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SVK: Vychylovka - Forests Back Swath Railway

Published: 10.11.2011
Museum of Kysuca village with historic Forest Logging Back Swath Railway is one of the finest and most extensive exposures in the wild in Slovakia.

Narrow track railway, what we will talk about today, is the unique monument of world importance. It belongs to among the most popular tourist attractions of Kysuce. Come with us to see the picturesque valley of gloom which is part of the protected area Kysuce.

When and why was the forest railways established?

Kysuce distinctive region, as well as the region of Orava, is located in northern Slovakia in Žilina Region, and belongs to the hilliest corners of Slovakia. Since time immemorial belonged to the forest to their greatest natural wealth, and is not an exception today. The wood in these parts mined since time immemorial. Since then transported of very inaccessible mountain terrain, it was really necessary to solve complex technical role, which was to move the timber outlets in places such goods. And so in the years 1915 - 1918 was built the Forest Railway in Kysuce, that once dragged from the village up the valley Oscadnica Chmura (New Bystrica, part Vychylovka).

Very similar narrow track forest railway was made up during this period also in the Orava region. Later, in 1926, the two interconnected railroad tracks from the newly built Erdútky (today Oravská Lesna) into the Chmura. Kysucko-Orava forest railways reached an impressive 110 km, while the main track measured 61 km and the remainder consisted of branches, which are always extended as your needs change or shorter or completely rebuilt. In building the railroad was to overcome the large difference in elevation in a relatively short section used technically extremely interesting headland system. In 1971 its operation was terminated. In addition to 8 km long section Chmura - Dancer, where he found extremely valuable and headland system, the rest of the tracks removed.

Ride the train to the past

Kysuca Museum in Čadca in 1974 took the preserved part of tracks together with the rolling stock under its responsibility. The main aim was make a workable restoration of this unique monument and re-energize the forest railway in terms of the ethnographic exhibition in Vychyloka. Since 1991, the Historical Logging Back Swath Railway forest declared a national monument. Today you can also ride the forest railway. Track system which already is used only for transporting visitors to the museum is pulls by a small steam locomotive pulls. Orava forest railways under the Orava Museum PO Hviezdoslav, which since 2008 also brings its visitors, would soon be merged with the Kysuca one.

If all goes well, so next year we can look forward to reconnecting Kysuca with Orava, because according to available information, it is about restoration of the original railroad and not the construction of new tracks. During the main tourist season, which in Vychylovka lasts from May to October, you can purchase tickets for the train ride to look into the lives of our ancestors, too. From the train you will see only a few wooden houses Kysuca museum, but also several technical railway exhibits, placed along the track. From November until April train coming, so you miss it this year. We'll see how it will be a year. Maybe after the restoration of trails the schedule might be changed. However, if you go to Kysuca during in the colder months, definitely not defeat Vychylovka. Stop there at least for a while. You can admire Museum of Kysuca village in nature or taste really great delicacies of old mothers in the pub right in the museum.

Text and photo: O. Maňáková

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