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SK, Orava Forest Railroad – Winter Trip

Published: 6.3.2014
Today, our steps will lead to the north of Slovakia. We will visit spectacular Orava region, where we visit the unique technical monument – Orava Forest Railroad.

Despite the fact that a large part of the museum that is located in the exterior is closed during the winter, there are also those that you can visit during solid frost, when the whole country is dressed in a beautiful blanket of snow. We have decided to visit during the winter one of the few surviving narrow gauge railways in the world - Orava Forest Railroad.

Oravská lesní železnice - výlet v zimě   

Kysucko – Orava Forest Railroad

Orava Forest Railroad is what remains of Kysucko-Orava forest railroad. Its part in Kysuce consists of Historical forest railroad in Vychylovka . We have visited it several years ago. Why the Museum of Kysuce Villages togethwer with forest railroad enchanted us you can read here. Currently, experiments are underway to restore and re-integration of the entire Kysucko - Orava Forest Railroad, but as it is customary inSlovakia any cooperation is not born easily. As we confirmed the museum staff, the track is technically already connected, but currently waiting for a tightening of administration, so the railroad lovers have no choice but to believe that this will have soon.

Oravská lesní železnice - výlet v zimě  motorová drezina Oravská lesní železnice - výlet v zimě

A scenic tour on the Orava Forest Railroad

Orava Forest Railroad once served primarily for collection of wood. But today, every day several times it goes off on a scenic ride, which since 2009 can be done even in winter. I even have the feeling that in winter, when everything around seems silent and slowed the ride on Orava Forest Railroad is even more charming than in summer. Tourists are scarce, but you do the more you can enjoy the journey by train or trolley, during which you admire the beautiful surroundings.

překrásná okolní příroda Oravské lesní železnice

From Tanecnik station to Sedlo Beskyd

In valley station Tanecnik, located very close to Orava Lesna (about 6 km by paved forest road), you will also find facilities in the form of railroad depot for locomotives and smaller exhibition located in the administrative building located directly above the train station. If you have to train your stay a little longer time, you certainly recommend it to visit. In two rooms, you will find a small but really very interesting exhibition on the life at Oravska Forest Railroad. Also, you can buy tickets for a scenic ride or a souvenir. If not all about hidden beneath the snow, your kids will surely love the playfulness pleasant waiting at a playground. But we barely managed to catch up on the last evening scenic ride, so we bought tickets directly in the train.

Oravská lesní železnice - výlet v zimě  dětské hřiště pod lesem

In winter, there is a smaller number of visitors thus only a motor trolley is operating. It has a capacity of 11 seats, but if you collect more passengers and is also the opportunity to ride in open or covered wagons pulled by a diesel locomotive. We unfortunately were not so lucky, but the trip was definitely worth it.

provozní budova s menší expozicí nad stanicí Tanečníkexpozíce umístěná v provozní budově  přestávka ve stanici Sedlo Beskyd

The entire scenic route from the valley station Tanecnik to the top station Sedlo Beskyd is approximately 3 km long and the will pass it in about fifteen minutes . On the way to the top the driver made a little break , which we used to climb up to the nearby lookout tower . It is also interesting Goral wooden cottage , which will introduce you to the culture called Goral in the Orava region . Then there was only a way back. Mostly this sightseeing trip with a quite a long break in the station Sedlo Beskyd will take you no more than one and a half hour. We, however, made much faster. Since we were pretty cold and slowly but surely we started to feel tired after a day of snowboarding , it was hard for us to overcome laziness. During the break we moved just around the train . Our traveling companions was a married couple with small kids. The kids cannot wait to see again the moment when the train moves again , so the break on the way to the top was reduced to a minimum.

Vyhlídková jízda po Oravské lesní železnici

I must admit that in spite of relatively strong winds and frigid winter trip we really enjoyed the trolley ride. If you want to visit the Orava Forest Railroad, which is one of the extended exposures of the Orava Museum of Paul Országh Hviezdoslav in Dolny Kubin, you should bring with you an extra layer of clothes in your backpack. At first glimpse it does not seem like it, but when the train moves, suddenly you feel much colder and, believe me, you will be happy to have something to wear.

The trains are departing according to the schedule you can find HERE .

Text and photo: O. Maňáková

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