The once unbelievable seems to becoming true: the Borsha Valley Railway, a candidate for closure up until recently, may make it on to the list of preserved lines. The 0-8-0 locomotive, Gr 280 has arrived from Gaivoron and will haul trains during the August. I published a press release on my blog in the German language and here is the translation:

The ministry of infrastructure of the Ukraine, in co-operation with the railway administration of the Transcarpathian region, started a pilot project. In August, there will be 8 pairs of steam trains, each of three to four coaches, hauled by Gr 280 on the narrow gauge line Wynohradiw – Irshava. They aim to preserve historically precious infrastructure in the Ukraine and want to develop and support tourism in this remote region.

Borsha Valley Line

Borsha Valley Line, The governor in Shalanki

The train will run on August 4/5th, 11/12th, 18/19th and 25/26th.

The current state of the regular diesel trains is just one pair on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. It’s not planned to haul these trains with steam, although they have only one serviceable diesel loco. In the case that it fails, the scheduled trains must be cancelled.

It was planned to run steam trains to Irshava, but restoring this unused section turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. The last regular train used this section three years ago.

On August 4th, the first train will leave Berehowe in the early morning and go via Chmilnyk to Wynohradiw and back. On this day, they will hold an inauguration party in Wynohradiw at around 11am. At 12 noon the train will leave from there. It is hoped that on later weekends, the trains will go to Ishava. They will announce a detailed schedule a short period in advance.

The train will consist of three coaches, and later they want to add a covered wagon for bicycles. The covered wagon is still under repair.

The first timetable is very slow and would allow a photographer to take many pictures. After a trial period, the timetable will be changed. You must remember that there has been no regular steam service in the Ukraine (or any other CIS-states) since independence, hence the knowledge of steam very limited.

The regional administration of Uzhgorod has established an information line (up to 25/8/2018), +380-312-696144, Mon – Fri 6.00 – 10.00 and 11.00 – 15.00 hrs (London time). They speak Ukrainian, Russian, English and Hungarian.

Tickets at the price of 6 Ukrainian Hryvnia (17 UK Pence or 20 Euro Cents) are available on the train or in the station at Wynohradiw.

The timetable is, for August 4th – 5th (changes are possible)

(Names in Ukrainian – German transliteration)

Berehowe                  05:30 (no boarding possible here)
Supermarket 2km   05:40 – 05:45
Nizhny Remeti        07:30 – 07:35
Chmilnyk                  08:40 – 09:00
Schalanky                 09:15 – 09:45 (water stop)
Tschorny Potik        10:25 – 10:27
Oleschnik                 10:58 – 11:00
Wynohradiw            11:30 (water stop)

Wynohradiw            12:00
Oleschnik                12:40 – 12:45
Tschorny Potik       13:10 – 13:15
Schalanky                14:00 – 14:30 (water stop)
Chmilnyk                 14:45 – 15:05
Nizhny Remeti        16:45 – 16:50
Supermarkt 2km    17:50 – 17:55
Berehowe                 18:05 (no disembarking here)

The project was supported by the club “Ostgleis”.

A small insight in the difficulties the project faced: close up on the super heater elements of Gr 280 after it arrived from Gaiworon:

Borschatalbahn, Beregowo

Überhitzerelemente mit Loch/Super heater elements with a hole

It’s time for a trip to the line which is in danger of closure!