A Forest Railway is a rail transport agent serving forestry purposes, primarily the removal of harvested timber to sawmills or train stations.
Before the invention of the railroad strains were preferentially promoted in large numbers by Holztrift from the forests. At a hermitage the tribes controlled with a tidal wave produced were swept downstream. Since this type of transportation vonstattenging not without damage to the cargo, it was, for example, unsuitable for high-quality timber. Another possibility of transport was (and still is) the rafting. However, the water power is not always available.
Simple horse trams with wooden rails, as already found in mining use were created from the 18th century, with the invention of the steam locomotive and the steel rails found this out soon as a transport in forestry use. Due to the special conditions in forest management found as railways preferably narrow-gauge railways use as Forest Railway: they allowed small radii in difficult terrain, did not require any elaborate substructure and were portable on demand if it was to follow the route of the changing felling areas. In especially large regions, such as in the Pacific Northwest, also extensive route network to standard gauge were built exclusively for forestry purposes, for these also special types of locomotives such as the Shay and Climax were developed.
The traction was carried out with a variety of vehicles. Besides steam locomotive, and later locomotives with internal combustion engines, also held the transport with draft animals until the end of the forest tracks. Often employed was to simply equipped routes, the transport by gravity: On in constant difference in scale tracks were allowed to laden Loren ( Trucks ) roll into the valley, woodcutters went to this - risking their lives - as a brakeman with the empty wagons were working horses or returned by the workers back to the starting point.
From the second half of the 20th century forest paths were gradually being replaced by road vehicles, towards the end of the 1960s they were almost completely disappeared in Western Europe, on the tracks of forest roads were often created.
In some Eastern European countries to Wald tracks could hold part much longer, especially in Russia are still some widely branched route networks available. Also in Hungary are still some forest tracks to be found in active operation, on which in part also a tourist Nostalgiezugprogramm is offered. The numerous forest railway companies in Romania have been set with a few exceptions in the 1990s. In Western Europe, no routes are practically preserved as museum railways owing to the consistently early termination.
Other pathways for the transport of materials
- Railways to transport agricultural products
- Mining railways to reduce ores
- Port railways for loading and unloading of goods within a port operations
- Holm tracks for the transport of construction materials to protect the coastline.
- Army railways to transport military goods and troops
- Debris railways to transport the debris after the Second World War
- Industrial railways for the transport of materials in industrial plants