last update by schmalspURBAh N: 2008.01.13.
|The Waldviertler Schmalspurbahnverein
(Waldviertel Narrow Gauge Society) was founded in mid-February 1987 after
Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB discontinued regular passenger traffic
from end of May 1986.
The society aims at the continuation of passenger traffic - at least - in the touristic meaning. Further, the preservation of historically interesting items, like rolling stock, buildings and the research into regional history, geography, wildlife and the social context of the railway, are also included.
Crossing Schönau village shortly before reaching Litschau terminus, class Mh No. 399.03 with mixed train Gmünd-Litschau
|From June 1987 the WSV started running steam trains from Gmünd to the northern terminal stations of Litschau and Heidenreichstein, using both leased and bought vehicles. Vital part of all train programs had been the visit to glass makers Messrs. Zalto of Neunagelberg. Glass making is one of the oldest industries in the northern Waldviertel area. Starting with the end of the first year of WSV's operation, the New Year's Eve steam special was made one of the society's trademarks. Actually, the “Silvesterzug” had been the first of its kind in Austria (and possibly the continent) whose passengers experienced the years’ beginning with the whistling of the steam locomotive, a gorgeous fireworks and champaigne.||Summer 1987
399.03 hauling the WSV's rake along one of the lakes before entering Altnagelberg station from the south
WSV - Picture Card
|At the end of May 1992, goods traffic on the Altnagelberg - Heidenreichstein branch ceased. The society had to take over the line's 13 kilometers from the federal railways ÖBB to be able to run trains to the Heidenreichstein terminus. The society is fully responsible for keeping the track, sewers, bridge and level crossings in good condition. The course of the line through dense forests allows only to reach few parts of the trackbed with roadgoing vehicles, so in 1994 the WSV hired a small diesel locomotive, type Ns2h, for P/W works. At the end of July 1995 the first self-built open passenger car entered revenue - earning "Feldbahn" - service, the second vehicle was ready in May 1996. Both carriages were favourites in the hot summer months.||24.8.1996, Heidenreichstein, Feldbahn train (No.1
and open carriages 3001 / 3002) enter the terminus
|When in 1996 federal railways ÖBB cancelled the
agreement per end of the year, the society made Heidenreichstein shed the
center of operations. Since January 1st, 1997, WSV trains are run between
Heidenreichstein and Altnagelberg only - with a few exceptions, of course
(New Year's Eve steam special 31 December 1997 to Litschau, Doppelausfahrt
4 October 1997 to Heidenreichstein and Litschau).
Early in 1997 all WSV-owned vehicles were transferred from their Gmünd siding to Heidenreichstein. In the 1997 season a well patronized train service (diesel traction) was running with the help of additionally acquired rolling stock.
|Waiting for departure: Ns2h no.1 and coaches
3883, 3889 and 6493 at Aalfang during the special service run in connection
with the fair at Heidenreichstein.
|In mid-July 1997 the WSV succeeded in hiring in the Society of the Friends of the Stainz Railway's Jenbach diesel loco No.2, "Christa" (a Jenbach built type DM100H14, ex-Böhler Kapfenberg Inv No 8002) , to support Ns2h-1 "Findling". At the same time, steam loco 170.1, also from Stainz, came to the Waldviertel, but putting her into service was not possible as the tubes were leaking badly. So the Board decided to send away the boiler and the fire box to Ceské Vélenice works for repair and boiler certificate. It was planned to put 170.1 into revenue earning service from early August, but it was only on 20th December 1998 when the test run happened!||WSV No. 2 "Christa" waiting for
departure at Heidenreichstein station, heading the world's first preserved
railways' MotoRail train.
Lomography by schmalspURBAhN, 10.5.1998
|For the 1998 Langegg Family Walking
Day the WSV ran a 2 train service throughout the day. Due to available
locomotive power the board decided to combine the train crossings with
locomotive changes at Aalfang station. The Heidenreichstein - Aalfang stretch
was worked by WSV No.1 (Ns2h), while on the rest of the line between Aalfang
- Altnagelberg, WSV No.2 (Jenbach Works) hauled the respective train. The
WSV-owned passenger carriage 3890 has not been ready for service, so ÖBB
helped the society with Bi/s 3877.
A public information service was provided by the WSV who manned the info-stand located in the Langegg firebrigade's garage. Sigi Rott's LGB model vehicles did their rounds, attracting a lot of children and their parents.
WSV 1 "Findling" and WSV 2 "Christa" awaiting their departures (0830am, and 0730am, respectively) from Heidenreichstein station.
15.8.1998. digImage © schmalspURBAhN
|At the start of the 2002 season, strongly needed increase in passenger accomodation was experienced when new C4i 3348, refurbished from former WLB-carriage 48 during a stay in Romania, arrived at Heidenreichstein.||Newly rebuilt C4i 3348 after unloading from the transporter
waggon in Gmünd NÖ yard.
19.3.2002 © Rott