Travelers visiting Latvia can have a unique experience when visiting northern Vidzeme Province, as this is where the only functioning narrow-track diesel engine train line in the Baltics is located. The train line connects the towns of Gulbene and Aluksne, passing through picturesque scenery on the way.
This seemingly miniature but romantic train line was built for important economic reasons when it was originally constructed.
The train line itself was unveiled in 1903, and was originally 212 kilometers long, connecting the towns of Plavinas and Ape. Now, only 33 kilometers of the original track remain between Gulbene and Aluksne.
The Gulbene-Aluksne narrow-track steam engine line is the only rail line in Latvia included on the country’s cultural heritage list.
Three restored diesel-engine locomotives, built in the 1920’s, 1960’s and 1980’s, are used on the route, as well as several restored passenger carriages. A steam-engine locomotive is also currently being restored. There are two departures per day from both Gulbene and Aluksne.