been "moved from Regua to Guifoes works for inspection"
in April 2007, by September 2007 it was back in Regua where there were 5
other Mallets in fair condition (report by Trevor Heath - click
here for pictures - added 4th October 2007). It is now based on the
Vouga line where it worked a public special train on 14th December 2019 and
James Waite was there to record the occasion
(22nd December 2019).
In 2019, 2-8-4T 0186 is again running a
'historical train' from Regua, see https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/how-to-travel/For-leisure/Nature-and-Culture/douro-historical-train
A report of the excursion with a few pictures would be very welcome (12th
June 2019). Now more than 3 years later I have a
report from Paul Stanford (7th October 2022).
Apart from occasional (expensive) standard gauge steam charters, interest
here centres on the narrow gauge forestry heritage, with the Viseu de Sus system
still operational in 2007, although the Far Rail newsletter stated in October
2007 that steam hauled logging trains had not run for some time and steam was
only used on tourist trains (27th October 2007).
Ameling Algra points out (21st June 2004), an
excellent German language website covering the Romanian forestry lines - http://www.wassertalbahn.ch/. Click
here for information an appeal to restore
764.211 for the Viseu de Sus system (29th March 2005). The line was badly
damaged by floods in July 2008 and remained closed for some while until it was rebuilt - see http://www.wassertalbahn.ch/
and click on 'news' for the latest information (12th
August 2008). The Farrail newsletter (May 2009) states that the line has now
been largely rebuilt and is 'open for business', good news indeed (30th
May 2009). Kevin Hoggett joined a 'narrow gauge' tour in September/October 2015
and serendipitously stumbled on a 'real steam'
working (12th October 2015).
Henry Posner III has suggested I pass on information from
Ing. Vasile Muresan, the
General Manager of the 16 February workshops. One of their specialties is steam (both
overhaul and - so far for light railways - new construction) so check out
(link broken 1st November 2019, added 11th December
After closure in October 1999 (last train October 7th), the
Siclau Association was set up to conserve and hopefully preserve as much as
possible of the Covasna system including the Siclau incline.
I believe that the only standard gauge steam locomotive apart from specials in regular
use in 1997 was N3 404 (0-6-0T) at Covasna which shunted on most days. Roland Beier added:
"A friend of mine visited the Arad area early in March (1997) and found two CFR class
50 shunting at Curtici and Arad: 50.541 and 50.558. This might have been a temporary
measure to overcome a local shortage of diesels on short notice but anyone passing Curtici
(the border station to Hungary) and Arad by train is invited to take a close look and find
out if these workings continue."Greg Howells tells me that there are lists of
extant locos in the country on http://www.railfaneurope.net/list/romania.html
Click here for information on plans to run standard
gauge tourist trains (information received on 8th September 2004, updated
13th September 2004). An
online report stated that 230.516 would start regular tourist service around
Suceava in August 2011 (15th August 2011), but
pictures elsewhere on the web suggest that enthusiasts won't be rushing here
and associated images).
Click here for an
introduction to former Soviet Union steam classes (24th
December 2008). There is a lot of information on Russia on my
Museums' Page. Harvey Smith suggests the following links for companies
offering steam tours in the country (12th July 2010):
(Link dead by May 2023)
http://www.reisenburo.ru/publ/tury_na_retro_poezde/7-1-0-276(domain dead by October 2017)
(link broken by December 2021)
(added 4th October 2011)
(Service suspended from April 2014, 25th April
(Service operated from April 2014, 25th April 2014,
domain active but link broken October 2017)
(English language version, 22nd March 2016,
domain active but link broken October 2017)
Rostov on Don (see also Thomas Kautzor's report
James Waite and Thomas Kautzor have made visits to various
narrow gauge children's railways and museums which are linked from my
narrow gauge page (12th November 2009). Thomas
has also ridden one of the increasingly
popular 'Retro Trains' (11th November 2009), he adds (17th
August 2010) that his local contact has told him "LV-0233 (Lugansk
1956) has been acquired from Urdoma reserve in November 2009 with
intentions to overhaul it and use it on overnight excursions out of
Rostov." See (in Russian) -
(link dead by May 2023) (added 8th June 2012).
Tim Littler's Golden Eagle Company ran an ambitious tour to
south-west Russia in autumn 2018. Mark Enderby was on board and has sent an
illustrated report which shows that no less than 12 steam locomotives were
used on the 5000km route, most impressive (28th October
Retro trains are usually the preserve of L/LV or ER steam
locomotives. It now seems that those in the St. Petersburg area use the earlier
SO 2-10-0 locomotives, these pictures courtesy of Dmitry Kolesnikov (26th
October 2011) show SO17 2359 and SO18 2018 on a training run on 10th
October 2011 with a short but authentic rake of freight wagons.
Harvey Smith has relocated from Moscow to St. Petersburg and
has now provided an indication of further attractions there beyond his earlier
The St. Petersburg Outdoor Railway Museum,
The St. Petersburg Outdoor Railway Museum, 2013 (updated
30th May 2017)
A St. Petersburg Railway Miscellany
(updated 21st January 2018)
Moscow Railway Station / St.Petersburg Depot, 2014 (24th
The Indoor Railway Museum, St.Petersburg, 2014 (24th
The Shushary Museum, St. Petersburg, 2006 (24th
Moscow Sort Depot, St.Petersburg, 2014
(updated 2nd February 2015)
Grand Maket Rossiya / The Grand Model of
Russia (2nd February 2015)
VE Day in St. Petersburg (14th May 2015)
Moscow Sort Depot,
St.Petersburg, 2015-7 (updated 5th November 2017)
The Southern St. Petersburg
Children's Railway (updated 27th June 2016)
Lebyazhe Railway Museum Depot
(16th June 2015)
The Tsar's Private Railway
Station, St.Petersburg (updated 8th August 2017)
The Shushary Museum, St. Petersburg,
2015 (5th August 2015)
The Northern St. Petersburg
Children's Railway (10th June 2016)
Russian Railways RetroTrain
Trip 2016 (14th June 2016)
EM-721-83 at Petrokrepost
(3rd August 2017)
The new Russian Railway Museum in St. Petersburg
(1st December 2017)
The Russian Railway Museum, St. Petersburg
2018 (25th October 2018)
Harvey Smith has also provided a series of pages
on attractions in the country:
Harvey tells me that the collection at
Podmoskovnaya Depot now includes a former Kriegslok which is being restored (8th
June 2012), possibly it will feature in a film.
This loco was previously kept at Roslavl as part
of a strategic reserve of near serviceable steam locos, Dmitry Kolesnikov was
here in July 2012 and you can read his photoreport
(21st August 2012). It has now moved to St. Petersburg (24th
I have seen more than one report that suggests
that north of St.Petersburg not far from the border with Finland, the line
between Sortavala and Ruskeala sees daily steam operation with maybe two trips
on summer Saturdays. Operational locomotives seen here include SO18 2018, L 2198
and ER 774.38, 791.94 and 796.46. The line is in a beautiful area (Karelia)
which attracts many tourists. Meanwhile, east of St. Petersburg, the line 100km
between Bologoje and Ostashkov as predicted below sees regular steam on
Saturdays, L 3958 being seen in charge. Obviously, both services are liable to
disruption during the pandemic (this paragraph, 28th
November 2020). Click here for an automatic translation of a good description of
the 'Ruskeala Express' (3rd
Andrew Naylor was in Moscow in 2015 and has now
posted two albums - Richskaya museum, https://andrewstransport.smugmug.com/Russian-trains/Moscow-Railway-Museum-Steam/
and Victory Park etc: https://andrewstransport.smugmug.com/Russian-trains/Russian-railway-artillery-2015/
(21st January 2018, site exists but both links broken by November 2020).
Parker Wilson spent some months based in Moscow
from late 2015. His report, which updates
Harvey Smith's accounts, includes many photographs (13th July
2016). Now Parker adds - and Harvey Smith confirms (6th
"The official news outlet of Russian Railways,
Gudok.ru (Link dead by May 2023),
casually revealed towards the end of one of their articles yesterday that a
full steam locomotive column is being formed in the town of Bologoye (Tver
Oblast) sometime in March 2017. The locomotive brigades are currently training
with the steam crews in Saint Petersburg. According to the article,
regular passenger traffic will be steam hauled on the
Bologoye - Polotskaya line between the towns of Bologoye and Ostashkov.
The Bologoye - Polotskaya line is one of the last non-modernized rail lines in
the country. Not only was it never electrified, but it also still has wooden
ties, hand-thrown switches, water columns for filling locomotives, beautiful
wooden passenger stations (although in poor condition) and even semaphores
in some locations. The line has occasionally been used for photo
charters in the past and is especially beautiful in the fall. There has
been serious concern that the line would be closed in the past few years, so
this is extremely welcome news.
The relevant part of the article was picked up by Ostashkov's
news outlet which specifically mentions that the steam locomotives
would be hauling regularly scheduled trains. Could it be possible
that RZD is trying to create a Russian equivalent of Poland's famous
Wolsztyn to boost tourism in the region? If so, they've certainly chosen the
perfect place for it. I'm sure we'll find out more in the coming months."
Tim Littler tipped me off that this has now
started (28th October 2018) with SU-250-74 running
on Saturdays (only) from 29th September 2018.- see http://www.gudok.ru/news/?ID=1435017
(Russian language, translation needed). Assuming the experiment is successful,
then steam will be used Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.- Tim saw the two coach
train in October and it was packed, I am sure the locomotive could happily run
with a better length of train!
Richard Brown has sent me a
list of interesting developments in Southern Russia. At the moment, this area
is hardly at the top of the average (railway) tourist's must visit areas, but
with regular steam specials, it might just be one for the future (1st
January 2016). He has followed this up with a
detailed list of the known existing steam locomotives in the area, many of
which are 'runners' (3rd February 2016, updated 15th April
2020). There is a further
update available for July 2016 (12th July 2016)
which includes Eastern Russia alongside that
for May 2016 (10th May 2016). Richard has now sent details of the
recovery of several US built Ye 2-10-0s from the east of the country (21st
September 2016), with further updates for December 2016 (20th December 2016), February 2017 (6th
March 2017), April 2017 (12th April 2017), January 2018, February 2018, September 2018, March 2019 (17th March
2019) and February 2020 (13th
Dmitry Kolesnikov reports (26th
October 2011) that the three year restoration of SU 214-10 is complete
and it has been moved to Richskaya Museum (see above). Dmitry was part of a
small group from VOLZD (literally the Russian railroad amateurs, http://volzd.ru/volzd-e.html)
who did all the hard work, the final result is quite superb.
A date to note for visiting enthusiasts is the Russian
VE day (9th May, not 8th May as in the west), the retro train runs for
VVIPs and surviving veterans on this day (see link above), in 2011 it
featured L 2344 and ER 774-38 seen here at Richskaya after the outing
(25th May 2011).
Leslie McAllister boarded the 4,234
km BAM (Baikal Amur Magistral) steam express in June 2000 - read
his report of the longest railtour of all time.....(5th September 2000).
One place that got a mention was Sakhalin Island in the far east, formerly
Japanese occupied, Tim Littler has provided some pictures
of the D51 at work then (31st December 2007)
and Harvey Smith (who worked there for 2 years) has
reported on some (inactive) steam survivors there (14th
May 2007). All this is history now as the island's railways have now all been
converted to the national broad gauge.
In mid-2007, Colin Young sent me some snatched pictures of a
couple of L class on a special passenger train in the Lake Baikal area, I didn't
upload anything as there was no information on the operation - it now seems this
was "The Retro Train" based in
Irkutz - more information would be very welcome (19th
Information about Russian steam in far away places continues to dribble out...
Henry Posner III reports (15th October 2003): "In
Krasnoyarsk diesel shop, on August 5, L-3150 was undergoing preparation for storage,
having worked a 2-coach shuttle to Divnagost (end of the branch line to the hydroelectric
dam) 2 days previous for Railway Worker's Day (first Sunday in August). Personnel
interviewed indicated that there is a sizable strategic reserve of steam on the
Krasnoyarsk Railway to the west at Bogotol."
In late 1998 I was told that 'Steam was being used again on the
Trans-Siberian Express'.It sounded too good to be true so I ignored it.When
I was in Bago (Myanmar) in late January 1999, I got talking to a Dutch couple who had
recently been across Russia (and on through Mongolia to China) and they confirmed they had
steam haulage for part of the way.
There have been two reports also of
steam in the far east of the
country. A German traveller reported in October 2004 "While traveling
recently on the 19CH China - Moscow train, a steam-hauled
pw-train was spotted in the freight yards about 2km after Borsja
station (about 3 hours from the China-Russia border)".
Charles Towler adds (5th November 2004) "I also observed steam in this
area while on train 20 going towards
China, passing this area on the 22nd September 2004. I saw L Class
number 3899 in steam coupled inside a TEM2 diesel on a freight
(possibly engineers) train. Sadly I wasn't quick enough with my camera!
The station name was either Ehchn Torey (or Zchn Torey - I
can't be sure from the cyrillic in my notes). The only other steam
locos I saw though were obviously dumped, three
L class in the yard close to Zabaikalsk station, which I explored
during the long tedious stop there and others near the depot. I had
previously passed this way in 2000 and seen a loco in steam, but I
couldn't identify it in the dark."
Further to the above, Russian sources in
late 2010 indicated that real steam (whatever the Russian word is, it
translates as "Wild Steam"), is now restricted to two places in
the country, the first is Borzja in the remote Chita / Trans-Baikal region.
The locomotive shown in the thumbnail left is L class 2-10-0 0945 which is
reportedly used for shunting around the depot, strangely, for
something that must be a pet, it looks most uncared for. The picture was
taken by SA Kopolitov on 22nd November 2010 - you can view the original
full size by clicking on the thumbnail (11th January
The second (right) is 0-6-0T 9P-19489 at
a depot in St. Petersburg this one is very much 'a pet' and is used as
shed pilot occasionally - click on the thumbnail for a full size image
courtesy of Dmitry Zinoviev (12th January 2011).
Travellers on the Trans-Siberian Express can see
static preserved steam along the way, reports Toma Bacic who has supplied
some pictures (more added 9th January 2011).In the Far East of the country Alexander Sokolov
has sent some pictures from Khabarovsk (17th
Tim Littler (of GW Travel Ltd/Trans-Siberian Express Company) writes: (16th May 2001):
"GWT's P36 (the only privately owned locomotive in Russia) was steamed for the first
time in St Petersburg on the 17th April and on 28th April worked a 580 mile test trip
around Lake Ladoga, NE of St Petersburg. No problems were encountered and the engine will
make its first revenue departure on 22nd May when it takes an 800T, 14 car GWT
'Trans-Siberian Express' out of St Petersburg. Restoration at St Petersburg Moskovski Sort
depot took just under 3 months with 14 people working 7 days a week to complete the job on
schedule. A new shed will be built within the depot limits to accommodate the 200 tonne
4-8-4 and we expect it to be used on 5 tours and for over 2,000 miles in 2001. By 2004 it
will be used on 27 day trips and several longer tours. We plan to restore a second P36 in
2003." A later note (9th November 2002) says: "We are researching the possibility of
improving the performance of our locomotive P36 0032 by adding a lempor exhaust system
installed by Phil Girdlestone, who has made two visits from South Africa to Saint
Petersburgthis year. If agreed, we hope to have the work completed this winter. In
any case performance has been improving with 73 mph achieved on our lastpublic trip
and 82 mph on an earlier test trip."
The left picture is P36-0032 on 26th April 2007, the occasion of the launch
of GW Travel's Golden Eagle train, the one on the right dates from 2001.
Steam in Serbia survives in a number of industrial
locations where they are
now pretty well used to visitors. The original list included Kostolac,
Svetozarevo, Carriage Factory, Smederevo, Paper factory Cacak, sugar
Cuprija, Loznica, Lucani, Vreoci, Jagodina, Resavica, Smederevo,
Kraljevo. Of course, there have been casualties as covered in the later
Also of note is the Sargan
Mountain Railway / Mokra Gora museum.. This
is a spectacular rebuilding project and Fabrice Lanoue tells me (17th
May 2010) that is will be extended to Visegrad at the end of August 2010.
This is his picture of 83-173 in May 2010. Wayne Weiss tells me that a local
Denver paper in the USA reported the first public train ran on 28th August 2010
(30th August 2010).
First you need to read the the base reports for Serbian steam:
Henry Posner III has send me some pictures of preserved
steam at the large steelworks USS-Smederevo (30th May
Robin Patrick was part of a comprehensive tour organised by Enthusiast
Holidays/LCGB in May 2007. You can read his
illustrated report (29th June 2007). James Waite was
here in November 2007 (25th November 2007)and I have appended Tim Murray's report of a visit made at the same time (19th
December 2007). And James went back again for what is now really the
tail end of steam in Serbia in April 2009 (23rd April
Steve Newman was the latest in a long trickle of visitors to see the most
authentic surviving European real steam (27th March
2007). James Waite was in Kostolac in November 2005, real
working steam is alive and well here (14th December 2005), a friend of
Trevor Heath visited in October 2006, nothing was moving but operation was
scheduled to restart on 16th November 2006 (added 27th
October 2006). Steven Pratt
visited Kostolac with a group from the Railway Touring Company in August 2005
and found just 13 in use (added 6th October 2005).
For many narrow gauge pictures of Serbian narrow gauge see this site - http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/sp/narrow_gauge/pix.html.
For an historical look at the 760mm gauge railways of the former Yugoslavia
visit this site - http://www.penmorfa.com/JZ/index.htm.
A casual (non-enthusiast) visitor found a (green) museum locomotive which appeared to
be a 477 4-8-4T shunting at Poprad. I am not sure if this counts as 'real' or not! (23rd
August 2001). It could well have been 447.013 (now in blue livery) seen by Colin
Young in December 2009 on a special train to Kosics (11th
Colin Young attended a steam
festival in Bratislava in June 2008, a large number of locomotives were in
steam, a sign that rail tours on the main line here may have a healthier future
than elsewhere (24th December 2008).
The story of former Romanian rack locomotive 4296 (former
40.006) at Tisovec is
covered in the hill railways section
of this website (latest update 4th September 2014)
and there is a photoreport of the first trains on
a separate page (11th October 2014). The 2015 operating timetable is
available on http://www.zubacka.sk/sk/blog/jazdy-parnej-zubacky-a-historickych-vlakov-v-roku-2015/,
thanks to Alex Jesserer for this (1st April 2015).
There are regular public excursions on the Bohinj
Railway (http://www.abc-tourism.si/) using 2-8-2 06-018 at Euros 75pp (14th December 2014).
Clive Hepworth reports (27th May 2015) that "25-026 2-8-0 WLF 2656/1920
is working the tourist service out of Celje and Jesenice-based 33-037 2-10-0 Hens.27943/1944 pictured
(left) at Bled Jezero on the first steam special of the year on May 9th returning from Nova
Gorica. At the time of my visit 2-8-2 06-018 Borsig 12207/1930 was the
serviceable spare for the Jesenice engine."
James Waite was here in March 2008 and reported
on his visit to the railway museum and the working fireless at the Ljubljana
power station (18th March 2008). I have updated it with a few notes form Clive
Hepworth (27th May 2015).
Robin Patrick was part of a comprehensive tour organised by Enthusiast
Holidays/LCGB in May 2007. You can read his
illustrated report (29th June 2007).
Jonathan Allen travelled in the former Yugoslavia Tour (20-25 July 2003) - read his report (31st August
Keith Chester writes: (11th April 1997): "Have just heard from Walter Rothschild,
who tells me that the 0-6-0F at Ljubljana power station is still there and he thought it
was still in use. So one more for your fireless collection!" Over the years
Journal 132 (June 2002),.Olivier
Foiche (late March 2004), Rob Fraser (mid-September 2005) and Fabrice Lanoue (28th/29th April 2010)
have reported it at work. Potential visitors would do well to read Neil Edwards'
from his 2011 visit (19th October 2013).Since when there have been no
reports save Mark Palmer saw the loco (inactive) in passing in September 2013
and two YouTube videos uploaded in April 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcpkwl9f2Q
suggest it is probably still active (19th October 2013). Geoff Warren visited on
15th February 2014 and found it at work (23rd February
2014). Dave Scudamore found it at work on 8th June 2014 (15th
August 2014). Clive Hepworth confirms (27th May 2015)
it was still in use in May 2015, however "the power station is increasingly
dependent on wood pulp and the timber train seems to arrive late in the evening and so most work for the fireless is overnight."
Tom Short visited in April 2017
(18th April 2017) and again in April 2018 (2nd
The Rio Tinto museum and railway is definitely
not real, but a fascinating reminder of what must have been a fabulous
industrial system in its heyday. James
Waite was here
in April 2009 for one of the few days in the year when the
operational railway uses steam, (23rd April 2009). For a list of
preserved steam locomotive is Spain, see this comprehensive site
(16th January 2010). Thomas Kautzor was in the same area for a
wide ranging visit in February 2016 which covers inter alia preserved broad
and narrow gauge steam locomotives and an update on Riot Tinto. There is a
separate page with a detail report on the former
Minas de Tharsis (both of these 22nd March 2017).
Steam trains, mainly for school parties, run between Martorell Enllac and Monistrol de Monserrat
on the metre gauge FGC between November and May. You can read James
Waite's account of his visit in November 2010 (14th November 2010).
Thomas Kautzor visited Central Spain for a few
days in mid-December 2015 and reports on a
potpourri of items of railway and general steam interest (20th
There are a number of reports on the country in
the narrow gauge section of this site
(latest update 20th October 2018).
Please see my European narrow gauge steam page
for various links to such preserved railways, (latest update, 3rd August
Neil Edwards attended the Swedish Railway
Museum's 100th birthday celebration on 23rd May 2015, his
report includes pictures of nine centenarians in steam (3rd
Click here for James
Waite's report on his visit to the Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke in September 2009,
a spectacular (part) rack metre gauge railway with some pretty well travelled
steam locomotives (11th November 2009).
James Waite has made a series of visits to Switzerland for
steam on the narrower gauges - such events can need special planning as they tend
not to be frequent on all systems, the lines are metre gauge unless otherwise
Please also see my
European narrow gauge steam page for various links to such preserved railways.
Çamlik Railway Museum (see below) was faced with closure (4th
May 2011) owing to lack of money - see Alan
Castle's full report. I've no idea what happened but it was in rude good
health when Clive Hepworth visited in October 2013
(19th October 2013). See also the railway
museum pages for other visit reports.
More than 10 years ago, I said that It was not
impossible that steam survives in one or two industrial
locations....That can't be true now. Just look out for large dumps of
locos and occasional tourist trains. But this site http://www.trainsofturkey.com/index.htm
contains a mass of information on the railways of Turkey and is essential
reading for anyone interested in its railways (16th September 2005), backed up
by this steam picture gallery http://www.1974.trainsofturkey.com/index.htm
(added 12th August 2009). In
particular the list of 'preserved' (maybe 'reserved') steam locomotives on this
page - http://www.trainsofturkey.com/w/pmwiki.php/Steam/PreservedSteam,
notably in the railway museums at Camlik and Ankara.
Jochen Ickert visited Usak on 21st June 2007 and confirmed
the status of many of the steam locomotives on the list (updated 12th
September 2007). Terry Wallace has reported on his
2009 visit which broadly confirms previous reports (31st
The various verbal (and occasional email) reports I have of tours and attempted tours
to Turkey in the last few years would be enough to put a lot of people off ever trying
again. However, Vic Allen (Enthusiast Holidays) and his local contact went to visit
TCDD HQ and it seemed that at long last they were prepared to take such a venture more seriously
and prepare properly for it. Read Vic's report of the visit and consequent action
(27th December 2002). Alas all came to nothing and a proposed tour in 2004 was
again cancelled (20th November 2004).
Christoph Oboth joined a steam tour (of Asian Turkey) in September 1999. Read his report (4th October
1999). John Raby tells me (17th December 1999): "Despite tailoring their tour of Turkey
to where most of the engines are kept - Usak, a Japanese group recently abandoned plans for
a New Year 2000 tour of Western Turkey based on Usak when they were promised only one loco
(a Kreigslok) for their tour. They had been ready to go if they could have a
Stephenson 46105 and a G8 or G10. At the point of initial discussion, these locos had been
suggested by the Turks along with the Henschel based at Afyon. One Krieg that might give
up on the first day for any number of reasons with nothing else in reserve is no basis on
which to run a tour. Not surprisingly, the tour will not run. TCDD needs to do something
about this situation otherwise there will be no more tours of Turkey behind steam."
Further to this I hear from Johs. Damsgaard Hansen (13th October 2000): "For your
information there have been two steam specials in Turkey late September/early October 2000
organized by Intraexpress (one week) and Dietmar Kramer (three days). However both tours
suffered from the disastrous steam situation at the TCDD. Only two locomotives, a
"Kriegslok" and the "Skyliner" could be used, which probably may mean
the end to steam specials in Turkey."
James Waite has sent a report on the preserved railway
attractions of Istanbul, which includes the Rahmi M Koç museum, Istanbul
(added 2nd October 2007). Richard Foster has added
an update (29th January 2010) which indicates
that narrow gauge steam will soon be running in the heart of Istanbul. So far
that doesn't seem to have happened, but Thomas Kautzor visited in April 2016
and reports on further progress at this
world class museum (21st May 2016). Thomas returned in January 2022 and has
sent a further report (17th
For an interesting (Russian language, readily translated) page on preserved
narrow gauge locomotives in the country see
(link dead 25th October 2016).
However, I understand that some of them have moved from the locations given, so
check before making a visit (20th June 2010). See also my
own narrow gauge page for information on working narrow gauge railways
(updated 11th October 2010).
Now that broad gauge steam in action here is likely to remain
just a memory for the most part, Harvey Smith has pointed out that the
locomotive preserved outside the south end of the main station at Kiev is
a unique survivor (14th August 2013). Incorrectly
styled as FD 20-058 for the sake of political correctness, it is in fact JS
20-058, the JS standing for Joseph Stalin. She is the last of the class to survive. 649 were built between 1933 and 1942,
the picture is courtesy of Gorkem Akyol. John Bruford adds (1st
December 2022): "Having recently re-read “Russian Steam Locomotives” by Le Fleming and Price (revised edition, David & Charles, 1972), they note with reference to the JS 2-8-4s “... in 1962 the Joseph Stalin engines were renamed FDp (Felix Dzherzhinsky, Passenger)” - the FD class 2-10-2s themselves being a contemporary freight equivalent of the JS class. If one looks closely at the photo on the website, on the loco's cab side one can make out a superscript letter after the Cyrillic FD, representing the reclassification as FDp. So although it may have been “done for political correctness”, it is not actually an incorrect number that the loco carries, merely a legitimate renumbering that was never changed back to the original."
It seems that the South Western Railway of Ukraine operated
Retro trains using L 3055 in the Kiev area in 2012 (http://nerht.heritage-railways.com/es/EasternStar047.pdf
). There are a number of YouTube videos of the occasion, all appear to have been
taken in June when the operation would have benefited from an
influx of visitors for the Euro Football Championship. Just what the operational
dates were is unclear but it seems to have been daily between at least 16th and
27th June 2012. More information would be welcome especially concerning whether
the trains have been repeated at all in 2013. The picture is courtesy of Gorkem
Akyol. (All this 15th August 2013)
Fabrice Lanoue joined part of a short steam tour organised by Wolfram Wendelin
in September 2013. You can see what he found
(25th October 2013). L 3535 returned to
mainline action in late October 2015 when it ran a charter for Wolfram Wendelin
in the west of the
country, you can now read
Fabrice Lanoue's short report with copious
illustrations (29th November 2015), also included
were charters with Er 787-86 and narrow gauge GR 280.
In addition to the locomotives at the museum
at Kiev Passenger Station, 9P 17485 is preserved at the Kiev Polytechnic
Institute. The picture is courtesy of Gorkem Akyol. (15th
Parker Wilson has sent a picture of a famous preserved
SO in Dnepropetrovsk (26th October 2015).
On 1st November 2015, the Ukrainian Railway Heritage Association marked the National, Railway Workers'
Day (actually 4th November) with a special train from T Shevchenka station (Smila) to Hrebinka, hauled by
privately owned SU 251-86, a round trip of 244 km. This link is to a news item shown on TV.
to Ivor Harding for this one (4th November 2015).
The Kiev Children's Railway has opened for the 2022 season
despite minor distractions in the country and steam features in the program. For
details please visit https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/2022/kyiv-children-railway-steam-locomotive-tours.html.
(8th July 2022).
Harvey Smith has posted a picture of an armoured Od Class at the Central
Armed Forces Museum in Moscow, now he informs me that there is a similar
locomotive Od 1147 preserved near Kanev (Kaniv) in Cherkaska Oblast some 150Km North of Kirovgrad
(49°45'38"N, 31°25'04"E) http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/pg_view.php?ID=19917&LNG=RU,
with an armoured trainhttp://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/?ID=154630&LNG=RU
(1st August 2011). Ivor Harding has now given the
correct co-ordinates (above) from personal observation, which are slightly but
significantly different from those quoted in the links! Picture 19917 is taken
from the north side looking east and 154639 from the south looking west (26th
October 2011). There is also an armoured train in Odessa with Ov 3818 - http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/pg_view.php?ID=24836&LNG=RU#picture
(26th October 2011). Wilson Parker has added another
example at Sevastopol, Crimea (21st April 2015).
Roland Beier writes: "When I visited Korolewo (around 60 km east of
Csop, which is
the border station to Hungary and Slovakia) in winter 1995/96 they still had a Er class in
steam for shunting." There was a lot of publicity about a return to steam here - what
has happened? Of course, there were regular steam railtours with the museum
fleet..... David Huntbatch joined a New Year 2003/4 tour and gives a brief illustrated overview
(28th January 2004). Henry Posner II I adds (7th November
2005): "While visiting Chernovitsi on Sunday October 23rd 2005 I was
surprised to hear a steam whistle. Subsequent discussion with shed
staff indicated that 3 steam locos are available for tourist work. On
shed were L-5141, L-3535, both cold, leading me to assume that a third
L was working a tourist charter.
Also noted was dumped Er 799-82 and an unidentified but possibly
serviceable narrow gauge 0-8-0 on blocks (gauges were intact in cab but
paint blistered on both sides: at the front of the loco "159" was noted
as part of its number)."
Since when even the museum operation has ground to a halt with a grand 'last
steam tour' in 2008 although odd day trips continue as noted above..
(including Americas and Asia)
John Raby has put together an illustrated document of the
surviving fireless locomotives of the world. It is available from this site as a
907Kb download (30th July 2021).
A while back, Brian Rumary
came up with a surprisingly long list of such locos in Germany and
sadly the link is now dead (25th October 2016),
http://freespace.virgin.net/brian.rumary/Fireless.htm. Andreas Illert
has provided an updated illustrated list of known
German fireless operations (updated 5th October 2013) and Mark Palmer
confirms activity at Mannheim, Herne and Osnabruck
in February 2013 (8th July 2013, pictures from Osnabruck added 7th
November 2013). I owe Thomas
Kautzor an apology as I misplaced his May report of a visit to Herne which I
have now appended to Mark's account
(9th July 2013). Andreas Illert has provided a
gloomy PS to the 2013 reports above for Romonta and Sodawerke Stassfurt (27th
October 2013) and now SASOL Herne (10th
December 2013). Geoff Warren caught SASOL Herne
working in February 2014 (12th March 2014), Andreas
Illert was here in March 2014 and I have appended
his report to the existing ones (1st April 2014).
Peter Illert's report of the situation at Mannheim has now
been added (8th May 2014). Now Christoph Obert tells me of a 'new' loco for Grosskraftwerk Mannheim
and continuing operation at Herne (14th December 2014). Two visits by the Illert
brothers to Grosskraftwerk Mannheim in January 2017 produced a Meiningen 0-6-0
'in steam' both times and shunting once, but the 'new' 0-8-0 was not active (1st
Read Andreas Illert's good
news from Romonta. later he went
back to Romonta and I have uploaded his
illustrated report separately (6th August 2015).
Now Peter Illert reports that activity at Grosskraftwerk Mannheim was at a
high level in early November 2015 (27th November 2015). The Illert brothers
returned to Romonta in May 2016, read their
(5th June 2016), a visit to Sodawerke Stassfurt
found two fireless locos parked at the loading point and they did not
12.00 and 14.00. Peter Illert visited Romonta Amsdorf/Roeblingen
on Saturday 17th December 2016. He found the fireless on the spoil
train, with the operation pattern unchanged to previous
reports (1st February 2017). You can now read an
update of activity (or lack of it) from February 2018 (17th
March 2018). Andreas Illert's latest visit was on 7th November 2019, read his
positive report (27th November 2019). Andreas tells me (17th
July 2021) "all operations remain active: Osnabrueck, Herne (SASOL), Amsdorf (ROMONTA), Stassfurt and Mannheim.
Osnabrueck, Herne and Romonta have only one fireless loco each, and a diesel for substitute. In general they prefer the fireless over the diesel. When the fireless loco is in maintenance or in need of repairs the diesel gets active.
Stassfurt and Mannheim have spare fireless engines, at both places the fireless does not leave the premises of the company, so
opportunities for photo and video are rather limited. The excavations at Stuttgart are finished. The spoil material that the Romonta fireless hauls from Roeblingen to Amsdorf now originates from the new city tunnel at Munich."
Andreas Illert reported news of continuing
fireless activity in Austria (updated 19th February 2015) and now Tom
Short visited in April 2017 (18th
See also Slovenia
(updated 2nd May 2018) above, that in the Czech Republic
finished in November 2013 (updated 15th December 2013), see the
2014 update (19th February 2015). Finally, how many Cuba visitors
saw the 'new' fireless 1664 at mill 520 Noel
Fernandez (see the 1999
Cuba report for a picture)? 1664 was at work in
February 2002, the only fireless active during that Zafra (22nd March 2002),
but the firelesses at Brasil Mill were reported to be going strong in both the
2007 and 2008 Zafra seasons (2nd June 2008), since when I have had no news.
Thomas Kautzor points out (24th July 2013)
that DLM bought three fireless locos from Germany:
Jung Nr. 5 (C-fl, Jung 13254/1959), 2009 ex Martinwerk GmbH, Bergheim/Erft Nr. 5;
FLC 03 147 (Swiss ID E 3/3 Nr. 90 85 9380 001-8 - C-fl, Raw Meiningen
03 147/1987) 2009 ex Akzo-Nobel, Heinsberg-Oberbruch Nr. 2, ex
Regiobahn Bitterfeld GmbH (RBB) Nr. 13, ex VEB Chemiekombinat
Bitterfeld, BT Wolfen Nr. 13;
FLC 03 160 (Swiss ID E 3/3 Nr. 90 85 9380 002-6 - C-fl, Raw Meiningen
03 160/187) 2010 ex Museumsbahn Küstenbahn Ostfriesland, 1995 ex VEB
The idea seems to have been to recondition them and then hire
them out, whether that ever happened, I do not know. In any case, the DLM
website shows a demonstration day at the Falken Brewery in Schaffhausen on 7th September 2012, http://www.dlm-ag.ch/en/news/175-vorfuehrungen-der-dlm-speicherlokomotiven-in-schaffhausen.
Valentine came up with proposals for a 21st Century Fireless
Steam Locomotive (12th November 2000).
After a long break it was good to hear (10th
January 2002) that at least one of the firelesses at Benxi steelworks in China was still running in April
2001, I am sure that is no longer the case. The last active
(original) firelesses in Asia at Semboro Sugar Mill in
Java, Indonesia (22nd July 2002) were working again during the 2010/11/12/13/14
seasons (updated 15th August 2014). They were not used in the 2019 season
but no sensible explanation has been given (27th November
The three 2011
fireless conversions at Pagottan sugar mill were all working during a visit on
1st August 2012 (added 2nd August 2012). The
pictures are courtesy of Wilson Lythgoe (24th August 2012) and they have been
reported running again in 2013 but in an orange livery (16th
June 2013). 7 and 8 were at work in early August 2014 (15th
This site has never claimed to offer up-to-date information,
what is here is believed correct with the dates given, corrections are always
welcome!. This information is repeated on a
separate page (now of historical interest only).
Good news (27th May 2003) for English speaking enthusiasts is that UK contact David
Sprackland is now on Email
(address revised 10th January 2009).
See also Bryan Benn's home page - http://www.germansteam.info (link dead by
he also has a proper Plandampf site
(new address 1st April 2005, server unavailable October 2017).
There is now a proper German Language site run by
LoRi although it offers a regular
English language newsletter - see http://www.plandampfteam.de
(added 3rd August 2007), see also Revierdampf's page (English and German)
(added 10th January 2009, (link dead by 12th April 2018)).
Railway Cranes (Steam and
The surviving railway cranes feature now includes pages on Eastern
Europe (updated 17th August 2022) and Western
Europe (updated 7th November 2022).
Marc Stegeman recommends this page which is jam packed
with pictures of steam cranes in action in East Europe (2nd