There are a lot of different narrow-gauge railways in the world. But one of the longest operating narrow-gauge railways is in the Western part of Ukraine between the villages Antonivka and Zarechnoe. 106 km of track, on which there are dozens of wooden bridges, old semaphores and a lot of other old equipment. The most unusual is the fact that it does not share the fate of most of the old narrow-gauge railways, and lived up to our time, besides carrying no cargo and bringing huge losses. This is truly an amazing miracle!
A narrow gauge train departs twice a day from Antonivka to Zarichne and back. Tickets are available on the train and cost only 11 UAH or 0.5 EUR. The journey of 106 km takes about 4 hours.
The exact date of the appearance of this narrow gauge railway is unknown, approximately — 1895. From the beginning it was intended for the export of wood, but now this small railway with regular passenger traffic is the best way for communication between two district centers.
The date 1915 was found on the track at one of the train stops.
The machinist and the railroad conductor communicate with gestures during the journey. The real team )))
The train has 3 small carriages. In each of them you can find an installed oven (burzhuika), painted walls, benches, fixtures, handles and vents. But in spite of the vintage furnishing, everything is very clean and tidy, it is clear that people cherish their “cuckoo”. Quite unusual for this old train in Ukrainian backwoods.
It just happened so that these trains are affectionately called «cuckoo.» Instead of the usual sound of a locomotive, a narrow-gauge steam train produces a faint hissing sound, similar to the sounds made by cuckoo-bird.
In general the road is quite winding — the woods, the fields, the marshes. The train often travels along the arc, going round the difficult parts of the road, but sometimes still goes on straight.
Nature in these places is really extraordinary. Pine forests, where the abundance of moss and cowberries sometimes creates the illusion of the northern territories, are replaced by fields or birch woods. But sometimes the train makes a turn and leaves the forest. Places around are marshy and among the grass you can see endless swamps.
This is not a shoes advertisement )) This picture says that you can safely sit in the open door of the train, swing your legs in the air, photographing the landscapes.
In addition to the narrow-gauge railway the main form of transport there is a cart driven by a horse.
Most stations are grassy platform in the woods with a stone border.
Some stations were deserted, but other on the contrary were crowded.
Passengers speak Ukrainian, telling each other everyday problems or gossip. And sometimes entertain themselves by playing cards.
Wooden bridges during the journey.
The bridge from the outside.
No modern railway signs were present there — a real trip back to the old days. Almost all stations are equipped with semaphores, due to which guided the train into the correct track.
The last stop.