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News

Testing Wireless Sensor Networks
16-11-2016

Partners of the European Union’s project DEWI Gulbene-Aluksne Railway had chosen for their proving ground. Specialists from Spain and Latvia tested mobile wireless sensor networks in the narrow gauge train. Latvia this project represents LUMII and EDI.
www.dewiproject.eu | www.lumii.lv | www.edi.lv

Projekta dalībnieki no Spānijas uzstāda aparatūru Bānīša bāra vagonā

New Shelters for the Railway Passengers
03-09-2016

During the Annual Railway Festival new shelters for the railway passengers were put into use at stops Birze, Pūriņi and Dunduri. Building design for the shelters was made according to drawings from 1930-ties. The minister of transport Uldis Augulis participated in the opening ceremony of the new shelters.

The new passenger shelter at the stop Birze

Restored Interior of the Carriage
27-06-2016

The interior of narrow gauge passenger carriage No. 38003 has been restored recently, in 2016. This carriage was built by "Pafawag" factory in Poland, in 1960. There are two of this kind of carriages in service on the railway line Gulbene-Aluksne.

Restored interior of the passenger carriage No. 38003

Naming of the Steam Engine Gr-319
13-06-2014

Naming the newly restored steam locomotive Gr-319 took place at Gulbene depot on 13th June 2014, in conjunction with the international conference “Tourism and Heritage Railways” which was held on the following day.
There were many visitors, including senior officials – among them Minister of Transport Anrijs Matiss, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Romans Naudins and Ugis Magonis – president of Latvian Railways (“Latvijas dzelzceļš) the state-owned railway company.
Guests from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia represented several international heritage railway organizations, which have been giving long term assistance to the development of the Gulbene-Alūksne narrow gauge railway. Honoured guest Lord Faulkner of Worcester – president of the Heritage Railway Association (of the United Kingdom), along with senior officials and representatives of local government, congratulated the “Banitis” company for the excellent job done on the restoration of the steam engine.
Restoration of the Gr-319 steam engine started in 2007 being undertaken by the specialists of “Gulbene-Alūksne banitis” Ltd., with the assistance of volunteers and with sponsorship from the railway companies “Latvijas dzelzcels”, “Ritosa sastava serviss” and “LDZ Cargo”.
Regarding the history of steam engine Gr-319, she was built to the order of the USSR in the former “Orenstein & Koppel factory” – in Babelsberg (Eastern Germany) in 1951. She was used in Latvia serving narrow gauge lines from Liepaja railway junction until 1964, and moved to Ukraine afterwards. The last workplace of this machine was Vapnjarka depot in Ukraine, from where she was collected in 1990 by Estonian railway enthusiasts and transported to the Lavassaare railway museum located near to Parnu. Finally thanks to long term cooperation between “Gulbene-Alūksne banitis” Ltd. and the Lavassaare museum Gr-319 came to Gulbene for restoration in 2007.
The newly restored steam engine will be used on the Gulbene-Alūksne narrow gauge railway (or “Banitis”), which is a listed industrial heritage site and the most popular tourist attraction in the Vidzeme region. Moreover “Banitis” is the only operational narrow gauge railway in the Baltic countries with regular passenger services between two district centres.
Taking in account the importance of “Banitis” as a tourist attraction and its potential for the development of tourism, the international conference “Tourism and Heritage Railways” was organized on 14th June in Gulbene’s Culture Centre.
Representatives from the United Kingdom Lord Faulkner of Worcester and Gordon Rushton spoke at the conference about the more than 60 years of British experience, the sharing of best practice, and using heritage railways for the benefit of regional development. The European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways (“Fedecrail”) was represented at the conference by president David Morgan, secretary Livius Kooy and several members of the board.
Special emphasis is given to the role of the New Europe Railway Heritage Trust (“NERHT”) and its chairman Stephen Wiggs, who have been giving substantial assistance to “Banitis”, on this occasion by helping to initiate the international conference in Gulbene.

 

 

Pictures

Banitis participate at the "Balttour 2014"
09-02-2014

Banitis took part at the annual travel tradeshow in the Baltics "Balttour 2014" traditionally taking place in Riga in beginning of February. Banitis had a common display together with Gulbene and Alūksne local governments, where visitors could find a lot of information about activities on the historic railway as well as enjoy the soviet stile services of "bufetchitsa".

Banitis participate at the "Balttour 2014"
Pictures

Railway Festival 2013
07-09-2013

As every year, since 2000, Narrow Gauge Railway Festival took place on the first Saturday of September. This year celebration was special because of 110th anniversary of Gulbene - Alūksne railway. Lot of guests, friends and supporters took part at the activities at the stations Gulbene, Stāmeriene and Alūksne.

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Pictures from the event

First Beer Festival
20-07-2013

The first Banitis Beer Festival is being held 20th of July at Kalniene railway station. There is variety of beers and ciders were available for tasting and purchase, what attracted unusual number of local visitors. The new beer brand "Banitis 110th anniversary beer" was presented during the Festival.

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Pictures from the event

Song and Dance Festival Express
15-06-2013

The Song and Dance Festival Express - a train on the route Rīga - Gulbene - Stameriena - Alūksne - Riga leads Festival from Riga to the regions on 15th June arrived Gulbene where participants changed to narrow gauge train for Alūksne. During the train route were sung all this year's Final Song Festival concert repertoire.

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Pictures from the event

Songs for the Banitis Anniversary
23-04-2013

Singer George Siksna has produced CD under the title "We have met..." including songs composed by Raimonds Pauls in 1950-1960-ties. The presentation of the CD devoted to 110th Anniversary of Banitis took place at the Railway museum. Enclosed booklet includes information about Banitis as well as family ticket for free ride on Banitis, sponsored by "LDz Ritosa sastava serviss".

George Siksna CD "We have met..."
Pictures ...

Fedecrail Conference - 2013
17-04-2013

Annual Fedecrail conference took place in the World Heritage Town of Albi (France) from 11th until 17th April. Latvia was represented at the conference by Aldis Kreislers - general manager of "Gulbene - Alūksne banitis" Ltd.
More about the conference: www.fedecrail.org

Fedecrail Conference - 2013
Pictures from the conference

Easter Event
31-03-2013

The Banitis travelled with guests on board to Paparde station where various traditional Easter celebrations took place. In spite of cold and snowy weather the event gathered quite a lot participant, especially families with children who enjoyed traditional Easter outdoor activities together with Easter rabbits.

Easter event at Paparde station
Pictures from the event

Banitis attracts visitors during the "Balttour 2013"
10-02-2013

Banitis took part at the annual travel tradeshow in the Baltics "Balttour 2013". Banitis together with Gulbene and Alūksne local governments designed original stand in the shape of passenger car, which attracted visitors by decorative design. The stand itself and activities related to railway inside were recognized as the most original and attractive in the tradeshow.

The stand of Banitis at the travel tradeshow "Balttour 2013"

Banitis Receives TU6A Diesel Locomotive
29-01-2013

On 29th January rarely used TU6A diesel locomotive was transported from town Kandava in Western part of Latvia to Gulbene depot. The locomotive after passing preventive maintenance will operates daily train services on the Gulbene - Alūksne line as a fuel saving alternative to TU2 or TU7A locomotives.

Transportation of the Diesel locomotive TU6A No 3313 from Kandava to Gulbene
Pictures from the transportation

Christmas day at the Banitis Christmas-tree
22-12-2012

On account of the cold weather Christmas day outside in the forest at the big Banitis Christmas-tree this year gathered a bit less guests than usually. Perhaps because of that event turned into very family-oriented. Especially children got a lot of joy from long-awaited meeting with Santa who arrived from the snowy Paparde's forest with huge gift bag.

Christmas day at the Banitis Christmas-tree

Minister of Transport visits at the Banitis
07-12-2012

Minister of Transport of Latvia Aivis Ronis accompanied by State Secretary Anrijs Matiss and MP from Unity Parliamentary Group Dzintars Zakis made a working visit to "Gulbene - Alūksne Banitis" Railway Company on 7th of December.

Minister of Transport visits at the Banitis

Visit at the Lithuanian narrow gauge railway
26-11-2012

Management and volunteers of Banitis made a working visit to Panevežys on 26th of November. They visited Lithuanian narrow gauge railway company Aukštaitijos Siaurasis Geležinkelis (www.siaurukas.eu) and met directors of this tourist railway. See our impression on the pictures.

Narrow gauge railway in Panevežys
Pictures from the visit

Railway Festival 2012
01-09-2012

As every year, during the event decorated trains were running on the line all over the day. Shows, performances, open-air dances - took place at the stations Gulbene, Stāmeriene and Alūksne. This Festival was special - it started activities for the 110 anniversary of Gulbene - Alūksne narrow gauge railway will taking place during 2013.

Railway Festival 2012
Pictures from the event

Foreign tourists visits at the railway
06-05-2012

Numerous tourists, mostly British railway enthusiasts, arrived from Riga to Gulbene by charter train 6th of May. Charter train - three compartment carriages and dining-car was pulled by Russian built diesel TEP70. The tourists visited also the narrow gauge railway and enjoyed riding by Banitis.

Foreign tourists visits at the railway

Easter Event
07-04-2012

The small train travelled with guests on board to Paparde station where various traditional Easter celebrations took place on 7th of April. The event was organized in cooperation with the company "Pasazieru vilciens", because of that the train Riga - Gulbene - Riga was combined with the Easter event of Banitis.

Easter event
Pictures from the event

The 100 000th train services on Banitis
17-03-2012

On 17th March the Banitis ran its 100 000th train service since the line was opened in 1903. To mark this event the Banitis company arranged a special train and sightseeing tour of Alūksne for guests. These were organized in cooperation with the company "Pasazieru vilciens" which brought the guests from Riga by broad gauge train.

The 100 000th train services on Banitis
Pictures from the event

Banitis receive Licence for Operation Freight Trains
06-03-2012

On 6th March "Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd. was issued with a new Licence allowing the operation of freight services. This item is very important as it is required to enable freight wagons to be attached to passenger trains services and makes it possible for us to convey heavier luggage, especially bicycles.

The freight wagon is utilizing to convey bicycles

Banitis Driver Receives EU Train Driver's Licence
07-12-2011

An engine-driver with the train operating company "Gulbene - Alūksne Banitis" Juris Vilums has become the first person in Latvia to obtain a Train Driver's Licence under EU legislation.

Member of the board of "Gulbene - Alūksne Banitis" Toms Altbergs presents the new Licence to engine-driver Juris Vilums

New song "Banitis" takes part at the competition
21-11-2011

Local musicians Gunars & Zane from Veclaicene (Alūksne region) performed new song "Banitis" for the Banitis festival telling story about narrow gauge railway Gulbene - Alūksne. Now the composition participate at the musical competition "Latvijas slageraptaujа" showing video-clip created at studio "EG video".
Video-clip

Gunars & Zane

Saint Martin's Day
12-11-2011

On 12th November Saint Martin's Day was celebrated at Stāmeriene Station. The festivities included a traditional Autumn fair together with singing and dancing accompanied by a folk group. More than 400 visitors arrived from Riga on a special train which was laid on as part of the cooperation arrangements between Banitis and Pasazieru vilciens, the operator on the broad gauge network.

Saint Martin's Day
Pictures from the event

Biking-tour "Outrun the Banitis"
08-10-2011

On 8th October a bike ride from Gulbene to Stameriena was arranged by the local tourism organisation to mark the end of the cycling season. The ride attracted large numbers of participants who raced the narrow gauge train to Stāmeriene station. Supporters of the tour included the Gulbene - Alūksne railway company (Banitis), Gulbene Library and the "Europe Direct" information centre.

Cyclists racing the narrow gauge train to Stāmeriene station

Riga - Gulbene train runs on Saturdays once a month
26-09-2011

The company "Pasazieru vilciens" in cooperation with "Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd organizes combined tours on Saturdays once a month starting on 1st of October and continuing 12 November, 17 December, 7 January, 25 February, 17 March and 7 April. These tours include a ride on Banitis together with visits to places of interest such as Stameriena Castle and Ate museum.

JSC "Pasazieru vilciens"

Banitis receive new Licence and Safety Certificate
20-09-2011

"Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd. was given a new Licence and Safety certificate at the beginning of September 2011 following the expiry of the original documents. These items are very important as they are needed to enable the operation of regular passenger services.

Train at the Gulbene station

Railway Festival 2011
03-09-2011

During the event decorated trains were running on the line all over the day. Shows, performances, open-air dances - took place at the stations Gulbene, Stāmeriene and Alūksne. The culmination was the Banitis night trip together with rock band "Dzelzs Vilks" giving performances directly on the board of train.

Railway Festival 2011
Pictures from the event

"Cultural walk" on the Board of Train
14-05-2011

"Cultural walk" on the Board of Train was organized to Northern Vidzeme by company "Pasazieru vilciens" in cooperation with "Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd on 14th of May. This event was a part of celebration 10th anniversary of "Pasazieru vilciens", with participation of creative students and professors from Academies of Arts, Music and Culture.

"Cultural walk" on the Board of Train
Pictures from the event

Sunny and really spring-like Easter
24-04-2011

The small train travelled with over 100 passengers on board to Paparde station where various traditional Easter celebrations took place.

Celebration of Easter at Paparde station
Pictures from the event

Banitis Company Celebrates 10th Anniversary
20-04-2011

"Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd recalls the event, when company was entered on the Register of Companies on 20th of April 2001. Since that much work has been carried out by company to develop the infrastructure for the need regular and tourist services.

Banitis Company Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Train Riga - Gulbene will run on Saturdays from 14th of May
14-04-2011

The company "Pasazieru vilciens" in cooperation with "Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd organizes combined tours on Saturdays starting on 14th of May. This tour includes a ride on Banitis together with visits to places of interest such as Stameriena Castle and Ate museum.

JSC "Pasazieru vilciens"

Discussion regarding development of Banitis
31-03-2011

Discussion regarding development of narrow-gauge railway Gulbene - Alūksne took place at the State Inspection for Heritage Protection on 31st of March. As a result of the meeting, participants from different institutions approved the paper drawing attention to necessity of transferring the heritage property to a single legal entity (instead of several owners as it is at present).

Discussion regarding to development of Banitis

Special train Riga - Gulbene will be in service during Easter
23-03-2011

The company "Pasazieru vilciens" in cooperation with "Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd organize the first combined trip on Easter day, 24th of April. The train Riga - Gulbene - Riga will be combined with the Easter event of Banitis. Broad gauge passenger train leaves Riga for Gulbene in the morning - 8.25.

Train Rīga - Gulbene at the Gulbene station

Banitis treat passengers to tea during the cold weather
17-02-2011

On account of the unusually cold weather this winter, Banitis is treating passengers to hot tea. Tea will be available on the train during every scheduled trip until weather becomes warmer. It should be mentioned, there is also good opportunity to see historical snow-plough in operation because of thick snow in Gulbene region.

Train at the Paparde station

Minister of Transport visits at the railway
14-01-2011

Minister of Transport and Communications Uldis Augulis made a working visit to Gulbene on 14th of January. He met representatives of local authorities and transport companies. The Minister visited also the narrow gauge railway and discussed the issues of development with director of company "Gulbene - Alūksne Banitis" Toms Altbergs.

Minister of Transport visits at the railway

Changes in the timetable and request stops
10-01-2011

The timetable has been changed with effect from 1st of February 2011. This is because of the introduction of request stops at Birze, Pūriņi, Dunduri, Paparde and Vējiņi.
Timetable from 01.02.2011

Trains at the Kalniena station

Corner Corner
"Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd
Viestura street 16G, Gulbene, Gulbene district, LV-4401
+371 64473037, info@banitis.lv