Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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DVD Running Time: 78 minutes

Although the traditional industrial narrow gauge railway is nearly extinct, there are isolated locations even in 2016 that still rely on this form of transport.

Using footage from the last couple of years and occasional archive footage, a few of the remaining industrial narrow gauge systems are visited in a number of locations through Europe. Meyer Holsen Tileworks in Germany still uses a small Diema loco to transport skips of clay. Mixnitz in Austria is home to a unique electric Lokalbahn still transporting magnesite. In Weardale, England, Rogerley Mine still uses a small battery loco on a part time basis. A classic French brickworks at Briqueterie Chimot still runs, using loco hauled trains on 2 narrow gauges. The peatworks at Hatzte operates one of the more picturesque peat railways in Germany. Back in England again, and recent footage shows coal being hauled to the surface at Hopewell Colliery. The DVD ends with the last feldbahn running in Austria, at Ziegelei Danreiter which runs a 600mm gauge railway for the transport of clay.

Other locations are seen during the course of the video.


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Stills from the production are available below.

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One of the last brickworks/tileworks railways running in Germany can be seen at Meyer Holsen Tileworks. The operational Diema is seen prior to tipping a train of clay.

Rogerley mine although only operated on a part time basis is worked for at least 4 months of the year.

Backing to the clay stockpile for loading, the last feldbahn in Austria continues to work on a part time basis.

Another line that has had a precarious existance is that at Mixnitz. Trains do not run every day now, but several times per week Magnasite is still transported from the factory at Breitenau.

At Hatzte in Germany a picturesque railway operates for approx 1 month each year to bring peat back for loading into road transport and processing elsewhere.

At Marley in France the famous Chimot Brickworks still relies on 500mm and 600mm gauge railways for all internal transport. Here the 600mm Plymouth loco shunts some skips out to the claypit.


One of the 2 BoBo electric locos at Mixnitz returns to Mixnitz in Sept 2015 with some loaded covered wagons.

At Danreiter Brickworks in Austria, loading is carried out from a clay stockpile on one part of the railway when visited in 2015.

A small Diema is about to depart for the peat moors at Hatzte.

One of the few bucket and chain excavators is still used at Briqueterie Chimot.


In September 2015 the tiny Heim loco runs out to the drying sheds at Chimot to pull back dried bricks for firing in the kiln.

At Meyer Holsen the Diema driver loads his short train of 5 skips.

At Danreiter Brickworks the Diema loco pushes its train back on the final section through the trees before loading.

The battery loco is uncoupled from the single mine skip before emptying at Rogerley Mine.

Typically a single tub is in use at Hopewell Colliery, here being pushed to the tippler.

One of smallest locos produced by Diema is in use for track lifting duties at Hatzte as the peat stocks and temporary track panels are cleared from a section of moors.

Few traces can be seen of the myriad of mines that operated in Weardale until recent times. Here tracks which at one time led into a tipping shed at Frazers Hush Mine are captured in concrete.

The 500mm gauge Heim loco returns to the kiln with wagons of dried bricks for firing.

At Hopewell Colliery the coal is tipped directly into a waiting lorry and then stockpiled elsewhere.

An impressive wagon tippler at Mixnitz upends the 4 and 6 wheeled wagons to empty the loose magnasite for loading into standard gauge wagons.

Steve Thomason 2016

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways