Lithuania is the most southern Republic of the Baltic states. In the past the country was under control of various empires. Lithuania achieved independence first after World War I and finally in 1990. Therefore the railway system clearly shows the influences from the past, such as Russian and German style standards. The gauge of the state railway is the Russian broad gauge (1524 mm) while the remaining narrow gauge lines have 750 mm gauge.
Once there were extensive narrow gauge systems in Lithuania. The remaining lines can only give a shadow impression of the former importance of the narrow gauge network to Lithuania. However, the remaining lines, mainly used for peat transport, are still very interesting.
The highlights of the tour are:
|18.5. (Wed)||departure from Germany by air to Vilnius, arrival there same day and continue to Klaipeda by overnight train, departure 23.00 hrs|
|19.5. (Thu)||06.46 hrs arrival Klaipeda. Visit to the harbor of Klaipeda, pictures with sea liners in the backdrop should be possible. The abandoned station of the "Memeler Kleinbahn" in Klaipeda, visit to the railway station Klaipeda. By charter bus we'll go to Kretinga and Darbėnai for lineside pictures, hotel Klaipeda|
|20.5. (Fri)||In the early morning we'll go by public train to Šilutę. A visit to the narrow gauge peat railway "Silutes durpes". A visit to the state railway station and continue by a public, late afternoon train to Pagegiai. Pictures in the railway station of Pagegiai. Continue to Šiauliai by charter train (more than 10 participants required) or charter bus (small group). Hotel Šiauliai|
|21.5. (Sat)||In the early morning we start our visits to the two narrow gauge peat lines Rekyva and Sulinkiai. In the afternoon we visit the largest railway junction of the Baltic states in Radviliškis. We visit the depot of the state railway in Radviliškis. In the evening we visit the railway museum Šiauliai. Hotel Šiauliai|
|22.5. (Sun)||Early morning public train to Subačius to visit the railway reserve base with several dumped steam locos. By charter bus continue to the narrow gauge museum in Anykščiai. From there we'll take a chartered mixed narrow gauge train to Rubikiai. Several photo stops en route. We'll continue by our chartered train to Panevezys. Hotel Panevezys.|
|23.5. (Mon)||We visit the narrow gauge depot Panevezys. Charter bus to Kaunas with stop for lineside pictures on the main line Vilnius Šiauliai. Afternoon a visit to the railway depot of Kaunas, evening visit to one of the railway stations of Kaunas. Hotel Kaunas|
|24.5. (Tue)||A visit to the narrow gauge line of the peat factory Ezerelis, by public electric train to Vilnius, a visit to the depot of Vilnius, hotel Vilnius|
|25.5. (Wed)||A morning visit to the new railway museum of Vilnius. In the early afternoon return by air from Vilnius to Germany.|
In general, Lithuania is a flat country with many forests and agricultural areas. In addition, there are large areas with swamps. These are the reason for the still very active peat industry. The peat industry still uses narrow gauge lines to transport the peat to the factories.
On the short lines of Šilutę they use diesel locos of the classes TU6a, ESU2a and TU8. There are about four to five trains each day, so we'll be able to watch regular trains in the yard and in the fields. There are some remaining passenger carriages, which we want to use to travel the line.
Rekyva, Sulinkiai and Tyruliai were part of a former narrow gauge system, which covered about 70 km. Now only the shorter parts in Rekyva and Sulinkia remain. However, these lines still offer interesting operations into the peat fields. In Rekyva they use four different classes of locomotives: Tu6a, Tu8, ESU1 and ESU2. The traffic is limited to two trains per day. We'll arrange so that we can see at least one of the two scheduled pairs.
The longest remaining narrow gauge system of Lithuania which sees daily traffic is Sulinkiai. The narrow gauge track is 19 km long and serves several peat fields. There are two scheduled trains each day. The locomotive stock contains the classes Tu6, Tu4, Tu7 and ESU2.
The narrow gauge system of Panevezys has nearly no regular traffic. The last services were seasonal trains on the eastern section of the system to Anykščiai. The track condition on this part still allow the operation of trains. So we'll charter a typical mixed train with diesel traction to explore the line and take lineside shots in a rural countryside untouched by modern developments. Our train will probably be hauled by a Ty2 class. In Panevezys we'll se the steam locomotives KP4-708 and Kc4-017. While the KP is a polish product (it was built in the Polish Chrzanów locomotive factory in 1957, builders number 3699), the Kc was built by Škoda (2033/1949).
In Šiauliai we'll see the plinthed narrow gauge steam locomotive PT4-153, built by Tampella (660/1948).
The state railway of Lithuania is called Lietuvos Gelezinkelaia (LG). The main classes of locomotives:
In addition they use electric multiple units like D1 (30 units), DR1A (14 units) and ER9M (16 units). On our tour we'll also see some steam locomotives. Unfortunately not a single steam locomotive is servicable, so we can't offer a special train with steam on this tour. Among the steam locomotives we'll see on the tour are the classes TE (1'E) German class 52, Kriegslok) and L, a modern Russian freight train locomotive (1'E).
The tour is planned with the dedicated photographer and video filmmaker in mind. The itinerary is designed for those who think it more important to get good shots in the morning sun than a substantial breakfast. The tour is also designed for photographers who want to study the different types of locomotives. Therefore the group size is limited to 22 participants.
Charter buses and trains represent the standard of our host countries, which may deviate form Central European expectations. While we will try to avoid long walks, some photo positions may require a bit of an extra effort.
Full board is included, but lunches will be sometimes simple, not to say "basic", especially during train rides, while dinners are usually sumptuous. While taking pictures of trains, lunch can be a packed lunch. Beverages are not included in the tour price.
The hotels used will be middle class.
The price is a land only price (Vilnius/Klaipeda) The transport to and from Lithuania depends on the upcoming time table. As soon as the new timetables and fares are published, we'll offer the flight or ferry boat journeys too.
|Lithuania||11 -22 participants||990 Euro|
|18. - 25.5.2005||10 participants||6 - 1280 Euro|
|Single room supplement||160 Euro|
Minimum number of participants: 6
Maximum number of participants: 22
The price includes:
Not included are: