Industrial railways Mladějov (600 mm)

Mladějov, whereof the industrial railway goes out, is on Czechmoravian borderland, on the railway line n.271 Třebovice v Čechách - Chornice, perhaps 10 km south from Lanškroun.
The industrial railway with the gauge 600 mm had risen in rich shale locality and in the beginning there was extracted coal too. The Mladějov mines holder G. Mauwe from Ratiboř (he become Mladějov mines holder in 1898) built in 1910 five ovens for fireclay production. In 1913 the mines holder become Fürst Liechtenstei´sche Kohlen - und Tonwerke G.m.b.H. in Blosdorf company. The company manager was the former holder son E. Mauwe.
During 1st world's war the shale output in Mladějov mine was stopped only the rest of mines in Nová Ves and Hřebeč continued in shale production. In 1945 all mines were nationalised and named as Moravian kaolin and clay factory with the seat in Blansko, later it was renamed as Moravian fireclay and shale factory. The shale mining and burning was stopped in cause of export problems in 1991. The 31st December 1991 was Mladějov track operation closing day.
The Coal and shale were transported into Mladějov on local farmers carts and later by carts firm from Moravská Třebová. But there was needed more efficient transport possibility. That´s why Bleichert firm from Leipzig built a funicular from gallery ROCHUS to oven in Mladějov fireclay factory in 1902. The funicular functioned till 1904 then it was after some changes closed.
During 1st world war shale mining really grew up (namely in Hřebeč). That's why Imperial-royal military funiculars building supervision made a narrow gauge railway project from mine THEODOR in Hřebeč by galleries JOSEF, BARBARA and HUGO NEDDY to upper funicular station. The project was made in 1917 and subscribed in 2nd May in 1918. Another project of the railway elongation to Mladějov oven born almost at the same as possibility how to stop material transloading on funicular. The rail to upper funicular station was built in 1919 and it's next part to fireclay factory was built and operating in 1922.
All the railway line is long 10,98 km, the least radius of curve is 50 m, the biggest gradient reached up to 30‰ and whole superelevation amounts 77,9 m. There are two turnouts on the railway line, the first is on km 5,4 and the second is near JOSEF III mine on 8,8 km. On third km is a turnout to former upper funicular station. There were engine sheds on the track ending stations.
And now the best-more interesting part of Mladějov narrow gauge railway: steam loco which almost 70 years shuttled local track. There alternated 6 steam loco during these long era, they was marked with numbers 1 to 5, two locomotives had number 4.
The oldest and the most weak locomotive was machine n. 4. It discovered in Mladějov in Spring 1918. It was a classic two-axles locomotive with 22 kW output. The loco was made in 1906 by locomotive works ORENSTEIN & KOPPEL in Drewitz near Berlin. For it's low output the engine was used at first for track building and then for shunting in fireclay factory or for work trains traction. The company bought a new loco n.5 in 1929 and the number 4 become needless and it was sold to unknown building company in 1931.
Further locomotive which shuttled narrow gauge railway in Mladějov was locomotive n.2. This machine was already three-axles engine and constructional belonged to class RIIIc. The loco n.2 was made by Austro-Hungarian company KRAUSS & COMP. in Linec with serial number 7493 in Spring 1918. In 13th May 1918 this loco was borrowed from Austria War Office to Mladějov fireclay factory.
After 1st war and Czechoslovakia foundation the locomotive n.2 belonged to National Defence Office but it was still in Mladějov fireclay factory charter. Mladějov fireclay factory become loco holder as far as 1923. The locomotive went through some changes during Mladějov operation. It was supplied with new compressor and air-pressure brake. It shuttled till 1971 when it was unmade and it stayed at Mladějov for spare parts for engine number 1. In 1987 builders of sightseeing railway in exhibition area Agrokomplex in Nitra took the scrap of loco number 2. After 3 years they successful connected steam boiler from loco n.2 with the underframe from Hungarian locomotive of the class 86. They created new functional locomotive of the class U35.901 for 760 mm gauge railway.
Also third Mladějov locomotive marked n.3 belonged to type RIIIc. This locomotive was made by locomotive works Breitfeld & Daněk in the establishment Blansko. The loco came to Mladějov in 1919 and serviced almost 60 years. In 1986 loco n.3 became to National technical museum in Prague into depository in Čelákovice.
First locomotive specially made for Mladějov was loco number one. The loco was ordered in 1918 and it's parameters were convenient for operation on the track with gradient 30‰ and curve radius 50m. The loco producer was again locomotive works KRAUSS & COMPANY in Linec. Big reserves from war production of loco class RIIIc led constructors to solving what parts would restore RIIIc undercarriages. The reconstruction was on axles installation under locomotive tender. New machine was produced and delivered in 1920 with serial number 7485. New locomotive was at once got into operation where it's parameter and output overshadowed all ex-serviced Mladějov locomotives. This locomotive stayed full in function until Mladějov operation termination.
In 20th years grew up shale production and current locomotive fleet had to extend. Mladějov needed further efficient locomotives. Order for new locomotives was again charged in locomotive works in Linec 1st June 1929. The order was done during three months. It was the last loco made in locomotive works KRAUSS & COMPANY in Linec, after several months in 1930 the locomotive production in this factory terminated. The loco number 5 in opposite with locomotive number 1 had heavy-duty. This loco checked in operation well and together with engine n.1 was in service till operation end in 1991.
The sixth and the last steam loco in Mladějov was the machine of the class BS 80 from CKD in Prague. In Mladějov it discovered on 20th December 1964 and the loco received serial number 4. Relatively heavy locomotive with top heavy centre of gravity wasn´t convenient for Mladějov track. The loco wobbled riding and it´s weight damaged the top of the track. That´s why the loco stayed in depot the most of the time and it was together with the n.2 scrap sold to Nitra in 1987.
There were except steam loco also motor engines on the local railway. The motor engines were mostly used for shunting in fireclay factory or in mines near Hřebeč. The first motor engine marked BNE 50 was made and delivered by firm STAVOSTROJ in Radotín. This firm made for Mladějov track altogether six loco with electric output transfer. Further machines you could see there were marked BN 60H. These loco proceed from TURČIANSKÉ STROJÁRNE in Martin the estalishment Hliník nad Hronom. There were three these loco in Mladějov and from older colleague it distinguished with hydraulic output transfer. The first and also the last really track motor engines were two Romanian engines of the class L18 H. They were delivered to Mladějov in eightieth by locomotive works ICSIT FAUR. Their output was very high but their weight was for the local track top unbearable. That´s why the track reconstruction begin in the end of eightieth but it wasn't finished. So these strong engines were in service only for a short time. In nowadays the Mladějov track is closed and it was proclaimed as state technical sight.
"Mladějov industrial track" is from 1st May 1998 rented to Industrial railway museum Brno. This society displaced into fireclay factory area it´s collections and they also got acquired former Mladějov vehicle fleet. In operation is the part manufacture - the passing siding Nová Ves. The club sets out trains for visitors in sections manufacture-VEKSL and manufacture-the passing siding Nová Ves. The trains are managed with steam loco n.1 or with some engine motor for example BN 30 or BN 15R. The passanger coaches were modified from flatcar ex Spolchemie Ústí nad Labem. You can also order a train with hoppercar but nothing is free of charge. Information about operation get at industrial railways museum club.
In 1987 the Museum Railway Society was founded. The company started bulding up a collection of the narrow gauge rolling stock at Lavassaare. So, today you can see there one of the largest collection of narrow gauge vehicles (steam and diesel locomotives, passenger and freight wagons etc.) in Europe.