The Bieszczady Narrow Gauge Railway

Majdan 17, 38-607 Cisna
49°12'20"N 22°17'54"E (49.205833, 22.298611)

The construction of the Bieszczady Narrow Gauge Railway started in 1890. Its main purpose was not only to transport passengers but above all transport wood. The 760 mm track gauge, slightly longer than 24 km from Nowy Łupków to Cisna, was opened on 22nd of January 1898. Most of works connected with railway line construction were done manually, without help of technical devices. Qualified stonemasons from Italy were brought in to build bridges and culverts. Another 20 km long line Cisna - Beskid was built in the years 1900-1904. During the World War I, rail traffic was suspended for a short time but was restarted in June 1915 by Austrian troops who used the railway to transport the army. Together with the outbreak of the World War II, the railway movement stopped again. In the mid-1950s, a project to modernize the railway was created, a decision was also made to build a new section of Rzepedź - Smolnik and Cisna - Moczarne. The total length of the railway reached 73 km. In 1991 all-year-round passenger traffic was closed - trains run in the summer only.

In 1992 the trackage, stations and stops as well as part of the rolling stock were inscribed in the registry of monuments. In 1996 the Bieszczady Forest Railway Foundation was created, which aim is to take over the assets of the line and its further operation as well as raise funds for necessary repairs. In 1997 tourist traffic was reintroduced. At present, the main station of the railway is situated in Majdan. Additionally to traveling by train, tourists have the chance to see old steam engines and wagons in the museum. The station building has collected various exhibits related to the railway. Bieszczady Choo-choo train (Bieszczadzka Ciuchcia) is currently one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Bieszczady Mountains.

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