The Bieszczady choo-choo is going to run to Łupków again!
In spring 2006 the Bieszczady Forest Railway Foundation started the project “A railway trip through the Bieszczady Mountains”, which aims at activating a 7-kilometre stretch of the historic narrow-gauge railway from Wola Michowa to Łupków. The actions taken within the project were to help take a full advantage of the potential of the Forest Railway.
The project will be carried out thanks to financial support from the Carpathian Foundation within the programme “Integrated Development of Rural Areas”.
The railway winds its way among woods in the mountain ranges.
Its history dates back to 1890-1895, when it was constructed on the initiative of a few companies from Budapest and Vienna that explored the forests of the Bieszczady and operated sawmills there.
Then the railway was quite important, as it enabled to use the then and present local wealth, namely timber. It also gave jobs to the local population and introduced civilization and development in those neglected, remote areas.
The dramatic changes and destruction brought on by the world wars did not leave the Forest Railway unscathed. The railway, partly demolished during WWII, was restored in 1954-1964 mainly in order to transport timber from the areas of Górna Solinka, Wetlina, Smerek, Cisna, Smolnik and other settlements to the station in Łupków and the timber factory in Rzepedź. Besides its basic function, which was transport of timber, the railway was a means of transport for forest workers and inhabitants of local villages, for whom, considering the lack of roads in the post-war period, it was the only opportunity to leave the area. Passengers were carried in single cars attached to trains transporting timber.
In the 1960s the extension of the local paved roads network resulted in car transport developing dramatically, thus enabling more free travel. This, in turn, resulted in a massive inflow of tourists to the Bieszczady. Wandering about, the tourists also discovered the charm of a trip on the Bieszczady Railway.
Nowadays, due to low costs of road transport, the timber is no longer carried by train.
The train runs regularly from May to September on the route: Majdan – Przysłup, Majdan –Wola Michowa, Majdan – Balnica. It also offers chartered rides. Detailed information, timetables and prices are available on the website www.kolejka.bieszczady.pl
Foundation of the Bieszczady Forest Railway
Details may be obtained at:
Biuro Fundacji Bieszczadzkiej Kolejki Leśnej
(Bieszczady Forest Railway Foundation Office)
tel./fax 013 468 63 35