Narrow Gauge Steam in Mladějov and on the Forestry Line Čierny Balog

Steam in the Czech Republic 21. - 23.4.2017

Steam in Slovakia 24. - 26.4.2017

Waldbahn Cierny Balog

Shortly after the beginning of a new political age, in 1991, the chamotte factory, and its 600mm gauge railway, was closed. Czech railway enthusiasts knew about the historical value of this little railway with its unique locomotives. The locomotives used to be the last Engerth locomotives in use on the continent. Hence, they preserved the line and some of its locomotives. Two locomotives are still serviceable and will be used for our charter trains.

One of the locomotives will be prepared in such a way that it looks like a real industrial locomotive. It will haul a train of tippers in an unpolished and grimy condition – just as it used to be throughout most of their lifetime.

In central Slovakia, there survives a solitary 760mm gauge forestry line, operating as a tourist railway. The line passes villages, fields and through forests. Some parts are steep and will allow us to listen to the hard working locomotive.

We’ll visit these two lines shortly before the tourist season starts. The lines will be clear of vegetation while the chosen week might be good for seeing trees in blossom.

We’ve decided to use rail to travel to the site as there is no airport nearby served by major European airports and a long bus ride is not appealing. At the site we’ve chartered buses to allow us to reach our hotels conveniently.

Both parts of the tour can be booked separately.

Waldbahn Cierny Balog






The group will meet at the main station of Berlin to board train EC 177, dep. 12.47 hrs. You can also board the train in Prague, where we have to change trains. Departure from Prague is ca. 17.46 hrs, arrival in Česká Třebová about 19.17 hrs, charter bus to our hotels


Charter bus from hotel to Mladějov na Moravě. We’ve booked two charters on the industrial narrow gauge line of Mladějov with an authentic train of tipping trucks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In addition we’ll have a diesel hauled train which will bring our group to the photo locations. In the evening we have a night shoot in the depot area. Charter bus to Česká Třebová, to our hotels


Charter bus hotel to Mladějov na Moravě. In the morning we’ll run another charter train and a diesel chase train. Afterwards we’ll continue by charter bus from Mladějov na Moravě to the railway station in Česká Třebová. By train (dep. ca. 12.59 hrs) we’ll go to Brezno in Slovakia, arrival ca. 20.00 hrs. Charter bus to our accommodation in Čierny Balog.


Charter trains on the forestry line in Černy Balog. Both serviceable Budapest-built locomotives will work for us. We’ll travel in the track gang wagons. Accommodation in Čierny Balog.


Charter trains on the railway lines of Čierny Balog. In the late afternoon we’ll go by charter bus back to Brezno and board a train home, departure ca. 17.41 hrs. Arrival in Bratislava in the late evening. Change trains here, continue by overnight train EN 476 to Dresden and Berlin in sleeper class.


Arrival in Dresden around 06.44 hrs and in Berlin around 09.43 hrs in the morning.


Line description


The 600mm gauge railway of Mladějov used to carry coal and clay to a chamotte factory, running trains with small tippers. The line starts with a big horseshoe curve in quiet flat fields before reaching the mountains where it disappears into deep forests. The locomotives face a slight but constant gradient all the way to the current terminus. In spring 2017 the usable length of the line should be 8km.

Mladejov depot

One of the very few really authentic looking steam depots in the world: Mladejov.

Two steam locomotives are serviceable. The RIIIc No.1 was built by Krauss in Linz in the year 1918 (manufacturers number 7485). This locomotive was dedicated for military use, but the war ended earlier than expected. The locomotive was returned from storage to the manufacturer where it was rebuilt. The boiler was enlarged and the locomotive reached 50hp. The Engerth construction was successfully modified by Krauss. In 1920 the locomotive was delivered to Mladějov where it was used until the very end of service in 1991.

The second serviceable locomotive is No.5, which was built by Krauss in Linz again, in 1929. The manufacturer’s number is 1518. The loco is more powerful than No.1, with its 70hp.




Čierny Balog

Around 100 years ago many forests were invaded by forestry lines, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Čierny Hron, today mostly know as Čierny Balog, was among these, with the first stretch of the line being built in 1908. Over the years the system was developed to a total length of 132km.

Waldbahn Cierny Balog

The museum line has five serviceable pairs of trucks for logging transport plus a few flat wagons which were also used for wood transport, mainly sawn logs or planks. As usual on most of the logging lines in the mountains empty trains were brought chimney first uphill into the forests to the loading points while loaded logging trains rolled downhill tender first to the sawmills in the valley. This was also the usual operation in Čierny Balog. However, there were sawmills in Čierny Balog and Hronec. Because the mill in Čierny Balog was larger it could process the biggest logs. This sometimes caused the unusual transporting of logs from the lower end of the line up to Čierny Balog. In later years when the saw mill in Hronec was working beyond its capacity, or was in need of repair, there were quite often trains loaded with logs travelling the “wrong way round”, i.e. “into the forest” to go to the capable sawmill in Čierny Balog. Even during the last year of real operation, 1982, there could often be seen loaded logging trains going uphill to Čierny Balog. Hence uphill loaded trains travelling chimney first are authentic on this line, giving us useful additional photo opportunities.

They have four serviceable locomotives:

-     ČHDL 2 "Joy" (Budapest 1879/1906). Originally delivered to Nálepkovo forestry railway

-     Schmoschewer RIIIc (Smoschewer & Co. Breslau 625/1918) - "Heeresfeldbahn" locomotive, original 600mm gauge, green livery

-     PLD 2 (Budapest 4280/1916) - originally for "Povážská lesná železnica" forestry railway, a typical large 760mm loco for Hungarian forest railways.

-     Resita standard type (Reghin 604/1985), a typical forestry loco in Romania, in red livery for hauling tourist trains

From the list you can see that we can only use the Budapest locos 1879/1906 and 4280/1916 to form reasonably authentic trains. The trains will look authentic, but the locos are not original Čierny Balog engines. This is the compromise we have to allow. However, the trains will look good and we will load one of the trains with real logs to make it look even more authentic.


Small print

We’ve included half board (breakfast and dinner). On the (standard gauge) train rides meals are not included. However, we’ve reserved seats in the dining car on our way from Mladějov na Moravě to Brezno. Our bus can’t reach every place we want to go, so please prepare your luggage in a way that you can carry it yourself over a distance of about 400 yards.

Occasionally, our minibus might need to cover a short distance twice or three times to carry all of us.

Waldbahn Cierny Balog

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are members of the European Union and Schengen states. In the Czech Republic you’ll pay with Czech Crowns (in August 2016 £1 = 32 Crowns) and in Slovakia with Euros. A traveller from the EU does not need a visa, just a valid ID. Others please check with your embassy.

Both countries are secure. However, there is always a risk in and around railways, especially if you want to jump on or off a moving train (which is prohibited) or mix with moving rail vehicles as well as road traffic. Using common sense is the best way to avoid incidents. Neither FarRail Tours nor the local operators can be held responsible in any case of accident, damage, delay etc. You’re travelling at your own risk.

It’s always a risk to leave home, and this tour is no exception. There are no guarantees. A loco can fail, a flood can wash away parts of the track and so on. The chance of receiving any compensation if things do not go to plan is microscopic. Taking part in the event means you must accept that nothing is guaranteed and refunds are highly unlikely if something does not run to our liking.

The number of available single rooms is very limited.

Waldbahn Cierny Balog




Czech Republic and Slovakia
Mladejov and Cierny Balog Narrow Gauge Steam 18 to 25 participants £820
21.04.2017 – 26.04.2017 Single room surcharge £180
Registration Deadline: 07.01.2017

The price includes:

Not included are:

Waldbahn Cierny Balog


© FarRail Tours - e-mail: Bernd Seiler - zurück zu FarRail Tours
Click here to return to FarRail Tours