Few heritage lines have quite the history of this narrow gauge line in Poland. Andrew Rapacz reports on a successful tourist operation on a railway which has served a number of different European countries since it was built.
THE BIESZCZADY FOREST RAILWAY
Kp4 0-8-0 No. 3772 is seen working light engine just outside Majdan station on February 20, 2016.
Bieszczady is an area in the extreme south east of Poland which has been a national park since 1973 and contains the Bieszczady mountains, part of a range that also runs through Ukraine and Slovakia.
A large proportion of the park is covered in forest. The highest parts of the Bieszczady mountains, with their wild and desolate treeless summits, attract a number of tourists to the area. Just outside the national park is a narrow gauge tourist railway, the Bieszczady Forest Railway, which has its roots much earlier in history.
In the first half of the 19th century vast tracts of the forests in the Bieszczady area were sold, but due to the lack of roads, timber exploitation was limited.
Read more in May’s edition of HR