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History of the Pigeon Railway

   There’s a long history for peat extraction around town Baloži (in English - pigeons), officially a peat extraction plant was formed in 1947, soon after that an extensive narrow gauge (750 mm) railway network was completed to transport peat from peat fields to the factory, with total length at least 28 km, including a line from the factory to the Baloži station (broad gauge railway line Rīga-Jelgava), to transfer peat to broad gauge carriages.

MD54/4 locotractor with TCB6A peat cars

   But without going in historical details – nowadays history of the railway turned out to be not so bright – after most of the peat was extracted, and also former USSR broke apart, peat factory in Baloži gradually decreased not only the peat production, but also the narrow gauge railway network. Most of the rails and rolling stock was transferred and used to build a new peat railway in Inčukalns beginning with 2005, with the perspective that remains of the railway in Baloži would be lifted altogether. Due to this, only 2,5 km from the former railway remains to only one of the peat fields, and due to many reasons the railway was not operational since end of 2011.

   As the railway was left “as it was”, it was started to be cut in parts by thieves – rails were stolen, especially in Spring 2013. As the amount of peat extracted was small, and since 2011 it was already being transported by tractors, the owner of the railway decided at that moment to not restore the railway and to lift up the remaining parts of the railway.

   What happened next – continue to read on the section “Making of the Pigeon railway (Baloži peat museum railway)

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